“A truly delicious way to lose weight” were the opening words of a booklet about comfort food with a healthy makeover I happened to see at the weekend. “Watching your weight doesn’t mean missing out on delicious indulgent food” says the food writer.
I took a quick look at the recipes and was horrified at what I saw. The writer said she had taken comfort food recipes and made them healthy by cutting down on the calories.
Her idea of healthy food recipes included cooking in sunflower oil and using refined flour and sugar! I’m sure you know by now that sugar and white flour are not healthy. I’ll tell you what’s wrong with cooking in sunflower oil in a moment.
I often get asked by my subscribers if they should stick to low calorie recipes and foods when they have done a detox to lose weight. So what’s the answer?
It’s the kind of calories that matter
We’ve been told for years that in order to lose weight we need to eat fewer calories but it’s the kind of calories we eat that matter most. If the low calorie dishes contain unhealthy ingredients then they are not going to be good for you even if they are low in calories. And, restricting calories can cause your metabolism to slow down.
Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and epidemiologist whose research focuses on the effects of lifestyle, particularly diet, on heart health and disease, said “What you eat makes quite a difference. Just counting calories won’t matter much unless you look at the kinds of calories you’re eating”
The results of a new major, long term study showed that “people who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low-fat diet that health authorities have favored for decades”
Saturated fat is not the real baddie!
It’s been wrongly assumed for years that saturated fats are bad and vegetable fats are good. Polyunsaturated oils like soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil and a few others are all processed oils.
The processing means they are loaded with trans-fats which are highly toxic and associated with obesity and an increased risk of various diseases, like heart disease, cancer and diabetes. It’s better to cook in coconut oil or clarified butter.
So getting back to the question of whether low calorie recipes are the best way to lose weight, studies show that low-carb diets, especially low refined carbs, reduce your appetite and make you eat fewer calories and lose weight pretty much effortlessly, as long as you manage to keep the carbs down.
One recipe that I saw in the low calorie recipe book was for A Rich & Chocolatey Mud Pie. The writer has used chickpeas (garbanzos) in place of “heaps of butter and sugar” but the recipe still contained golden syrup, castor sugar and white flour. Now I ask you how is that healthy?
Here’s a great infographic I found that explains what these sort of refined carbs do to you.
The bottom line is that instead of helping you to reach your target weight more quickly, restricting calories actually prevents your bodies from burning fat effectively , and unfortunately, this means that weight loss slows down.
The best way to lose weight after detoxing is to continue to eliminate sugars and starches, eat good quality protein, healthy fat and lots of vegetables, keep well hydrated with pure water and to exercise three or four times a week. It’s still possible to eat your favorite comfort foods but made with healthier ingredients.
So what do you think? Have you made healthier versions of your favorite recipes yet? What are they?