Forget About Counting Calories

Many people think that a ‘healthy diet’ or a diet geared towards weight loss required precise calorie counting and restriction. I’m a firm believer that eating well has nothing to do with deprivation – and rather in being low in calories, the healthiest diets are high in nutrients.

Our bodies require calories for energy – and they also require nutrients to perform optimally. Our bodies CRAVE nutrients, and when we are properly nourished, we are satisfied with eating less, our palette for junk food disappears, and extra weight can magically fall off.

We want to begin to choose nutrient dense foods most of the time. A nutrient dense food is rich in vitamins and minerals, while having a relatively low calorie count. Leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits are all nutrient dense. Sugary desserts, processed snack foods, refined flour products and alcohol, are all calorie dense – meaning that they give us very few (or no) nutritional benefits for the calories.

If we put the wrong kind of gas in our car, we wouldn’t expect it to run very well, would we? Food is fuel! Calorie dense and nutritionally void foods might ‘fill up our tank’ but they won’t give us what we need to run smoothly – and overtime, we would stand a very good chance of breaking down. Choose foods rich in vitamins and minerals and you will run like a well-oiled machine!

Amanda’s Nutrient Dense Picks

Next time you are at the store fill your cart with these nutrient rich foods. Try to choose at least one food from each group to enjoy at meal and snack time. A good rule of thumb is to shop the perimeter of the store and skip the center where all of the packaged, processed, and chemical-laden foods are found.

Green Leafy Vegetables:
• Kale
• Collards
• Spinach
• Watercress
• Chard

Vegetables:
• Broccoli
• Green beans
• Bell peppers
• Carrots
• Sweet potato

Fruits:
• Blueberries
• Apples
• Avocados
• Oranges
• Cantaloupe

Nuts + Seeds:
• Pumpkin seeds
• Sesame seeds
• Almonds
• Walnuts
• Hempseed

Beans + Legumes:
• Aduki beans
• Lentils
• Black beans
• Kidney beans
• Black eyed peas

Grains:
• Quinoa
• Millet
• Amaranth
• Brown rice
• Wild rice

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