Archive for the ‘Nutritition and Diet tips’ Category

PBJ Sandwich

Just to be clear, there are no ‘superfoods’ or supplements that can turn you into a superhuman the day before or during the Tough Mudder (or any race, for that matter).

If you’re following along with my training program for the AZ Tough Mudder, I always suggest ‘testing’ yourself on the weekends.  Sort of like simulating race day.  Eat properly the day before, keep yourself hydrated, and just find out what foods help you feel better when you run the long distance or hike a mountain (like I do on every available Sunday).

The basic rule of thumb is that if you eat crap, you’ll feel like crap.  This goes for all your workouts, but especially on race day.  What you put in your body in the weeks, days, and hours leading up to the Tough Mudder will have a signifcant effect on how well your perform.

To start, EAT CLEAN.

What does this mean?  You may hear it often.  It means focusing on natural sugars that are consumed with fiber, protein, and healthy fats.  Getting your nutrients from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains gives your body fuel to more easily process and use.  If you load your body with junk, it will be too busy processing what it needs from that junk food. I’ve seen many racers drink energy drinks right before a race, then ‘bonk’ a couple miles in to the course. The bottom line is that highly processed foods will lead to a faster burnout, which translates into struggles to complete the race.

Finding out what natural foods work best for you is done during your training days.  When you consume ‘x’, does it give you energy you need during your training session?  When you eat ‘y’, does it help you recover?  Figuring this out during training, will help you ‘eat clean’ the two weeks before the event.  Keep that consistent, then you’ll be able to train harder

So what should you eat the night before your event?

It’s important what you put in your body the night before.  But if you’ve been figuring out what works for you the day before your weekly ‘test runs’, it shouldn’t be confusing.  Whatever you’ve decided should not give you cramps, make you feel bloated, or cause runners diarrhea but, rather, give you the energy you need for the even.

The big racers rule is, “Do nothing new”.  Once you’ve figured out what works for you, stick with it.  Focus on your body is used to ingesting and keep it consistent.  On race day, samples of energy bars, drinks, and miscellaneous samples are handed out.  Take them, but save them for later.  If you don’t know how it’s going to affect you, don’t take it.

So the night before race, I have my ‘pre-race’ dinner.  However, many people interpret this as ‘carbo-loading’ and tend to overeat.  This will only make you feel sluggish and bloated.  If you’ve eaten so much food, your body may not be able to process it by the next morning and you’ll have much of that food sitting in your gut.  It may also want to make an exit during the race, while your body is already committed to physical activity.  Hence, runners gut.

I have a carb-laden meal the day before my race, but I don’t overdo it.  I know how much food and what kind of food has given me the energy I need for the next day’s event.  Carbohydrate are not only beneficial, but the correct amount increases glycogen – an important resource that our muscles use for energy – so make sure you get what you need, but the secret is to do it in moderation.

Try this: Break your meal into thirds.  1/3 complex carbs (like paste or brown rice).  1/3 protein (like a chicken breast).  1/3 vegetables(fiber).  Be careful not to overload on the fiber as it could cause bloating the next day.  This, of course, is a BASIC guideline.  What foods actually work for you before race day is what you’ve got to determine for yourself.  For example, my plate worked out to be 1/2 carbs, 1/4 protein, 1/4 vegetables.  One of my training partners eats 2/3 carbs, 1/3 protein.  There really is no wrong way to do it, as long as you include carbohydrates, protein, and fiber.water

On race day, DON’T OVERDO YOUR WATER INTAKE.

I’m big water drinker.  I sip throughout the day.  Hydration is important for your performance on race day, but too much of it can lead to cramping, bloating, and diarrhea (with the wrong foods).  So check your fluid intake in the weeks leading up to the race to gauge how much you should drink the day before and the day of the race.

One way to determine if you are adequately hydrating is to check your urine. If you frequently urinate large volumes that are light in color, you’re probably drinking enough water.  If it is darker colored and you are going infrequently, you need to increase your water intake.  It’s really as simple as that…

RACE DAY!

You have to eat on race day.  It’s so crucial because halfway through the race when you’re hungry or losing your energy, there’s no food to grab.

The best race-day breakfast is going to be one that has been successful for you during your training days.  In general, your race day meal should consist mostly of complex carbs, which will provide optimal fuel for your body to burn. Keep it light, but add some protein to stay full longer, and plan to eat 60 to 90 minutes before the race.

