Ah..empty calories. Your diet’s worst enemy.
These are the calories that come from things you eat or drink that give you back little nutrition and satiety.
- high calorie soft drinks
- junk foods like candy and chips
Lately though, I’ve noticed that a lot of foods that are considered healthy (not empty) are actually empty calories to me. Yes they might have nutritional value, but I can usually get those nutrients from another food source and be more satisfied.
I became more aware of this as I started packing more food on the go. In order to help myself (and maybe you as well), I’ve decided to make a list of those foods and some substitutions that might be better for me.
Empty Food for Jamie- Dried Fruit
Although dried fruits can pack a lot of fiber and antioxidants and other vitamins, they also pack a lot of sugar and I cannot EVER stop at just one serving. Kind of like candy for me.
A possible substitute: Fresh fruit done in a more creative way like frozen grapes and mango, or a mixture of freeze dried fruit (less nutrition but less calories and sugar) mixed in with yogurt. Fiberful fruit leathers from Trader Joe’s with less sugar and more fiber.
Empty Food for Jamie- Pretzels and Crackers
Whole grain, full of seeds, whatever…they still don’t fill me up. And they just make me want cheese.
A possible substitute: For crunch and portability, maybe raw veggie sticks with laughing cow cheese? Pistachio nuts, edamame?
Empty Food for Jamie – BARS
Lara, Luna, Clif, Power, Thin Thin, Pure Protein, granola bar, oat bar, fiber bar, you name it, it’s not satisfying to me in the long run. I do sometimes keep them in my bag though for emergencies.
A possible substitute: Actual oatmeal? Any other ideas?
Empty Food for Jamie- Cold Cereal
I could eat multiple bowls of cold cereal and never feel full or satisfied. The lack of staying power just makes the calories not worth it.
Possible substitute: If I want a quick cold breakfast I’ll put cereal on top of yogurt with fresh fruit. Otherwise I prefer something like pancakes or eggs to keep me satisfied all morning.
What healthy foods are empty calories for you?
Any good subs for snack/protein bars?
Read Full Post »