Healthy calories? Let's get one thing straight – these are NOT contradictory terms. Although you need to cut calories to lose weight, calories are not bad. At least "healthy calories" are not bad.
Whether you count calories to lose weight or not, this is important. There are good healthy calories and bad unhealthy calories. As a matter of fact, research actually shows that eating healthy calories is more important to your health and fitness than it is for you to lose weight.
You can actually be overweight or even obese and, if you're eating healthy calories, you could still be a lot healthier than someone at a so-called "healthy" weight eating unhealthy calories!
Benefits of Healthy Calories to Lose Weight
In order to stay alive, you need a certain number of calories every day. How many calories? The magic number is usually thought to be a minimum somewhere between 800 and 1000 calories. And the most recent scientific studies indicate that low calorie diets contribute to better health.
But you also need good nutrition in order to be healthy. This is where healthy calories come in.
Naturally, foods have different amounts of calories. Some, such as rich pastries, have lots of unhealthy calories; while others, like dark green leafy vegetables, have a few healthy calories.
Approximately 3500 calories equals a pound. That means if you learn to substitute foods low in healthy calories for the foods you're currently eating that are high in unhealthy calories – to the tune of 500 calories less a day – you can lose about a pound a week and be healthier than ever.
Eating foods low in healthy calories to lose weight has also been shown to lead to permanent healthy weight loss. So you can get healthier, lose weight and keep it off for the rest of your life.
Here are recommendations for losing weight with healthy calories from the healthy food list:
- Follow glycemic index guidelines. A low glycemic diet helps you keep your blood sugar in check. By using the glycemic index to choose what you eat, you can help avoid the mood and blood sugar swings that can lead to diabetes and reek havoc on your weight loss plans.
- Include plenty of fiber in your diet. Fiber helps you feel fuller and eliminates constipation problems. A twelve year study of over 74,000 nurses, ages 38 to 63, showed that those who ate the most high fiber foods, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, weighed less, had a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes and 49% less chance of gaining weight.
- Make sure you get enough protein. At least 50 daily grams or approximately ˝ your ideal body weight of healthy protein foods is essential to maintain your health and muscle mass.
- Get 25 to 30% good fat calories. Reduce saturated fat, eliminate trans fats and increase your good fat, such as omega 3 fish oil and other essential fatty acids. Avoid deep fried foods, bake or broil foods whenever possible, and use olive oil for salads and stir-frying.
- Avoid unhealthy food and drink. Cut down on salt and eliminate junk foods, pastries, alcohol, sodas (drink pure water instead) and other non-nourishing food from your diet.
- Take quality nutritional supplements. Research clearly shows that even when you're not on a reduced calorie diet you can't get all the nutrition you need from the food you eat. So make sure you eat healthy calories, but also include high quality nutritional supplements.
- Get a half-hour of exercise a day. Daily exercise revs up your blood circulation, which is necessary in order to carry the nutrients from your food and supplements to your cells.
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Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.