What is calorie dense food?
Calorie dense foods have a higher calorie per volume of food ratio. They are foods usually with a combination of fats and sugars that make them tasty and easy to overconsume. It's important to know calorie dense food can still be included in your weight loss diet.
Nobody goes their whole life without foods such as ice cream cookies, cake, wine or beer as examples of calorie dense foods people enjoy. These types of foods are what we class as hyper-palatable (calorie dense). This can leave us not finding satiation but using up a lot of our daily caloric intake.
To allow for calorie dense foods within our diet we need to ensure that we use a logical dose of enjoyment for these indulgent foods. Here is a plan on how you can create a logical dose of enjoyment for calorie dense foods.
The first thing you want to do is choose what your indulgence is. Indulgent foods will be a personal choice some may like savoury calorie dense food such as crisps others may like sweeter calorie dense food such as cake.
Decide on the portion of the calorie dense food you wish to consume. This will allow you to align your portion size (calorie intake) with your goals. You may decide that currently, your goals for weight loss are a high priority, therefore, your portion will be smaller than when you are trying to maintain your weight. For example, your indulgences while dieting may look something like two squares of chocolate while when maintaining your weight your indulgence might look something like a dessert while socialising with friends.
What time do you wish to have your indulgence? An example may be that you know you are going for a social meal on the weekend and you wish to have two courses instead of just a main. Therefore, you plan to have smaller or less frequent indulgences throughout the week to allow for bigger weekend indulgences.
Where do you wish to consume calorie dense foods? You always want to enjoy your indulgences and be mindful while you are consuming them to truly appreciate and enjoy the moment. It's always good to choose a setting that allows you to be completely in the moment. This may be out at a restaurant or it may be without distraction in a room in your home.
Then you need to analyse how confident you are that you will stick to your agreed portion size. You can write this on a scale of one to five. One meaning you are not confident ranging to five you are extremely confident. If you find that you feel less confident in your ability to stick to your agreed portion size, I advise consuming calorie dense food out of the house such as in a cafe or restaurant setting. There they will serve you an individual portion. The other option is to buy a small amount or individual pre-packaged single serving of calorie dense foods. This will ensure that there is not in the abundance of that indulgent food sitting in your house if your confidence level is low.
Finally, you want to have a plan that you can execute if you feel after consuming your indulgence that you wish to consume more than you agreed on portion size. An example of a plan would be: If I want more than my agreed portion size I will go for a walk, distract myself by calling a friend, wait at least 20 minutes and see if I still want more, brush my teeth, or remove myself from the kitchen. These are all examples of how you could plan to help manage the feeling of wanting to consume more than your agreed on portion size.
Calorie dense foods should be savoured and consumed mindfully without any distractions. You want to be able to tap into the point where that food loses its amazing taste and you have had enough.