This week I was having a chat with a newish client of mine.
She’s a lovely, bubbly Irish lady who is going from strength to strength with her training.
Her goal is to improve her total body strength, as she’s struggled with daily lower back pain and discomfort over the last few years.
She’s now experiencing much less back pain and is feeling much more positive about her physical health.
This lady also hated the thought of the gym and training with me when she started and now looks forward to her sessions every week!
We were chatting about foods, diets and specifically which foods are fattening…
Her views were the same as most peoples, in that you get fattening foods and you get foods which are not fattening, and I totally understand why people think this, however in reality this is total nonsense!
Very often I see on the internet, social media, images, newspapers etc a list called ‘the 10 most fattening foods” or “the best foods for burning fat” etc.
So, here’s the truth!
Foods are neither fattening or un-fattening. FACT! You have been led to believe they are!
Let me explain why?
As you may or may not know the first law of thermodynamics states that:
ENERGY INPUT > ENERGY OUTPUT = WEIGHT GAIN (CALORIE SURPLUS)
ENERGY OUTPUT > ENERGY INPUT = WEIGHT LOSS (CALORIE DEFICIT)
ENERGY INPUT = ENERGY OUTPUT = WEIGHT MAINTENANCE (CALORIE MAINTENANCE)
This is factual, this is science, this cannot be argued with!
So, with this in mind. If I eat 3000 calories of vegetables a day for a week, and in total burn 2500 calories a day. I will put on weight as I’m in a calorie surplus, meaning that vegetables are fattening!
If I eat 2000 calories of doughnuts, and again burn 2500 calories a day, I will lose weight, meaning that doughnuts are not a fattening food!
Now, you see that there is no such thing as a fattening or un-fattening food, because the only way you can either lose or gain weight is via the energy balance equation IE, energy/calories in vs energy/calories out.
You may be sitting there thinking “okay Marcus, but what about foods high in fat”…
This is for another episode, however dietary fat (fat found in foods) is a totally different substance to subcutaneous fat (the fat we store on our body), therefore just because a food is high in fat certainly does not make it fattening either. FACT!
Today I am on a rest day from training, and currently on my rest days I mostly consume protein and fats sources plus vegetables (no starchy carbohydrates) to give my body (specifically my liver) a rest from the high carbohydrate diet I am consuming on training days to support my training performance, recovery and pursuit of 85kg!
Eating good fats (dark chocolate, eggs, oily fish, steak, nuts, avocado to name a few sources) also keeps the body effective at burning fat as a fuel source, and avoiding them could lead to your body becoming poor at utilising fat as a fuel source (not a good thing obviously!)
Labeling foods as fattening or not/un-fattening is total ‘gibberish’, and I do not want to hear this term used again by any one of you. Any food can be fattening, and any food can be un-fattening. Period!
Hopefully, this has been educational, and hit home!
Don’t avoid any foods you enjoy, just try to restrict the ones you know you often binge on (as that will lead to an overconsumption) or have limited health benefits, IE, junk food, takeaways, etc.