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The Smart Calorie Approach to Weight Loss
What’s your plan for losing weight this year? Are you trying a new diet, cutting carbs, exercising more, or eating 5 to 6 snacks per day? It can be tough to figure out the best approach to weight loss, especially if you’ve tried dozens of different things in vain. But when it comes down to it, the best option is always approaching it from the perspective of watching your calories. After all, it’s as simple as “more calories burned than consumed = weight loss”.
The Type of Calories Matter
Anyone who has told you that “Quality matters more than quantity” is very right when it comes to calories! The quality of calories you eat has a direct effect on how much energy you burn after every meal. Certain high-calorie foods—such as natural fats, proteins, and high-fiber carbs—take a lot more energy to burn, so they are the foods that will lead to a higher metabolism. Foods like simple sugars, empty starches, and trans fats will do nothing for your metabolism, but will simply add to your waistline. When watching your calorie intake, you always need to be aware that the quality of your calories is critical for weight loss.
The Nutrients that Matter
There are really three nutrients that will raise your metabolism: fiber, fats, and protein. Fiber takes a lot of work for your body to break down, and it often can’t be broken down, so it’s sent along your digestive tract unprocessed. There, it helps to increase your gut bacteria, and it bonds with sugar, cholesterol, toxins, and fats, preventing them from being absorbed into your body. Protein is a bit easier to process than fats, but both require a lot of energy for your body to digest. Compare that to the minimal energy required for high-sugar foods, and you can see why it’s best to make these three food types the main focus of your diet.
Stay Away from the Bad Stuff
If you’re trying to cut back on calories to see real weight loss, it’s important that you make each food you eat count. After all, you only get a limited quantity, which means you can only eat so much in the day. If 300 of those calories are empty nutrients that contain only a lot of sugar, you’re depriving your body of vital minerals, vitamins, fiber, protein, fats, and carbs. All you’re doing is speeding up the process of internal decay! If you’re going to limit your food intake and cut calories, you need to focus on only eating high-quality foods that deliver as much nutrition as possible per bite. That way, you still get the nutrients—micro and macro—you need, and you ensure your body has everything it needs to function.
Exercise can help to raise your metabolism, increase fat burning, and boost the amount of calories your body burns every day. This means that you have allowances to eat even more calories because you’re burning more. This is the key to being able to eat enough to satisfy your hunger and appetite, all while sticking to your diet. You don’t have to burn a ton of calories—even just a few hundred is enough to keep your body running well and your metabolism firing up—and you’ll find those few hundred calories can make a world of difference when you’re feeling hungry. It’s worth spending more time exercising and training just so you can keep losing weight while still eating close to “normal” amounts every day.