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Back in the 90s and 00s, Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers, and Ideal Protein did a great job of helping people to eat to lose weight. They really didn’t do anything to help people learn to eat healthily. Weight watchers has revamped its entire program, and name to WW, and they have a much bigger emphasis on healthy eating now. You may think that weight loss eating and healthy eating should be similar, but oftentimes they really are nothing alike.

Boo to you, 100 calorie snack foods.

If you’ve been around a while, you have probably heard me complain about 100 calorie snack foods. Partly because I have found that eliminating snacks and snack foods leads to healthier overall choices. Also, I thought that food companies did heavy market and research to create the idea that 100 calories was a good size “snack”. In order to write this blog today, I did some digging. And the story is even stranger. If you want to read about the researcher, who has since had his papers redacted, I have linked it for you here. Essentially, though, I am still right. Food companies picked 100 calories as this perfect snack size, without much thought in terms of nutritional value or overall health impact.

Portion Control

America, most of us need to work on our portions (PORTION CONTROL blog link here) for both health and weight loss. But how are they different? You can eat small enough portions every day of pizza and beer, and lose weight. You will not be helping your liver or cholesterol levels, however. Eating for health includes drinking lots of water, and increasing your vegetable intake. Choosing well-rounded meals, with a balance of fiber, fat, and protein.

Healthy eating has foods you can eat often, with other foods you should eat in moderation.

Some people, due to health concerns or due to poor execution of willpower, may also have foods they need to abstain from. These foods will differ from person to person. Following an elimination diet, and subsequent reintroduction of foods is the best way to determine what works best for your body. Actually, the second-best, you can do some blood work to determine which foods your body reacts negatively to.

Weight loss eating has calorie restrictions, to make sure you are taking in fewer calories than you are expending in a day.

The nutritional value of the food does not matter, in most cases. You will often hear me tell people to work on choosing the best option available. I’m taking a little from column A and a little from column B. Taking the best option, and keeping your portion in check will lead to weight loss and a healthier way of eating.

I think it is important to point out that eating for weight loss doesn’t have to be this perfectly healthy food plan.

Too often, people get caught up in what is “BEST”. The best thing is to make a choice, and then evaluate if your next choice needs to be better, or if the choice you made was good enough to repeat. When I started my health journey, it began with weight loss. I watched how many calories I ate. Over time, I made healthier and healthier choices. When I first began my journey, my healthier choices included eating kraft macaroni and cheese, because I added frozen broccoli to the pot. I also made tuna helper, with double the tuna. Cottage cheese, if you know me now dairy and high sodium, was daily food consumption. Never did I think I was eating healthy. I did know I was making healthier choices. My focus, though, was on weight loss. As I went along, I made healthier and healthier choices. Today Becka would not eat kraft mac and cheese or tuna helper. It did the job I needed it to do back then though.

Are you trying to eat for your health or for weight loss? Have you changed your focus from when you first started your journey?