Why focusing on your calorie intake doesn’t help you eat healthier

Okay, so it’s now a fair few months into 2018 – and we’ve yet to get our beach-body ready for our vacation in the summer. It’s just not on. It’s almost as if you have to actually *work* to lose weight (shivers). Gross. Of course, as much as we wish that we could simply go to sleep, press a machine to rid our bodies of all of those sneaky little calories that sneak into your body when you least expect, and wake up 5lbs lighter each day…we’d buy ten of those machines. However, scientists have now noted that focusing on the calorie doesn’t actually help you eat healthier. Yep, our minds are blown too.

Low-calorie foods aren’t always the best for you

As you peruse the aisles of the grocery store on your mission to become healthier, you probably spend most of your time trying to find the least calorific food – because you have to burn off more calories than you eat to properly lose weight, right? Well, although this may be true, devoiding your body of essential calories can actually be worse for you. Those microwave meals that promise to be only 150 calories might seem like the perfect dinner for you, but many of these foods do not contain the vital proteins and vitamins that you need to build muscle, aid your immune system, and help the growth of your skin, nails, and hair! However, this (sadly) does not give you an excuse to eat foods that are highly calorific. Instead, you need to focus on other aspects of the food.

You need to look beyond the number of calories

One of the best ways to check whether a food or product is healthy for you is to look beyond the calories at the other nutritional info – and you can’t say you don’t know where it is because it’s in the same place as the number of calories! The best numbers to actually look for is the ratio of protein to carbohydrates. To live a healthy lifestyle and lose weight, you should aim to limit the number of carbs you eat and increase the amount of protein you eat. By doing this, you automatically reduce your calorie intake. What could be better than that?

Focus on healthy carbs and protein

Limiting your amount of carbohydrates in your diet does not mean that you have to avoid them completely. In fact, research suggests that to maintain a healthy diet, you need to try to eat one gram of carbs for every one gram of protein that you eat. However, all of this jargon can often make it difficult to know what actually to eat. In simpler terms, you need to avoid eating excess chips and bread and focus on healthy sources of food and protein, including lean meats, fish, nuts, yogurt, eggs, grains and more.

Find the perfect grocery list

One of the hardest ways to keep up this kind of diet is to not have a set grocery list in mind when you go to the store. As soon as you walk past the chips and the dip and the candy bars, you just want to fill up your trolleys with their sugary and carby goodness – at least, we do! However, if you prepare your grocery list before you go, you should be able to contain your excitement a little bit more. You may even be able to find an example of a low-carb high-protein weekly shop online, which will make things a whole lot easier.

Losing weight doesn’t have to be all about counting calories and making sure you eat foods with the lowest calories. In fact, you can let that mindset go!

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