This is a great article… this is the misconception most people have about dieting and counting calories
BY ROD SILVA
If you are counting calories to maintain or lose weight, it’s important to also consider the nutritional benefits of your food choices.
Whether you are eating food that’s rich in protein and complex carbohydrates or one filled with sugar and fat — they all have calories. However, you should always choose foods that have a higher nutritional value rather than eating smaller portions of food with empty calories.
Let’s start with a simple example. On one plate is a portion of food that is 100 calories. On another is a dish that has 130 calories. Based on calorie content alone, you would choose the first plate. But what if the lower calorie plate was of cookies and the higher calorie food was lean grilled chicken? Cookies are high in sugar and fat and have refined white flour that can raise blood sugar levels and may lead to food cravings. Therefore, although the cookies are lower in calories, the chicken, which is rich in protein and a good source of vitamins and minerals, is the healthier choice.
What this simple example shows is that calorie-counting on its own will not make you healthy. Choose calories that count! Instead of blowing your calorie budget on foods that lack nutrients, fill your diet with nutrient-dense choices like lean grilled chicken, vegetables, beans and whole grains. These options are shown to help prevent cancer, diabetes and heart disease while soft drinks, white bread and candy can cause numerous health problems. In addition, wholesome, nutritious foods will keep you feeling full and satisfied longer, which will in turn help control your daily calorie intake.
Preparation is Key
It’s also important to consider how foods are prepared. One lean chicken breast may have only 100 calories and be high in protein; however some of the more popular ways of cooking chicken can add more calories and fat. Ditch the frying, breading and sautéing and stay away from using large amounts of oil. At Muscle Maker Grill, we make flavorful grilled chicken without the extra fat and calories gained by the cooking methods mentioned above.
Counting calories can help you control your weight, but it isn’t the sole answer. You must take into account the quality of the food you are eating and the way in which it is prepared. Accurately and consistently monitoring your calorie intake can also be tedious and de-motivate people to stay on the right track. By developing lifelong healthy eating habits, you will be able to stay in shape without going hungry and spending time obsessing over numbers!
As a fitness enthusiast, Rod Silva noticed in his 20’s that few restaurants offered healthier meal options. He founded Muscle Maker Grill in Colonia, NJ in 1995 to provide a nutritious alternative to fast food restaurants. Coming from a family of great cooks, Silva developed signature recipes that taste great with your health in mind. Today, Silva’s vision has helped make Muscle Maker Grill one of the fastest-growing restaurant franchises in the country.