Top tips on calorie density

“What on earth is calorie density!?”, we hear you cry. Calorie density is the number of calories in a given weight, or volume, of food.

For example, 1lb of doughnuts is over 2000 calories (this is very high calorie-dense), 1lb of grapes is around 300 calories (this is very low calorie-dense). To put it simply, you can eat more volume of low calorie-dense foods for the same amount of calories as much smaller amount of high-calorie dense food would give you.

OK…. I’m listening…

So not only will you eat as much – or more – food, when you’re focusing on foods with a lower caloric density, but you’ll also be reducing your calorie intake. That’s a win in our books!

I need an example!

Gotcha! A green vegetable may have 30 calories per 100g. It has a very low calorie density. Chocolate, however, has 550 calories per than same 100g. This means it has a very high calorie density. With the chocolate, you’re eating a lot of calories, and you’ll be nowhere near satisfied, or full, after consuming those 550 calories.

 So to eat the same amount of calories of the green veg, as the chocolate, you would need to eat over 1.8 KILOS of it. But you just scoffed that 100g of chocolate without even thinking about it…and you’re still hungry.

How do I know that calorie density is a good source of measurement?

Here are some sources and information to highlight studies behind calorie density:

Low calorie density foods often provide less fat, and more water. This will make you feel fuller, faster, and reduce your overall daily calorie intake.

When you eat healthy, whole foods, your brain knows when to stop eating. However, this effect is delayed when your diet is fuelled by highly processed foods.

When provided with a high calorie-dense meal, a study showed that people ate an average of 425 more calories than when they were given a low-calorie dense meal.

Can you tell me about some low and high calorie dense foods?

Sure! Some foods with low calorie density are:

Green veggies (excluding avocado)

Brown rice, brown pasta, brown bread

Tofu

0% fat Greek yoghurt

Berries

Some foods with high calorie density are:

Chocolate

Hobnobs

Red velvet cake

White bread

Protein powder

Dried fruit

So, in short, planning your meals around foods with a low-calorie density is not only sensible, but it’s effective to not consume unnecessary calories, and to aid with weight loss. Shift your focus towards healthy, whole foods, and you’ll soon realise you’re less hungry, whilst losing weight with very little effort!

As always, stay fit, happy, and healthy.

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