Are you looking for a low calorie diet? Do you know someone else who’s looking for a low calorie diet? You’ve come to the right place. Not because I’m going to give you tips for a low calorie diet, but because I’m going to give you every reason why you SHOULDN’T even consider being on a low calorie diet. And if you’re already on one, I’m going to encourage you to STOP today so you can have better energy and more vibrant health.
I’m going to explain to you why a low calorie diet and a “calorie counting mentality” (as I like to call it) can actually be harmful to your health.
I know, I know. This sounds ridiculous. How could a low calorie diet possibly be harmful to a person’s health? I mean everyone’s talking about them.
But let’s face it. We aren’t doing something right. While everyone is counting the amount of calories going into their bodies, the collective society continues to get heavier and heavier.
From the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, more than 1 in 3 adults are considered to be obese and more than 1 in 20 adults are considered to have extreme obesity. Even more horrifying is the fact that more than 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be obese!
We aren’t doing something right, and I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to put an end to this. I’m ready to take a stand for what I know to be true. Low calorie diets might be the fad, but they aren’t the answer.
I’m ready to be honest with you.
So, if you’re the kind of person who’s sensitive to the honest truth, I’d keep scrolling. You might want to skip this one. But if you’re the kind of person who’s ready to make a change – I mean really make a change – then you’re going to want to read this one. Read every word and really let it sink in. This could revolutionize the way you eat and the way you view food. Seriously, you’re going to want this information.
I’m going to answer the question, “what is a calorie?” but first, let me share with you a conversation I recently had with a friend.
The conversation began when my friend told me she ate a candy bar on her way home from work one day because she was starving - she hadn’t eaten all day. I responded by telling her that I also keep snacks in my car and purse for when I need a “pick me up.” I told her I often snack on raw nuts and seeds between meals because they are a great source of protein and tend to be a very substantial snack. She responded by saying that she couldn’t eat nuts and seeds because, at least in her opinion, they were way too high in calories.
I responded with a simple explanation of what a calorie really is and she returned a facial expression that let me know she was completely confused.
This is when it hit me. She was counting her calories but had NO idea what a calorie really is. It also hit me that many people are like this – walking around counting their calories while having no idea what a calorie really is or why it is important.
So, what is a calorie? A calorie is simply (drumroll please)…. a unit of energy.
Did you know that? A calorie is nothing more than a unit of energy. That is actually what you’ve been counting all this time – the amount of energy going into your body. And for some reason you believed it was a bad thing!
A calorie is not a bad thing!
You see, in order to achieve real success (and real health), we have to rethink. Rethinking involves unlearning something we were previously taught, and then learning something new.
So I’m asking you right now to unlearn what you’ve previously been taught about calories. Remove any thought from your mind about calories being bad and instead believe me when I say that a calorie is only a unit of energy.
Low calorie diets tend to be low nutrient diets, and limiting our nutrients is not beneficial to the body! When we put food into our mouth, we are not feeding our mouth. In fact, we aren’t even feeding our stomach (or intestines, for that matter). What we are feeding is (another drumroll please)… our cells! We’re feeding those most basic building blocks that make up all of our tissues, organs and systems. Our cells need energy from nutrients to function properly.
When we’re talking about calories, (in my opinion) all foods fit into one of four general categories: (1) low-calorie, low-nutrient foods, (2) low-calorie, high-nutrient foods, (3) high-calorie, low-nutrient foods, and (4) high-calorie, high-nutrient foods.
A person with a “calorie counting mentality” might argue that a person should be eating only low calorie foods: those in categories (1) low-calorie, low-nutrient foods, and (2) low-calorie, high-nutrient foods.
BUT the whole purpose of this blog post is to convince you that a person (including you!) should only be eating high nutrient foods: those in categories (2) low-calorie, high-nutrient foods, and (4) high-calorie, high-nutrient foods.
You see, I’m more concerned with counting the number of nutrients in my food as opposed to the number of calories. I know that I consume a substantial amount of calories, but my body needs them because it needs energy. I could not possibly function without these calories!
I want to give you a real idea of what I’m talking about – I understand you might be feeling confused and overwhelmed by all of this new information. Remember, I’m asking you to rethink. I want you to throw out every false belief about calories being bad for you. They aren’t, and here is what I’m talking about.
Below are all the ingredients (as well as calories in each ingredient) that I put in my morning smoothie:
2 oz. Aloe Vera Juice 4
1 Tbsp. Flax seed oil 120
1 Tbsp. Chia seeds 138
2 raw eggs 144
1 scoop Greens First 55
1 scoop Bone Broth Protein 85
¾ cup kale 24.75
¾ cup fresh mango 75.25
1 cup Silk Almond milk 30
Total Calories 676
This does not include the Tablespoon of Hemp oil I eat before making my smoothie, which has a whopping 120 calories!
The point I’m trying to get across is that I consume nearly 800 calories before leaving the house (and please note, this is a typical day for me). I regularly drink this smoothie for breakfast. It is a nutritional powerhouse and keeps me full and energized for hours. Literally, hours!
