If you're trying to lose weight, a graphic like this might catch your eye. We all want a quick fix or to know the exact things we need to do to lose weight. But the thing is, losing weight isn't easy, and there is no magic pill. Lucy Mountain, an Instagram influencer known as @thefashionfitnessfoodie, posted this and I felt compelled to share it.
Lucy isn't a registered dietitian or a fitness trainer, but she does have over 228,000 followers (and the blurb on her Insta account says she's, "passive aggressively calling out fitness b.s.," which I love). She may not be an expert, but she has a good point that most experts would agree with! While you can eat certain "healthy" foods such as kale, raw almonds, and sweet potatoes to help you lose weight, any food can help you lose weight. It's not the specific foods that make it happen — it's the amounts you're consuming.
"All food we digest contains energy, which means all foods contribute to our calorie total for the day. This isn't a 'bad' thing — it's how you survive," Lucy wrote in her caption. Fat loss simply occurs when, over time, you're eating fewer calories than you're using through activity. So basically, eating in a calorie deficit is what's necessary for losing fat and you can do that by making sure your diet is:
- High in protein to keep you satisfied.
- Micronutrient-dense to boost your immune system, keep you energized, and prevent illness.
- Still inclusive of lower-protein, less-filling, less-micronutrient-dense foods you love, in appropriate amounts, so you are still nailing one and two, but within your deficit.
- "Bloody sensible," Lucy said. If you cut your daily calories too low, you'll feel tired, you won't have the energy to exercise, and it's not sustainable.
"There's no universal 'best' food for weight loss," Lucy added. "It's too simplistic to say low-calorie foods or whole foods are best. And retrospectively, that all higher-calorie foods or processed foods are 'bad'. Cus [sic] really, it's down to you how you create that energy deficit." Eating whole foods that are nutrient-dense will make you feel more satisfied, which will help control your appetite. But you also should make room for not-so-healthy foods to satiate your ice cream, pizza, and chocolate cravings.
Not sure how many calories you should be eating to lose weight? Here's a formula for how to create a calorie deficit.