“What? I thought clean eating was devouring cupcakes while mopping the floor!” – Unknown
Are you eating healthier meals and still not seeing the results? There could be a couple of reasons why…
One of the most important things you can do to lose weight, burn fat and live a healthier lifestyle… is to take control of your nutrition.
Substituting healthy foods for your usual unhealthy foods is a great way to start making changes. This technique allows you to eat the same types of foods you typically enjoy, while reaping the benefits of a healthier diet.
However, if not done correctly, eating a “healthy” diet can actually backfire and cause you to gain weight!
I know what you’re thinking… “What kind of cruel world do we live in when I can sacrifice the junk food I crave for healthier alternatives… and still gain weight?”
Seems too horrible to be true, but it happens all the time.
So, to help you avoid this hellish trap, here are a couple of reasons eating “healthy” can make you fat:
It’s Not Really “Healthy” – Salad is a healthy food, right? The answer is yes… sometimes. So, when is a salad not a salad? When it’s covered in cheese, croutons and ranch dressing.
How about Greek Yogurt, that’s healthy right? Again, yes… sometimes. Eating Greek yogurt that has already been flavored can have more sugar than a doughnut or cupcake, and accounts for more than half of your daily recommended sugar intake.
These are just a few examples of “health food” gone wrong. I can assure you, there are many more. From diet drinks, to smoothies, to snack bars… sometimes what you think of as health food, really isn’t.
When making healthy substitutions, it’s best to stick to lean proteins, whole grains and natural produce. If it comes in a box or has ingredients you can’t pronounce, it’s best to keep looking.
There are tons of great tasting foods you can use as healthy substitutes. Be patient, do your research and find what works for you.
You’re Still Eating Too Much – Studies have been done where participants in two groups were given the same snack to eat. The snacks provided were exactly the same for each group. One group was told the snack was healthy. The other group was told the snack was unhealthy.
At the end of the study, the groups that were told the snack was unhealthy ate less than the group with the “healthy” snack. Also, the group who ate the “healthy” snack reported being hungry again more quickly than the other group.
Your mind has a way of talking you into eating more food if it is perceived to be healthy, as opposed to if it is seen as unhealthy.
So, what does this all mean? At the most basic level, fat loss comes down to simple math… Eat fewer calories than you use every day, and you will burn fat. Where the above study comes into play is, if you eat healthy food, but still eat more calories than you expend during the day, you will still gain fat.
Don’t get me wrong, foods that are higher in nutritional value provide your body with many benefits that are absent in nutrient deficient foods. However, when talking about fat loss, if you eat twice the calories in health food as you did with junk food, you can still gain weight if your caloric intake is too high.
While eating healthier foods is always better than eating the processed alternatives, you have to understand the amount of calories you are taking in every day in relation to how many you use.
Nutrition can be tricky, but getting it right is an integral part of your fitness success. Making small changes and sticking to a plan will get you exactly the results you want, if done correctly.
Beware the “healthy eating” traps above, and seek out help if you don’t know where to start.
P.S. – I have more awesome ideas on how to take control of your diet and nutrition. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me so we can make today the day you permanently change your life.