Quick Guide: Eat your way to fat-loss & health.
There are health risks associated with being overweight (high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes etc.) and by simply losing fat your health will be improved to some extent. You might be thinking that if you eat ‘healthy’ foods then this should automatically lead to fat burning. I feel you and in some ways this is true, so lets peel back the onion and see!
Energy balance: calories in vs calories out
When it comes to weight management the most significant variable is whether or not your body is using more calories than you are consuming. If you eat less than your body needs for daily function then you will be in a calorie deficit. Your body will then use stored energy in your body for fuel. If you eat more than your body needs then this is described as a calorie surplus and you will usually store this energy as fat (in some cases muscle too). All foods contain calories so it is possible to overeat on healthy foods.
On the other end of the spectrum you could actually lose weight despite including junk food in your diet if your total calories for the day are still low enough. Even though you might lose weight, your overall health might not be optimal because you will be deficient in certain nutrients that most junk foods lack.
Healthy foods are usually considered to be nutrient rich and can help our bodies function better. Fresh fruit/vegetables, lean proteins, and sources of healthy fat usually spring to mind. Overweight people usually make a lot of initial progress with their fat loss simply by switching to ‘clean’ foods from what they were eating previously. Healthy or clean foods are usually high in satiety for relatively low calories. Food satiety refers to how full you feel after eating a particular food. By cutting out calorie dense junk food with clean foods you create a situation where you are still eating a large enough volume of foods to suppress your appetite but for a significantly lower amount of calories.
The best solution:
In order to burn fat effectively and to stay healthy you should consider not only the content of what you eat but also the quantity of your food. Apps such as ‘My Fitnesspal’ and ‘Cals & Macros’ help you track not only your calories but also your macro and micro nutrient intake. It is possible that you can overcome obesity by just switching to clean foods. However, to take your physique to that next level it’s important to fine tune the smaller details. The ideal balance of macro nutrients for your goal can help optimize performance in the gym, enhance your health/wellbeing, and also turn your body into a fat burning machine!
Strength & Nutrition specialist