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January 10, 2012

Why Your Healthy Diet Is Not Helping You Lose Fat

Yesterday, Metabolic Effect posted an article from their blog that got a lot of attention: A “healthy” diet is not necessarily a “fat loss” diet. It’s a great, insightful post that had many people saying, “I get it!” This idea that eating healthy assumes you will lose fat too. NOT the same thing. However, a fat loss diet is almost always a healthy diet. This whole premise is a key concept of Metabolic Effect’s nutrition approach and the underlying principle of Jade Teta & Keoni Teta’s book, “The Metabolic Effect Diet.”  I suggest you read their blog post to get an understanding of the foods that are considered “healthy” that are not great for fat loss (nor are they really all that healthy either).

I was grocery shopping this last weekend (one of my favorite past-times) when I saw something that made me laugh. This:

Not that granola in an of itself is funny, just that it reminded me of how I used to eat before I discovered fat loss eating. I literally used to KILL this stuff. There was nothing technically wrong with it, just that I was misinformed and was eating things that seemed to be marketed as healthy, and yet were doing me a huge disservice.

The packaging on this looks SUPER healthy: “all natural,” clean labeling, FIT, “bare naked” all part of the right marketing approach to appeal to someone wanting to eat healthy and lose weight. EXCEPT that one serving contains 22g of carb and only 4g protein (AND DID I MENTION THAT A “SERVING” IS 1/4 CUP??) The average person is going to eat AT LEAST 4 servings of that in a sitting, close to 100g of carb in one sitting. I sure did. This product is an example of a product that is considered “healthy” (lots of whole grains, oats, almonds, etc) but when it is broken down has a similar nutritional profile of a 2 Reese’s peanut butter cups (22g vs 25g carb, respectively), except that Reese’s cups have more fat so you could actually potentially feel more satisfied/fuller for longer just eating Reese’s :) I know which I would rather choose!

This is what is wrong with the nutrition advice out there. People are eating “healthy” and all the while not getting the results they seek. Bodybuilders and physique athletes have understood this distinction for years, and have practiced fat loss eating. When done correctly, eating for fat loss is the healthiest diet on the planet (although some bodybuilders can overdo bars, shakes, supplements, etc, which is NOT healthy). There is a misconception out there that physique athletes either a) don’t eat and starve themselves to get lean or b) eat nothing but meat. It may surprise you to know that physique athletes eat more vegetables than anything else, and they also eat more vegetables than anyone on the planet, besides like, grass-fed animals :) But, I digress…

The bottom line is that a couple of key switches can change your healthy diet into a fat loss one. I will not horrify you with my old “healthy” diet (maybe another time lol!) but here are some examples of key switches to make based on this new information:

Old “healthy” way ——————————-> New “fat loss” way

Skinny Vanilla Latte——————————–> Americano or drip coffee, taken black
Cereal w/ milk & OJ——————————–> Eggs, turkey bacon & side of blueberries
Nonfat yogurt w/ granola————————–> Apple & hard-boiled egg whites
Turkey sandwich on whole wheat—————–> Salad w/ grilled chicken on top, balsamic vinegar
Breakfast bar/granola bar————————–> Think Thin bar or Luna Protein bar or Atkins bar or Power Crunch bar
Smoothie: strawberries, milk, OJ, banana——–> Shake: protein powder, berries, spinach & unsweetened almond milk
Trail mix———————————————> Handful raw almonds
Whole wheat pasta w/ sauce———————–> Beanless bison chili
Lean Pocket——————————————> Piece of lean protein & veggies
Lean Cuisine dinner———————————> Piece of lean protein & veggies
Roll and butter—————————————> Butter alone lol :) OR something like a cheese plate

You get the idea. People are getting the wrong information and are so convinced by the marketing and “reputation” of some products as healthy, that they cling to them. And I don’t blame them. Hell, granola tastes AWESOME! But don’t pretend like it’s going to help you lose fat :) It’s what I would consider a cheat meal. I love cheating, but I also make a conscious choice to cheat knowing that it is not going to help me reach my body change goals.

What potential switches can you make in the way you are currently eating to make your diet more fat loss friendly? Good luck!

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