You’ve probably been told that if you want to lose weight, you have to eat a certain way. But what if I told you that you could lose weight and eat whatever you want?
Have you ever tried a diet where the number one rule was to cut carbs?
And then you find yourself having wet dreams about a loaf of thinly sliced Italian bread?
Have you ever tried a low-fat diet? And you go all week without eating cheese.
And then you find yourself in trance, wandering to the refrigerator, shoveling shredded cheese directly into your mouth, like a cheese goblin that just escaped from captivity, and wandered into a store that exclusively sells shredded cheese.
I get it, because I’ve lived it.
For the vast majority of people, elimination diets don’t work.
Because the moment that you tell yourself you can’t have something, it’s the only thing you want.
And then you tell yourself “No, I’m an adult. I can have whatever I want.” And since you’ve been restricting yourself of that one sweet thing you really want, it turns into an all out binge fest, because you then tell yourself this is the “last time” you’ll ever have it.
Pro Tip: It won’t be the last time.
How To Lose Weight And Eat Whatever You Want
What Is Flexible Dieting?
Flexible dieting is a simple weight loss plan that allows foods that fit within your calorie budget.
If it fits your calories, you can eat it.
If it doesn’t… well, technically you can. But it’s not going to be conducive to your weight loss goals.
So that means, if you really want a slice of pizza, and it fits your calories, you can eat pizza and lose weight.
So I Can Eat Whatever I Want?
Yes! But that doesn’t mean you can eat however much of whatever you want.
Because you still have to stay within your calorie limit.
Fat loss works by being in a calorie deficit.
Which is when you give your body fewer calories than it uses.
And while this is the founding principle for weight loss, it doesn’t mean you should eat a diet consisting of solely Blueberry Pop-Tarts with butter smeared on the back.
Though believe it or not, this actually does work for weight loss.
The Twinkie Diet
For 10 weeks, Dr. Mark Haub, a nutrition professor at Kansas State University did something that become dubbed as “The Twinkie Diet”.
His diet consisted of mainly convenience store items. Twinkies, snack cakes, Doritos. He also included a multi-vitamin, and a protein shake. So he wouldn’t… you know… die.
But the key, is that he limited himself to 1,800 calories. Which for a man of his size, puts him in a calorie deficit.
And at the end of experiment, Dr. Haub dropped 27 pounds.
So with that being said, should you try the Twinkie Diet?
I want to be very clear here.
I do not think you should try the Twinkie Diet, and I do not recommend for this for any of my online coaching clients, nor anyone reading this article.
While it did work for Dr. Haub, this is a study with a sample size of one.
But it does illustrate the point, that you can eat whatever you want and lose weight.
How To Lose Weight And Eat Whatever You Want
Does Calorie Counting Work?
Calorie counting can be a great tool to know how much you’re actually eating.
And when you’re tracking accurately, it can be a great tool for fat loss, to make sure you have achieved a calorie deficit.
This is my online coaching client, and good friend Kate
The great thing about Kate is, that she will do just about anything I tell her to (except for lunges).
And after tracking her calories over the course of a year, she lost 42 pounds.
And she didn’t have to give up any of her favorite foods.
My online coaching client Heidi, who lost 45 pounds working with me.
And while she did fight me every step of the way, through counting her calories, she was able to lose the weight she wanted.
And she was able to do it while eating pizza, completely guilt free.
So yes, calorie counting does work.
But for some, calorie counting can lead down a dark hole of obsessing about every gram of spinach, and if you go one calorie over your target, it triggers a complete breakdown.
The key is knowing which type you are.
So if you are the type of person that feels anxious by the idea of tracking their food intake, as to what it might do to your relationship with food, then this option might not be for you. And that’s okay.
Good Calories Vs. Bad Calories?
Everyone knows that given the choice between blueberries, and brownies. Blueberries is the more nutritious option.
The blueberries has a much healthier nutrient profile. It’ll fill you for fewer calories, it has more vitamins, minerals, nutrients.
