I've been tracking everything I eat lately, and putting some calorie numbers on them.
Indian food: Rice, chicken, curry, vegetables.. Small banana. 900 cal.
Lunch: Big portion rice, curry sauce, chicken. 1000 cal.
Lunch: Two kinds of vegetables (one in very light curry), piece of chicken. 400 cal.
This is kind of crazy. The only difference is, I ordered more vegetables and didn't get any curry on the chicken.
I put together a text file with the calories of everything I'm eating regularly in it, and it's quick to look up from. Here's two sections:
1 cup of oatmeal = 150 calories
1 cup of rice = 200 calories
Slice of raisin bread = 70+ cal
Slice of wheat bread = 70 cal
Noodles, two cups = 400 cal
Chicken breast, 4 oz serving = 200 cal
Tuna, 4 oz serving = 130 cal
Peanut butter, tablespoon = 95 cal
10 peanuts = 60 cal
Egg = 70 cal
Carbs aren't bad. Not really. But it's easy to eat more calories of carbs, since for me they seem to fill up less. A small piece of chicken is 200 calories satisfies quite a bit.
But the big portion of rice has 400-600 calories in it, and fills up and satisfies much less.
Vegetables have almost no calories in them. Close enough to zero that I don't bother counting calories in any vegetables I eat (like 10 or 20 calories per serving, which is nothing).
By swapping rice for more vegetables and cutting out curry, a 1000 calorie meal becomes a 400 calorie meal.
So I was thinking about this more, and I saw the Bodybuilding.com Recipes Thread.
It made me think. There's probably six things that you need to consider to eat healthier:
It was very simple and easy for me to get no rice and get more vegetables instead. It was a good meal, it tasted fine, and filled me up just as much as the rice. Indian restaurants serve nice vegetables.
I think those six points are key. To swap out food, you need to have the taste and consistency be okay for you. Take a look at this post that includes an "ice cream" recipe -
Frozen Banana Protein Ice Cream
* 1 frozen banana, cut into pieces before freezing
* 2 tbsp skim milk (or your favorite milk substitute)
* ½ scoop (16 g) vanilla whey protein powder
Add all ingredients to your food processor and blend until smooth and whipped-looking. Using a spatula, scrape “ice cream” into serving bowl. Enjoy!
Tip: If the banana gets mashed and stuck on the bottom of the container so the blades can’t get to it, just add a little more milk to get it moving.
Makes 1 serving
Fat: 1 g
Carbs: 31 g
Protein: 14 g
I was thinking. I'm pretty disciplined, I don't care if I get happiness from food. I get my happiness and pleasure in other places.
But some people really love food, and asking them to cut out ice cream might not work... but, you show them a recipe like that where they're getting the good taste of ice cream, and the cold/smooth consistency, and that should help them a lot.
Satiety is just a fancy word for "filling" - a lot of people try to just eat less of the same stuff, so they don't feel very good. I think you've got to increase the water you drink and vegetables you eat, and other filling low calorie or better calorie foods. Vegetables help a lot if you want lower calories. Oatmeal is good too, very filling.
The last three all go together. Availability, habit, and knowledge. I think it's definitely possible to eat healthy almost anywhere, but you need the knowledge about what's good and what isn't. This works hand in hand with habit - normally I'd walk into the Indian food place, they'd put rice on the plate and some chicken and maybe one vegetable. This is just normal, this is what everyone does. It's only after I get the knowledge of how much lower calories would be without the rice that I ask them to do it differently.
I think if you can get those six factors right, then it becomes very easy to eat healthy. Learn what food is healthy and suited for your goals, get healthy food that has a taste and consistency that you like, that fills you up, learn where you can get it or how to prepare it easily, and build the habit of getting the healthy stuff instead of the junk.