Healthy Weight Loss In The New Year

March 13, 2010

Counting Calories Versus The Food Pyramid

I’m only two months into my healthier weight loss regimen and I already abhor weighing my food and counting calories. I’m tired of my day revolving around what I’m putting in my mouth and how many calories it has.

Truth be told, I’m afraid of calories. I’m especially afraid of the ones that have little to no nutritional value. The fat, sugar and simple carbs. I’m aghast at how much of this stuff is in processed food. Horrified at how the fast food industry tries to put a mask of healthiness on a hamburger by adding lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. They add it right on top of that huge dollop of mayo-like sauce. I like the taste of a fast food burger too, but for the amount of saturated fat and simple carbs, I can eat twice as much of a healthier choice for fewer calories.

I think there must be a better way. I’ve been counting calories and weighing food most of my life. I know how many calories there are in just about anything. So why am I taking so much time to keep track of them? I don’t want food to have such a paramount place in my life. I want to be able to eat normally and not give it much thought. I want to be able to trust that I can lose weight without worrying so much about calories. I want to trust that during those challenging times in life, I’ll still make wise food choices and not have to worry.

The food pyramid suggests the following servings of each food group per day:

Minimal fats and oils

Dairy 2-3 servings

Vegetables 3-5 servings

Grains 6-11 servings

Fruit 2-4 servings

Protein (meat, beans, nuts and fish) 2-3 servings

Water 8 glasses

This sounds like a pretty healthy way of eating to me……….but is it too boring? Are any of us really eating five servings of vegetables a day? I wonder if food boredom is the reason humanity evolved from a place of healthy eating and ended up consuming so many processed foods? Manufactured flavors enhance these products and we are lured back to them time and time again.

Eating healthy is more complicated than at first glance. We have to decide if

potato chips are part of the vegetable group or not, and what group does cola and a Snickers bar fall under? Eyeing up the freshly baked banana bread sitting on the counter, I wonder if I can count that as my 6-11 servings of grains? I can’t help but wonder why chocolate and wine is nowhere to be seen on the food pyramid and if a PB&J counts as two grains, a fruit and a protein? Nothing is cut and dry regarding food today.

They say it takes 21 days to develop a new routine and make it habit. My habit of counting calories began when I was about twelve years old. I’ve had more than enough time to embrace this routine as a natural and normal part of my life. I’m afraid of calories and I’m tired of counting them. I wonder if I can possibly unlearn it and learn how to eat according to the trusted food pyramid?

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~ by msbee1 on March 17, 2010.

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