Calories in, calories out?
I'm usually very proper and low key. I rarely swear or lose my cool. But I'm feeling pretty salty today. So if you are easily offended by the honest truth (or by F-bombs), you've been forewarned.
Calories in, calories out.
Exercise more, eat less.
Have you heard these things before?
These are the lies we’ve been told for years. But it’s not that simple.
Wait, no, that's wrong. Actually, it really is that simple. It's just that we've been lied to by Big Food, Big Pharma, and Big Ag. They purposefully make nutrition seem really fucking complicated. They want you to believe this stuff so you keep eating the food that makes you fat and sick, and causes you to take the drugs that make you "well".
Calories do NOT matter when you eat a diet composed mainly of unprocessed plants, a little bit of protein, and a little bit of healthy fat. When was the last time you overate broccoli or kale or spinach or apples? Um...never?
Because of their bulk and fiber content, it's really hard to overeat vegetables and fruits. When you eat nutrient-dense foods, your body's needs are satisfied, which turns off your inner hunger monster. She can be a real pain in the ass if you're trying to lose weight.
Check out this photo of my typical lunch:
Does your plate look like this 90% of the time? It doesn't?
Then, yeah, calories DO matter. Read on.
First, an experiment! Oooh, FUN! Pick two days next week and try the following:
On the first day eat 1,000 calories worth of apples in one sitting – that’s more than 10 apples. How’d that go for you? Still hungry?
I don't know about you, but I don't think I've ever eaten more than five apples in a WEEK, let alone 10 in a single sitting. Interesting side note: after I've eaten one apple I certainly never have the urge to gorge on a second or third. Hmmm...peculiar.
Okay, here’s the fun part of the experiment. On day two eat 1,000 calories worth of Double Stuff Oreos in one sitting – that’s about 14 cookies.
Pretty easy to eat 14 Oreos, no? In fact, it’s pretty easy to eat an entire fucking package of those little chemical-laden sugar bombs. I’ve done it, so I’m speaking from personal experience.
Chances are pretty good you’re still hungry. You could eat like 12 more of those delicious little dopamine bombs, right? Don't forget the milk.
So you just downed 1,000 calories, but if you’re a woman wanting to lose weight, you’ve only got about 500 more calories to work with. Bummer.
If you managed to down 10 apples (I hope you got that on video), you're probably not going to want to eat anything...maybe for a few days. Keep some snacks in your bathroom because that's where you'll be for the next 24 to 48 hours.
Fourteen Oreos on the other hand...how long do you think that will hold you over? Fifteen, maybe twenty minutes? Good news: you'll save on toilet paper because you won't need to poop for three to five days.
Bottom line: If you’re going to stuff your face with processed foods (pasta, bread, cereal, rice, cookies, cakes, crackers, chips, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, or any restaurant food), you will have to be METICULOUS about counting calories. I mean you’ll need to bring your fucking scale and measuring cups with you so you can weigh that fucking Whopper so you know exactly how many calories you’re taking in.
And by the way, for most women, that Whopper and fries amounts to your entire day's worth of calories. You didn’t plan on eating anything else today, right?
Can you lose weight eating garbage? Absolutely. Counting calories will be essential. I hope you’re good at math.
It gets even more fun when we are led to believe that exercise is the key to weight loss…because, you know, it burns calories, right?
If you’re a 155 pound woman walking on a treadmill at 3.5 miles per hour (brisk pace), it will take you an HOUR to burn roughly 298 calories. (Have you ever spent an hour walking on a treadmill? Try it. Loads of fun. I promise.)
Guess how many calories were in that Unicorn Frap you just bought at Starbucks: about 400. Guess you better get back on the treadmill.
Now let’s say you RUN on the treadmill at a pace of 6 miles per hour – and, honestly, how many of you can or want to do that? – you’ll burn just under 600 calories.
Woohoo! You burned off that Frap plus an extra 200 calories! No worries...the three Oreos you eat after dinner every night will take care of that.
So, sure, you can lose weight while eating shit and exercising your calories away. You’ll also have to quit your job and tell your family and friends that they’re on their own while you spend 6 hours per day at the gym.
Bottom Line #1: If you want to continue eating shit that makes you sick and fat…but you simply don’t want to be fat, you’ll need to measure, weigh, and count every crumb that passes your lips. Forever.
Bottom Line #2: If you plan to exercise to burn off all that shit, quit your job so you can focus in the gym.
Or you can accept that you cannot out-exercise your fork. You can accept that we've been duped by clever advertising campaigns and misinformation. You can accept that it's impossible to eat junk food all the time and be a happy, healthy, and lean human being. This leads us to the final bottom line:
Final Bottom Line: Eat vegetables. Lots and lots of vegetables. A little bit of meat. A little bit of healthy fat. Do this most of the time. Forget counting calories or trying to burn them off through exercise, because your excess weight will go away on its own – no complex equations or math problems necessary.
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