Finding foods that work for you: A how-to guide

Despite what the internet or your friends may say, all calories are not the same. This is really important information when you’re trying to lose weight and get healthy. That’s why I’m going to say it again: not all calories are created equal.

They are not equal because your body processes different foods, differently. When you consume high-quality foods (think plants and whole grains), your body has nutrients to absorb and works to do so. This keeps you fuller longer as your body needs time to process them. Foods with low- or no-nutrients (think white bread or chips) process quickly in your system. This hormonal response tricks your body into thinking it needs more sustenance, even though it doesn’t, causing you to over eat and store fat.

To make sure you’re choosing foods that help you lose weight, follow these tips:

  • When in doubt, chose real food. Like Michael Pollan said, “If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t”. I know you can’t do that all the time, but where you can – choose real food.
  • Experiment with your meals. Your body knows what it needs to thrive. And it’s regularly sending you clues. But it’s sometimes hard to hear it – especially after years of consuming low-quality, low-nutrient foods. So, experiment to find out what foods work best for you. If you eat meat, take a break for a few days and see how you feel. If you never eat fruit, add a banana to breakfast and see if makes a difference. When you start to ask your body if it likes something, it’ll provide an answer (if you’re willing to listen).
  • Remember, it’s just food. You didn’t kick a dog or shake a baby. You ate 3 cookies in 3 minutes. We’ve all be there. Forgive yourself and start fresh at your next meal.

The types of food you consume matter so much more than the number of calories in them. So, if you’re looking to shed those pounds, focus on finding foods that work for you – not against you.