Weight Management – How Food, Portions and Calorie Intake Matter

by | Jun 21, 2011 | Health Habits, Nutrition Support, Uncategorized

In the previous blog post we talked about the difference between weight reduction and fat reduction and also explained the process of body fat build-up and its relation to body weight. Today, let’s talk about some steps to consider towards body fat reduction.

Step 1: Choose nutritious food

To whatever extent possible, ensure that your calories come from nutritious food. But what is ‘nutritious’ food? It is food that contains elements required by our body and food that is also body-friendly. The elements I speak of are commonly known as vitamins and minerals. By ‘body-friendly’ I mean food that aids in digestion (such as fiber) or contain other properties in the right portion that is vital to our well being. So while it can be argued that pizza is nutritious, the quantum of cheese in a pizza unfortunately eliminates its inclusion amongst the list of nutritious food. So to qualify as “nutritious”, the portion size is also important.

A question that would probably come to your mind is:

what are good foods and what are bad foods?

I don’t want to take up your time in listing out nutritious or non-nutritious food – I’m sure a search using google.com will prove more than adequate. You will want to remove all non-nutritious food from your diet because such foods are counter productive and are actually harmful for your well being. OK, here’s also a list of 10 foods that we recommend you add to your daily meals.

Step 2: Sources of calories and calorie counting

Calorie counting merely means registering yourself with any one site that facilitates your daily calorie count. Once you have registered, you need to enter or select from a drop-down list foods that you have consumed during the day. Enter the quantities and the website will display the amount of calories you have consumed. To reduce weight, your target needs to be 1,600 calories per day. While you’re at it, you might find it a good idea to check out the food and nutrition chart – you can Google it or check the nutrition info on our site about various foods.

The food and nutrition chart is a pyramid shaped chart that not only contains icons of various nutritious food, it also aids you in selecting portion sizes. The top of the food and nutrition chart contains icons of food that should be consumed in small quantities. As you proceed towards the bottom of the chart the portion sizes get larger. So when you count your calories, you would want to ensure that the percentages match the food and nutrition chart. For example, over 70% of your calories should come from fresh fruits and vegetables and so on.

When your food, portions and calorie intake are all reasonably matched,

you would be on a truly healthy diet and would have taken the first giant step towards body fat reduction.

The websites that help you keep track of your calorie consumption also help you keep track of calories utilized. So navigate to the appropriate page, enter or select from a list of daily activities and enter the quantum of time you’ve spent doing that activity. For example, activity: swimming time spent: 30 minutes.

This weight reduction plan is based on principle of deficiency of calories

i.e. the body makes up for the deficiency by converting stored fat into energy. You must plan to keep the deficiency to between 300 and 400 calories per day. Do not exceed this limit.

Some of my clients usually ask me “what to eat?” My reply always is, eat whatever you like – make your own menu but just ensure whatever you eat is represented in the food and nutrition chart. Look at the chart and figure out the portion sizes. It does not take a degree in rocket science. If you still have problem, consider a tiny investment in the purchase of portion control plates, bowls, glasses and scoopers. You will find it well worth the money.