Friday, December 5, 2008

What is Fattening?

You hear people say, "I can't have that, it's fattening" all the time. What does fattening really mean? Presumably it means that the food you are eyeing is likely to add fat to your body. But how do people define 'fattening'? Is it a certain number of calories? A certain amount of fat?

Just about any food can provide you with an excess of calories if you eat too much of it. Likewise, there may be a very calorie-dense food (like chocolate cake or pecan pie) that won't really add on the pounds if you choose to consume a small portion of it.

I'd like to challenge you to re-define your use of the word. Think about foods in terms of portion sizes. Realize that apples may be fattening if you eat 10 of them at one time (total calories: 600), and a three-musketeers bar is not fattening if you have one fun sized bar (total calories: 60).

There are virtually no foods prohibited from a weight loss diet when consumed in moderation. Find out which of the foods you regularly eat are very high in calories (butter, salad dressing, ice cream) and reduce your portions of them or find lower calorie alternatives (spray butter; low-fat or low-calorie dressings; ice milk or low-fat ice cream). Fill up on the low calorie foods that you enjoy (carrots, watermelon, rice cakes, low-fat yogurt) to satisfy your hunger. Remember that foods themselves are not fattening, but rather it is how much you eat of them that makes them higher in calories.

What can you eat a smaller portion of this week to save on calories? Let us know!

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