You’ve finally done it. You decided that you’re no longer going to eat junk food and you’re going to lose weight! You’re fed up of making excuses to yourself and you’re done with feeling physically and mentally tired day after day. You want to feel alive, have more energy and lose that stubborn fat for good.
If you’re going to do this you’re going to do it right. You want to make sure that you aren’t going to slip up because you’re hungry during the day and decide jump on google and look up “healthy foods that burn fat” and “healthy treats to have during the day”. With your new fat burning list, you head to the grocery store and buy everything you need.
You pick yourself up some dark chocolate and bags of nuts for when you’re hungry or need something to chew on while watching Netflix. Gluten-free pasta and 99% fat-free yoghurt are also on the shopping list. Once you’ve got everything you need, you head back home and proceed to throw away all of the “bad foods” and replace them with your “superfoods”, those doughnuts and chocolate bars can burn in hell for all you care, you don’t need that stuff anymore!
You’re feeling on top of the world and you know this is the beginning of a new improved version of yourself. Monday comes and you start your day off with a big bowl of oats, a handful of nuts, some fruit and your vanilla flavoured low-fat yoghurt. Lunch is a bowl of gluten-free pasta with mushrooms, grass-fed cheese and low sodium pasta sauce mixed with it (who would have thought eating healthy tasted so good?). Dinner is two cups of brown rice, a big piece of salmon, a whole avocado and then you drizzle some healthy coconut oil over the top of it. To reward yourself for your first healthy day, you have some dark chocolate as a treat”. Day one actually turned out to be a delicious success and you begin to think this will be easier than you thought!
After a month of eating “healthy” and being very diligent with your diet, you decide to weigh yourself. You jump on the scales with a big smirk because you know you must have lost at least a few kgs. The scale stops and the number looking back at you is the exact same as it was a month ago.
How did this happen? You’ve been eating so healthy for the last month and didn’t even have a cheat meal, what’s the catch?
The unfortunate truth is that eating healthy doesn’t always lead to weight loss. Do you know those people who can somehow eat whatever they want and never get fat or maybe even lose weight? Then there are those people like you who eat “clean healthy food” but you stay the exact same weight and it doesn’t want to budge. The reason for this isn’t because you have a slow metabolism or your genes are just like that.
The reason is that everything you eat is made up of calories and whether the food you eat is “healthy” or “unhealthy” the body will use those calories as energy or store them as fat. If you eat too many calories then you will gain weight or stay the same weight. If you fewer calories than you burn you will lose weight.
The reason you see those “skinny guys” who eat a few slices of pizza for lunch and get away with it, is that they most likely don’t eat much else. They will skip breakfast every morning have a few slices of pizza and a 600ml coke and then not eat anything else for the rest of the day. That means that his body is burning let’s say 2000 calories and he’s only eating 1500 -2000 calories if he’s lucky.
You on the other hand, who’s been eating your bowl of muesli with nuts, your 99% fat free vanilla yogurt with fruit, honey and milk for breakfast, a big bowl of gluten-free pasta and cheese for lunch, snacking on dark chocolate and maybe some dried fruit and nut mixes and your dinner of 2 cups of brown rice, salmon fillet, whole avocado and then drizzling that with coconut oil are eating well over your calorie limit and that’s the reason you can’t lose weight.
Coming to this realisation is like a kick in the guts. If eating healthy was the only thing you had to do to lose weight, most of the world would be skinny. Even though it sucks to hear, the great thing is you now know exactly what you need to do to start losing weight. To be honest you’re only going to have to make a few tweaks to your current way of eating in order to see your belly fat disappear.
Determine how many calories you need to lose weight.
Firstly, you need to determine how many calories you need to eat. There are loads of calculators out there that you can use (and you can read my article here) that makes it really simple to calculate yourself. Once you understand how many calories you need to be eating the next step is to actually track your food.
Track Your Food
Tracking food is so important because without knowing, you’re just guessing and you’re going to be stuck in the same situation you are now, eating healthy yet feeling frustrated and confused as to why the scale isn’t moving.
Download an app called myfitnesspal and start to enter everything you eat and drink during the day. Put it all in the app and track it for two weeks. This is going to help you discover just how many calories you’re eating. One thing that you’re also going to be surprised about is the number of calories certain foods contain. That 500 calorie “fat-free” vanilla yoghurt turns out to be nothing more than sugar. The drizzled oil you put over your dinner at night is another 300 calories. If you cut the oil and change it for balsamic vinegar or mustard and you swap your sugar filled yoghurt and replace it with a better brand like plain Chobani greek yogurt, you’re saving yourself about 500 – 600 calories and that could be the only change you need in your diet in order to start seeing results.
What you’re also going to discover is that “unhealthy foods” can also be added to your diet and you can still lose weight. That is the magic of tracking food and becoming more aware of what your food is made up of. I must warn you though, what you see cannot be unseen, it’s like watching the justice league movie, full of surprises but also disappointments.
You Should Still Eat Healthy
I would like to finish off by adding that it’s still much better to eat healthy foods even if some of them are higher in calories. Healthier food provides so many more benefits than processed foods do and the way your body handles them are different. Comparing 500 calories of broccoli and chicken to 500 calories of pizza is going to be completely different. When you look at the size of the meal, the nutrients those foods contain and the “fullness” factor that these foods provide chicken and broccoli still win hands down every time. You don’t feel horrible after, you’re feeding your body real food, it’s easier to digest and you’re getting more nutrients into your body. Just be sure to keep that in mind when you’re staring at your mate downing that pizza and coke. Sure he’s still skinny but skinny doesn’t mean healthy and in the long run, it’s not going to be good.
Eating Healthy Doesn’t = Weight Loss
Eating Unhealthy doesn’t = Weight Gain
What matters most is how much you’re eating
Track your calories
Make appropriate changes
THE BOOK IS COMING
If you want a sneak peek chapter of my new book “Ditch The Diet” that goes against the conventional wisdom of fat loss and fitness then click here to download it now.