by Jacquelyn J. Core JD PhD
Gallons of lettuce have LESS calories than a single Big Mac. Think about what else you might eat if you ate a Big Mac… maybe fries and a coke? Then think about whether you COULD eat three heads of romaine lettuce. Calories are not what make us feel full.
Our body is signaled that we have had enough to eat ONLY when we have eaten a great enough volume of food or when our body has received enough nutrients. Those are the only two ways to feel full, so those are the only two ways that your body gets signaled to stop eating. With this information, it is easy to understand how the human body can gain weight on junk food. There are 563 calories in a Big Mac. Another 510 in a large fry. 240 in a 20 oz. coke. Eating that meal at McDonald’s nets you 1,313 calories. USDA Guidelines for average women list recommended daily caloric intake at 1600-2000 calories per day…. This meal could leave you less than 300 calories to eat in the remainder of the day with little to no nutrition gained.
Had you eaten an entire head of romaine lettuce, a whole red pepper, a medium sized tomato, a medium carrot and 3 stalks of celery you would still come in under 300 calories, and you would have 1300-1700 left for the day. That’s a lot of food, so the likelihood is that, based on volume, your body would have signaled that it was full long before you consumed all that. You also would have gotten tons of Vitamin C, iron, beta carotene, and cancer protection plus great hydration. So your body may have signaled full because of nutrient density as well. See why low calorie nutrient dense foods are so valuable to weight maintenance?
When we eat calorie dense nutrient poor foods our bodies do not get signaled to stop eating. We do not feel full from potato chips or candy bars or even Big Macs, and, as a result, we consume many more calories than we need, leading to unwanted weight gain. The secret hidden in this information is that if, when hungry, you choose nutrient rich, (but often calorie low) real foods you will lose weight naturally. You will replace foods that are not good for you with nutrient rich foods, increasing your health benefits and decreasing your calorie intake.
Eat real food. Provide your body with fuel. Feel full. Look great. …A great way to start the new year…