Can you lose weight without giving up your favourite foods?
This is a great question and unfortunately for a lot of people they believe that, yes, they must give up all of their favourite things in order to achieve the weight loss goal that they have set themselves
Well, good news! I’m here to tell you that YES! You can still eat all of your favourite foods AND still lose the weight!
At the end of the day all weight loss comes down to energy balance – this is essentially calories IN vs. Calories OUT. Basically it means that if you consume fewer calories than your body requires you will lose weight and consume more than required you gain weight…simple math. This is also referred to as a calorie deficit. Now this is a term you may well have heard about before and is the main driver for fat loss.
EVERY weight loss diet that “works” does so by creating a calorie deficit.
Low Carb – Calorie Deficit by reducing carb intake
Keto – Calorie Deficit by pretty much removing carbs
Intermittent Fasting – Calorie Deficit by removing breakfast
There are no magic foods to melt body fat (Although some people will tell you otherwise). Of course certain foods are more nutritionally beneficial for your body than others, the tub of Ben and Jerry’s sitting in the freezer isn’t going to have the same nutritional value as a plate of grilled fish and veggies for example BUT, in terms of calories in vs. calories out it will work out just the same and sometimes you just need ice cream!
I have found through my own personal experience and the experience of numerous clients that being too restrictive with your diet and looking to completely cut out foods or food groups just does not work long term. Things have to be about balance.
Think about this, you love cupcakes – they are your kryptonite – you want to lose weight so you cut these out of your diet forever! But what happens? What’s the only thing you can think about? CUPCAKES OF COURSE! Invariably you end up binging on them and then feeling awful and guilty for a few days which is no fun at all. Wouldn’t a better strategy be that you reduce and enjoy a single cupcake rather than 3 or 4? That way you will find you are able to adhere to your diet for a longer term as you don’t feel that you’re missing out at all.
Have a rough plan for your days and plan for your ‘treats’. I like the 80/20 rule, 80% of your diet comes from good quality whole foods and 20% comes from soul foods! If you have a big weekend coming up then simply reduce your intake for a day or 2 before hand and use those ‘banked’ calories for the weekend! Check out the graph below
To summarise, life is short! Don’t over restrict yourself. Ultimately it will come down to personal choice. No one diet will fit everyone, find the one that gives you the most freedom to live you best life and still keeps your goals achievable.