Maximizing Weight Loss: An Inside to Calorie Density
We are frequently asked how to maximize weight loss. People’s questions usually center on why they’re not losing weight quickly, not losing more weight, or not losing weight at all. The answer lies in fine tuning calorie density to support weight loss.
Not Losing Weight?
You can safely lose 1-2% of excess weight per week via a negative calorie balance. To determine if you are in a negative calorie balance, weigh yourself once weekly. For accuracy, weight yourself in the morning upon waking, after using the restroom, and without clothing.
If you’re not losing weight, review the principles of calorie density to ensure you are applying them appropriately.
Read more on the principles of calorie density: A Common Sense Approach to Sound Nutrition
Weight Not Coming Off Quickly?
If you’re following the principles of calorie density and excess weight still isn’t coming off, you can make adjustments to the “calories in” and “calories out” portion of the equation.
• Calories Out Adjustments – Three areas can help adjust for calories out;
remember it as FIT:
F – Frequency – exercise more days per week or more times per day
I – Intensity –make your workout more intense
T – Time –work out longer
• 150 minutes of exercise each week is sufficient to support weight loss.
• Calories In Adjustments – You can lower the calorie density of your diet by
changing the composition of each meal to include more low calorie dense foods
such as vegetables, salads, and soups.
Visual Cues – Each time you fix a plate of food, think of the plate in
quadrants. 1/3 to 1/2 of your plate should be low calorie dense vegetables. The remaining 1/2- 2/3 should be unrefined, complex carbohydrates.
Additional modifications to maximizing weight loss:
• Reduce Salt: Salt is an appetite stimulant. The less you salt your food, the
less you are likely to eat.
• Reduce Variety: A variety of foods on your plate encourages over-consumption.
Place fewer varieties on your plate.
• Eat More Raw Foods: Raw foods are low calorie dense foods. They don’t digest
as readily as cooked foods.
• Eat in Sequence: Eat the lowest calorie dense foods first. You will be full
and eat fewer high calorie dense foods.
• Avoid Or Strictly Limit:
o High-fat, calorie dense plant foods like nuts and avocado
o Refined/processed grains & starches that are high calorie dense like
breads, crackers, and tortillas even if they are labeled whole grain.
o Concentrated sugars/sweeteners including natural agave, honey, or molasses
o Dried fruits (raisins, dates, figs, etc)
o Liquid calories such as juice (fruit sugar)
When you are diligent about following the principles of calorie density and make necessary adjustments, you will maximize weight loss. Also read our article on superfoods that help to supercharge your weight loss.