By Raquel Sbrana (Registered Exercise Professional Level 2/Cert IV Fitness/Group Exercise/Boxing & Kickboxing)
DAILY CALORIE LIMITS
I’m sure you have all heard of calorie expenditure, and are aware of the “eat less calories than what you need for energy each day to lose weight” rule of thumb. That’s all well and good, but how do I know what that is? As a general rule, personal trainers like to use the following:
Women should aim to eat as close to 1,200 calories per day as possible to lose weight.
Men should aim to eat as close to 1500 calories per day as possible to lose weight.
CAN I EAT LESS CALORIES & GET SKINNY FAST?
Just like your car, your body needs fuel. When you don’t fill up your car it inevitably stops. By starving your body of fuel, you may not stop, but you will not be running as well as you should. Make sensible choices, and eat well. Couple this with exercise and you will see results.
TIPS TO MAKE BETTER CHOICES
- Check your food for ingredients labels. If you don’t know half of the contents, should you really be eating it?
- Just because it sounds healthy doesn’t mean that it is. Check your food for nutritional value labels and Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) percentages. They are there to help you plan and monitor your daily food consumption.
- Chose low Glycemic Index (G.I.) foods rather than high G.I. foods. Put simply, low G.I. foods will give you sustained energy throughout the entire day, reducing the likelihood of snacking on unhealthy foods for a quick hit of energy.
- Don’t drink away your daily calorie allowance. Water will always be your best choice. If you need something other than water, think before you drink. For example, having your hot chocolate on skim milk rather than full cream milk can save you up to 100 calories per serve.
- Diet soft drinks do not equate to weight loss. Whilst they are a better alternative to standard soft drinks, they should only be consumed every now and then. Don’t be fooled into thinking that they can replace all the “not so good beverages” you used to consume. Be aware of smart marketing tools!
- Look at the “extras” and chose carefully. Adding a seemingly harmless condiment to your sandwich can dramatically change the calorie value. For instance, try low fat mayonnaise instead of your ranch dressing—you will save yourself a minimum of 110 calories, not to mention approximately 13.4 grams of fat.
- Energy deficit foods make great snacks. Foods like watermelon take more calories to digest than what they actually contain. In other words, to digest watermelon, the body needs to use stored calories in addition to the calories from the fruit.
Check out the single day diet following to see how small changes have big impacts on your calorie intake.
THE EXAMPLE DIET
|THE 'NOT SO GREAT DIET' - SINGLE DAY||CAL.||THE IDEAL DIET - SINGLE DAY||CAL.|
|Just Right - One Serve||158||Uncle Toby's Oats Sachet - Single Serve||114|
|1 Cup of Full Cream Milk||160||1/2 Cup Skim Milk (as per directions)||44|
|Cappuccino with Full Cream Milk||165||Cappuccino with Skim Milk||96|
|MID MORNING SNACK||MID MORNING SNACK|
|Strawberry Yoghurt - Full Fat||178||Strawberry Yoghurt - Low Fat||67|
|2 x Sandwiches with White Bread||Open Chicken Sandwich|
|4 Slices of White Bread||332||1 Grilled Chicken Breast||284|
|Ham||112||1 Slice of Brown Bread||71|
|600ml Coca Cola Soft Drink||258||Cottage Cheese||34|
|600ml Sparkling Water w/ Lemon Essence||6|
|AFTERNOON SNACK||AFTERNOON SNACK|
|2 x Scotch Finger Biscuits||176||12 x Raw Almonds||84|
|130g Baked Thigh Fillet||230||130g Baked Breast Fillet||198|
|Mashed Potato||223||1 Small Whole Baked Sweet Potato||52|
|Mixed Vegetables||42||Mixed Vegetables||42|
|BEFORE BED DRINK||BEFORE BED DRINK|
|Hot Chocolate on Skim Milk||162||Herbal Tea||4|
|DAILY TOTAL CALORIE SPEND||2,587||DAILY TOTAL CALORIE SPEND||1,200|
|WORK OFF THE EXTRA CALORIES =||80min run at 9km/ph||CALORIES SAVED PER DAY =||1,387|
|EATING LIKE THIS FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR =||944,255||EATING LIKE THIS FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR =||438,000|
|CALORIES SAVED PER YEAR =||506,255|
Remember to drink 8+ glasses of water
When looking at your calories, you will notice that some foods have very similar calorie counts. Look closer! By reading the nutritional values on the packaging you will see that they really are very different.
Take this example:
Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes 30g, 119 calories per serve
Uncle Toby’s Rolled Oats (Microwave Sachets) 30g, 114 calories per serve
When you look a bit closer at the nutritional values you will see that one is a better choice than the other…
|KELLOGGS CRUNCHY NUT CORN FLAKES (30G)||NUTRITIONAL VALUES||UNCLE TOBY'S QUICK SERVE ROLLED OAT SACHETS (30G)||NUTRITIONAL VALUES|
|TOTAL FAT||1g||TOTAL FAT||2g|
|TOTAL SATURATED FAT||0.2g||TOTAL SATURATED FAT||0.5g|
|DIETARY FIBRE||0.8g||DIETARY FIBRE||2.9g|
In this instance, go for the oats! They have less sugar, less sodium, less carbohydrate, more protein and dietary fibre. Whilst they contain slightly more fat than the Crunchy Nuts, you more than make up for this by reducing your intake of all the other nasties.
CHECK THIS OUT
To have a look at the calories you consume each day try www.calorieking.com.au. You might be surprised at how much you’re eating.
For more precise, personalised dietary information we recommend you see a Dietitian. Health Mates has their own Dietitian, Rebecca Gawthorne, who can devise a healthy eating plan for you to follow.
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