For the longest time, people have been subscribing to weight loss trends like fastidious juice diets, gruelling hours of fasting or even extreme workouts that force you to sweat by the bucketloads, but something simple that you could do to lose those pesky pounds would be to cut down on the empty calories in your diet.
What Are Empty Calories?
To simplify things, empty calories are all the food and beverages that you consume that bring you plenty of calories, yet very few nutrients for your long-term health. These are your potato chips, pretzels, burgers, soda and even desserts that bring you a lot of satisfaction, yet do not offer anything constructive or beneficial to your body. When we eat, we should aspire towards preparing food that contributes fibre, micronutrients or protein to our body for the betterment of our health. While you might not be the sort who enjoys whipping up your meals, being more mindful about those empty calories could be something as simple as making the right choices when purchasing food outside. Below are some tips that would help you cut empty calories out of your life.
Be Smart About Your Sports Drinks
Even if you hit the gym regularly, you don’t always have to accompany your sweat session with a sports drink. Sports drink have always been known to help us keep hydrated when we are exercising, but did you know that they aren’t really a necessity? When you guzzle down a bottle of these colourful sports drink, you are actually pouring calories into your body. Unless you are running a race or a marathon that exceeds an hour, these sports drinks are refuelling calories that you do not need. To hydrate your body after sweating it out, stick to water. It is natural, sugar-free and calorie-free!
Pick The Right Snacks
Giving up snacks is not for everyone. Doesn’t it feel odd to watch a movie without popcorn or nacho chips to go along with the screening? But if you absolutely have to keep your hands busy, how about going for snacks that are much healthier. In the realm of finger-licking chips, potato doesn’t rank king. We say that because of how there are so many nutritional foods to choose from the taste, like the chips that you enjoy. You have roasted chickpea snacks, kale chips and even multi-grain chips that are baked to give you additional fibre and protein that you wouldn’t get from your usual bag of potato chips. But don’t worry, these healthy snacks are still as crunchy and flavourful so you wouldn’t feel like you are missing out on anything!
Read The Nutritional Labels
It is a common mistake to make. Some of us might misinterpret the nutritional labels on the bag of chips that we buy — does the bag of chips constitute a serving? Because of how complicated it is to determine what a serving is, we might misunderstand the portion sizes and consume more than recommended. Some of these food packagings might hold 1.6 servings and that is rather difficult to measure when we are on-the-go unless you are carrying a pocket weighing-scale with you. When all else fails and you rather not fuss with all the mathematics, buy smaller portions instead of family packets so you do not get tempted and consume more than you should.
All the same, it is important to understand the nutritional value of the food you are eating. You can do so by observing the rundown of nutritional values to determine if they provide you with proteins and fibre or are just empty calories. This would apply just as well if you find yourself at a fast food outlet. The next time you find yourself rushing headfirst with your usual order, start being more mindful to your food order by checking if your usual buys provide you with the nutrients you need.
Steer Clear From Binge Purchases
Have you encountered those days when you are just too hungry to function and immediately run to the pantry or 7-11 for a quick refuelling? When that happens, you would be too hungry to think logically and are more likely to opt for the cheapest and fastest way to fill your tummy. Chances are, they would likely be empty calories that would throw you off your game. To prevent that from happening, keep a small bag of nuts or energy bars to tide you through those moments of hungry in between meals. What you should do is to distance yourself from your cravings and never cave into them.
It is fair to say that cutting out these empty calories might be one of the hardest things to do simply because most of these empty calories are convenient food. From food items like potato chips to even a cup of fountain drink, they are at times the cheapest and most accessible food items to get to quell your hunger on-the-go. But fitness and wellness do not just happen with a snap of the finger, it takes dedication and a strong will for you to follow through with this plan. But trust us, it does get much better and easier in time.