Which is better for weight loss: low fat or low carb? I’m asked this question regularly. Well, the answer to this question is neither … and both!
As it turns out, calories are the key. Whether they are from fat or carbohydrate is not as important as the total number of them. To lose weight and keep it off, you adhere to the simple rule of “calories in, calories out.” It’s than simple. It’s really doesn’t make much difference which diet you’re on. You only lose weight when you consume fewer calories than you burn.
Be cautious about cravings
Your body is designed to communicate nutrient needs through cravings. You need protein, carbohydrates, fats, fiber and water to be healthy. These are called macro-nutrients because they are large categories of food that contain smaller categories called micronutrients. A micronutrient is something we need in a very small quantity, like salt (sodium). We crave what we need.
Food manufacturers create products to tempt these cravings the way a fisherman uses a lure to catch a fish. We can be induced to buy one food over the other because of added ingredients. Three common additives that tempt our taste buds are:
Are you monitoring your calorie intake? Use these tips when looking at labels:
Watch out for added-sugar foods. Recommendations for carbohydrate intake range from 60 to 250 grams daily for the average adult. Get your carbohydrates from whole foods to avoid the “empty calories” of added sugar. If the label lists “sugar” as an ingredient, select another food without the added sugar.
Watch out for added-fat and high-fat foods. Fat contains very few nutrients. While it is a good source of energy, a little goes a long way. Protein and carbs contain four calories per gram, yet fat contains a whopping nine calories per gram. Fat is often added to improve the “mouth-feel” of foods. If a label lists the daily value (DV) at 20% or higher, it is a high-fat food. The DV should be between 2% and 10% for a single serving, and Never eat trans-fats.
Selecting your diet is both a science and an art. Take a little time to learn the science behind food selections and then you can enjoy the endless, artistic variety of foods. Remember, moderation is the key!
Take Charge of Your Health