One of my favorite things to do is help someone with their nutrition. It can be an eye opening experience when you track exactly that’s going into your mouth. It can also be a frustrating experience and here’s why: not all healthy foods are created equal and I’ve seen a lot of healthy foods stalling fat loss.
Let me set up the scenario: You are an avid calorie counter. You reach for plenty of veggies, fruits, low fat options, and low calorie snacks. You think you are doing a heck of a good job – but one month into eating “healthy” and you’re not seeing results. Or you’re losing plenty of weight but you’re not toning up. What gives?
I’ll let you in on a HUGE secret – fat loss and weight loss are very different things. Let me repeat this again – FAT LOSS AND WEIGHT LOSS ARE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! Okay now that the cats out of the bag let me explain the two.
Weight Loss Vs. Fat Loss
Weight loss is when you want to lessen the weight of your body which includes organs, bones, fluids, etc. It’s pretty unreliable and pretty irrelevant. Something as simple as being dehydrated, sweating, and going to the bathroom can yield “weight loss”. That’s why you’ll hear a lot of people say “throw out your scale”. Also, we’ve all seen two people of similar height and body weight look completely different. Picture a track sprinter compared to a sedentary desk worker. Although they might weigh the exact same, I can almost guarantee the sprinter’s body will be smaller and more muscular.
Fat loss is when you want to lower the amount of fat your body carries. In this scenario you might be striving for a complete transformation with a smaller waist, toned legs, and sleeker arms. You’ll achieve fat loss with a balanced diet, weight lifting, and HIIT cardio. Since muscle takes up less space in your body than fat – you might not see much “weight change” but you’ll see plenty of body changes. Check out this video for a really good explanation and visual.
Why healthy foods can be irrelevant for fat loss
Okay now that we know the difference between weight loss and fat loss I want to explain why aimlessly eating healthy foods alone will not necessarily result in fat loss. If you are solely following a calorie reduction meal plan you aren’t eating for fat loss. To eat for fat loss you really need to focus on your macronutrient portions – carbs, fats, protein.
We know that to properly build muscle and lose fat you have to have a balance of all 3 macros in your diet with a little more protein than either carbs or fat. If you’re just solely reducing calories you might have a diet that is extremely loaded with carbs and fat with very little protein. Let’s compare an apple versus a skinny vanilla latte from Starbucks. If you’re eating “healthy” which would you normally choose – an apple right?
Well let’s think here. Just because the “apple” is societies more acceptable “healthy” item – if you look at the macros they tell a completely different tale for fat loss. An apple alone has barely any protein, almost double the carbs, and a significant more amount of sugar. Is an apple really the right choice for fat loss? Let’s compare a Wendy’s junior cheeseburger and a 16 oz tropical green smoothie from Jamba Juice.
Would you believe that if you’re just striving for fat loss that a cheeseburger could be better than a green smoothie!? It’s true. The burger has a hearty portion of protein compared to the green smoothies 3 grams. It also has a fraction of sugar and half the amount of carbs. See what I am getting at? Just because something appears “healthy” doesn’t mean its suitable for fat loss.
Am I saying go out and stuff your face with burgers and lattes? No, I’m not. Obviously fruits and veggies carry plenty of beneficial factors for the body. But if you’ve been aimlessly following a “healthy” diet and you’re not seeing any results this is likely the culprit. You’re not eating for your goals and you’re definitely not hitting a macronutrient profile for fat loss.
If you want to start eating for fat loss check out this article on how to set up your calories and macros OR email me and I can set up a custom diet for you and your goals.
That’s all for now!