04 Mar Fact or Fiction: Lose Weight Eating Junk Food Only – Part 2 of 2
Let’s continue our discussion! What do you think? Calories are calories right? As long as you are eating the amount of calories that promote weight loss, the actual food does not matter? (Just take some supplements to make up for the lack of nutrients…). Here are 3 more nuggets on the topic!
More Sustained Energy
Technically, 1000 calories of processed food contains exactly the same amount of raw energy as 1000 calories of healthy food – after all, a calorie is defined as being the amount of energy that’s required to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius.
So no matter whether you’re eating Snicker Bars or salads – provided they’re both equivalent to 1000 calories – you’re still getting the same potential energy. However, if you choose to eat your total days’ worth of energy in Snicker Bars, you’re essentially telling your body that you’ve decided to dump all of this energy at once, instead of slowly releasing it in timely bursts over the day. (Think the sugar spike!)
If you were to eat 1000 calories totally from processed food, you’re likely to go through peaks and troughs with your energy, and feel hungry for much of the day. Just because a food is dense with calories, doesn’t mean it has the nutrients required to keep you going.
Highly processed foods are typically low in fiber which can lead to gut issues such as bloating and stomach pain. It’s also likely that you’d feel fatigued as many of the essential nutrients needed for good health —such as iron and other vitamins and minerals — are often lacking in heavily processed foods.
You can Eat Bigger Meals
The biggest difference between 1000 calories of junk food and 1000 calories of nutritious food isn’t so much avoiding the inevitable sugar coma – it’s in the sheer amount of food that you actually get to eat. Food like chips, sugary drinks and fast food are so calorie-dense, you simply don’t get to eat as much for the same bodily “cost”. This what we call food volume – 1000 calories of healthy food will fill up potentially a few plates, where 1000 calories of junk food would look tiny in comparison. Because the healthy food is likely to contain whole grains, healthy fats and protein, so you’re much more likely to feel full and you won’t feel hungry again soon after eating.
Better Body composition
If you’re looking to lose sheer weight, then making sure you’re eating less calories than you need is key. But if you simply want to look better – no matter what the number on the scale is – then you’ll need to focus on building muscle mass, and losing fat. The best way to do that is to improve the quality of your diet. Research is showing that the type of foods you eat can actually play a role in how your body stores fat. Such as a diet high in processed foods could actually cause your body to store more fat – particularly around your stomach.
In essence, if you can sacrifice the instant gratification of processed foods you’ll reap all the rewards of long-term health – like more muscle mass, improved mood and lower risk of chronic disease – from healthy foods.
Finally as we all know, heavy consumption of junk food puts you at risk for obesity, cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, and even some cancers!