Do you ever worry some foods you love – that are also “good” for you – have more calories than you are comfortable with? So, what do you do? Not eat them? Eat fewer than your recipe or appetite call for? Or go for it?
While I am not a huge calorie counter for my clients, I also understand that some women like to stay within their “lane lines” better by logging or calculating caloric intake to maintain their health (not their weight – because they will go together!) You already know by now that issues like sleep, stress, menopause, and mindfulness play games with our hunger. Determining those first, then addressing food choices – and their relationship with food – is how they are continuing to meet their greatest successes.
I have a client who was concerned that the pine nuts in a recipe she prepared had too many calories to really enjoy. She will chuckle when she reads this, yet she raised a point I bet you, too, have thought once or 1000 times. I’d also like to add a factoid about chia seeds that will apply to my rules of thumb below: Two tablespoons of chia seeds also have 140 calories. They’re high in fiber (giving us about a third of the daily recommended amount) and calcium and contribute protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and important minerals like zinc and copper. That is my kind of food! Packed with nutrients and can go in about anything you serve!
After all, we make about 225 decisions about our food every single day. What if you like it and want to eat it more often? I’ll cut to the chase: food is just part of the equation. Most of us grew up in the era when we learned “you are what you eat.” To a large extent, the foods we eat absolutely have an impact on how we feel, perform, and of course, our health. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “You are what you think all day long,” and I’d likely steer you to that motto over the food one any day of the week. Yet, I have worked with over 1,500 women. We love to talk about food!
So, what to do when something you love turns out to have “too many” calories. What would I ask myself if I were in that predicament?
- • Will it satisfy me – Adrien-speak: “Will it keep me until the next meal”?
- • Will I feel “Full”?
- • Does my meal have lots of “color”?
- • Is it nutrient-dense – AKA will it give me tons of nutrition (i.e., pine nuts that have micronutrients that can’t be found in many other foods? (Micronutrients are found in foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals and are important for development, disease prevention, and overall wellness. They can be found naturally in a variety of plant and animal-based foods. They help to support brain development and maintain a healthy immune system.)
- • Will it make the meal that much better?
- • Will it increase the macronutrient level of my meal? Adrien-speak for women 45+ “Does it have enough high-quality protein and healthy fat?”
- • Will it help me fuel my brain – is it a brain food? Our brains need a bunch of different nutrients to live the lives we have demanded from it. Antioxidants, protein, carbohydrates, and much much more are what it needs to get us not only through our days yet through this decade.
I can’t answer any of these questions for you, nor should you rely on another person or fad diet. Get to know what satisfies you and gets you to the next meal. Period.
The approach of my corporate, concierge, and small group fitness program is to help clients reframe their old ways of measuring calories consumed and “burned” on their wearable or Peloton readout:
- Spend their energy focused on fueling yourself themselves ample and quality sleep, practice mindfulness,
- surround yourself with others committed to their wellness and who accept you as you are,
- find your life’s purpose, and
- practice stress resilience practices that work for you to ward off illness, and the multitude of illnesses we positively know stem from chronic stress.
Food is just one part of feeling good about your body and living a wellness-centered life. Let’s spend our precious time and energy on the things that truly matter. Join me in my crusade to bring holistic wellness to your friends by subscribing to our newsletter below.