Most of us know that avocado is nutritious. But what we fail to understand is that some of your favorites, seemingly “healthy” foods can be the culprit of your weight loss struggles. That’s because they’re nutrient- and calorie-dense.
Eating “healthy” might not be enough, okay?
The goal of this article is not to get you to stop eating “healthy” foods. The goal is to show you that being 100% on point with your nutrition isn’t perfect. You can eat things like pancakes, chocolate, cupcakes, etc. without feeling like you’ve failed and still lose fat.
Now, if you want to change your weight, in either direction, you must find a way to create an imbalance between the calories you take in and the calories you expend. An energy balance, over time, determines whether you gain or lose fat.
The problem is, some crazy motherfuckers started confusing nutrient intake (vitamins, minerals, etc.) with calorie intake. This has led them to believe that eating “healthy” & nutritious foods are all that matters for pounds magically drop off.
The term “healthy” means nothing useful & measurable to us. Rather, understanding the caloric, macro- and micronutrient values of the food you eat arms you with useful information.
What follows are 10 infographics that compare two different foods. This is not a competition between the two. Rather, a factual illustration to force you start analyzing food labels for yourself rather fall for “it’s healthy, thus, must be good for fat loss” crap.
I got this “fat-burning” bacon burger in an avocado bun recipe from a pro-keto blog.
First, look at the calorie content. What would you choose?
Second, no matter how freakn’ awesome ketosis is (according to keto zealots) it’ll never disprove the energy balance. Eat as many avocados off a model’s ass as you like, become ketosis wizard but you’ll lose exactly zero pounds of fat if you end up in caloric surplus/balance.
Every diet works in the same way – by creating a calorie deficit. Ketosis, which also rhymes with “pointless,” has nothing to do with that.
Lastly, EAT YOUR CARBOHYDRATES, goddamnit. Carbs don’t make you fat. It’s when you eat more food than your body can use that you have to worry about. You gain fat not CUZ of carbs1 or insulin2. It’s because you eat too damn much.
Stop blaming carbs and start blaming the increase of 603 kcal in total energy intake & decrease in physical activity from 1970 to 2007 (according to USDA Economic Research Service).
Read this article about keto diet pointlessness.
Nutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.) don’t determine weight loss, energy intake does3.
Say, you’re on your way back home from work. You’re tired. Your boss, the one that you want to dragon punch each day you’re at work, made you work 2-hour overtime. You’re aware of your calorie target for the day. You know you still have 200 calories left.
OneTwoThreeGo – WhatDoYouChoose?
In this scenario, you’d be better off getting a Snickers bar than a bag of mixed nuts. Yes, mixed nuts have more nutrients but they don’t directly influence body weight change. On the other hand, Snickers has fewer nutrients but fewer calories which directly influence fat loss.
Some foods have more nutrients than others. Just like the avocado toast on the left. It’s obvious Nutella on the right has fewer nutrients. But that doesn’t make it worse. It makes it DIFFERENT.
With the avocado toast, you get ~1/3 of your daily calories (to lose weight for an average female) by consuming low volume food which barely makes you satiated. Whereas, you could enjoy Nutella toast along with 3 medium apples to bump up food volume and nutrient profile of a meal. That would make you more satiated than deepthroating avocado toast in 99 seconds.
So, having avocado toast translates to more nutrients and fiber, but also more calories. Whereas Nutella toast means enjoyment, fewer nutrients and fiber which can be leveled up with any fruit, and significantly fewer calories.
Don’t let slick marketing fool you. Just because an Innocent super smoothie is marketed as “healthy,” it doesn’t make it universally better for fat loss. It contains almost double the Coca Cola calories. More sugar too.
Yes, the consumption of nutritious drinks/foods is important for health but so as having a healthy weight. Calorie intake is also an important aspect of overall health and consuming a can of Coca Cola will result in less fat gain because it contains fewer calories than the smoothie.
You could even kill two birds with one stone by switching to Coke Zero which contains zero calories and sugar.
Terrified of artificial sweeteners in coke? Chill out. Daily safe intake of aspartame is 50mg/kg which equates to 175 packets a day. The research4 in human (not rats!) is clear about this:
Let’s cut the science and get back to avocado.
