Did you know that eating just for health and eating for body composition are two different things? Yep, that’s right, you can get lean eating unhealthy foods and you can also gain weight eating nothing but healthy foods. If that sounds backward from everything you’ve thought, you’re not alone. Most people associate eating foods that are either low in fat, low in calories or even just high in nutrients as being specifically for weight loss. Although consuming these foods when trying to lose weight can certainly aid your efforts, the truth lies more in the amount of food you are eating, not just the types of food.
For example, many are coming around to the fact that egg yolks and the cholesterol they contain are not unhealthy in the way we once thought. In fact, the egg yolk contains the majority of the nutrients in the egg: more specifically, 90 percent of the calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate, pantothenic acid and B12 of the egg! But that is a whole other topic on its own. My point is that eating the entire egg (and not just the egg white) can most certainly be considered healthy; but will eating a diet full of whole eggs help you lose weight? Probably not.
Why, you ask? Although the egg yolk contains many useful micronutrients, it also contains a decent amount of fat and, therefore, calories considering the amount of protein and carbohydrate it provides. While some amount of fat is certainly good (both for weight loss and health), it is also more calorically-dense per gram than either protein or carbohydrates.
Regarding this specific example, I like to include both whole eggs and just egg whites in my diet to get the most overall benefit. But I digress.
I’d like to make a point that there is no specific food or foods that will help you lose weight just by eating them — even if they are healthy, but rather how all the foods you are eating in a day add up. Try to make healthy food choices and do not overindulge on any particular food to the point where you would be eating more than your body is typically used to. This goes for foods you might consider “bad” and “healthy” alike.
Also, don’t freak out if you ate something that wasn’t exactly on the healthy side and you’re worried about gaining weight. One meal or even one day of bad eating will not make you fat, just as one day of dieting will not make you skinny. Yes, it all counts, but its how it all adds up in the long run that matters to your waistline.
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Amanda May is a personal trainer at Factor X Fitness.