If people don’t understand the “calories in” versus “calories out” equation, they’re not going to lose fat and will mistakenly think that there’s a cause and effect relationship between specific foods and gaining fat.
Many people think eating pizza or a burger or chocolate equals getting fat. It doesn’t. It’s not a cause and effect relationship where “junk food” automatically turns into fat. Eating too many calories equals gaining fat and because junk food is very high in calories, it often leads to fat gain, but that’s the only correlation.
We suggest that you limit these types of high calorie foods, or make healthier changes to them, such as asking the waiter to go light on the cheese or hold the mayo and substitute a salad for fries, because they’re very high calorie foods and they make creating that caloric deficit a challenge. But to say that when you eat one of these foods, they’ll cause you to automatically gain fat, or prevent you from losing fat, that just isn’t true.
The key to long-term fat loss success is striking a good balance between really effective, such as following our 5 keys to fat loss, but with foods that you enjoy and look forward to. And even when you stray from the 5 keys, you only do it about 10% of the time, such as a couple meals on the weekends, and you plan accordingly to make up for any indulgences …. and then you get right back on track.
Key points to remember:
- For long-term success, you need to strike a balance between effective and enjoyable. You can still go out to eat and enjoy foods that aren’t on the plan once in a while, but you need to…
- Try to make up for these extra calories earlier in the day by eating a little less and being more active.
- Make simple, healthier changes to the “cheat meal” so that you can still enjoy it, yet without going overboard and sabotaging your progress.
- Get right back on track after that meal, right away. This doesn’t mean that you can go crazy the rest of the weekend and just start over on Monday.
This formula will ensure that you continually make good progress towards your fat loss goal, but you aren’t so restrictive or rigid that you can’t stick with it and enjoy yourself in the long-run.