The TRUTH About All Those “Eat Whatever You Want and Lose Weight” People

It’s true! You CAN eat pizza and lose weight. You CAN eat Big Mac’s and lose weight!

This is something that I see ads for, marketing for, and friends sharing posts about all the time. I myself even share the occasional “I eat ____ as part of my healthy diet”.

The disconnect is this – most people who eat this way don’t show, or talk about the other 90% of their diet. Because that wouldn’t appeal to the average person that wants a quick fix, minimal effort, life-changing plan.

There are some in the industry who do this very responsibly, and are very balanced about it and are very transparent about it. These people are my friends – I don’t associate with the other type – so if you are reading this I’m probably not talking about you 🙂 

Then there are those who have an unhealthy relationship with food. They post about eating 2 pizzas and still having abs, but they then go on to skip their next 4 meals and chug away on the treadmill for 2 hours.

They preach about “eat what you love, get results” – but this isn’t true – because all YOU see is the “bad food” that they indulge in.

Be wary of these people. Be wary of someone who tells you that you can eat WHATEVER you want and still lose weight. The next question you should ask should be, “what quantity of whatever can I eat 🙂 “?

Look, it all comes down to creating a calorie deficit if the goal is to lose weight. We get it. 

I could lose weight eating nothing but Ben and Jerry’s for 2 weeks.

Americone Dream (1 pint) – 1140 cals – 64 fat, 123 carbs, 17 protein

I could lose weight eating 2.5 pints of this per day. But that’s ALL I would get to eat.

How realistic is that?

I would give myself maybe 2 days before I –

  • A) crapped my pants so bad,
  • B) went insane and/or
  • C) Ate my own arm off.

Yes, you COULD do this and lose weight. But it’s not realistic, AND you would become so deficient in many vitamins, minerals, and protein that your weight would be the least of your worries.

Again – you CAN eat whatever you want, but likely not how much you want, and still lose weight.

This is called balance, moderation, or managing – whatever adult term we want to use.

There are many ways to do this, eyeballing things and making general assumptions to literally measuring everything out and tracking macros to a T.

So how can you REALLY eat WHATEVER (not HOW MUCH) you want, and still get results and NOT end up deficient in nutrients or malnourished?

The Most Accurate Way – TRACKING LIKE A BOSS. Become “scale guy” or “scale girl”. 

This works for some people – and I am super happy for them. But I also know many people who won’t do this, even though it damn near guarantees results.

After figuring out your goal intake, if you can hit 80% of your calories from nutrient-rich, balanced foods, you would be just fine hitting the other 20% from foods that you like to indulge in…but you probably can’t indulge in them.

Let’s say your calorie goal to lose weight is 1800 calories. 20% = 360 calories from “junk”. Well, you get a little over a half cup of Ben and Jerry’s. If you are like me, a half cup of ice cream is one spoonful.

But this is how it is done.

You make “adult decisions” earlier in the day if you plan on indulging later in the day. It’s really simple. You eat lower calorie, high protein, high nutrient-rich foods, then indulge later in the day on calorie-dense goodies. But everything is measured out perfectly.

The Eyeball Method

This might be less accurate, but it also still involves making responsible adult decisions.

If you KNOW you will be eating pizza and cake later, how can you “offset” those foods earlier?

Well, pizza and cake is mostly fat (cheese, pepperoni, butter) and carbs (the crust, sugar, flour) so maybe breakfast would be egg whites and veggies (high protein, low fat, low carb), snack 1 would be a protein shake, lunch would be a big ass salad with chicken, and snack two would be a Greek Yogurt and fruit.

It’s not as perfect as measuring and weighing, but it’s still making a conscientious decision to make changes earlier in the day, to enjoy later.

But here is where that approach can backfire…

Let’s say you eat 3 pieces of Little Cesar’s Cheese Pizza and 1 slice of Oreo Ice Cream Cake (1/12th of the cake…LOL, who only eats 1/12th of a cake!)

Well that little meal was 960 calories (122 carbs, 38 fat, 38 Protein)

So unless you offset by that much earlier in the day, you could STILL be in a calorie surplus aka weight gain zone.

This just shows how calorie-dense foods like pizza and ice cream cake and add up super fast! SUPER FAST!

These are usually cases where most people THINK they are “barely eating” and not losing weight.

I’m sorry to break it to you – but if if you don’t track something in your food journal or track it accurately – your body still will.

Whether you want to learn to use a food scale or just start eyeballing things, making a change for the positive is the right way to go.

The last bit of tough love for the day is this: people who say that diets void of treats, sweets, grease, and drinks every day are deprivation diets are full of you know what. How many years, decades, and centuries did people live just fine and healthy lives without junk food?

True moderation of these foods is much less than most people think.

True moderation is once a week, once a month, or “here and there” – not once per day, or even 3-4 times per week (depending on the food/drink).

While macros and calories matter, your quality of nutrition matters as well. It goes beyond the number on the scale. It is about internal health, blood health, gut health, heart health, skin health, and the true sustainability of a diet.

So yes, you can eat a little bit of what you want, and still lose weight, and feel batter – just probably not to the extent of what you might think.

