Saturday, April 26, 2014

Let's talk counting calories...

Let's face it.. counting calories is not what I want to be doing to help me lose weight and adjust my blood sugars into normal.  Think about it.. I could eat 10 bananas and have most of my calories in for the day.  The problem is, they don't have the nutrients that are in vegetables and other fruits.  A good rule of thumb is the more color, the more nutrients.  
Dr Agnes reminded me that I could eat a lot of calories in some really densely packed nutritionally sound foods and not gain weight or mess with my blood sugars.  The body handles these foods well if it is operating smoothly.  I'm not suggesting that you go out and eat a quart of strawberries or pig out on any one food.  I'm saying that eating those more dense foods are good for your body and you should eat them often in small amounts.
Take peanut butter, for example.. it carries a walloping 200 calories in a 2 tablespoon measure.  If you eat bread, that's 140 calories for 2 slices- and a very poor choice since there are 13Gm of carb in one slice and only 2 Gm protein.. So a simple PB sandwich could cost you 340 calories plus that glass of milk at another 150 calories for just one cup.   The peanut butter is a wonderful choice as it is a "good" fat and nourishing to the body.. so eat it with something other than bread.. the whole milk is wonderful too- a healthy choice.  I eat a small banana for breakfast- about 90 calories and add 1 tbsp PB for a great total of 190 calories... I don't measure precisely, but just estimate.  It's good to be aware of the calories in foods, but just knowing that some foods are promoting good nutrition and others don't is good for planning meals.
I do like the CalorieCount site and make no excuses for that.  As I go through my day, I add my  water intake and love to see how many nutrients my body is getting for the day.  But do not become overly obsessive and lose sight of the fact that you may be eating 500 more calories than you think you should, but you are gaining nutrients to heal your body and support your weight loss.  Generally speaking it's a good site to visit and participate.. but my first line of nutritional defense is my nutritionist who discourages counting the calories.. and just eating normal food in moderation with the support of vitamin/mineral supplements to assure you aren't lacking anywhere.
For diabetics, it is so critical to make sure you don't miss meals or snacks.  That keeps the glucose level all day long.
Test the blood sugar in the morning and spot check during the day to see how far off or on target you are.  2 hours after a meal is good timing for that.  For me, anything under 100 but not lower than 84 is good.. I get shaky at 84 and feel very hungry- 2 symptoms of hypoglycemia. 
Empty calories are a thing of the past for me.  I know if I eat sugar or wheat, I'm going to feel pain or sick.  It's like my intolerance of beef and turkey.. 3 days to recuperate from one tiny tiny bite of either of these .. just not worth the trouble.
I was amazed at how quickly I got over any cravings for sugar or wheat.. as a carboholic, chocoholic, and more.. I am shocked that I feel no need for cookies, cakes, breads, donuts, etc.. I don't even crave ice cream!  I have repented.. turned around and am back on the right track again, but not particularly by counting any calories, but by eating the foods I like in a reasonable amount.. colorful foods that have many nutrients.  Granted, I am fairly knowledgeable in nutrition, so I just am aware of food values.  You may have to educate yourself about certain foods.
Remember, you may fall back, but don't kick yourself.. next time make a better choice.

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