Here are some suggestions.

– Bagel and peanut butter
– Oatmeal and banana
– Whole grain toast and almond butter
– Granola and fruitThanksgivingDinner

That’s it!  Of course, make sure you get a good meal in after the race to help recover depleted energy stores.  Get ample protein as well to help with recovery.  Everything you’ve done for preparing for race day doesn’t end at the finish line.  Recovery nutrition is just as important, so you can get back to training for your next race!

How to recover

How to recover from physical exercise

Having been a powerlifter for many years, I had to be constantly reminded that improvements in strength occurred BETWEEN training sessions, NOT during them. I always pushed for ‘more’ during workouts and sometimes extended them on days I felt especially good. In fact, our training sessions were sometimes so intense that working on deadlifts, or chest, or back for a second time during the week actually saw a decrease in strength! Recovery was of utmost importance. Less rest = less performance.

Now that I’m running and have been training for distance and endurance, I find I have to remind myself again that improvements occur during the recovery period between training runs.

So, really, it’s the same across the board for whatever physical activity you are trying to improve upon – improvements occur during the recovery period between training sessions, not during the training itself. Not only does your body rest and recover from the muscle trauma, but physiological adaptations to training occur as well.

When you finish a long run or a race, you are weaker, not stronger – just as it was after an intense power-lifting session. How much weaker depends on the severity of the training stress. If the stress is too great and you don’t recover before your next workout or race, your performance and ability to adapt to subsequent training sessions declines. So, taking time off is just as important as the effort you endured. However, there are five things you should be doing immediately after your ‘session’ and during your recover period.  Here they are:

1. Refuel

Replenishing carbohydrates after physical exertion is listed numero uno for a reason. As in my case for endurance training, performance is influenced by the amount of stored carbohydrates (glycogen) in skeletal muscles.  So, since intense endurance exercise decreases muscle glycogen stores, it is imperative to replenish them immediately after a workout or race.

‘Glycogen resynthesis’ is most effective if you take in your carbs within the first 30-60 minutes after your physical session. Delaying carbohydrate ingestion for longer than that after a workout significantly reduces the rate of glycogen resynthesis.

To maximize the synthesis/storage of glycogen, consume 1.5 grams of simple carbohydrates (sugar, preferably glucose) per kilogram of body weight every two hours for a few hours after your workout or, if you can eat or drink more often, consume 0.4 to 0.6 grams every 15 to 30 minutes.

Some studies have found that eating protein and carbohydrates together maximizes recovery, although the total amount of calories consumed seems to be more important than the carbohydrate-protein mix. Since consuming protein helps rebuild skeletal muscle fibers that have been damaged during training, protein has its own merit for optimal recovery.

Initially, consume carbohydrates from fluids. For most commercial sports drinks, such as Gatorade, the above recommendations correspond to about five 8-ounce glasses every hour for a 154-pound runner. Admittedly, this is a lot to drink. To meet your recovery needs, “carbohydrate replacement” drinks are a better option than “fluid replacement” drinks like Gatorade. Chocolate milk, with its high carbohydrate and protein contents, is an effective post-run recovery drink.

2. Rehydratewater

Water is vital for many chemical reactions that occur inside our cells, including the production of energy for muscle contraction. When you sweat during exercise, you lose body water that can affect cellular processes. In addition, your blood volume decreases and becomes thicker if you don’t replace fluids, resulting in a lower stroke volume (amount of blood pumped by the heart per beat), cardiac output (amount of blood pumped by the heart per minute), and a decreased oxygen delivery.

Running performance starts to decline with only a two to three percent loss of bodyweight due to fluid loss. The best rehydration fluids are those that contain sodium, which stimulates your kidneys to retain water. If your run is of a low intensity and lasts less than an hour, plain water in combination with a balanced diet is just as effective.

A good indicator of your hydration level is the color of your urine, with a light color indicating adequate hydration. If your urine looks like apple juice, keep drinking.

3. Reduce Inflammation

With hard training comes muscle damage and inflammation, which is exacerbated with downhill running. This leads to muscle soreness and reduced muscle-force production. While research has shown that ice massage or immersion in cold water doesn’t decrease the perception of soreness, it can decrease the level of the enzyme creatine kinase in the blood (an indirect indicator of muscle damage). So take a cold bath after your hard workouts and wear a hat to prevent hypothermia. Limit your stay in the water to about 10 minutes to prevent frostbite.

