Do you know what makes the plant-based diet so fantastic for weight-loss, nourishing the body, and reversing chronic disease?
There are two simple, yet profound concepts I use to guide my food choices.
After thinking about this info 3x/day for several years, it's become ingrained in me, and now, without even realizing I'm doing so, I consider it all every time I think about food.
These lessons are so foundational, I think we should be teaching them to our children.
Once understood they're going to drastically simplify and streamline how you determine what's healthy, and hopefully, what you put in your mouth.
The FIRST concept is Calorie Density.
This is NOT the same as counting calories, which is not sustainable longterm for 99.99% of people.
The logic of counting calories makes sense. Track how many calories you eat, calculate your baseline for daily calorie needs, and track how many calories you burn during exercise. If you consume less then you burn, you'll lose weight.
It's been the go-to approach for losing weight for years, and yet two-thirds of Americans are still overweight.
It's a sad approach because it's largely inaccurate and difficult to do. It's estimated that people underestimate their calorie consumption by as much as 40%!
Plus, it doesn't take into consideration the bulk of food which helps to regulate our hunger and how much we eat, OR our nutrient intake, which is incredibly important to our overall health in addition to our weight.
Whether you want to lose weight, gain weight, or just maintain, Calorie Density is what you want to pay attention to.
Calorie density is the number of calories in a specific weight of food (talked about in calories per pound). Calorie-dense foods have more calories per pound, or you can think of them as being more concentrated in calories.
Foods with a low calorie density are lighter and less concentrated in calories. For example, one pound of broccoli has 153 calories, while one pound of walnuts has 2,965 calories.
Every food has it's own calorie density, but you can group similar foods together, so we can think about the calorie density of specific food groups. In general, veggies have the lowest calorie density with just 100 cal/lb and oil is the most calorie-dense food on the planet with 4000 cal/lb.
At The Culinary Gym, our recipes and training are all around the whole plant foods, most of which are low-calorie density (legumes, grains, vegetables and fruit). We also include the richer plant foods, but in smaller amounts (nuts and seeds).
Once you grasp the concept, it's not hard to keep the general numbers in your head so you can make quick choices without referencing this chart.
Now you understand why I said these are the TWO most important lessons in the field of nutrition. It could also be argued they're the most important notions to grasp if you want to reclaim your health and live in your right-size body.
An incredible array of doctors, dietitians, and health coaches are recommending a plant-based diet, which is transforming our health care system and helping millions prevent, treat and reverse disease.
However, just knowing the information is not enough.
One of the central elements of your success is learning how to cook with plants so you can follow their advice, take action and boost your diet and lifestyle.
That's where The Culinary Gym comes in.
Our recipes and online course will guide, teach, and empower you so that plant-based cooking is easy and delicious!