I love to eat… A LOT! So I have to find foods I can eat a lot of that do not have as many calories and taste good. It is really not as hard as it sounds, it just takes some extra planning and a few great, easy recipes. First let’s look at how many calories are in the 3 macro nutrients carbohydrates, protein and fats. Carbs and proteins both have 4 calories per gram and fat has 9 calories per gram. But that does not mean fats are bad, you just have to choose wisely and be more careful with the portion sizes. Ideally, every meal and snack should have a combination of all 3 macro nutrients because they all serve a purpose. Carbs give you energy, protein is a building block for muscles and fat helps keep you full and aids in digestion of certain vitamins and minerals.
The key is to choose good combinations of carbs, proteins and fats. Some examples of good carbs would be fruits, veggies, whole grains, and beans. The higher the fiber in foods, the fuller you will be. Veggies and beans are naturally low in calories so you can eat more and will be fuller with less calories. Good proteins are eggs, fish, chicken and lean turkey and beef. These are complete proteins containing all amino acids. They tend to keep you fuller also so if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you will want to make sure you are combining whole grains and legumes to get all amino acids so you get your building blocks. Fats are usually the most confusing and misunderstood. Examples of good fats would be egg yolk, nuts (including nut butters), seeds, avocado and salmon. Of course oils are fat and the best oils would be coconut, olive and walnut oil. Many people think peanut butter is a protein and eat way too much when actually it is higher in fat and should be consumed in moderation. There is a limited amount of good fats which is why it takes some planning to get it in a daily diet vs. the bad saturated fats. Having eggs for breakfast with fruit would give you all 3 macro nutrients. Lunch could be a spinach salad with avocado, veggies and chicken. Dinner could be salmon, black beans and quinoa.
These are just a couple of ideas of how to combine foods to get all 3 macro nutrients in each meal. The first step is to plan meals out and go shopping. So many people fail when they are starving and do not have a plan on what to eat. Take a few extra minutes to come up with a plan for meals and load up on all those healthy carbs, proteins and fat and stay fuller with less calories!