Nutrition Article

No such thing as a Free Lunch

No such thing as a Free Lunch

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So, hang on…you’re telling me that there are certain foods out there that you can consume in unlimited quantities and not gain weight?

What are these magical free foods of which you speak? Well according to certain “weight loss groups/communities” (basically Slimming World and Weight Watchers) – you can eat certain food in abundance and those foods are free. Meaning that if you eat these foods, the calorie fairy comes along and waves her wand and removes the calorie content of the food. Well I never!

So, let’s take a look at just a few of the so-called free foods and you decide:

1. Fish – Cod, Tuna and Salmon
2. Meat – Chicken, Bacon, Beef
3. Fruit – Apple, Banana, Satsuma
4. Vegetables – Carrots, Broccoli, Peppers
5. Eggs
6. Pasta, Rice, Yoghurts (plain and low fat) and Cheese (low fat soft cheese)

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I cannot emphasise enough that there really is no such thing as a free lunch. Whether you have a tin of tuna, a portion of rice and a side of broccoli that still equates to around 310 cals per serving.

The same as Chicken Pasta Bake with peppers – this works out at 340 cals per serving and that doesn’t include any sauces or “fat free” dressings you may add.

Then factor in a breakfast of fruit and yoghurt, as well as some “free” snacks and you are looking at around 1000 cals before you have even included any liquids you may have consumed.

Saying that you can eat free foods in abundance and still lose weight is a lie. It is misleading and it does not educate you in any way, shape or form about food and nutrition. We are all different and as such our nutritional needs vary greatly from person to person.

That being said, with technology nowadays is it not hard to calculate your daily calorie allowance using your height and weight as well as your level of fitness or movement each day. Once you have that figure, then you can use an app like My Fitness Pal to track what you are eating each day and see whether you are over or under your daily calories.

Move away from a points system that doesn’t work and let’s stop demonising food by calling them “syns”.
Ideally, you want to be eating nutrient dense meals with a good range of proteins, carbs and fats. Viewing your food as essential fuel to keep your body working well. But remember, it is a lifestyle and life is for living. So if you are eating well most of the time and want to have fish and chips or a pizza, some chocolate or a glass or two of wine – have it! You can have anything you like as long as it fits in with your calories. If you go over one day, reign it in the next.

Let’s break this down in simple terms:

1. There is no such thing as free food – everything contains calories!
2. Eating more calories than you expend will lead to weight gain!
3. You can still eat “bad” food and lose weight

For more information about healthy eating and getting it right – check out my Healthy Mummy Manual (available on the Premium Membership) x

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