Does this sound familiar?!?
Recently, I have been having the same conversation with a lot of my clients and friends so I thought it might be time to blog about it.
Here is the dilemma: you have changed your diet, removed processed foods (for the most part), embraced meatless Mondays, gone organic (for the most part), and local and sustainable, etc. but you haven’t lost a pound.
Here is why: Healthy does not mean calorie-free!!
Ever met a heavy vegan? Probably. Because you can still have potato chips and fries and be vegan. You can also have processed soy-cheese and “nacho-sauce” made from almonds. I read food blogs a lot, because I am constantly thinking about food. And I am always amazed by the recipes touting health benefits but having the caloric equivalent of a big mac, fries, and a milk-shake. If your option is a big mac and fries or a homemade shepherd’s pie, the shepherd’s pie is significantly healthier; meaning it is full of fresh vegetables and healthy olive oil. But it is not low fat or low calorie. It just contains more nutritious ingredients than the big mac and fries.
Here is the thing: you need to consume less to lose weight. This is why someone can eat McDonald’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner and still lose weight. Checkout this guy who put it to the test!
Or you can eat all organic, local, vegan, for breakfast, lunch and dinner and consume 4000 calories and gain weight.
You SHOULD eat healthy foods for your health (vision, skin, hair, life expectancy, heart health, diabetes, etc), but even healthy foods have to be consumed in moderation.
Also, be CARB aware. Plenty of healthy foods (Sweet potatoes, sprouted wheat bagels, black beans, quinoa and quinoa pasta) are excellent choices for your diet but are carbs. Start to be aware of your diet as a whole and try not to consume high carb items at every meal (especially dinner). Furthermore, be aware that gluten free does not mean carb free or low cal. A friend of mine was having stomach issues when she consumed gluten so she removed it but replaced it with things like rice chips and gluten free pretzels and was confused when she started to put on weight. She was eating a ton of carbs and processed snacks! A lentil chip is still a chip. Don’t let marketers fool you and remember that these “snacks” (even healthy alternatives) add up.
HEALTHY TIP: My recommendation if you are trying to lose weight. Get some help. Use the app myfitnesspal and start logging what you eat. You will quickly realize how many calories are in those heart-healthy raw walnuts you are popping.