Some articles or food lists online will point to Low Calorie Foods that will result in weight loss.
Too Few Calories Creates Cravings
Have you found this kind of a list unhelpful or discouraging? The reality is that SOME low calorie foods without SOME higher calorie foods or at the very least lots and lots and lots of low calorie foods will leave most people starving hungry and craving something satisfying.
No Magic Bullet
Low calorie foods like a few sticks of celery are a small tool that can help improve ones health but it certainly is not the solution to most peoples weight problem.
Weight Loss Occurs
Weight loss will occur when an individual eats, on a regular basis, fewer calories than they burn in a day.
Too Few Calories Is A Problem
Should an individual eat too few calories because they try to stick only to low calorie foods they run the risk of:
a) Malnourishment from not eating enough calories or variety of foods.
b) Rebound, binge eating because they feel hungry, unsatisfied and cravings.
c) Discouraged that losing weight is an impossible goal.
Feeling Satisfied Is Important
This may not be totally accurate but I think some people are misled by the idea that eating low calorie foods is the answer to losing weight and they underestimate just how many low calorie foods they will have to eat to feel satisfied. Eating only low calorie foods is likely to create too large of a calorie deficit between what your body requires and what you eat. To eat 2200 calories of celery in one day, one would have to eat about 30 lbs. Good luck.
What I Have Done
Instead of eating just low calorie foods, over the years I have done one of two things.
a) Followed general 90/10 rules to make balanced, healthier choices for all kinds of foods most of the time… not some of the time, most of the time.
b) Counted calories to allow me to know when I was over or under my calorie / energy balance rate. This allows me a lot of freedom to eat, enjoy what I want and stay in shape.
What Might Work For You?
What method works for you may not work for someone else.
90/10 rules are great if you can remember to follow some logical guidelines that keep you from over eating on a regular basis. Simple rules like, “Stop drinking calories” can have a dramatic affect on someones body shape if they typically drink a lot of high calorie drinks. I love this strategy.
Counting Calories can be very empowering as it can allow you to eat with a much more clear understanding of where your limits are. This does not have to be as time consuming as some think. I have a lot of strategies to make counting calories pain free and a minor part of my day. To be honest, counting calories has given me the power to turn on fat loss or muscle gain like flicking a switch. It is a really good feeling to have that much control.
Yes low Calorie Foods are a tool to help us lose weight because they are likely nutritious, filling and some think delicious. However, low calorie foods are a tool that help us stay in a reasonably sized calorie deficit that isn’t too large or too small. Large calorie deficits can result in hunger, binge eating rebounds, quitting and ultimately body fat gain.
More To This
I want to write a lot more about this in future articles. Create a free account to Track Your Progress Here. We have a lot of tools and information to help you with your fitness goals. Please be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to learn much more about my nutrition 90/10 rules or counting calorie tips.