Okay you now know what calories are and how they work to help your body function. The next part to making your weight loss journey successful is being able to work out your daily allowances (and we mean everything - fat, protein and sugar).
Now most people will tell you to check the food label, and we recommend you do the same, but life doesn't always make it that simple. Take going out to a restaurant – how can you truthfully know what you are eating and how many calories are in it? The real answer is, is that you can't, but you can gain a grasp of what individual food groups contain so that you can have a fair idea.
But first to help you gain a clearer perspective, below is the daily allowance for a woman (on 2,000 calories):
Total fat – 65g
Saturated fatty acids – 20g
Cholesterol – 300mg
Sodium – 2400mg
Potassium – 4700mg
Total Carbohydrates – 300g
Fibre – 25g
As you can see, what you need every day goes beyond the basics of fat, protein and fibre, but also branches into fatty acids, sodium and potassium too.
Now as we said before, most labels will now give you the basics of its ingredient base and nutrients, but in a restaurant you simply cannot know. So what do you do? The best technique we can recommend is gaining an insight into the ingredients themselves and what they contain.
Essentially you can pre-learn the calorie content of certain foods, so that you can still go out and monitor your diet. You don't have to remember the ins and outs of all foods, but if you can learn the basics of your favourite foods, then you can still keep the excitement of going out AND losing weight.
Below are some examples to help you in your food choices:
5oz lean steak – 181 calories and 6g of fat
Medium grilled chicken breast (130g) – 192 calories and 2.9 g of fat
Lean pork chops (120g) – 221 calorie and 7.7g of fat
Medium baked potato (180g) – 245 calories and 0.4g fat
(Get more food tomorrow)
Mash potato with butter (28g) – 29 calories and 1.2g of fat
Chips (100g) – 253 calories and 9.9g of fat
Carrots (60g) – 13 calories and 0.2g of fat
Broccoli (30g) – 7 calories and 0.2 g of fat
Peas (60g) – 32 calories and 0.4g of fat