Is Calorie Counting the Secret to Losing Weight?
Most Australians have experimented with dieting. In fact, a 2017 report by the Dietitians Association of Australia found that nearly half (46%) of Australians had tried to lose weight over the past 12 months. After the joys of pregnancy and the adrenaline rush of birth and new parenthood, lots of mums begin their battle to lose weight. And many turn to calorie counting, but is this an effective way to lose weight?
The Truth About Calories
At the most basic level, weight gain and weight loss are caused by the amount of energy we eat versus the amount of energy we burn. If you consume more calories than you burn, you will put on weight. And if you consume fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. But, simply counting and reducing your calories isn't the best recipe for weight loss.
Why? Because calories are just a number. They don't tell the whole truth about food. Take a look at the comparison below:
If you're simply counting calories, the Freddo Frog might seem like a good choice. It's quick and easy, and it will only cost you 63 calories. But, those 63 calories come at a far greater cost than the 105 calories attached to the banana.
Those 63 calories are primarily made up of processed sugar that can cause a hormonal imbalance. And that hormonal imbalance can decrease the chances of you losing weight. Plus, the lack of nutritional value also means that you won't feel satiated, so you'll crave more food. On the other hand, the 105 calories in the banana will fill your body with a range of nutrients, and the high-fibre content will keep you feeling full until your next meal, all without disturbing your hormonal balance.
When you eat junk food that is low in nutrients, your body sends you a message that you need to eat more food, when all you really need is more nutrients. So junk food causes you to end up overeating and putting on more weight.
That is why after eating a bag of chips you will still want to eat more. They are 'empty' calories. Your body recognises that its nutritional needs have not been met, so it sends you “still hungry” signals. This leads to overeating and weight gain.
So, if counting calories doesn't work well, what does?
Making Your Calories Count
Drastically cutting calories or obsessing over calories won't help you reach your weight loss goals. For breastfeeding mums, this is incredibly destructive. When you’re breastfeeding you need extra nutrients as your baby is depending on you for 100% of their nutrition. You need to fill your body with enough nutrients for two (not to be confused with calories for two!). So, instead of counting calories, look at the types of foods you're eating.
To make your calories count, make sure you fill your diet with nutrient-dense foods. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins are full of the vitamins and nutrients your body needs and craves. This means when you eat these foods, you're giving your body what it needs, and you naturally start to feel more satisfied and consume fewer calories.
When you eat healthy foods, you'll also be doing yourself and your baby a huge favour. You'll feel more energetic and you won't have to deal with the energy crashes that come from consuming highly processed and low-nutrition foods.
How In-Shape Mummy Can Help You On Your Weight Loss Goals
The In Shape Mummy Health Shake is a protein and nutrient-dense food that has been specifically designed for breastfeeding and busy mums. Packed with 25 vitamins & minerals, organic vegan protein, probiotics and organic superfoods, it is the perfect companion your weight loss journey.
You can use these shakes to control your sugar and chocolate cravings. Suppose you feel like some chocolate to get you through the afternoon, you can try a Chocolate Brownie In Shape Mummy Health Shake. If you need an energy boost in the morning, you can try a Caramel Fudge or Vanilla shake.
In Shape Mummy is also offering free access to their 12-Week Healthy Weight Loss Support program to anyone purchasing their first In Shape Mummy Health Shake. You'll get access to more than 100 recipes designed by our nutritionist, as well as customised meal plans to follow each week. As a new mum, you have enough on your mind. Let us help with your weight loss journey.
For those who need more guidance on how much to eat to lose weight, In Shape gives you personalised meal plans with just the right amount of food for your body type on the 12-Week Healthy Weight Loss Support Program.
So, counting calories isn't the secret to weight loss. In fact, weight loss can be much less stressful and restrictive when you don’t count calories. Focus on filling your plate with nutritious foods, and you can lose weight without feeling like you're missing out! And, when you're short on time or you need something to satisfy your sweet tooth, In Shape Mummy Health Shakes are your go-to meal replacement shake.
Shevi is a qualified nutritionist with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and food sciences. As a new mum herself, she is passionate about postnatal-related nutrition. Shevi has worked alongside some of the most famous leaders and celebrities in the fitness industry throughout Australia and the UK.
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