Updated: Jan 15, 2021
Weight loss. So much misinformation out there it hurts.
Weight loss is simple, but not always easy.
Because the hardest part is sticking with the simple. Simple is effective, but people don’t like simple. People like to over-complicate things. That’s cool, that’s normal. We’re all humans, right?
Anyway, what shouldn’t you eat for weight loss? I’m going to reveal the top 10 foods you MUST avoid for weight loss. Get ready:
But wait, there’s nothing on that list? You forgot the most important part of this article. That’s why I came here!
I want a refund… I want to know all the things which are forbidden to eat during weight loss!
Well… the reason there aren’t any items on that list is BECAUSE THERE AREN’T ANY FOODS YOU ARE FORBIDDEN TO IN ORDER TO LOSE WEIGHT.
Yes, you read that correctly. It may go against everything you’ve ever known or been taught but that’s the honest truth.
A calorie is a calorie in terms of losing weight.
1 gram of fat from eating an avocado is the same as 1 gram of fat from drinking a milkshake. 1 gram of carbs from eating oats is the same as 1 gram of carbs from eating Coco-pops. 1 gram of protein from eating a Big Mac is the same as 1 gram of protein from eating a lean chicken breast. You get the picture…
Now, before we go any further, I want to clarify the difference between healthy and unhealthy vs weight loss.
A calorie is a calorie, but in terms of nutritional value and health benefits, a calorie is not a calorie.
Sounds confusing but let me explain…
When speaking in term of macronutrients (macros); proteins, carbs and fats, all calories will be one of these 3. These are the only 3 types of macro groups.
However, depending on the source of the calorie and which food it came from depends on the nutritional value you can get from it. A gram of fat from an avocado would be much more nutritious and healthier for you as opposed to a gram of fat from a Big Mac.
Fats can also be broken down into healthy and unhealthy fats, the former increasing healthy cholesterol, lowering blood pressure and healthy for the heart, while the latter has the polar opposite effects.
This means that there are high and low-quality calories.
But it’s important to understand that being healthy and losing weight is different.
Theoretically speaking, (and this isn’t something I advise) but it is possible to lose weight by just eating McDonalds and pizzas.
Hmm this seems fishy… I don’t believe it.
Well, you should. The reason for this is because weight loss is all about calories in vs calories out. If you’re consuming less calories than you burn over a sustained period of time (weeks/months or even years) then you will scientifically lose weight.
This is known as being in a calorie deficit and is the fundamental reason for losing weight.
A quick example would be:
Let’s say I consume 1600 calories from the foods I eat every day.
Based on my metabolism, age, height, weight, gender and activity level, I manage to burn 2100 calories a day. This also factors in; breathing, sleeping, sitting down and everything in between.
1600kcal (consumed) - 2100kcal (expended) = -500kcal.
You’re in a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day.
That’s how simple it is.
So, let’s bring this to a real-life example. Let’s say you eat a Big Mac which normally contains 550 calories. I can imagine that most people would consider a Big Mac a food to definitely avoid if you’re trying to lose weight.
Now let’s consider you eat a meal composed from a fresh fillet of salmon, scrambled eggs (using 2 large eggs), 1 cup of vegetables and 1 spoonful of light mayonnaise accompanied by a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Perfectly fine and suitable meal for weight loss, packed with loads of nutritional value.
Big Mac calories – 550
Salmon fillet meal calories – 720.
So actually, by consuming a single Big Mac you’re eating less calories than the nutritious salmon fillet meal.
That’s 170 less calories!
Repeat that 3 times in a day and you’ve just consumed 510 more calories from eating the salmon, even though it’s much healthier for you. That would be the required calorie deficit you need each day to lose weight based on my previous example.
That means, and get ready for this… You could eat 3 Big Mac’s a day and still lose weight!
A friend of mine called Joe, who’s also a personal fitness trainer actually did an experiment with his clients to prove this. He ate a pizza and drank 2 beers every day for 4 weeks, and by the end of the 4th week he had actually lost weight!
That’s because he still managed to stay in a calorie deficit throughout the whole process and was lifting weights 4x a week.
I’m just going to try and change your mindset here... next time you ‘go off track’ with your diet plan, don’t panic and think it’s the end of the world and immediately tear up your meal plan and set it on fire. As we just saw, the impact may not be as bad as you first thought.
1 bad meal out of 20 good ones is not going to screw it up. A lot of people get deflated when this happens and just spiral down into a negative feedback loop.
It won't be a sustainable and enjoyable weight loss journey of you don't also include foods you love to eat. It's not about constant perfection.
Alternatively, if you’re craving a ‘cheat meal’ so bad and you can’t bear to think about doing anything else until you’ve satisfied your craving, just make sure you substitute something in place of it. Maybe skip breakfast that day, providing the calorie count is the same as your cheat meal. If it’s a high-calorie food like a pizza, you may even have to skip breakfast and lunch.
That way, your calorie intake will balance itself out and it’s like it never happened.
Right, we’ve discovered that there isn’t any specific food forbidden to eat during your weight loss journey.
But… and here’s the catch. A Big Mac or a pizza is incredibly dense in calories for the volume of food it represents.
If you’re like me, 1 Big Mac isn’t going to be enough to satisfy my hunger. I would also need to order a large fries, large vanilla milkshake (call me boring but it’s my go to every time) and about 4 dipping sauces to go with it. I’ll probably order my girlfriend a large combo too knowing she won’t finish it so I can eat the rest of that as well.
However, after I finished eating the salmon fillet meal, accompanied by a pint of water, I’m probably going to feel very satisfied after. That’s because this meal is higher in fiber and healthy fats, therefore making you feel full quicker and for longer periods of the day.
This will ultimately cause you to eat less as you don’t constantly feel hungry. Not rocket science ey!
A Big Mac contains 9 grams of sugar and only 3 grams of fiber. Not the most nutritious or filling.
You can now start to see how by eating processed, unhealthy foods like a Big Mac’s, you’re more likely to continue eating afterwards because your hunger isn’t satisfied. This leads to over-eating and being a calorie surplus – which will make you gain weight.
Additionally, if you were to just eat burgers, pizzas and milkshakes to lose weight, it’s very likely that your organs, insulin levels and basically anything internally wouldn’t be having a good time.
Being healthy is equally as important to losing weight. Although they are different, there should be a positive correlation between the two.
So, I could write a list about healthy vs unhealthy foods and there would be ample items on both sides, but, that’s not the purpose of this article.
So there you have it folks. Everything you’ve ever been told about foods you can’t eat for weight loss isn’t true.
This isn’t me telling you to go out and eat notoriously ‘bad foods’ and still lose weight. The likeliness of you succeeding whilst remaining within your calorific range is unlikely.
But, technically speaking, you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight, providing you are in a calorie deficit.
If your sole mission is to only lose weight and not care about what your body looks like on the inside then go ahead, eat what you like, but not as much as you like!
A calorie is a calorie in terms of losing weight, but can be vastly different in nutritional value.
I want people to understand the mechanics behind weight loss, and use that knowledge to help them be more successful with it.
Remember, it’s still important to remain to healthy and not just look good on the outside. The last thing you want is to subject yourself to health-related issues which could have a severely negative impact on your life.
Ps. I’ve got nothing against Big Mac’s, just enjoy them in moderation. I don’t know if you’ve watched Supersized Me, but if you haven’t, go and check it out. Also read the follow up on what happened to him after they finished filming.