There’s no denying the avocado toast on the left contains more nutrients compared to the white bread toast, Greek yogurt and strawberry jam on the right. But before you start demonizing white bread and strawberry jam, understand that they will support caloric control (and fat loss) more so than nutrient-dense avocado toast.
The avocado toast may be a more optimal choice if your goal is to get more nutrients but the strawberry jam toast is likely to support calorie reduction better. This depends on your overall diet.
We have another bullshit fat loss strategy in the weight loss community. That’s ghee butter.
People claim ghee butter can do wonders for weight loss. This isn’t all that surprising considering that people came to believe putting substantial amounts of butter, one of the most calorie-dense foods on earth, in their coffee will result in fat loss…
They even claim ghee helps in mobilizing fat cells to be burnt for energy and, somehow, essential amino acids, which ghee is packed with, can shrink the size of fat cells.
Since I am a skeptical bastard, these preposterous claims don’t fly with me… I’m not the brightest mind in the universe either but the calorie content tells the whole different story.
Butter is butter. Just like potato is potato. Same shit, different hand.
If you have no choice but to use butter, go with a regular one. Fewer calories, better calorie control, better fat loss. If you can avoid using it, please stay the fuck away from bulletproof coffee.
A protein bar is just another kind of chocolate bar, but it’s got protein, so it must be capital-A Awesome, right? Cover a granola bar in chocolate and caramel goo and the granola is still supposed to make it a healthy choice?
Not really. Same shit, different hand. Or mouth.
Just because it contains more nutrients it doesn’t mean it’s better for fat loss. If anything, it might be worse. Not because it’s calorie-dense but because you think it’s “healthy” and you’re more likely to end up eating more of it5.
Educate yourself, learn to track food intake and analyze food labels yourself. Don’t fall for that “extra protein/vitamin D” dumbfuckery.
Yes, PB banana oatmeal on the left is more nutritious, but nutrients do not define weight. Energy does. You want to nourish both.
We’re so into viewing food solely as carbohydrate or sugar stuffed, the fast-acting poison that we forget to appreciate the calorie value of food.
How about we stop being militant fucks running around telling everyone sugar is bad? It’s not bad6. We just like to point fingers and blame something for our problems.
Improve your nutritional knowledge and enjoy less “healthy” foods like Coco Pops on occasion. While also losing fat. It’s the whole diet that matters most. No food or drink makes you slim, fat, healthy or unhealthy. Sugar including.
At first, you might think pancakes on the right are “unhealthy.” It’s pretty damn good, though. It has whey protein, Greek yogurt, berries, eggs. It also contains 200 fewer calories than coconut oatmeal.
Again, appreciate the calorie value of ANY food, not just its carbohydrate or sugar value. View every food you choose as a source of energy which is to be enjoyed, not pre-judged as “healthy” or “dirty.”
Imagine this is your last meal of the day. If you eat oatmeal, you’re going to go over your daily caloric allowance. Also, nutrients your body requires, have already been attained with previous meals.
Would jam pancakes still be a “dirty” food? Even though it would help you to control calorie intake, improve the relationship with food while also adding some more nutrients that you already attained enough of?
Look at the bigger picture. Managing all the pieces of the puzzle is important if a sustainable, optimal diet is to be achieved.
A Granola bar is a poor food choice being packed with calories and low in volume, in my world. It’s the opposite of what you’re looking for when losing weight – low calorie content and high volume.
Not only 6 McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets have higher volume but you could add up to 300g of cucumbers, tomatoes or any other vegetable source to increase nutrient density without consuming excessive calories and compromising your weight loss.
Listen, you can eat “fast food” and lose fat as long as you focus on fat loss fundamentals, consume it within your daily calorie target and understand that you should still focus on whole foods most of the time (~80%).
The key to taking control of your diet is to understand “good/healthy/clean” or “bad/unhealthy/dirty” foods don’t exist. Only different foods exist.
Understand that micronutrients improve overall health. Caloric management determines body composition. Enjoyment of eating ANY food facilitates improved adherence to a diet.
Choose food because you like it and it’ll help to achieve desired body composition. Sometimes opting for less nutritious food will not only help to achieve your desired body but develop a healthy relationship with food too.
If you’re struggling with finding peace with food and fast-tracking fat loss, consider hiring me to coach you, maybe?
Oh! I almost forgot. I should point out that… I forgot what I was going to say. So hmmm… yeah. I’m gonna ditch you.
Take care. BYE.