Do you want to shed fat? Do you want to eat junk food? Is it really possible to have your cake and eat it too? I am here to tell you that eating more junk food, can, in fact, help you lose fat. It's important that you hear me out until the end. Let's go!
How Fat Loss Works (the short version)
If I've said it once, I've said it a million times. The specific foods you are eating do NOT cause fat gain or fat loss. Our bodies require energy to do all the things it needs to do in a day. That can range from microscopic things like cell division all the way to macroscopic things like lifting weights and running. We provide that energy for our bodies by eating food.
The specific foods you are eating do NOT cause fat gain or fat loss.
If we don't consume enough energy, our body has to dip into it's energy reserves (body fat) to provide the energy needed to complete all the needed bodily processes. It's like a checking and savings account that are joined. You put money in the checking account (eating food). You then spend some of the money (burn Calories via bodily functions). If you spend more money than you make (burn more energy than you consume), the extra is covered by drafting out of your savings account (body fat). This energy is measured in Calories.
Like your checking account, your body doesn't care so much where the Calories come from. It just knows whether or not there are enough Calories being consumed to cover the Calories being burned.
The best diet in the world is the worst diet for you if you can't stick to it. I have never told a single client to stop eating a particular food. If you remove foods you enjoy from your diet, the likelihood of you sticking to your fat loss goals drops dramatically.
By the same token, you should never add a food you dislike to your diet for the same reason. Do me a favor and never read an article or watch any video that says something along the lines of, "Eat these 7 foods and shred fat fast!" We just discussed how fat loss works and you will not lose fat by adding food to your diet. It is true that some foods can boost your metabolic rate (dairy as an example) but the degree of effect isn't large enough that you should start eating foods you dislike.
The traditional approach to dieting that has been popularized by bodybuilders is focused on eating only "clean" foods and excluding "bad/dirty/junk" foods. What makes a bad food bad? From what I can tell, anything that is low in micronutrients and high in Calories is considered to be "bad" and therefore should be excluded from the diet. The problem with this is when people focus on excluding "bad" foods, rather than including micronutrient dense foods, they tend to have much less variety in their diet and develop nutrient deficiencies, common ones being:
- Impacts Of Deficiency: decreased immune strength, decreased energy, bone pain/bone loss
- Benefits of Increasing Intake: decreased risk for cardiovascular disease, decreased secretion of parathyroid hormone which helps prevent bone loss
- Foods To Eat: fish, eggs, fortified dairy products
- Impacts Of Deficiency: increased parathyroid hormone which can lead to bone loss
- Benefits of Increasing Intake: prevents bone loss, increased fat loss (when calcium is from dairy sources)
- Foods To Eat: low-fat dairy products
- Impacts Of Deficiency: decreased thyroid hormone, decreased metabolic rate
- Benefits of Increasing Intake: increased metabolic rate (only if correcting a deficiency), increases testosterone (only if correcting a deficiency), decreased symptoms of depression, decreased blood glucose, decreased LDL-C
- Foods To Eat: oysters, red meat
- Impacts Of Deficiency: increased blood pressure, insulin resistance, neural excitation (think ADHD)
- Benefits of Increasing Intake: decreased blood pressure, decreased blood glucose, increased aerobic performance
- Foods To Eat: spinach, swiss chard, dark chocolate
- Impacts Of Deficiency: decreased strength, increased fatigue, anemia
- Benefits of Increasing Intake: increased strength, increased immune function
- Foods To Eat: red meat, oysters, spinach (meat sources are better than plant sources)
As you can see, correcting deficiencies for the above nutrients have direct and indirect impacts on your fat loss efforts. Rather than restricting which foods you eat, try to fill 80% of your intake with various micronutrient dense foods and save the other 20% to eat some fun foods.
The specific foods you are eating do NOT cause fat gain or fat loss. Don't add foods you dislike or remove foods you do like. Reserve at least 80% of your daily Calories for various nutrient-dense foods and save up to 20% of your daily Calories for fun foods.
Thank you so much for reading! If you found this information helpful and think others will benefit from it as well, please give this article a share on Facebook. It helps us out more than you know. If you like what I have to say, sign up below to become a Treadaway Training insider and never miss a post or video. I will be back next week with another fat loss topic. As always, God bless you AND your family and I'll see you next week.