I’ve always hated calorie counting, and there’s truly no need to if you maximize your calories. Even in my strictest (and most horrendous) dieting days, I always believed in quality over quantity when it came to calories. With all the scrumptious, filling, healthy foods out there, no one has to live off broccoli and carrot stick to lose weight. I promise! All you need to do is maximize the calories you eat. You wouldn’t waste your money on late fees or excess bills, right? Why waste your calories on worthless foods that have no nutritional benefit? No, that cereal that claims it’s high in fiber and a good source of vitamins is not healthy, but what is? A good bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon, almond milk, and stevia. That’s a healthy breakfast, and much friendlier to your body. Sure, per serving it might be higher in calories, but your body can use these calories better to burn fat faster than it can processed foods. Your body knows that calories from processed foods are not the same as calories from real food. When it gets the “good stuff,” it will spike your metabolism and allow your body to work at peak levels. So instead of counting all your calories, how about learning more ways to maximize your calories? Try some of my top tips to do just this, and stop dieting right now. There’s freedom without numbers and it comes in the form of delicious, healthy foods.
1. Focus on Real Food First Thing
Just like I said, one of the best ways to maximize your calories is to focus on real foods, especially for breakfast. No processed food. Diet bars? No. Granola? No. Sugary yogurt with fruit? No. Stock up on real stuff. Oatmeal, plain yogurt with fruit, lean protein from eggs, nuts, seeds, and carbohydrates from oats, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and winter squash. These foods are much friendlier to your body than all that sugary, processed stuff for breakfast.
2. Say No to Fat-free
Another way to maximize your calories it to say no to foods that say “fat-free,” outside of fruits and veggies, of course. Guess what? Those foods may be fat-free, but they’re higher in sugar, which your body digests more quickly, and stores as excess weight more readily. Your body isn’t as quickly satisfied off fat-free foods either. So long as you avoid most processed foods, you shouldn’t be buying “fat-free” foods anyway. Fat offers the greatest satiety to your palate, and is one of the best ways to halt your hunger quickly. It is also essential for a high, optimal metabolism.
3. Pick the Right Proteins
Protein should never be something you count your calories with. For one thing, this is the most essential nutrient, in my opinion, for anyone looking to enhance their dieting. Regardless that some people say high protein diets are unhealthy, as long as you’re getting clean sources of protein with minimal or, better yet, no red meat, then you don’t have to worry about your protein levels. Your body will tell you when it has had enough. Protein satisfies your body almost instantly, and it’s essential for healthy blood sugar. Pick the right proteins by choosing mostly plant sources from hemp, chia, flax, green peas, almonds, pumpkin seeds, lentils, spinach, quinoa, and oats. The best animal sources include organic plain yogurt, organic plain kefir, pastured or organic eggs, and wild fish. Eat minimal poultry and red meat as best you can. Choosing clean sources of protein will give your metabolism a huge boost.
4. Eat Protein at Every Meal
Along with eating clean sources of protein, you need to make sure you include it every time you eat. Luckily, all you need to do is read the nutrition label on foods to see it’s easy to do this. You don’t have to eat meat at each meal to get the job done. One serving of rolled oats has 7 grams of protein, along with ¼ cup almonds, and spinach has 5 grams per cup. One five ounce serving of plain organic yogurt has 15-18 grams of protein, and hemp protein, which is raw hemp seeds, has 15 grams per three tablespoons! Including one source of protein every time you eat will help your body reach a greater level of satiety faster, along with spike your metabolism.
5. Avoid the Fruit Free for All
Yes, fruit is very healthy for you, but it’s also just plain sugar, and little fiber compared to vegetables. Since your body digests fruit so quickly, the excess sugar gets stored as fat by the liver. Your liver is responsible for using fructose, the type of sugar found in fruits, for your energy, and the rest gets stored as fat. Many people who go on a diet eat fruit to their heart’s content and end up with excess weight in their belly mostly. It’s due to the excess fruit sugar. A little fruit is perfectly fine, but try to have one serving daily, and choose the lowest sugar sources possible from berries, and even better, tomatoes, avocados, and cucumbers.
6. Focus on Veggies
When you focus on adding vegetables to your diet, you’ll naturally round out your meals in a healthier way, and lower the overall calorie counts of all your meals. Get excited about trying new recipes and new veggies. Stop buying the same ones so much! The only vegetables you need to avoid to lose weight are white potatoes, and that’s only because they contain pure starch that turns immediately to sugar in your body, spiking your insulin, which stores more fat in your body. So, instead, focus on nutrient dense veggies rich in fiber like leafy greens, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, fennel, kale, and zucchini.
7. Eat Healthy Fats
Now, let’s talk about adding some fat to your diet to maximize your calories. Your body wants healthy fats just as much as it wants veggies, I promise! Stop fearing fats, and start eating more healthy fats. Sure, you need to watch portion sizes, but because healthy fats are so satisfying and filling, your body knows when it needs to stop. Just be sure to eat your healthy fats with some form of protein, produce, or a 100% whole grain like rolled oats or quinoa. Add fats like nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut, coconut butter, almond butter, small amounts of olive oil, and also coconut oil. These fats are amazing for you, as are the fats from wild fish and organic eggs.
I focus on these tips for maximizing my calories, and my weight stays steady and I never go hungry! I eat all day long and feel great, without the need to count anything. Besides, I’d much rather eat this way and never think about my calories, than eat processed foods and junk foods and always be hungry. What about you? What do you think? Do you have a tip to maximize your calories?