Lets talk about a new concept. It’s called energy density. It’s the amount of energy or calories in a given amount of food. If you want to lose weight, you’re best eating low density foods – high volume foods that contain small amounts of calories. By eating low calorie foods, you get full faster but consume lesser energy. Vegetables and fruits are two examples of this type of food.
Let’s talk about specific food examples. Raisins are an example of high density foods. You’ll get 100 calories from 1/4th cup of raisins. Instead of raisins, try eating grapes. A cup of grapes provides the same amount of calories as 1/4th cups of raisins. This is good for weight loss.
Some other examples of high calorie density foods are sodas, candies, french fries and other fast foods. A serving of french fries, the small one, contains 225 calories. You can get the same amount of calories from 1 1/2 cups of strawberry, 10 cups of spinach and a small apple. As an added benefit, you can a lot of vitamins and minerals. It’ll take longer to consume so your hunger will pass while eating.
One big glazed doughnut packs 300 calories. You’ll get the same amount of calories from one bowl of bran flakes, blue berries, skim milk and peanut butter on whole-wheat toast.
A candy bar has approximately 275 calories. The same amount of calories can be had from low-fat chicken salad stuffed in pita. You’ll be more satisfied too.
What about a cheeseburger? This American favorite packs 600 whopping calories. That’s equal to the calories from a complete meal of fresh fruits, vegetables, sandwich and soup.
You should also think about energy density when snacking. Ideally you shouldn’t go above 100 calories per snack. If you consume an ounce of potato chips, you’re actually taking in 150 calories. Try 3 1/2 cups of air-puffed popcorn instead. You’ll only be taking in 100 calories.
You can eat healthy, satisfying, low calorie density foods without having to eat less by choosing what you eat a little more carefully. Here’s a simple guide to always eat low density foods without taking out your calculator. Fill your half your plate with vegetables, 1/4 with whole grains, and the last quarter with lean protein. For dessert, eat fruits instead of pies.