 

Would you like more help on taking back your life, learning to love health and food again, figuring out how to find true balance, or just crush some goals and get the body of your dreams?  IF so —> CHECK OUT ONLINE COACHING***

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Stay healthy my friends,

 

Things That Make the Scale Go Bump In The Night

The scale. Friend of few, the enemy of many.

The scale tells us one thing. Our current pull on gravity at the present moment – aka our weight. It tells us nothing else about ourselves. Not how fit we are, how nice we are, how bad we are…it only tells our weight.

The debate rages on about how to use the scale, or if to use the scale at all.

Like anything else in the fitness and diet world, it depends on the individual and their mindset.

If someone has had issues with the scale in the past, first I will look at what they were, how they handled them, and if it was a serious enough problem to avoid the scale – or if we just need to shift their mindset.

Personally – I recommend weighing daily and looking at the average of the 7 days. Or at least 4-5 days and the average of those.

I DO NOT like once per week weigh-ins. Why? Because it is a “doomsday”. The dreaded weigh-in day. And they can poorly represent what is actually happening.

Say you start at 210 pounds (on a Sunday), you would track your weight for a week like this:

Mon: 209 Tues: 209 Wed: 208 Thurs: 209  Fri:211  Sat: 209  Sun: 210

DAMN! Gained 1 pound! – this is what happens to many people. But with daily weighing…

Add up all the weights, and divide by 7 (or the number of days you weighed yourself if you didn’t do 7)

209+209+208+209+211+209+210 = 1465/7 = 209.3 (or a 0.7 lb weight loss)

THEN à enter your WEEKLY AVERAGE (209.3) as your weigh in for the week! See examples here.

Why The Scale Fluctuates

Water.

Mostly water is the cause of the ups and downs day to day. Don’t believe me?

Step on the scale. Step off, drink 16 oz. of water. Step back on. You have now gained a pound (if you haven’t, buy a new scale).

Step on the scale before you have to pee or poop. Step off. Pee or poop. Now step back on. You have lost weight! Yay 😉

Water retention is a massive cause for the scale to frustrate us. What are other things that cause water retention?

Salt

Salt pulls water – I think we all know this. If you eat super salty all day, and you listen to your body’s thirst mechanism, you probably ended up drinking much more water than normal and holding on to it.

Carbs

Carbs are awesome. But they can also bring water with them. This is why when runners carb load before a marathon, I want them to gain 2-3 pounds. This means their glycogen stores are loaded up and they are ready to dominate. Also, this is why low carb crash diets make you lose weight super fast at the start – water weight!

Also, eating too many simple carbs (sugar) without proper activity to balance it out will cause insulin levels to remain high in the body, and prolonged elevated insulin levels increase renal (kidney) retention of sodium (salt).

However, some studies have shown this process can be prevented by consuming more potassium – fruits, veggies, and even potatoes (French Fries don’t count).

Food

More food in your GI tract, more water weight is coming with it. This is just simple logic, right? If you eat a huge meal before you step on the scale, you will weigh more.

This is why I recommend weighing in the first thing in the morning, after you use the bathroom, with no clothes on – to minimize the variables that can cause a flux in water weight.

Stress

The body doesn’t know whether your stress is from exercise, work, or your kids driving you nuts – it just all adds up. Increases in stress lead to increases in the hormone cortisol, and prolonged increases in cortisol lead altered fluxes in anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) – which yes, has an ANTI DIURETIC effect, meaning you retain water.

Inflammation 

Inflammation from injury, sickness, too much exercise all can contribute. This is where daily weighing really comes in handy – and being aware of food intake (calories). You can be in a calorie deficit, and still not lose weight. How? Water.

You can be losing body fat, but gaining water weight due to inflammation – so the scale reads a zero change. How frustrating! This is why sticking it out for the long haul is important. Most people give up when they hit this point.

They are under-eating and overexercising. They are so sore, but the scale just doesn’t move! Sleep patterns become worse – and when sleep gets worse, we are more likely to drop inhibition and reach for sugary/junk foods.

This is when it might be time to assess when you last took a break. Let your body recover, less exercise is okay. Also, take a good hard look at your diet. Was it really as “clean” or balanced as you thought.

Your Period

Sorry ladies, but you’ve got it rough when it comes to the scale and how frustrating it can be. This seems to be most common in the week leading up to your period, and can be upwards of a 5-10 pound swing depending on your size! Again, this is why managing food intake and trusting in the process can be so important. If you KNOW your diet hasn’t changed, but your weight shot up, it’s likely something besides fat that triggered it…

Listen to your body here, basal metabolic rate decreases at menstruation and falls to its lowest point approximately 1 week before ovulation, subsequently rising until the beginning of the next menstrual period.

This explains the random cravings for sweets or treats, or the loss of appetite…listen to your body, and honor your hunger and fullness.

A scale is a good tool. But only one tool.

This is why we need to focus on OTHER metrics to monitor progress. Measurements, internal health, well being, performance numbers, etc.

Maybe your body isn’t ready to lose weight, and you feel like crap. You make changes in your life, feel amazing, but haven’t lost a pound – but your mood, outlook, and energy are better. Are you still going to think that that was a failure?

Look beyond the scale – but also be aware of what changes on the scale can mean.

 

Would you like more help on taking back your life, learning to love health and food again, and getting life long results along the way? IF so —> CHECK OUT ONLINE COACHING***

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Stay healthy my friends,