Eat what you want, true of course. There is no-one holding a damn gun to your head.
But should you eat what you want like the nutrition experts say when you want to lose fat?
From the start lets be crystal clear, the eat what you want line I often hear nutritIon experts spout is PURE MARKETING plain and simple.
It is a comment rife in the fat loss and even often in the ‘wellness’ industry to get numpty’s to buy their product thinking there is some magic way to lose fat and eat anything you like. It’s always a headline to catch peoples attention, it’s misunderstood and misused.
argh you say… Jay, Why is it is so goddamn hard to figure out the crap from the wisdom on the internet?!
Tell me about it… Be careful who you listen to and do NEVER just read a headline, even if it is the BBC or some ‘respectable’ nutritionist. Some popular nutritionists I get inspiration from are saying this over the xmas period at the moment and it’s doing my head in.
But make sure you also be careful to read all of my headlines and my wisdom, which is definitely not too shit (that means it’s awesome).
So what do … you want? This is similar to asking, who am I? It is tougher than it sounds. Of course you are in control of your destiny and you can apparently do what you want (although this is also out for debate, but hey). We go on!
“Eat what you want” A MARKETING STRATEGY
Some nutrition experts say: eat what you want and you can still lose weight
This is pure marketing bullocks. There always will be a caveat in the fine-print if they have any clue. For example the crowd of ‘experts’ who are marketing mindful eating or intuitive eating will immediately contradict themselves by laying out a list of eating guidelines and eating habits to practise NOT eating what you want.
Some say eat what you want BUT as long as it’s within your macros and calorie targets
This is also akin to saying you can NOT eat what you want. It’s a needlessly confusing but does summarise some popular diets. There are inevitably caveats that say normal things like eat some whole food. IIFYM is a good example of a diet with good intentions and guidelines, but in practise is implemented badly because they’ve oversimplified it, implying you can “eat what you want” in their marketing.
Some say… eat what you want but it will make you fat
That means you stay fat, unless you buy my program. They’ll promise to teach you to be strong and follow this specific (rigid) diet, even though it’s xmas. Harsh and offers no way to find a sustainable solution. A rigid approach, especially a one size fits all approach, is often detrimental to the fat loss process, which is mostly a psychological battle to change little by little eating habits that have formed over a lifetime.
Some say eat what you want
Thats it. These are the ones fighting back over body shame, the perspective is that all the guilt and stress caused by attempting to lose weight is stupid and you should simply be happy in the body. Literally ‘eat what you want’. This is fine as long as it doesn’t imply you’ll lose fat, because you will NOT lose fat unless you change eating habits. Great to avoid pressure from society to be skinny or ripped like magazine models. But don’t spout this marketing bullshit if you are talking about losing fat.
Ok so wants the damn truth of the matter? Can I describe in one simple sentence? mmm how about a few sentences, relating to losing fat and being healthy, in my illiterate prose:
Eat what you want, but if you eat shit food don’t expect to lose fat.
Eat what you want, take a weeks break from your eating plan or simply accept you ate some good yummy shit food.
Enjoy eating any good yummy shit food!!! (important)
Look forward to eating well for the next meal and onwards.
(yes that is a bunch of 3 adjectives grouped together without commas)
WHAT DO YOU WANT?
Habits, preferences and culture play a major role in the choices of what to eat. Saying eat what you want often simply gives the green light to eat like a numpty following society and/or normal habits. Habits are precisely what need to change to improve health and lose fat. Your influences could be unhealthy, fattening and make you feel like shit mentally and physically.
Caveats on the ‘eat what you want’ comment should be super clear. Firstly yes, a bit of flexibility to an eating plan is great, even necessary for adherence. But if you eat what you want often then you’ll no longer be following the path to your goals, only a path of short term pleasure.
But Jay I know deep down in my heart I want to lose my unhealthy fat rolls, how, please help!? You want Santa to take away fat more than anything else in the world. In that case, don’t eat what you want, eat what your nutritionist is telling you or eat to a plan that ensures you are still going to track to your goal. Of course this doesn’t mean disgusting food, food can and should still be healthy and tasty. duh And as I already said, an eating plan should be flexible to allow a bit of cake and chocolate occasionally.
What if your Mamma told you that you have to eat it? Yes I have had this exact comment from my clients on more than one occasion. Well, either eat it like a good little boy or grow up and make your own decisions. I have to be a harsh wanker sometimes.
What if it’s a xmas party and all the mates are on a 8 pint night? See comment above, although I’d be lying if I say that this is easy. I have been on both sides and it is a tough one. Plenty of strategies to discuss which will be the topic of another post.
Don’t kid yourself, it isn’t easy if you have given yourself an objective to lose 20kg in the next 6 months. You simply can NOT eat what you want. On the other hand a week-off or at least a meal-off won’t hurt you, it will be pleasurable and I think it can even help with adherence to a plan….. so Eat What You Want ! : ) caveat: only on xmas day.
STRATEGY FOR XMAS PARTIES
… if you do NOT want to eat (or drink) what you want. ha how’s that for a double negative to confuse the hell
- Think the day before about the food you want to eat and the food that will be served.
- Decide who you want to be. Fat or fit? Healthy or unhealthy? Follower or individual? Are you going to say yes and eat it all (which is fine) or are you going to taste and not pig out? Decide this before you go out or sit down for a meal.
- How will you handle the social peer pressure? What strategies will you use? What are the words you’ll say? For example, I’m sick and on antibiotics, I’m happy with soda water, I am having an awesome time thanks (make sure you have an awesome time), I’m full, I’m saving space for dessert etc. (Bonus: Hangover Cure)
Merry xmas everyone.