4. Limit Other Activity

Since any physical activity you do during the rest of the day when you are not running will influence your rate of recovery, it is important to limit your non-running activity. For example, if you are training for a marathon and run 20 miles on a Sunday morning, it would be unwise to go hiking with your kids and dog on hilly trails that afternoon, as that will affect your next run.

5. Taper Before Competition and Increases in Training Load

The most effective adaptations occur when you are recovered from previous training and best prepared to tolerate a subsequent overload. You can’t train hard all of the time. While you improve your fitness during periods of hard training, you also increase your fatigue. Periodic decreases in training load will give your body time to adapt to the training stress and reduce fatigue, making you ready for a higher load of training.

How much or how long you need to taper depends on the severity of the training load, your level of fatigue and the distance of your upcoming race. Usually a week is sufficient, with a longer taper for longer races.

By Katie Jeffrey-Lunn • For Active.com

o maintain your energy and health as an athlete, you need to eat a carbohydrate-rich meal plan every day. Depending on your sport and workout routine, you should consume anywhere from 3 to 5 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight. Approximately 55 to 65 percent of your calories should come from carbohydrates.

How can you determine the amount of carbohydrates you need? One way to estimate is the Balanced Plate method. This is a practical and easy-to-use technique that shows you how to build a balanced, nutritious meal to support your energy needs.

More: Turn 5 Main Ingredients Into 25 Dinners

Here’s how the Balanced Plate method works:

Visualize a typical lunch or dinner plate. Half or 2/3 of your plate should be carbohydrates (Remember: Veggies are carbs too).

Nutrient-rich carbohydrates are foods that have been minimally processed or are not processed at all. Therefore, they contain greater amounts of their naturally present nutrients. A wide variety of foods fit into the nutrient-rich carbohydrate category such as:

  • Whole grains
  • Beans and legumes
  • Fruits
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Yogurt
  • Milk

More: Why Are Carbs Important?

Whole grains, beans, and legumes are great sources of not only carbohydrates, but also fiber and protein. Additionally, they are packed with health-promoting nutrients such as iron. Fruits and starchy vegetables are also carbohydrate-rich, full of fiber and contain antioxidants which help protect the body against harmful unstable molecules.

Calcium is vital for bone health while protein is important for the growth, maintenance and repair of muscle tissue. Enjoy three to four servings of calcium-rich foods or beverages daily.

More: 5 Calcium Sources Better Than Milk

One serving is equivalent to:

  • 1 cup of milk or yogurt
  • 3/4 cup cottage cheese
  • 1.5 oz. cheese
  • 3 oz. tofu

The remaining 1/4 to 1/3 of your plate is for lean protein sources like fish, poultry and meat. Other protein-rich sources are eggs and vegetarian options such as soybeans, beans, legumes and peas. Select protein sources that are baked, grilled, broiled, or roasted rather than fried.

More: Try a Plant-Based Diet for Weight Loss

Adults need to consume at least 3 oz. of animal protein or the plant equivalent at meals in order to reach their protein needs. Three oz. of animal protein is approximately the size and thickness of a deck of playing cards or the size of a checkbook. This amount supplies just over 20 grams of protein and is the quantity required to begin the muscle building process.

Vegetarians can substitute 3 oz. of animal protein for the equivalent amount from plant sources. In addition to the vegetarian choices listed above, you can enjoy:

  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Whole grains

More: How Much Protein During a Workout?

For instance, 1 cup of beans provides 16 grams of protein and a 2-oz. serving of whole grain Einkorn pasta supplies 9 grams of protein. You should also enjoy at least one cup of non-starchy vegetables and a small portion of heart-healthy fat at each meal.

Non-starchy vegetables include:

  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet peppers

These foods are essential for optimal sports performance and health because they provide fiber, a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, and a myriad supply of phytochemicals.

More: 6 Weight Loss Power Vegetables

Phytochemicals occur naturally in plants. They serve to protect the plant and provide positive health benefits. Add color to every meal to ensure that you receive your daily dose of these health-promoting substances.

Here are some ideas:

  • Add tomato and spinach to a sandwich
  • Enjoy a salad with different colored vegetables
  • Add frozen vegetables to soup
  • Roast or grill vegetables with a touch of olive oil

The possibilities to add color to your meals are endless.

