“I’m eating healthy and can’t lose weight.” Sound familiar?
I’ve heard this line from people so many times I’ve lost count! The biggest issue is magazines and fitness “professionals” selling bullshit information to people. By preying on your insecurities it makes it incredibly easy for them to make money off of your suffering.
The crazy thing is, you don’t even have to “eat healthy” to lose body fat. On the flip side, you can absolutely gain body fat eating healthy foods!
If this sounds like a lie I can assure you it’s not. And I have all the proof necessary to prove it to you.
Let’s dive right in!
Why Can You Gain Body Fat Eating Healthy Foods?
The main issue people seem to have is that somehow eating healthy foods will magically make them lose weight automatically.
Whether they realize it or not, they “eat healthy” thinking it’s going to solve all of their problems.
Unfortunately for them, it doesn’t work this way. Due to the laws of thermodynamics, regardless of what you eat, you HAVE to be in a calorie deficit to lose body fat. That’s all there is to it.
You could literally eat all junk food, be in a calorie deficit, and still lose weight. Mind you, it’s going to be difficult eating all of those hyper-palatable foods without going over your calorie limit. But it absolutely can be done.
Here’s a video of a man that did the reverse of the popular documentary “Super Size Me.” The main difference was he ate at McDonald’s for 90 days, tracked his calories eating only 2000 calories per day, and walked 45 minutes per day.
This proves without a doubt it’s possible to lose weight while eating junk food like McDonald’s. On the other hand, it’s absolutely possible to gain weight while eating healthier food choices as well.
Regardless of what you think, maintaining a proper calorie balance through diet and exercise is the most important factor for maintaining and losing bodyweight.
What Is Considered Healthy Food?
In general terms, most people consider healthy foods to be as follows:
- Whole Eggs
- Leafy Vegetables such as kale, spinach, collards, and others
- Fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout, and sardines
- Cruciferous Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts
- Lean meats such as beef, chicken breast, and turkey
- Boiled potatoes such as sweet potatoes, turnips, and other root vegetables
- Beans and legumes including lentils, black beans, and kidney beans
- Dairy products such as cottage cheese, greek yogurt, milk, and cheese
- Mono- and Polyunsaturated fats such as olive oil, and avocados
- Nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans, cashews, and more!
- Whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa
- Fruits such as apples, bananas, cantaloupe, strawberries, watermelon and many more!
As you can see, there is a broad range of healthy food options that make it easy to consume a vast majority of micronutrients. These whole food options allow you to eat more food that fills you up with fewer calories.
But as we stated before, you have to make sure you don’t overeat these healthier foods. Even though they have a ton of health benefits, if you need 2000 calories to maintain your weight, and you eat 2500, you will gain bodyweight. That’s just the unfortunate truth of the matter,
Foods That Make You Thin
I’ve seen hundreds of these articles posted online and in magazines the last decade and it makes me insane thinking about it.
These people that pedal foods that can make you thin aren’t doing it for your best interest. Their goal is to make money off of the general populaces suffering.
Here’s the truth to this myth that needs to die. Just like healthy foods don’t automatically keep you from gaining weight, foods that magically make you thin don’t exist either.
This is a sad truth that many people need to swallow. You can’t just eat these special foods and lose weight. You have to track your calories, work hard in and out of the gym, drink water, and recover properly.
Anybody selling you any information such as, “Eating These 10 Foods Will Make You Skinny Forever,” or “Lose 50 lbs In 1 Month Eating Only This One Food!” is lying to you.
The only time these types of articles hold any weight is when they’re promoting healthy foods as part of a calorie-restricted diet. If they happen to skip this, I wouldn’t listen to anything they say whatsoever.
Foods That Make You Fat
On the other side of the spectrum, we have the topic of foods that make you fat. And while it seems like tons of junk food would do it, it’s not necessarily that simple.
Again, it comes down to calorie intake above all else. Unless somebody is telling you overeating certain foods is really easy to do, then once again they’re lying to you.
Just eating ice cream and cookies is fine as long as you aren’t going over your calorie intake for the day. This allows you to have your cake, and eat it too. Just not the whole thing of course!
This is the whole idea behind an awesome nutrition methodology called IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros). If it sounds like another fad diet, it’s not. Read on to find out why!
IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros): Have Your Cake & Eat It Too!
IIFYM is a super basic nutrition plan that takes into account what truly matters for weight loss. It isn’t food composition, hours of cardio, or not eating carbs; it’s calorie restriction.
To find out more about IIFYM and calculate YOUR personal Macronutrient profile, click here!
This very basic idea allows this dieting protocol to truly shine! The basics of this diet involve eating WHATEVER you want as long as it fits into your macronutrients.
For those that don’t know, macronutrients are fats, carbs, proteins, and alcohol. But for the purposes of this article, we’ll just ignore alcohol as you should when attempting to lose weight.
By setting your macronutrient intake and hitting your calories every day, you can lose weight by eating pretty much whatever you want. You obviously want to be choosing healthier food options for the majority of your calories, but you don’t have to for pure weight loss.
The coolest part of this is the ability to eat more tasty foods at the beginning of a diet when the calories are higher. Then, while your calories start decreasing over time, you can start cutting out the higher calorie foods in place of more micronutrient dense fruits and vegetables instead,
This gives you the best of both worlds and allows you to retain a higher level of compliance for your diet. If this all sounds too good to be true it’s not so just trust me on this. Set your macros and calories for fat loss, eat whatever you want for a month as long as you hit those guidelines, and see what happens.
If your calorie intake is correct I GUARANTEE you lose body fat even while eating some junk food.
Of course, as your calories get lower it’s going to be harder to include these delicious foods but you can do it. Here’s an awesome example of somebody using this type of diet plan for a bodybuilding show.
Sohee Lee ate a Snickers bar every day to prep for her bodybuilding show. She lost around 5 lbs of fat and 2 inches off of her waist while eating a snickers on top of her basic meals every day.
Proving once again without a doubt that as long as you control for calories, you can lose body fat, maintain bodyweight or add bodyweight whether you’re eating healthy or junk food. You just have to keep calories in mind based on your goal.
As you can see, it is possible to gain fat eating healthy foods and also lose fat eating junk food. It all comes down to your calorie intake over anything else.
Using something like IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros), or Flexible Dieting, you can eat whatever you want and still hit your fitness goals. Obviously, biasing the majority of your meals toward healthier options will be best for health. This doesn’t mean consuming McDonald’s once a week is going to hurt your overall health though.
For those that have tried to lose weight by just eating healthy, how did it work out for you? Did you eventually have to count calories or did it work just by eating more fruits, vegetables, and lean meats?
Let me know in the comments below! I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and enjoy the rest of your summer!
Until next time,