What to count instead of calories - AmericaNowNews.com

What to count instead of calories

Wellness expert Peggy Hall explains that counting calories is only one part of the diet equation; counting nutrients in the food is even more important.

Before Peggy knew anything about nutrition, she tried to keep herself on a strict 1,200 calorie diet. The only problem was those 1,200 calories consisted mainly of frozen yogurt, popcorn and fat-free cookies. Even though she was able to keep her weight in check, her health suffered because she wasn't consuming food that had much to offer in nutritional value.

For example, a piece of chocolate cake has about 500 calories, about the same as a meal containing 4 ounces of grilled salmon, a medium baked potato with a pat of butter and steamed veggies. But Peggy points out, even though the calorie count is the same, the chocolate cake doesn't have the building blocks to repair your hair, your skin, your bones, your muscles, your heart and your brain.

Peggy says there's nothing wrong with having a piece of cake from time to time, but when you are living on mainly processed, packaged foods, frozen foods, fast foods and junk foods, your body can't create the energy, health and well-being you require.

"In fact," Peggy says, "your body might be hanging on to those extra pounds as a survival mechanism because it's not getting the nutrients it needs."

In order to simplify the confusing task of figuring out what to eat, Peggy recommends her simple, yet delicious, 4x4 Meal Plan.

Peggy Hall's "4x4 Meal Plan" - eat four types of food, four times a day.

The 4 types of food that should fill your plate at each meal are:

1. Protein (4 - 6 ounces of chicken, fish or meat; or two eggs; or one cup of yogurt or 1/2 cup of cottage cheese)
2. Healthy carbs (potatoes, bread, cereal, beans, pasta, fruit -- about 1/2 cup to a cup, depending on how hungry you are)
3. Veggies (1/2 cup to a cup)
4. Healthy fat (1/2 tablespoon of oil, butter, grated cheese, peanut butter; 1/4 cup of nuts, avocado; 10 olives)

Peggy says her "4x4 Meal Plan" can give you everything you need to nourish your body and create a stronger, slimmer, more fabulous you.

If you're trying to lose weight quickly, you can either reduce your portion sizes or eat these four types of foods three times a day. But Peggy does recommend getting in each type of food at every meal whenever possible to decrease your cravings and increase your energy.

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