A recent study confirmed something we’ve been trying to teach for a while now. Simply color coding meals by their quality: green for good, yellow for OK, and red for unhealthy reduced calorie consumption by an average of 10 percent (which is quite a lot). That extra 10 percent is what determines whether you maintain your weight or slowly pack on the pounds over the years.
The study authors found that showing the calorie numbers for meals (alone or with the stoplight colors) also helped to reduce consumption, but not all the test subjects really understood their own calorie needs, which made it harder for them to make the healthiest decisions. Simple color coding allowed for easier decision making of “eat this, not that.”
Green means GO
We’ve been helping people for a while with this new concept of meal tracking in our app GO. I’ve already gone over why it’s better than tracking calories in a previous article, so I won’t dwell on it here. However, I was asked recently to clarify the color system for meal quality, so I wanted to go over some simple rules again to help everyone out. Your body knows how to process healthy foods properly. Good food will leave your feeling energized and satisfied and you’ll naturally fill up before you can overeat. There’s no need to count calories when your feedback systems are working properly. Unhealthy foods mess up your signaling and encourage you to overeat. You can count those calories to try and not overdo it, but you’ll feel hungry and miserable. The key isn’t counting numbers, it’s about focusing on quality. Check out the simple rules below to get you started and feel free to hit us up anytime in the comments or at email@example.com if you ever need more clarification.