A question was asked a week back by a fellow blogger (who’s creating very inspirational progress with her goals) about how to reduce overall calorie intake, and how it seemed really hard on the surface when it was so easy to reach the daily caloric goal, which was 1,200 calories.
The response was that it’s super easy! It lies within consume more vegetables..as they are typically calorie poor, but nutritionally dense to an extreme degree!
Though 1,200 seems low for most anyone, that could be bumped up a few hundred I can imagine, especially during workouts days as you need good fuel to energize your workouts, otherwise you’re working out on an empty gas tank.
Back to eating six times a day, equaling, 1,200-1,800 calories or whatever it may be.
VEGGIES, VEGGIES, VEGGIES, (fruits too to a smaller degree).
Example of the power of the typically nutrient dense, but calorie poor vegetable; You could eat 6 ounces of asparagus and you would only be consuming 50 measly calories, but those calories are packed with nutrients..
You could eat an entire bag of spinach (let’s say 5 oz. looking at the bag of ALDI organic spinach right now, and consume only 30 total calories, yet include 4 grams of protein, packed with other nutrients as well, including a whopping 260% of your daily intake of vitamin A, 70% of your daily intake of Vitamin C, as well as many other nutrients in varying amounts.
Now, compare those two foods (totaling 11 ounces, and only 80 calories, compared to say only 1 oz. of cheese (so that’s exactly 1/11th of the ounces that the vegetables are used for in comparison.
1 ounce of cheese=110 calories and 30% of your daily intake of saturated fat! That’s over 1/4 of the daily recommended intake of saturated fat..in one delicious, though measly ounce of cheese.
The asparagus and spinach have 0% saturated fat combined, and only 0.5 grams of fat total between them.
Here’s a comparison using just spinach, but an entire jumbo container from Costco, using a total amount of 15 ounces of spinach compared to just 1 ounce of cheese:
A worry about overconsumption of veggies should almost never be a concern, especially when calorie reduction is the goal!
As far as how to know what’s in chicken fillets, excellent question; The ONLY way to know is to look at the nutrition label.
Now, I’m not vilifying fat, there are healthy fats and unhealthy fats, but a healthy balance is optimal, and the small things add up.
Example, chicken is one of the better proteins to consume, but skin on chicken has 3x as much saturated fat as skinless chicken, plus about 30 more calories per serving, so that small difference makes a big difference over time.
The takeaway most importantly here is that by consuming more vegetables, which are calorie poor the majority of the time, while being nutritionally rich and very fibrous at the same time, means they sit in your stomach longer, and take longer to digest, which means that the more you consume of them the less you will crave food in the hours after consuming them. Which will reduce the overall calories consumed throughout the day, making your caloric goals much easier to achieve.
That is how it’s extremely easy to eat six meals/snacks a day and stay within your calorie budget.
The most important thing you can do is get into the habit of reading nutritional labels. It’s super fun after a little while, and you establish a direct connection with the foods you’re buying and they impact the have on your energy, and desire to eat more foods later.