My guess is that this is not the first time you have read someone claiming that you can eat any food you like and still lose weight.
If you are struggling with losing weight or have done so in the past, I can understand how reading such a claim can even feel upsetting.
But what I mean with how to eat what you want and still lose weight, is not how you can stuff your face with a lot of fast food and still lose weight.
By the way, this is possible as long as you in a calorie deficit, and it was proved by a professor who successfully lost a lot of fat by eating mostly Twinkies and other candies.
What I mean is how you can eat the food you want in a sustainable way that will still keep your body healthy and retain muscle mass (because that is super important).
The Most Important Thing For Any Weight Loss Diet
When talking about any successful weight loss diet, I really think it boils down to simply make it as enjoyable as possible while still ensuring your body is kept healthy and muscle mass is retained.
By that, I mean eating at a calorie deficit and making that as enjoyable as possible while still including a good amount of healthy whole foods. Because eating at a calorie deficit is the real cause of weight loss.
No matter what, when or how you are eating, gaining or losing weight is essentially a question of energy balance. In order to gain weight, you need a calorie surplus, and in order to lose weight, you need a calorie deficit.
But when you have control over your food choices rather than just obeying arbitrary rules of what you can or can’t eat, I think it is easy to see the potential of being more enjoyable.
In other words, when you are restricting yourself as little as possible, your diet is going to be easier to adhere to. Being able to stick with the diet is the most important thing because it doesn’t matter how good or healthy it is if you are not following it.
With this being said, I obviously do not recommend any weight loss diet with arbitrary rules on what you can eat or can’t eat.
How To Eat What You Want And Still Lose Weight
But how then do you eat your favorite foods and still lose weight you might be thinking now…
It is actually quite simple and it is definitely not a secret. All it takes is a carefully calibrated and fine-tuned approach to two of the most important things in your diet: calories and macronutrients and keeping track of those.
In order to do that you need an estimation tool to initially determine the calories and macronutrients you should be getting.
When your calories and macronutrients are determined, you simply find room within those numbers to eat your favorite food. In a nutshell, it becomes like a budget that you spend on the food you want to eat.
Of course, there is a limit to how much you can eat, but you can sneak in any food (albeit in most cases small amounts) in your weight loss diet.
I mention that calories and macronutrients are two of the most important things in your diet. But getting sufficient micronutrients are very important as well. However, if you always try to include variations of vegetables and fruits in your diet, this is really not going to be a problem.
With this in mind, I think it is important for me to emphasize (again) that when I say eat the foods you want, it is not a recommendation to base your diet on fast food and candy.
Calories And Macros As Factors In Your Decision Making
When you are first starting out, it can seem like a daunting task to juggle calories and macronutrients, but as you get more used to it and fine-tune your macros to your personal preferences it becomes much easier. In case you are wondering, after some time of tracking calories and macros, most people do actually find that they have certain preferences.
Something interesting happens when calories and macros become a factor in your decision-making, e.g. how much of a specific food you can eat or if you should choose food A or B.
You hone in what your “real favorite” foods are because you just don’t want to use your limited budget on eating foods you feel less excited about.
Familiarize Yourself With These Things
In order to be able to follow this approach, and essentially balance eating your favorite foods and getting the right calories and macros there are a number of things you need to become familiar with.
These are the things that I recommend you learn:
- General calorie and macronutrient content of the foods you are eating
- The quantities of the food you are eating
- What macronutrient distribution you feel best with
- Your calorie intake required for losing weight
- A calorie tracking app for your phone (I like MyFitssnesPal)
Learning about all this will allow you to understand the foods you are eating and make informed decisions.
Is This Not Just IIFYM For Weight Loss?
Some people might recognize this as the approach named IIFYM (if it fit your macros).
I deliberately did not call it that, because I feel it has become associated with eating large amounts of fast food and candy. Basing your diet on unhealthy fast food even though it fits your macros is just never going to be a good idea.
Personally, I like to refrain from calling it anything. I think it just a smart and healthy approach to eating the things you want in the right quantities that ensure getting enough nutrients that will keep you healthy and retain muscle mass.
Basically, it is about having a basic understanding of food and nutrition and using science and research to guide your decisions.
The Awesome Nutrition Guide
If you liked what you read, and want to know more about calories, nutrients and how you can determine how much you should eat of those to lose fat and retain muscle mass, then you should take a look at my free mini-book titled the Awesome Nutrition Guide.
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