KATs Frequesntly Asked Questions: Navigating Your Diet Choices with GreggWallace.Health
Here are some of our most frequently asked questions:
Low fat or full fat dairy?
With all the low-fat dairy products around you would think that dairy is a very high fat food item. However, it’s really not. Whole milk has only 4% fat. I prefer full-fat dairy to reduced fat or the skimmed varieties. If you prefer low-fat dairy be aware that many are highly processed, and the fat has been replaced with sugar, thickeners and stabilisers. I would advise that you start reading the back of the pot and look at the ingredient list and choose varieties with the fewest ingredients. Most of the low-fat Greek yogurts or plain yogurts do not have added ingredients and so it is a preference whether you choose full-fat or low-fat. Gregg prefers low-fat, while I prefer full fat. Also, it’s worth bearing in mind that we do need some fat in our diet. Fat helps us to stay fuller for longer.
What about fizzy drinks?
If you are serious about losing weight, then fizzy drinks – whether diet versions or not should not be consumed on a regular basis. Our bodies do not recognise liquid calories in the same way as they recognise solid food. It is very easy to gulp back 200 calories – but they don’t fill you up and actually leave you hungry. Diet drinks are actually even worse that the non-diet equivalent. Diet drinks contain aspartame, an artificial sweetener. These sweeteners mess with your appetite signals and can actually leave you feeling hungrier. They are also highly addictive, sweeter than sugar and mess with your gut bacteria.
However, it is not a good idea to suddenly go cold turkey if you are used to consuming lots of these beverages. Start by reducing consumption slowly. If you feel like a fizzy drink, first have a glass of water. You could also try diluting the fizzy drinks to see if this makes it easier to quit.
What should I drink?
Water should be your main beverage of choice. Herbal teas also count towards your liquid intake. Green tea, tea and coffee can also be consumed – but they don’t count towards your liquid intake as they have a diuretic effect. If you are used to consuming lattes or cappuccinos, then it’s worth bearing in mind this increases the calories to 100-200. While a coffee with just a dash of milk contains about 20-40 calories.
Why don’t you calorie count on this plan?
There are several reasons why we haven’t included calorie counting on this plan. When you are consuming a more natural, wholefoods diet (real food as opposed to food that comes in a carton or packet) then it becomes much harder to accurately count calories. Calorie counting often steers people away from very nutrient dense foods such as extra virgin olive oil and avocadoes. Extra virgin olive oil is good for you, while a chocolate covered rice cake might have only 50 calories – but it has no goodness and it’s easy to overconsume. Also, it’s worth bearing in mind that some calories are much more readily available to our bodies than others. For instance, if you were to consume sugar or a food equivalent such as a chocolate bar then you would be absorbing a very high percentage of those calories – over 95%. However, if you were to consume the equivalent calories from say vegetables with lots of fibre, then you would be absorbing much fewer of the calories – think of when you eat sweetcorn and you can see that you don’t absorb it all! Calorie counting can be a good short-term exercise to see where you are over-eating – but as a general rule for healthy eating it’s not great as rather than enjoying food you see it as a set of energy requirements which need to be burned off. This can result in a fixation on the numbers, which is not healthy or sustainable in the long-term.
Can I use Quorn or other vegan food substitutes?
Quorn is a highly processed food ingredient as are the other vegan meat substitutes and not something we encourage at ShowMe.Fit. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, the best protein choices are beans, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, tempeh, nuts and seeds. We have lots of vegetarian recipes on the website to help you make healthy choices.
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Author: Katherine Bright MBANT, CNHC