Fitness

Organic Foods and Calories

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Beware of Buzzwords

Organic, All-Natural, Gluten Free… These are just a few examples of buzzwords commonly used in the health and fitness community. Buzzword, defined by Merriam Webster as : an important-sounding, usually technical word or phrase often of little meaning used chiefly to impress laymen. They are words or phrases that become very popular for a period of time. When speaking in terms of the fitness community, these words and phrases are often used as marketing ploys to sell health food products.

“My Problem is NOT with Organic Food”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not “hating” on organic food. God only knows what kind of havoc processed foods are actually wreaking on our bodies. Organic, all natural food is easier for our bodies to process. It’s important to point out that all-natural food is also typically denser in micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids…) In and of itself, organic food is good. My problem comes from the idea that just because something is organic or all-natural that it is void of calories. To put it simply, “NO NO NO NO NO.” I’ve run into this disconnect way too many times while working with people trying to lose weight. It can really trip you up.

Let Me Give You an Example…

Avocados are full of “healthy fats”. This is true. This also makes them calorie dense. An average size avocado contains about 4 grams of protein, 17 carbs and a whopping 30 grams of fat which equal out to approximately 350 calories. GUYS. You can’t eat these things like apples! If you love avocado, eat a serving. You can easily work that into your daily macros. If your maintenance level is 1800 calories, and you eat 2200 calories in avocado, you will gain weight. No one is living off of avocado, I’m just using it as an example for how you CAN overeat healthy, organic food.  

Another favorite example is all-natural peanut butter vs. JIF peanut butter. You’d think the all-natural would be less calories because it’s less processed, right? Wrong. There’s a 1 carb and 1 gram of fat difference between the 2. That’s all. All nuts and nut butters are extremely calorie dense whether they’re organic or not. Track them!

It all comes down to calories

Meeting your daily macros (protein, carbs and fat) is important. All of these things add up into calories. With that being said, we HAVE to pay attention to everything. I had a client that had a hiccup in his diet somewhere, even though I had him tracking his food. We reached the point in our conversation where I asked about beverages and he got this blank expression on his face. Turns out, he hadn’t been tracking the creamer in his 2-3 cups of coffee per day. This is a problem. Organic or not, creamer is usually about 50 calories per serving so when you have 2-3 cups of coffee per day, that’s an extra 150 calories that wasn’t being accounted for. When you’re only in a 300 calorie deficit each day, not tracking your creamer is going to take half of that away. Instead of losing 1 pound (3500 calories) in a little less than 12 days, this would double the time, taking a little less than 24 days. That’s a long time to lose just 1 pound. We need to track EVERYTHING! (Yes, the condiments on your sandwich, too.)

It gets easier

It’s hard at first. When you’re first tracking macros, it can feel a little overwhelming. The great thing is that once you’ve counted something once, you’ll have it for the next time you need to add it in. It gets easier, I PROMISE. This Greater Goods Food Scale comes in SO handy when trying to track portions and macros (It’s also on sale right now!) My goal is not for you to obsess about macros and calories. I’m just asking you to be vigilant. Hold yourself accountable. YOU KNOW that not adding something in that you’ve eaten is only going to hurt you in the long run. My goal here is to get you to understand that little things, organic or not, will add up. It can be extremely detrimental to your weightloss journey.

Most of the time, when we’re struggling with our diets, it’s not because of fruits and vegetables. Most of us don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. I’m just trying to help you realize that it can happen. Fruit is basically all carb and sugar. Albeit natural and from the earth, some fruits are very high in carbs and calories. Apples, oranges and grapes are just a few that are high carb. They count too, no matter what Weight Watchers tell you. They’re not free. They still contain calories. If you want to eat fruit, go for things lower in carbs and sugar like berries and melons. If you’re going to eat an apple, track it.

Conclusion

This post isn’t about how to track your macros. If you need help with that, please feel free to contact me. The point of this post is to help you understand that all food contains calories. In the grand scheme, it doesn’t matter if it’s organic or processed, you NEED to count it into your daily allotted calories (especially if your trying to lose weight). You don’t have to become obsessive, you just have to be aware. We can’t fix a problem until we know what it is. Don’t let yourself be fooled by health food buzzwords. Eat the food you enjoy, organic or not, just eat the right amount for YOUR body.

Once we get the nutrition side of weight loss figured out, it’s important to stick to a regimented workout plan! Need help? Click HERE for a customized workout plan designed for YOUR body and YOUR goals.

Until next time,

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I'm a 26 year old NASM certified personal trainer with a corrective exercise specialization! My love for fitness and nutrition blossomed several years ago. It has changed my life. Now it's my mission to help and encourage all of you through my blog as well! Feel free to contact me!

2 Comments

  1. Linda

    January 5, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    I loved this blog. It came at the perfect time. It IS the little leaks that sink a boat. I realize how many small things I eat can add up! Thank you. Keeping the avacodo in super small portions!

    • Chinups_and_Cupcakes

      January 7, 2018 at 10:32 am

      Oh thank you! It’s amazing how fast the little things can add up. It’s all about portion control!

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