I know what you're thinking… the title of this article is the complete opposite of what you have been told your entire life. To lose weight, you need to put yourself in a caloric deficit, otherwise, you’ll either maintain your weight or gain weight. Well, I’m here to say the secret to weight loss is actually eating more food. Before you “x” out of this and think I’m full of bologna, hear me out.
Why the Secret to Weight Loss is Eating MORE Food
When I say the secret to weight loss is eating more food, I’m not telling you to put yourself in a caloric surplus, in fact, I’m telling you to be in a deficit if you want to lose weight. Now, I've probably lost half of you after saying that and you probably think I'm certifiably nuts (you're right on that part). But what I'm saying is about to make total sense to you.
Think about all the time you were on a "diet" and how you felt. You may be on a diet right now and dreaming about donuts, pizza, and cheeseburgers. The aspect of a diet where people tend to fail is how the diet makes them feel. Being in a caloric deficit is no fun. You may seem tired, cranky, short-tempered, lack focus, and more than likely… HANGRY!
What do all of those feelings have in common? It’s because you aren’t staying satiated throughout the day. You are on a never-ending rollercoaster of hunger. When I say the secret to weight loss is eating more food, I want you to feel satiated all day by consuming MORE food that contains minimal calories and can be consumed in bulk. Think of this as your vegetables and protein sources – or more importantly, foods that contain high amounts of fiber.
By staying satiated throughout the day, you are less hungry yet still have a ton of energy to keep you going all day long. You don’t have the ups and downs from an energy standpoint and you are less likely to snack throughout the day or overconsume on meals when you’re satiated.
Here’s What You Should Eat MORE Of…
The food you eat can improve your satiety, but the inverse is also true when you eat sugary foods that really don't bring you any health benefits. The secret to weight loss lies in fibrous foods as well as foods that contain a high water content. Think along the lines of fruits and green leafy vegetables. Apples are a great source of fiber and therefore would be a fantastic fruit choice to have on hand as a snack. You can even combine the apple with some natural peanut butter or a handful of nuts if your calories allow for it. When it comes to vegetables, think along the lines of broccoli for its high fiber content.
Protein is another area you should focus on. Not only is protein important for helping you maintain and build lean muscle mass, but it can also help you say full for longer. One added benefit is the thermic effect of protein. The food we consume needs energy to be broken down and digested. When comparing all of the macronutrients, protein takes the most energy and therefore can help you burn extra calories throughout the day, also making this a secret to weight loss that not many people thought about or considered. While simply eating protein alone isn’t going to magically cause you to lose weight each week, it’s the compounding effects that can provide you with results when you’re consistent.
Focus on Consuming MORE of the Good Foods and Making Healthy Substitutions
Many times, when we are hungry for something "unhealthy" it is our body telling us something else. We just need to decipher what it’s asking for. For instance, if you are hungry, it could actually be that you’re slightly dehydrated and need to drink water. After consuming water, you may find your sudden hunger disappeared.
When all of a sudden you are craving something sweet, it could be your body looking for fat, not sugar. Consuming some nuts is a great way to subside those feelings while also helping you feel satiated due to the fiber found in the nuts.
Any time you have the urge to consume unhealthy foods or snacks, think about what you could substitute for that urge so you can maintain your focus on losing weight. Consider putting down the candy bar for a piece of fruit. Or skipping that greasy fast food hamburger for a fibrous salad. The more consistent you are, the more easily this new eating behavior will be.
The fact of the matter is, you’re going to be tested when you are trying to lose weight. And the best secret to weight loss is to keep yourself full by eating more. And I’m not here to tell you it’s going to be easy. It will take some time to change your lifestyle and eating habits. But after a while, it will become second nature and you won’t even think about it – you’ll just DO. Without even giving it a thought, you’ll start grabbing for some nuts when you’re hungry. When you hear your stomach gurgle, you’ll reach for your bottle of water. You’ll make the right decisions and see the results from your dedication.
And if you find you fall off the wagon, don’t throw your hands up and tell yourself all hope is lost or that since you already broke your diet you might as well just polish off that pizza you should have never ordered and hop back on your diet come Monday. Don’t sweat it. If you broke your diet, realize you did so and jump right back on. The key is to not dwell on your actions and learn from them. Figure out what caused you to binge. Were you not satiated? Easy fix. You now know you need to eat more of the foods we discussed in this article.
Or better yet, knowing you cheated on your diet and binged, use that opportunity of increased energy to go crush a workout. Bottom line, when you focus on eating MORE of the right foods, you have truly found the secret to weight loss.