This smoothie is made up of both low-calorie, high-nutrient foods (i.e. Aloe Vera Juice) and high-calorie, high-nutrient foods (i.e. raw eggs, Chia seeds and Flax seed oil). While some of the foods are low-calorie and some are high-calorie, they are all high-nutrient foods!! This is what keeps me healthy – counting my nutrients instead of my calories!
Are you following me?
Instead of asking how many calories you’ve had in a given day, I want to recommend asking a new question: How many nutrients have I had today? I have provided the following list of questions you can choose to ask yourself instead of asking how many calories you’ve had:
All of these things (and more) play a role in our overall health, which includes our weight. If you have a “calorie counting mentality” and it’s just not working for you, I’d stop counting calories and pursue a new method of evaluating your diet – think about counting nutrients instead!
Remember, low calorie diets tend to be low nutrient diets, and limiting our nutrients is not beneficial to the body! We NEED calories because they provide our cells with energy from the nutrients in our food!
If you're struggling with excess weight, I can assure you it's because there's an imbalance within your body.
The first step to better health (and real, long-term weight loss) is to understand what is going on at the cellular level. I highly encourage you to schedule a live blood cell screening so together you and I can identify what kinds of foods and nutrients your body is crying out for.
I want to be clear here. Many people are fearful about having a live blood cell screening because they're afraid of what they might discover. If this is you, let me encourage you by saying that whatever is going on at the cellular level, no matter how bad it might initially appear, can be improved upon...and even REVERSED! Nothing is permanent. You can improve your health if you so choose. Within you lies everything you need to be a better and healthier version of yourself!
Your future, more energized and more vibrant self will thank you for taking the first step toward better health! You won't ever look back!
I look forward to hearing from you :)
More about live blood cell screenings: http://www.cellharmony.net/microscopy.html
I recently published a blog post about sodas and the many ways they are detrimental to our health. If you read that blog post, you probably remember that sodas are 10,000 times more acidic than water, and therefore, it takes 32 glasses of water to neutralize one soda. I also mentioned that sodas are known to be great at removing rust, cleaning the toilet bowl and even killing mice!
As a follow-up to that message, I received several questions about beverages that contain artificial sweeteners and I wanted to address the question, “Are artificial sweeteners part of a healthy lifestyle?” The short answer to that question is, “No, they are not.”
As always, here is my explanation to that answer:
One of the primary issues with artificial sweeteners is that they are “no-calorie.” While at first this might appear to be a favorable benefit to using artificial sweeteners, it definitely is not. When we consume no-calorie beverages, the body thinks it’s starving - it NEEDS calories for energy. And when the body thinks it’s starving, it is very quick to turn the calories it does have into fat. This way it can store calories for later, in case the body doesn’t get more calories in the future.
You see, our bodies were designed for feast and famine; it was designed to react when it thinks it’s starving, and it does! When we trick the body into thinking there’s a famine coming, it will respond by turning the few calories it does have into fat. The catch here is that not too many people in America truly have a famine coming: food tends to be at our fingertips (and quite literally, when you consider all of the “finger foods” eaten like chicken tenders and French fries). We are generally feasting with NO famine on the way.
I have seen that too much of what I call a “calorie counting mentality” can be harmful to a person’s health. The truth is that we all NEED calories. However, these calories should come from good food sources. Generally, I consider foods “good” when they are from God, and foods “bad” when they are man-made. Our Creator knows what our bodies, His creation, needs: calories from good proteins, carbs and fats. We should get these proteins, carbs and fats from God-made foods: they will provide the body with the nutrients it needs at the cellular level.
My mom and I enjoy this little saying about food: “If God made it, it’s good. If man made it, it’s madness.” I encourage you to live by this saying in your everyday life when you’re considering what foods and beverages to consume for good overall health.
In addition to being “no-calorie,” there are other known issues associated with artificial sweeteners, such as they lead to insulin resistance and promote glucose intolerance. Glucose intolerance is the precursor for metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes) and Type 2 diabetes.
In a recent newspaper article titled Why You Should Always Avoid Artificial Sweeteners written by Bryant Stamford, he says, “Unfortunately, getting free of artificial sweeteners may not be easy. Studies on rats suggest that artificial sweeteners taken over a long period of time may be addictive. Indeed, rats who were used to consuming artificial sweeteners were later exposed to intravenous cocaine. When given a choice between the two, most of the rats chose artificial sweeteners.”
I realize cutting artificial sweeteners out of your life can be difficult if you’re someone who’s been using them for a long time. Because I know it can be difficult, I want to provide you with some alternatives to artificial sweeteners. Of course, this is not intended to be a complete list, but to provide you with ideas for healthier beverages.
Here are some alternatives to consuming artificial sweeteners (beverages that I personally enjoy):
Substituting beverages such as green tea, lemon water and kombucha for beverages containing artificial sweeteners is an excellent way to improve your overall health! For additional help in improving your overall health, be sure to schedule a live blood cell screening. This will allow us to pinpoint weaknesses and deficiencies at the cellular level and get your health moving in the right direction!
Elizabeth Shepard, BS
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