And so the Scientific Advisory Committee On Nutrition is suggesting that the current UK recommendations for daily calorie intakes needs increasing?! Hey, hey, great news; license to eat more .Isn't that just what we all need to hear?
At the minute we're 'allowed' 2000 calories for women and 2500 calories for men and the increase is suggested as 16% - 2320 for women and 2900 for men.
At a time when we already have rapidly rising obesity levels in this country it really doesn't seem wise to me for so called Nutritional experts to suggest we eat more. Are they crazy?
Do they assume the general public will eat these extra calories in healthy nutritious energy-giving foods that will serve their bodies well - or is it more likely people will think ,ok, so I can eat another couple of biscuits, have an extra slice of pizza, or swig down another pint in the pub. My guess would be the latter! Sorry if I'm doing any of you a disservice.
And anyway, surely the whole calorie thing should be relative to your body size, weight, frame and activity levels. There is a major difference in calorie requirements for a five foot nine women with a petite frame weighing 9 stone and exercising 6 days a week, and a five foot four female couch potato with a large frame weighing fourteen stone! Not difficult to work out that their needs from food are VERY different.
And this really is how we should view food, in terms of our bodily needs and not randomly eating whatever we choose which encourages cravings,obesity, and other health problems.
It's all about conscious awareness. It's so easy to eat your way through a packet of biscuits whilst watching your favourite TV show without thinking. Or drinking ten pints in the pub with your mates, or overdoing it with a large takeaway pizza. Does your body really NEED all of this food or could you quite easily live without it.
I advise clients to keep a food diary, to write down EVERY single morsel that passes their lips - this is a great exercise in conscious awareness. It's really scary to read through at the end of the week. You can bet your life you'd forgotten about a lot of it, and its usually the bad stuff, as mentioned above!
Our diets, however many calories we consume and it's not something I've ever been into or ever advise clients to do, should be made up of what I call 'clean food' i.e. fruit, vegetables (these two are top of the list), eggs, fish, oils, and lean meats, and complex carbohydrates. And yes, you're allowed a little of 'what you fancy' but make this 20% of your total food and not more.
For anyone who IS interested in calorie counting here are some scary statistics! A pint of beer averages 200 calories,a small bar of Dairy Milk is 255 calories (God knows how many are in the giant bars!), Toffee Crisps are 220 calories, a snack sized Mars bar (which is just 32grams, so basically you could probably eat four) is 175 calories, and last but not least a slice of pizza is approx 300 calories - yes that's just one slice!! Scary - and not only that but you get a mouth full of saturated fat and/or sugars in most of these too. Oh our poor bodies!
My recommendation is to cut out the processed stuff in the main (which generally equates to the most calories anyway!) (80/20 rule) and take a look at your metabolic type. Metabolic Typing works based on questions on your dietary, physical and physiological traits and provides you with a food list to pick from, with no calorie counting, no portion control, and no traffic light systems. Simple to follow and effective in reducing cravings,assisting weight loss, improving digestion,raising energy levels and generally improving the way you feel.
Try it and judge for yourselves.And if you don't just EAT CLEAN. RX