You switched your nutrition from burgers and pizza to healthy salads and nutritious whole grain and yet the weight loss won’t come? Here is why!
But I Eat Healthy Stuff!
Let’s start this off with a neat table. The left is a day from a “I’ve been good and eat like a rabbit” healthy diet, the right is the “bring on the burgers!!!” variety.
Despite being so different, these two are the same in one regard. Can you tell what it is?
|Meal||The Healthy Diet||The Unhealthy Diet|
|Breakfast||4 whole grain waffles with 1 cup frozen blueberries, two tablespoons pecan nuts and 4 teaspoons maple syrup||Three bowls of Kellog’s Frosted Flakes (~90 g) in 500 ml (16 fl oz) whole milk.|
|Lunch||Pita salad with 4 cups Romaine lettuce, 4 teaspoons crumbled feta cheese, 1 cup drained beans, 2 chopped whole wheat pitas, 2 tablespoons low-cal dressing||2 hamburgers with condiments (single patty), small french fries.|
|Snack||Two handfuls (~50 g) trail mix (almonds, raisins, cashews and peanuts)||A Snickers bar.|
|Dinner||A salmon fillet (~1/3 lb, 180 g) with bulgur (~half a cup) and half a pound asparagus.||Three slices cheese pizza.|
Did you guess it? Yes, the choices on the left and right contain about the same number of calories. And they are what counts.
In Vs. Out
I agree, the menu choices on the left provide your body with lots of important vitamins, minerals and all the other healthy nutrients. I also agree that your body will be very thankful for them and reward you with not getting illnesses caused by malnutrition.
But when it comes to losing weight, it gives zilch about all this. You want to lose fat, it says, then make me use my fat reserves. Because that is what your body builds those for: for bad times when it doesn’t get enough energy from food.
Finding Out How Much You Need To Eat
Those fat reserves it’ll only use when you eat fewer calories than you burn. But how do you know how many you burn and should be eating to lose weight? This is where you need two very personal numbers:
- your BMR, which is the minimum calories per day you should be eating and
- your TDEE, which is the amount of calories burned by the BMR and the stuff you do
I explained both en detail in this article, but what you really need to remember is that if you stay below the TDEE, you lose weight. It’s as easy as that. You can find out both your BMR and TDEE with the calculators I put into this article.
You Could Even Do It With Fast Food
As long as you keep the in vs. out principle in mind you’ll lose weight. There is not a single diet program out there that ever prove it wrong. If you follow it, you could even lose weight eating fast food.
Picture courtesy of “Blue moon in her eyes“.