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Week 14: You Didn’t Get this Way Eating Broccoli

Does the title of this knowledge metric sound familiar? It should…it’s Truth #1 of the 15 Truths in the book, A Mouthful of Truth. This week, we’re taking “the broccoli truth” to the next level…drilling it down with some hard-core, real-life examples. Why? Because it, like so many nutritional truths, are often ignored (or forgotten) in our everyday lives, where we’re constantly surrounded by the savory, salty, and sweet.

How many times have we heard it? “The reason I’m overweight is because I eat the right things, I just eat too much of them.” How ridiculous is this? We think we’re overweight because we eat too much Broccoli or other healthy foods. These misconceptions of our actual eating habits are many times the problem…and consequently become the primary culprit of our weight gain.

We rationalize rather than accept responsibility for what and how much (aka: how many calories) we are really putting in our bodies.

To gain some perspective on the reality of what we think we’re eating versus what and how much we’re actually eating, let’s highlight examples centered around familiar breakfast, lunch, and dinner foods, as well as common snacks and drinks for one day.

Breakfast: What better way to start a healthy day than a nutritious bowl of Oatmeal; a cup of “plain” cooked oats is approximately 150 calories. We know it is unlikely we would want another serving of these “plain” cooked oats, unless of course we added a few teaspoons of brown sugar, maybe some candied pecans, and a couple ounces of milk. By adding those toppings, we’re no longer consuming the “natural” version of Oatmeal: and with these additions, we’ve just added approximately 300-400 calories on top of the Oatmeal itself. And let’s not overlook how a couple of pieces of toast (of course whole grain) with butter (of course grass fed) and jam (of course reduced sugar) would nicely complement those oats, which takes us to approximately 650 calories. Next, add in an Egg or two and a glass of juice and we're approaching 900 calories! To put this in perspective, if our calorie allotment for the day is 2000 calories or less in hopes to shred that unwanted body fat, we’ve put a pretty significant dent into that total already…have we done this by eating too much “plain” oatmeal?

Lunch: Now let’s get back to our friend, Broccoli…something we may include in a healthy lunch. Imagine an empty 1/2-gallon milk carton and fill it with Broccoli. This would provide close to 8 cups of Broccoli which equates to only approximately 240 calories. We can all probably say we never have nor ever will eat this much Broccoli in one sitting. We actually are unlikely to get past a cup or two, unless of course we find ourselves at a picnic where the Broccoli had some cheese, bacon, and sour cream mixed in it. However, with these sumptuous add-ons, we’re now into 400-600 calories for just a couple cups of “Broccoli”. Then add in a piece of chicken and a bowl of rice (we'll assume grilled and steamed respectively, we're sitting at approximately 650-850 calories. And remember that dent we were putting into our daily calorie allotment…that may have been reached already and we’re just past lunch…ugh, is this the result of too much Broccoli?

Dinner: So, for dinner, we’ve picked a terrific source of lean protein: Cod fish. A 6 oz. piece of grilled Cod (a pretty substantial serving) would provide approximately 140 calories. It’s unlikely we’d be craving another 6 oz. serving after finishing up the first one. However, if we bread that Cod, fry it, throw it on a bun, and add some tartar sauce, ketchup, and a slice of cheese (and maybe add some fries), we might eat a little more than that 6 oz. serving. Now we’re in the area of 600-700 calories plus calories, just due to the “Cod fish” (and we haven’t considered anything else that we add to the meal, like some chips, fries and a bowl of soup). We’ve just sprinted passed that daily allotment we had in mind…is it the Cod’s fault?

Snacks and Drinks: So…rationalizing that we’ve had a healthy day that included oatmeal, broccoli, and cod, we treat ourselves to a glass or two of wine at dinner and maybe a few pieces of dark chocolate (it’s healthy, right?) for dessert. By doing so, we’ve just added upwards of another 350 calories making our grand total for our day to somewhere around 2700 plus calories!! And we have not accounted for any snacks we may have had between meals!! Then, because we think we ate healthy all week, we decide to have a couple of drinks with our friends for happy hour Friday, along with some breaded appetizers, maybe a pizza, and maybe a few more drinks (adding another 700-900 calories to our week).

Week after week, month after month, year after year of these habits and we suddenly can no longer see our toes. But somehow, we rationalize that it must be that we’re eating just too darn much of the healthy stuff.

But we now know that we’re not overeating on healthy foods alone. It’s virtually impossible, as we’ve reviewed. We know we all eat healthy foods some of the time, however, many times we’re taking these healthy foods and morphing them into a much higher calorie version of their natural self. And on top of this, we’re sneaking in countless other high calorie foods into our life as well.

Week 14 Pep Talk

If we want to see a significant change in our body fat composition, we must consider a plain and simple approach to PLAIN Nutrition. Take an honest and consistent path to consuming foods that can be fished, grown and butchered (aka: Mouthful of Truth #3) – sticking to what’s natural – and significantly reduce the amount of processed foods we consume. Mother Nature does not offer great rewards in body fat loss for eating healthy “some” of the time.

Week 14 Quiz:

1) Excess body fat is the result of: a) eating too much steamed Broccoli b) eating too much plain oatmeal c) eating too much broiled Cod d) none of the above

2) A cup of plain cooked oats is approximately how many calories? a) 200 calories b) 175 calories c) 150 calories d) 100 calories

3) One cup of Broccoli provides approximately how many calories? a) 90 calories b) 70 calories c) 50 calories d) 30 calories

4) We could receive great rewards in body fat loss if we just ate healthy some of the time. a) False b) True

Once you've taken the quiz, click here to see how you did.


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