Most Common Mistakes - Not considering calories when choosing “healthier” options
We should always strive to improve our nutrition; to get our calories from more nutritious, “healthier” foods.
For the most part, swapping a food for a healthier alternative is always a good idea.
Milk chocolate for dark chocolate with less sugar and healthier fats.
Processed meat for lean cuts of meat.
White bread for wholemeal bread.
Bad fats for good fats.
You get the idea… little swaps that are a step forward with regards to nutrition.
Also, it’s important to realise that whilst it’s healthier to be within a certain range for body fat and unhealthy to be above or below that range, chasing weight loss doesn’t always improve your health, in fact, many weight loss Diets are not good for your health.
However, if you focus on health, weight loss will accompany this (if you have the weight to lose - if you need to gain weight, this will also happen if your focus is on health).
If weight loss is your goal, you really need to pay attention to your calorie consumption. The food companies know this and design their products with this in mind - “less than 100 calories”, “sugar-free”, “zero-calorie”, “fat free” etc.
So, sometimes, swapping your 100 calorie kit kat for a “healthy” nut and seed bar may reward you with an EXTRA 100 calories! Yes, it’s a “healthier” option, but it’s doing the opposite of what you want if weight loss is your goal.
This can be said for a lot of foods. Good nutritious foods will often contain healthy fats. To take these out and reduce calories would defeat the object. So sometimes the “unhealthy” option, like the small chocolate bar, will save you a few calories.
When replacing your “bad” foods with healthier alternatives, be sure to check the labels and the calorie content.
It may just mean you have to change the serving size. Would half the bar be enough?
For the same calories you could get a lot more nutrition and it will probably be more filling too.
Another classic swap that people regard as being healthy is fruit juice. It’s essentially just fruit sugar with a few vitamins in it. Swapping this for your diet coke may not necessarily be that much healthier and it’ll certainly have more calories in it!
I’m NOT saying to eat kit kats and drink diet coke instead of nuts and seeds and fruit juice, the nutritional value of the latter is far better and “healthier”, but calorie-wise, the “healthier” option will be quite a bit higher.
When making healthy choices, be sure to keep the calories within your targets, but do try to choose healthier, more nutritious options wherever possible.