It is also essential to enjoy one to three servings of heart-healthy fat at each meal. The serving that is right for you will depend on your energy needs. One serving of fat is approximately 5 grams of fat and 45 calories.

This is equivalent to:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon nut butter
  • 1 tablespoon of pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of avocado

More: Understanding Healthy Fats in Your Diet

Other healthy fats include:

  • Olives
  • Nuts
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Flounder

The Balanced Plate method can also be used for breakfast. Two-thirds of the foods you eat should be nutrient-rich carbohydrates.

More: 12 Fast and Easy Breakfast Ideas

Enjoy:

  • Whole grain oatmeal
  • Oat bran
  • Shredded wheat
  • 100 percent whole wheat bread
  • Fruit
  • 100 percent fruit juice (try to limit to 6 oz. per day)

If you enjoy baking, prepare homemade muffins or baked goods with whole grain flours. Every morning have at least 1/2 cup of fruit to receive important vitamins and fiber.

One-fourth to 1/3 of the foods or beverages you enjoy at breakfast should be lean protein sources. To help you satisfy your daily protein and calcium requirements, select at least one serving of the following:

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Tofu
  • Turkey or chicken sausage (as natural as possible)
  • Lean deli meats (natural)

You can also enjoy a non-traditional breakfast of leftovers.

The Balanced Plate method is user-friendly and does not require you to count grams. However, it is a guideline and may not meet the needs of all individuals.

If you feel you would benefit from a more specific meal plan or an individualized balanced plate, please contact a registered sports dietitian to build a performance nutrition plan that is right for you.

 

***a repost from nutritionist, Josh Bezoni***

Listed below are 7 specific foods that will also help you control your cravings. This is important because, let’s face it, you will NEVER be able to stick to any eating program if cravings are driving you CRAZY.

What’s more, some cravings can actually be caused because your body is not getting the nutrients it needs from the foods you are eating. Your brain ends up sending “hunger signals” to get you to eat in hopes that you will eat nutritious food. But many people don’t… so the cycle repeats. Bad foods = cravings for more food = eating more bad food = more cravings = lots of BELLY FAT.

Your body deserves top quality treatment—think nothing but the best. You definitely do not want to be filling your body with fillers, additives, and more processed junk than you’d find at the local garbage dumb.

You want to be putting quality nutrients into the body that not only satisfy its nutrient needs but also cure those cravings permanently. When you eat right, cravings will decrease dramatically.

So which foods should you favor?

#1 Avocados

Yup, that’s right, a fatty food. But this fat is a good fat and these are loaded with two vital nutrients that will quickly kill belly fat: fiber and monounsaturated fats. These little suckers keep you full for hours.

#2 Nut Butters

Peanut butter and almond butter are loaded with monounsatured fats that can stave off hunger and provide valuable nutrition. Just be sure that it’s natural nut butter because the regular grocery store versions are filled with sugar and trans fats.

#3 Eggs

Need a quick breakfast solution? Look no further than to eggs. Loaded with protein, vitamin B6, V12, A, D, E, and K, as well as folate, choline, lutein, calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids, you simply cannot go wrong. Choose free range chickens whenever possible and the nutritional benefits will be amplified.

#4 Dark Chocolate

More good news. That chocolate craving that you have, it too can be satisfied. Dark chocolate is actually a powerful source of antioxidants and it contains a natural “fat burner” called theobromine that will increase the rate of fat burning that takes place in the body. Stick to a few squares after a healthy meal to crush those chocolate cravings.

#5 Oatmeal

Another great breakfast food you can’t go wrong with. If you want to cure the mid-morning craving attack, start your day off with oats. Oats are a very good source of wholesome fiber and contain no sugar at all so will keep your blood sugar levels on a nice even keel.

Mix in a little cinnamon for further blood sugar control support and to reduce belly fat and you’ve got a perfect way to start your day.

#6 Berries

Black berries and raspberries provide a great way to settle down sugar cravings. What’s more, their high fiber content keeps you feeling full while the antioxidants and vitamins improve your health.

#7 Wild Salmon

Last but not least, don’t forget about salmon. Another food that’s jam packed with protein and healthy omega fatty acids and that will help squash those cravings and keep your blood sugar balance in check. Eat this in the evening with some wholesome vegetables and you can kiss your cravings good bye for the night.

That’s 7 foods right there, but don’t forget about veggies and beans. Both are backed with nutrition and fiber to keep you full and satisfied. Be sure to eat these daily.

