Reducing Calories is essentially what makes weight loss challenging for many. To reduce Caloric intake, you reduce portion sizes. Less food coming in results in more hunger, which can make adhering to the plan uncomfortable.
The good news is that there is a way reduce your Calories without reducing the volume of your food intake. In fact, you can even increase the amount of food you eat while reducing your Calories. To do so, focus less on total Calories when deciding on what foods to eat. Instead, take a look each food’s “Caloric Density”.
Caloric density refers to how many Calories are in one bite of a particular food, and it varies wildly from one food to the next. To illustrate this point, consider two classic “healthy” foods: the apple and the almond.
Our sense of fullness after eating a meal is directly related to how much space it takes up in our stomach. In our example, pretend you’re hungry for an afternoon snack and you’re choosing between two apples or a large handful of almonds. Visually, they’re both about the same amount of food, and would likely leave you feeling equally as full. But apples, which are approximately 100 Calories each, have a much smaller Caloric density than almonds, of which an apple-sized handful would contain over 400 Calories. Are they both packed with nutrients? Absolutely! But that has little to do with your weight loss success.
This is one of the reasons why proteins, fruits, and vegetables are so often recommended in weight loss plans. Sure they’re packed with ample nutrients, but they also take up a lot of space for the amount of Calories they provide.
Eating 600 Calories of french fries is easy, and you can still feel hungry afterwards. But try to eat 600 Calories of apples, and you’ll likely be pushing away your plate before you finish them all. There are times when only a french fry will do, but when you’re looking for large quantities to satiate a big appetite, try including some foods with low Caloric density to the mix and you’ll find you can eat a lot more food while still continuing to lose weight.