Over the past month I’ve made a conscious effort to reach for more whole, nutrient-dense foods. That doesn’t mean I’ve cut out everything processed by ANY means, it just means when given the choice, I am eating more foods that are natural and less processed.
For example, I used to reach for protein bars as snacks. I like a variety of brands, but ate a lot of RX bars and Quest bars. An example of a more natural substitute would be an apple and boiled eggs.
Macros for an RX bar: 210 calories, 22 g carbs, 9 g fat, 12 g protein
Macros for an apple and 2 boiled eggs: 282 calories, 34 g carbs, 10 g fat, 13 g protein
As you can see, the macros aren’t that different. What’s different is the volume on the plate! A protein bar doesn’t take very long to eat and doesn’t take up much space on your plate, but an entire apple and two eggs just seems more filling! Plus it takes up more room on the plate and in your stomach. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with RX bars (or any other protein bar) and I am still going to eat them! I’m just eating them a bit less often so I can focus on those more natural options.
Another thing I’ve been focusing on is beefing up my meals with added vegetables. Aside from spinach in my salads and sometimes adding broccoli or asparagus to my dinner plates, I wasn’t getting in many extra vegetables. Now, I add zucchini, Brussel sprouts and peas ALL the time. These vegetables hardly add any calories to your plate – I’m talking like 30-50 calories and just make you feel like you are eating so much more!
To reiterate, I am NOT giving up processed foods. I still am eating chocolate every day, peanut butter, Halo Top, goldfish, etc. I’m just making an effort to expand my horizons and not rely on those foods to fill up all my macros 🙂 .
When you incorporate more whole foods not only will you be able to eat more volume but you’ll also feel more full from the fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. Plus you’re saving your body from the extra additives found in highly processed food.