By Kevin DiDonato MS, CSCS, CES

Welcome friends, to the scariest night of the year.

Ghost and ghouls fill the streets with their bags to capture your souls.  Okay, so maybe not your souls, but definitely your candy.

Halloween is a time of year celebrated by hundreds of thousands of people each year.  Each year, it gets bigger and bigger.

Unfortunately for us, when Halloween gets bigger and bigger, so do our waistlines.

Halloween is a time of the year where candy is handed out by the handfuls, if not by the bucketfuls.

But you do not have to let candy and extra calories ruin your holiday evening.

That’s right!  You can still enjoy Halloween and candy and not worry about your waistlines.

Come on in and I will scare you up a seat, and explain what I mean.

Most of us who have kids, take them out WALKING house-to-house to hear the magic words ”Trick OR Treat”!

This usually draws gasps from the unsuspecting person opening the door, and fussing over the cuteness or the terrifying costumes.

Then they proceed to dump a few pieces of sugary goodness into your child’s bag.

Now like most parents, you are saying to yourself, there is no way my kids are going to eat all that sugar!  My kids for sure would be bouncing off the walls, probably for days on end.

All that sugar is not good for a kid or an adult, especially someone who is watching their weight and waistlines.

However, even though they are candy pieces, all that extra sugar can add up to extra inches around your waist.

Oh, the horror!

Exercise And The Cold

But wait! What if I was to tell you there is a way to enjoy candy and NOT punish yourself for it later?

Halloween combines two of my favorite activities: enjoying time with my kids, and WALKING!

If you spend more of your time on your FEET, then you are already burning extra calories while Trick or Treating.

That’s right, extra calories are burned, and it is a great way to include some EXERCISE in your Halloween tradition.

And of course, there is the weather.

Now I live in Maine, and the Northeast looks like it might have some of the white, fluffy stuff this weekend.  And I am not referring to marshmallows!

So you bundle up and expose yourself and your kids to the cold weather.

This cold weather induces shivering, which can actually help you LOSE WEIGHT.

You can actually increase energy expenditure by walking in the colder weather.  The process of thermogenesis utilizes energy to produce heat in the body.

Now what do you do when you get home: you go through the candy, picking out the best and worst choices for your kids.

If you must enjoy some candy, I want to introduce you to a few of my favorite friends.

Good Friends For Your Waistline

My SPOOKY little friends are low in calories and are better options than the high-calorie, sugar-laden ghosts and goblins out there.

First off, let me introduce to you “Hershey.”

A few too many of these friends, and you are guaranteed the KISS of death.

But enjoying the company of a couple of these friends will only pack a few calories, which is perfect for keeping your waistline slim and trim.  Also, try the antioxidant-rich dark chocolate KISSES, to give inflammation the kiss of death.

You will only need to travel a half a mile on your feet to burn off two of my tiny little friends.

Next, let me introduce to you CANDY.

CANDY may sound like a sweet little treat, but add CORN then the name makes you wonder.  About 20 pieces of CANDY CORN will give you 100 calories, perfect for someone with one sharp sweet tooth.

A total of one mile on the witch’s broom or on a ghastly float will burn off this sweet treat.

Next, I would like you to meet TOOTSIE.

Not to be confused with the movie, a small log of fudgy goodness will give you 25 calories.

You will only need to walk a quarter mile to burn off the calories from one little roll!

REESE is the next friend you need to meet.

REESE comes in a big cup or a miniature of the original.  Opt for the smaller size cup, and you are only talking 33 calories.  Perfect for a bite-sized appetite!

You would only have to walk a third of a mile to rev up your fat burning to destroy the mini friend.  But be warned, the mini REESE is the way to go – stay away from his big brother or pumpkin shaped friend he has!

Now that you have a few of my favorite friends you can enjoy in moderation, I want to introduce you to the evil ghosts which will make you gain inches around your waist if you are not careful.

Friends To Stay AWAY From

Some people will give out full-sized candy bars.  My advice: STAY AWAY!

A full-size candy bar is packed with 275 calories, which will take you a LONG time and a good distance to burn off.

If you eat one full-sized candy bar, you will have to walk almost 3 miles just to get rid of it!

Speaking of candy bars, have you seen the KING-sized bars they now make?  King-sized candy bars pack a whopping 500 calories.  That’s almost as many calories as in a small meal!

