KY3's Paul Adler visits with Pamela Hernandez of Thrive Personal Fitness to look at several options for weight management instead of counting calories.
Calorie counting is not required to live a healthy life or lose weight. At its best, it is an inexact science. The FDA allows calorie counts on packaged foods to have as much as a 20% margin of error!
At its worst, it's annoying, tedious, time consuming and anxiety creating. Instead of calorie counting, your first focus should be on slowing down when you eat and tuning into your own hunger signals. Practicing eating till just satisfied (or 80% full) is a kinder way to encourage any needed weight loss for most people.
You can also focus on three other habits and track your progress with much more ease than counting calories.
How much water are you drinking each day? Water is necessary for almost every chemical reaction in the body, including how your metabolism and muscles function. But if you wait till your thirsty, you are already dehydrated. A good rule of thumb is 64 oz a day, but that will vary based on things like body size, activity level and climate.
The easiest way to track your water is to get a reusable water bottle and set a goal for the number of times you'll finish it off each day.
How many vegetables and fruits are you eating each day? You've probably heard the "5 A Day" saying and that is a great place to start. But for optimal health, research says we might want to aim for 9 a day.
Don't worry about serving sizes, just try to get a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits throughout the day.
How many grams of fiber are you consuming each day? Fiber is part of our natural detoxing system. Soluble fiber (found in beans and oats) helps to flush out bad cholesterol. Fiber feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut and increases your feeling of fullness. Unfortunately, most
people only get around 15 grams a day. The RDA is 25-35 g per day, but recent research on gut health says we may need double that. I say start slowly if you are working on increasing your fiber intake and focus on food sources (like those vegetables and fruits) not supplements.