Monday, August 26, 2013

Demystifying Calorie Density & How Your Own Brain Cheats You

I meet many people that say, "I follow a healthy diet" ,  " I don't cheat on my healthy eating " , " I am Superman " , "I am Batman" , but I still don't seem to lose any fat. My next question to them is " Are you exercising along with following a healthy diet?" . If their answer is No, I tell them to read USE IT OR LOSE IT & 5 Reasons Why you should NOT Workout . If they say "No No!! I workout regularly 45 times in  a day etc. ", then chances are they are misguided by their Brains into thinking they aren't cheating on their Diet.

This happens often , because we are simply used to estimating whether or not "x" amount of food is enough to fill me. What we don't take into account is the Calorie Density of the "x" amount. So, while we are following our planned diet "STRICTLY" , we do not consider it harmful to have a bite or two of some other stuff that isn't a part of our diet for that day. While sometimes that might not harm our plan at all, but usually you will end up overshooting your permissible number of calories for the day. 

Here's an example:  Consider I am following a 2000 Cal diet for the day , but during the day I ate the following: 
  1. 4 Parle G Biscuits
  2. 4 God Day Biscuits
  3. 3 dates (khajoor) 
  4. 5 Cashews + 5 Almonds
  5. 1 small Dairy Milk (40 g)
  6. 3 Hersheys Kisses
  7. Sandwich wala spread butter on top of the sandwich before giving it to you 
  8. 2 Slices of Bread Butter 
  9. 1 Bar of Cadbury Perk
  10. 1 bottle of Coke/Pepsi/Mirinda 
These are just a few of the additions that your Brain will conveniently forget and make you think you are indeed following your diet to the T (sorry for the nauseating cliche).

Now let's see how these bits & Pieces will affect your diet goals: 

  1. 4 Parle G Biscuits = 120 Calories
  2. 4 God Day Biscuits = 213 Calories
  3. 3 dates (khajoor)  = 106 Calories 
  4. 5 Cashews + 5 Almonds = 66 Calories
  5. 1 Small Dairy Milk (40 g)  = 220 Calories
  6. 3 Hersheys Kisses = 100 calories
  7. Sandwich wala spread butter on top of the sandwich before giving it to you  = 72 Calories
  8. 2 Slices of Bread Butter  = 180 Calories
  9. 1 Bar of CadburyPerk = 118 Calories
  10. 1 bottle of Coke/Pepsi/Mirinda  = 130 Calories
On any given day you WILL inadvertently consume something from the above listed or something similar to the above listed items. This will sometimes add 200 - 400 Calories to your daily consumption & result in disappointment during your MEASUREMENT DAY...

The best way to know whether this is happening to you is to Write down , for Three days, everything that you eat , every minute/every hour of the day. Even then, believe me , you will forget to write something because that's how our Brain works. Try it! 

Also, try and eat More of " LESS CALORIE DENSE " Foods. All the above listed foods are high in Calorie density, which means, a Small quantity of the food carries a large number of calories with it. Typically foods high in Sugar & Fat are known for this. Fruits and vegetables are examples of low calorie dense foods.

Consider the images below for a better perspective: 

Imagine the time & effort it takes to properly chew and eat ONE Apple.. No multiply that by 4... and now imagine consuming almost the same amount of calories (from Sugar & Fat) in 2 minutes in the form of a Snickers Bar. You won't even realize what you've consumed.. and it will hardly occupy any space in your stomach...

Here's another image giving you an idea of how much space, Food containing the same amount of Calories occupies in your stomach.

No wonder, you don't even feel full after consuming those 200 calories from chocolate.. 
You only crave for MORE! 

Here are some more pics to give you a clearer picture :

All the above food quantities contain 200 Calories

The Final list, Yes, All the above foods contain 200 Calories, but checkout the difference in Quantity

So, as much as you can, stay away from these Calorie Dense Foods & consume Low calorie dense foods, simply because,it's difficult to consume 600 Calories of Fruits & Veggies at one go as compared to a Meal from Mc Donalds or a Pizza from Pizza Hut that can easily serve you 600-1000 Calories in ONE MEAL! Yup! Don't believe me??  Check this out !! A look at Pepsi, KFC, Mc Donald's & Haldiram

All the Best.

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