As big as a king-sized candy bar is, it will take just as BIG and LONG of a time to burn it off.    You will have to walk a total of 5 miles to burn off one king-sized candy bar!

No wonder why he is the KING!

One of my favorite treats to have this time of year also just happens to be one of the worst to shrink your waistline.

Pumpkin pie,  in all its glory, packs a calorie-packed punch.  With 180 calories in one 1/8 of a slice of a 9-inch pie, will knock out your waistline in the early rounds of the fight.

You will need to walk almost 2 miles just to work off that one slice of pumpkin pie.

Remember…

So if you must indulge, please do it responsibly.   Sticking with low-calorie options will help keep your waistline in check.

Also, try to walk as much as you can around your neighborhood, which will burn extra calories and let you enjoy some low-calorie candy without putting your weight loss on hold.

Halloween is a scary time of year!  But it does not need to be scary for your weight loss goals.

Reminder: everything in moderation.

This is great some basic information that most people don’t know about when it comes to food timing.  I thought I’d share it.  It is a repost from Joel Marion.

The other day I was talking with my friend Mike.

Mike is a good guy, but frankly, his diet sucks.

Now, it’s not that Mike eats junk all day; in fact, the foods that make up Mike’s daily diet aren’t half bad.

Mike’s problem is something different: his timing is WAY out of whack, and unfortunately, it’s a problem that 99% of Americans share.

Take a look at the typical American diet and here’s what you get:

  • Breakfast is the smallest meal of the day, if consumed at all.
  • Lunch is a decent, moderate sized meal.
  • Dinner is by far the largest meal of the day, often times consumed late at night.

The problem with this set up? It has you eating your largest meal of the day in the evening hours when metabolism is at its lowest point.

Essentially, the timing and size of meals in the average diet are the exact opposite of what they should be.

To fix this, use what I call the “Mirror Your Metabolism” approach.

Metabolism is highest in the morning, so make breakfast (not dinner), your largest meal.

Beyond that, carbohydrate tolerance is also at its peak upon awakening, which simply means that your body is more apt to handle a high carbohydrate intake in the morning hours (carbohydrate tolerance is at its lowest point in the evening).

This means that you can GET AWAY with a high carb, high calorie meal in the morning, with this meal actually stoking your metabolism to burn more calories throughout the day.

Do you want to eat a big breakfast? Go right ahead; it will benefit both your body and metabolism greatly.

On the other hand, dinner should be the smallest (not largest) meal of the day, and should also limit carbohydrate.

Summary – Here’s how to mirror both your metabolism and carbohydrate tolerance for optimal results:

Breakfast – Large sized meal, higher carb intake

Lunch – Moderate size meal and carb intake

Dinner – Light sized meal, lower carb intake

Follow these recommendations and I guarantee you’ll be able to eat even more total daily calories, while at the same time losing body fat even faster.

repost from Joel Marion

Joel Marion posted this and I thought I’d like to share it.

Perhaps the largest complaint I hear coming from dieters is the issue of being “hungry” and a lack of satiety from the meals they eat.

Well, the truth is, you can easily eat A LOT of food and leave the table full (every time) while still sticking to a reduced calorie regimen IF you learn to harness the power of something called caloric density.

The term caloric density simply refers to the amount of calories in a given amount or volume of food.

A food that packs a large amount of calories in a very small volume of food is considered to have a very high caloric density.  Conversely, foods with a low caloric density yield a much smaller calorie total from the same amount of food, allowing you to eat “more” without actually consuming more calories.

Ice cream is a classic example of a food with a high caloric density.  Anyone can eat 1,000 calories of ice cream.  On the other hand, even the largest appetites would have a hard time consuming 1,000 calories worth of spinach.

Obviously, if the goal is to leave the table full without consuming a massive amounts of calories, the key is to consume low-calorie, high volume foods.

It’s probably no shocker that fruits and vegetables have very low caloric densities, particularly green and leafy vegetables.

Other foods with low caloric densities include lean proteins, beans, and by nature, most foods high in fiber.

Which meal would fill you up more at 400 calories?

Take home message:  Combine LOTS of fruits, veggies, beans, and lean proteins for meals that leave you full, without the calorie bulge.

Apply that simple tip to at least 2 meals today and I guarantee you’ll shave hundreds of calories off your daily total while being completely content with the amount of food you’re eating.