One of my favorite things about eating healthy is that, generally, I get to eat more than most people. That may sound counterintuitiveat first, but for those who make a point to get their five-plus servings of fruits and veggies a day (I average around nine; I’m such an overachiever when it comes to food), you know what I’m talking about. If you’re still confused, let me explain.
On the whole, fruits and veggies have a much lower number of calories in them. In addition, fruits and vegetables usually have a lot of water, fiber and nutrients in them, making them heavier and more fulling than other processed foods. Take potato chips, for example. One ounce of potato chips has about 150 calories. One ounce of grapes? Just 20 calories. So, while you can down an entire bag of potato chips and never really feel “full,” you can have a couple of cups of grapes as a snack and be pretty satiated. The fancy name for this whole idea is caloric density, but that’s just good party trivia. The real point is: If you pick the right foods, you can eat more. Hooray!
Why am I bringing this up, you ask? Well, it’s because I got persnickety with a co-worker the other day. I should have had more patience, but when someone keeps commenting on how much you eat, it starts to rub you the wrong way after awhile. You feel me?
Here’s how our convo went at lunch:
Her: “You sure do eat a lot.”
Me: “Well, I have a good appetite with how much I work out, and I try to make healthy choices.”
Now multiply the conversation by three over the course of a short business trip, and you might start to understand my frustration.
I realize that she doesn’t know that the caloric density on her plate is waaaay higher than mine, and although she’s eating less physical food, she’s still consuming at least two times more calories than me. But, it’s just that I know that she is like so many others. And it saddens me. With so many fitness and nutrition blogs, magazines and TV shows out there, the information is there; it’s just not always put into action or it’s detracted from by all the quick weight-loss ads. Don’t get me wrong. My diet is far from perfect, and I enjoy everything in moderation, but on the whole, less is not always more, my friends. In fact, if you pick wisely, more can be more. —Jenn