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Fall Fat Trap #1 & How to Avoid It

 

A moment on the lips, a year on the hips. That's the conclusion of a new study published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism, which found that getting off track with diet and exercise for just four weeks led to weight gain that lingered up to a year later. The study included 18 people who volunteered to be pretty inactive and increase their calorie intakes by an average of 70% for a month. Researchers also looked at a separate control group who ate and exercised as normal. The "off track" group gained about 14 pounds, which was mostly lost by 6 months later. However, one year later the same group still showed an increase in body fat compared to when the study started. The conclusion: it's much, much easier to gain than it is to lose!

As we head into fall I see several common calorie traps that cause my clients to unknowingly down extra, unneeded fuel (and pack on pounds). The first one is transitioning from cold to hot food.

 

As we head into fall I see several common calorie traps that cause my clients to unknowingly down extra, unneeded fuel (and pack on pounds). The first one is transitioning from cold to hot food.

 

Starting in the fall a lot of us tend to swap salads, wraps and smoothies for hearty, hot meals like stews, chili and pasta. Well one cup (about the size of a baseball) of cooked pasta packs over 200 calories compared to just 7 calories in 1 cup of raw spinach. So one key to keeping your fall calories under control is to pay attention to the proportions of your meal.

 

If you whip up a crock pot or pasta dish, stew, casserole, chili, etc. make 50% of the bulk of the recipe or meal fresh or frozen, chopped vegetables, 25% either a whole grain (whole wheat pasta, brown rice or corn) or a starchy veggie, like potatoes or sweet potatoes and the remaining 25% lean protein (beans, tofu, chicken, etc.). This configuration will naturally cap the calories since veggies contain an average of 25 calories per cup.

 

Here’s a quick comparison:

 

These pack more calories per cup - make them one quarter of the bulk of a meal/recipe:

Cooked pasta – 200 calories

Cooked brown rice – 220 calories

Cooked yellow corn – 180 calories

Red potato – 140 calories

Sweet potato – 180 calories

Wild rice - 165

 

These pack fewer calories per cup - make them half of the bulk of a meal/recipe:

Asparagus – 30 calories

Bell pepper – 40 calories

Broccoli – 20 calories

Cabbage – 20 calories

Carrots – 50 calories

Cauliflower – 30 calories

Eggplant – 30 calories

Mushrooms – 20 calories

Spinach – 10 calories

 

Come back tomorrow for another fall calorie conundrum and how to avoid it!

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