How do we crowd out bad food choices to allow the good ones?
To crowd out the bad and allow for the good, we need to change a few habits and practice some self-discipline. This is not what most people want to hear, but in this day and age, achieving good health is not an easy task. We need to take personal responsibility for our own lives and not rely on outside sources to dictate how we choose.
Every minute millions of dollars are spent persuading us to eat food that’s not really fit for human consumption and at least 90% of American are hypnotized by this. TV commercials, billboards, social media adds, we are bombarded with others—mostly food companies—controlling our food desires to the point that we’re basically handing our health over to them. We are giving them control of our bodies and, unwittingly, our pocketbooks. Hundreds of millions of people are deeply confused about what health care is. Our system is basically set up as “sick care”, not health care, and it’s costing us a fortune—physically and emotionally. We try to be proactive about our health and wellness but we are getting so many mixed messages from the media that it’s hard to know which way to turn.
Obesity contributes to approximately 100,000–400,000 deaths in the United States per year and has increased health care use and expenditures, costing us an estimated $117 billion in direct (preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services related to weight) and indirect (absenteeism, loss of future earnings due to premature death) costs.This actually exceeds health care costs associated with smoking and accounts for 6% to 12% of national health care expenditures in the United States (Source; Wikipedia.)
Over 60% of the population is obese now. Thats a 250% increase in the last 50 years!
If we could just spend 1% of the health care budget on prevention and proactiveness, instead of diagnosis and treatment, we could get so far ahead of the obesity curve. But until that day comes, we need to put our health in our own hands and not the food companies earning a profit off of us. Check your BMI here and see if you fall into the overweight or obese category and take steps to adjust. Please remember that loving ourselves and our bodies while we are on the journey to better health and weight loss is a huge component in this. Having a healthy body image is incredibly important but it’s not an excuse to abuse our food choices. We need to remember to be patient with ourselves. If we are overweight, we know that it didn’t happen overnight. Creating new habits and losing weight isn’t going to happen overnight either.
Which diet is best? Paleo? Keto? Low carb? Whole 30? 30 Day Diet? Eat For Your Blood Type? Sugar Bust? Raw? High fat or low fat? Each advocate for each dietary theory thinks theirs is the best and only way. Many advocate that they are “the chosen one” and if we don’t follow along, there is no hope for us. But we are all biologically different and what works for one may not work for another. But there is one universal rule that will definitely help us all.
Crowd out the bad and allow for the good.
Not all calories are created equal! A 100 calorie bag of Oreo cookies or chips is not the same as 100 calories of almonds.
- 3 cups of kale = 100 calories
- 1 large apple = 100 calories
- 12 stalks celery = 100 calories
- 3 medium cucumbers = 100 calories
- 5 cups broccoli tops = 100 calories
- 6 carrots = 100 calories
- 1 head of romaine lettuce = 100 calories
Food is information: 100 calorie apple vs 100 calorie pretzels. The nutrients in the apple go farther than just the calories. Pretzels turn to sugar, apple turns into fiber and vitamins which fuels our cells and curbs our cravings. There’s really only a certain volume we can eat in a day so if we fill up with low calorie, high density foods, we’ll feel more full, and therefore crowd out the bad. Just look at the list above. That would make one helluva salad! And without oil and vinegar, only 700 calories. Plus – it’s at least two good meals.
How could we possibly eat more after that? This, my friends, is crowding out.
Calorie Density is the number of calories per pound and it’s lowest in unprocessed plant foods. So Calorie Density and volume of food is important to consider. When we eat an empty calorie diet, such as chips, cookies, pretzels and breads, we feel full because of the volume of food we are eating, not because of the calories, proteins, fats or carbs. We’re eating more because we want—need—to feel satiated. What we don’t realize is the calorie dense foods are the ones that give us the satisfaction we are looking for.
If we consume high density foods such as lean proteins, greens, veggies, high quality dairy, and minimal fruits, we crowd out the bad. We are consuming foods with higher nutritional value which satisfies our pallet and our cells. It’s simply quality over quantity. Whole foods like the ones mentioned above, actually fill you up and fuel you, where as empty calories – like those found in candy and chips – fill a mental craving but don’t physically fill you up. Our mindset will also improve when we switch to whole foods. It’s hard to feel guilty after filling up on genuine nutrients. Whole foods also regulate cholesterol levels and ward off cancer, dementia, and a plethora of other conditions. In addition, the high fiber content of fruits, vegetables, and grains keeps the digestive system in tip-top shape, which is essential to optimal health.
When we stick to whole foods, we’re much more likely to keep our caloric intake at an appropriate level for our body and maintain a healthy weight as a result. It’s easy to eat our way through an entire bag of potato chips, but more than one or two apples would be laborious. See the difference? A great way to stay on track with this is to simply not have the items on hand at home. We need self-discipline at the market when we are shopping and not put these tempting items in our baskets. Another tip is to start minimizing the quantity of low calorie dense foods at each meal.( If you positively must have bread with your meal, make it stone ground, seed-filled, whole grain, and a small portion.) Or rather, make a bread-less, or bun-less sandwich or burger! The more we consume these high density foods—the good—the more we’ll crowd out the low density foods—the bad. It’s more simple than we think.
So remember that all calories are not created equal and they behave differently in our bodies. Unhealthy foods create poor cell function which show up as sluggish moods, cravings, anger, physical pain and emotional issues. Healthy foods create healthy cell function and will support us for years to come. So crowd out the junk food by filling up on high density foods and watch your health, and your waistline, improve.
WHAT’S MY BMI?
Below 18.5 = Underweight
18.5-24.9 = Normal weight
25-29.9 = Overweight (Approx +15 lbs)
30 and higher Obese = (Approx +40 lbs)
For an easy Body Mass Index calculator, click HERE.