There are calories… and then there are calories. The truth is that you don’t actually NEED to count calories if you are following one of the Lady Shake plans and eating portion-controlled meals – but not all calories are equal, so if you are going to count them, best to know what you are putting into your body.
What Are “Empty Calories” ?
We’ve all heard the term “empty calories” before, which means the type of calories that bring are not actually nutritional – they contain no protein, which our body needs, no fibre, and no healthy fats — nothing that’s gonna keep you satisfied.
Example: A skinless chicken breast and a can of coke roughly the same number of calories, but one is full of nutritional protein while the other is… sugar.
Invest your calories wisely avoid sugars and starchy carbs.
Know the Thermic Effect of Food
The thermic effect of food…. You may not remember this term from high school science class but in essence – some foods simply take more energy metabolise than others. The body can process fats and carbohydrates efficiently but doesn’t burn many of the calories while doing so – protein on the other hand, takes longer as has to be converted to carbohydrates before it can become fat (which is a good thing), burning more calories in the process.
Example: A cheese roll vs a steak? The cheese roll will be processed faster than and steak but the roll will turn to fat quicker, while the steak will take more calories to metabolise and longer to turn to fat.
On the positive side – some foods burn more calories being processed through the body than they actually contain – strawberries, apples, celery, and watermelon are a good example of this.
Calories Come in Different Forms
Sadly there are calories in everything – the milk in your drinks, the sauces we put on our food, even in the vitamins and medicines we take. If you are going to count calories, best to keep in mind that it’s not just in a muesli bar. It all adds up.
Keeping a food journal is a good way to learn about where your calories are coming from… we don’t put much emphasis on this, but if you are still not loosing the last few kilos and you are following the Lady Shake plan, it may be worth carry a record of your day to see where the extra calories are coming from.
The Labels Aren’t Always True
Unfortunately government regulation only goes so far in checking and controlling brand labelling. The bigger brands are likely to be more accurate. Stay away from outlandish calories claims on labels as this could generally be marketing-spin. At the Lady Shake, we take this responsibility VERY serious and know that we can truely stand by our brand claims…. unfortunately not all businesses operate this way.
If something seems too good to be true, trust your instincts.
Fructose vs Glucose
This is a tricky one that many people get caught up on…. There are two main simple sugars in your diet are glucose and fructose. Essentially the two provide the same number of calories but are processed in the body completely different. Glucose can be metabolised by all of your body, but fructose can only be metabolised in the liver in any significant amount.
Note that fructose only has negative effects when eaten in excessive amounts (think candies etc). Don’t be discouraged to eat fruit, while they contain fructose, they are also rich in fibre, water and provide significant chewing resistance, which mitigates the negative effects of the fructose.