Why Calories Are Like Money

Diets that work for fat loss don't work because of some crazy secret they've uncovered, they work - very simply - because in some way they restrict your calorie intake and eating less calories than your body needs causes you to lose fat.

That's the top and bottom of it.

"So, if all diets can work - what's the problem?"

Well  the real problem with most diets (and this is the same reason why a lot of people gain a load of weight back after the diet is "finished") is they don't really teach you much.

You don't learn stuff.

You just follow the plan.

So it's all good while you're on the the plan and your points systems or carbohydrate ban is forcing you into an accidental calorie deficit but what happens when the points aren't there any more or you're allowed to eat carbs again?

Usually the calorie deficit goes away and your foot is firmly on the accelerator back to square one, it happens all the time.

Yeah you lost weight following a set plan.

But do you know how much protein is in a chicken breast?

How many calories in a donut?

How to track your food intake?

How to MAKE SURE that you're in a calorie deficit?

This is why I"m not a big fan of stuff like Slimming World, take their Syn-Free Foods for example...

It's basically a big list of food that you're allowed to eat as much as you like of, as if none of these foods have calories.

I totally get the logic - give a list of low calorie foods, say you can eat as much of them as you want and 'cos they're low calorie you'll probably still end up eating less calories than you need and you'll lose fat as a result.

That's what you call hit and hope.

It's a bit like trying to manage your finances but having a list of "Syn-Free Products" that you could buy as many as you wanted of - as if they didn't cost money.

Now I'm not saying SW can't or doesn't work - it can and it does (and if it works for you, that's great - carry on - and don't send me an angry email) but it works when you end up in a calorie deficit which isn't guaranteed on daily basis when you have a list of foods that you're allowed to eat an unlimited amount of.

So look, no matter what diet you're on you can't lose fat unless you're in a calorie deficit and the easiest way to KNOW you're in a calorie deficit is simply to track what you're eating in a tracking app like MyFitnessPal.

Follow this process...

Take some body measurements.

Hit the same calorie targets every day for 3-4 weeks.

Measure again.

If you've lost fat, great - don't change anything yet.

If you haven't lost fat reduce your calorie intake slightly (or increase your activity levels a bit).

Repeat.

The big plus points of doing it this way are...

1. You are DIRECTLY in control of your calorie intake - not hoping a carb ban or some other random method gets you there.

We need to be in calorie deficit to lose body fat so it makes sense to actually track your calories.

Just like you manage your finances by tracking the ACTUAL amount of money going in and out of your bank.

2. You educate yourself

So instead of being on and off diet plans for the rest of your life.

You start to understand how to manage your own nutrition and that understanding lasts forever.

Which means you always have the tools to lose fat if and when you need or want to.

Here at Steel we want to GIVE people control over their life, not CONTROL them.

Following a set meal plan is controlling someone.

Learning a flexible approach to nutrition and understanding HOW to manage your own daily diet is GIVING you control.
 
I'm just going to leave this quote here for anyone who was thinking of typing an angry response in defence of SW...

"I'm not saying SW can't or doesn't work...

It can and it does (and if it works for you, that's great - carry on - and don't send me an angry email)"


Habitat, S., (about 30 seconds ago)

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Mike Waywell