But if you have 100 calories of brownies, or 100 calories of blueberries. It’s still 100 calories.
Calories are a unit of measurement for energy.
Just like a mile is a unit of measurement for distance.
If you run one mile, whether it’s on a flat road, through waist deep water, or at a 20 degree incline, it’s still a mile.
It may be harder for you to get through that mile based on the conditions, but it is still a mile.
It’s the same thing with a calorie.
The nutrients may change across different foods.
Which, depending on how many nutrients you get across your foods, may make hitting a calorie target more or less difficult, and energy levels may change based on the nutrient profiles you receive from food.
A calorie is still a calorie, whether it comes from blueberries or brownies.
And when it comes to fat loss. Calories are what dictates whether or not you lose fat.
Not how many nutrients you get, not how many vitamins, minerals, or gallons of kale you force feed yourself.
It’s the relationship of how many calories you eat, versus how many calories you expend.
But, that doesn’t mean calories are the only thing that matters for your consistency.
Emphasize Nutritious Foods
For this whole flexible dieting thing to work, calories is number one.
Aside from that, is a heavy emphasis on food that will help you Feel Full In A Calorie Deficit.
Making sure that roughly 80% of your diet comes from things like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and protein, is going to go very far for you to be able to stick to being in a calorie deficit.
Because while going to McDonald’s is awesome, it doesn’t fill you up.
Think how much you’d have to eat at McDonald’s before you felt full.
I could easily eat two Big Macs, and 1,100 calories later, still reach for the fries.
Not because of gluttony, but because a Big Mac is not rich in nutrients, and is not a satiating food that fills you.
If I were to eat a salad, however. Filled with lettuce, cucumbers, chicken, and other vegetables, it would make me feel a lot more full, for a lot less calories.
This is why, it’s so important to build a diet based mainly of nutrient dense foods.
A nutrient dense food is high in nutrients, and low in calories.
Satiety Vs. Satisfaction: The Balance of Nutritious Vs. Delicious Foods
Feeling full is important for being in a calorie deficit. But what about foods that don’t make you feel full?
This article is titled How To Lose Weight And Eat Whatever You Want right?
Well, we as humans don’t always want chicken, rice, and broccoli.
We want to have ice cream, and tacos, and pizza.
Because these foods are satisfying to the palate.
While you might feel physically amazing eating broccoli, it can leave you wanting a little something extra.
So while it’s of the utmost importance to prioritize nutritious foods, I also believe it’s important to include some foods that you enjoy from time to time.
Because if you are eating nothing but nutrient dense foods all the time, you’re restricting yourself from all the things that you actually enjoy.
And what you restrict, is what you ultimately binge.
The key is, to include these foods as part of your calorie deficit.
If you are allowing room for delicious foods, and staying in a calorie deficit, you will lose weight.
How Many Calories To Eat To Lose Weight And Eat Whatever You Want?
In order to make losing weight stick for good, it’s crucial to make sure you’re eating less calories than you body burns.
But, it’s also crucial that you eat enough calories.
Because eating too few, even though you are in a calorie deficit, can have some serious negative effects.
If you’re calories are too low, you are not providing your body with enough energy to support its daily functions.
Which will leave you feeling exhausted, unenergetic, and so cranky your head might burst into flames.
It will also make it nearly impossible for you to stick to. And you won’t have the flexibility to fit whatever you want into your day.
So you have to balance eating few enough calories that you are in a calorie deficit, but also enough calories so that you can stick to it long term.
In order to find that sustainable range, you can use my Free Fat Loss Calorie Calculator.
This way you can lose weight sustainably, and not rip your boss’s head off when you get an e-mail from them.
How To Lose Weight And Eat Whatever You Want: Final Thoughts
So yes, it is absolutely possible to lose weight and eat whatever you want.
But the key is to above all, be in a calorie deficit.
Include plenty of highly nutritious foods, and save some room for the delicious foods when you want them.
I hope this has helped you, and if you have any questions, leave them in the comments below.