Healthy Diet vs. Fat Loss Diet

If you’re eating healthy and still struggling to lose fat, you’re not alone!  I’ve worked with so many clients over the years who struggle to lose body fat, despite the fact that they are eating a healthy diet.  What most don’t realize is that a “healthy diet” doesn’t always equal a “fat loss diet.” Let me explain. . .

“Healthy diets” consist of a base of whole grains/starches, followed by fruits and veggies, lean meats and then those goodies we get “sparingly.”  Yes, these are all very healthy, but some foods can truly hinder our efforts for fat loss, especially as we age!

Let’s take a look at some foods found in a “healthy diet” and see how we can make them more “fat loss friendly”:

Whole grains/starches:  Yes, these foods are healthy, but as we get older and become more insulin resistant, too much of these foods can halt fat loss altogether.  Finding your own bodies tolerance is key!  Some people can tolerate more starches than others, you just have to find the amount that is right for you!  Activity level also plays a key role here. . . the more active you are, the more likely you can tolerate more starches than someone who is more sedentary.

Fruits:  Of course we know fruits are VERY healthy, but lets look at how they can get in the way of our fat loss efforts.  Certain fruits, such as pineapple and banana, have great health benefits, but pack very high sugar levels (approximately 17-20 grams).  Too much sugar in any form will affect our efforts to lose fat.  Choosing lower sugar fruits is key, fruits such as berries, kiwi or citrus fruits can be better alternatives.  Also, be careful with dried fruits!  While grapes have 16 grams of sugar per cup, raisins pack 86 grams!  If you do opt for higher sugar fruits, just don’t overindulge.  Often I see many people create “healthy” green smoothies packed with lots of fruits, milk, etc., and that quickly can add up to 60 or more grams of sugar!  This will definitely bring your efforts to lose fat to a standstill!

Veggies:  We all know it. . . we’ve got to eat those greens, but there are veggies that can also get in the way of our goals if we eat too much.  Potatoes and sweet potatoes are just a couple!  Yes, they fall in the vegetable family, but should be treated as a starch. . . they definitely have their health benefits, but eating too much will not help trim the waistline.  Try filling up on things like cabbage, green beans, romaine lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.  Veggies are a great way to satisfy hunger and keep us energized!

Protein: Lean proteins are a must for any healthy or fat loss diet.  Just don’t mistake things like quinoa, beans or nuts as a protein.  While foods such as these do contain protein, they should be treated as a fat source.  Protein sources should include things like chicken, turkey, fish, etc.  Are you a lover of red meat?  That works too, just don’t overdo it!  Find balance between your lean protein sources and fattier sources.  Whey protein is one of my favorite “fat loss friendly” quick protein sources!

Remember, too much of even a good thing isn’t good!  Calories do matter and it takes a caloric deficit to lose body fat (3,500 calories = 1 lb. of fat).  So even if you’re diet is full of all things healthy, you may be getting “too much of a good thing” or you may need to reduce your starch and high sugar fruits, and increase your fibrous vegetables and lean meats!

My advice is take the time to learn YOUR body. . . stop searching for the next best diet, because it doesn’t exist!  I always tell my clients our goal is to get them to eat as much of what they love while still losing fat.  Fat loss should never be looked at as a time of deprivation.  Anytime we deprive ourselves, we are setting ourselves up for failure because we are relying on willpower, which will only get us so far!

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