Weight loss is a tricky customer. If it was easy we’d all be walking around with a body fat percentage of 8%. In fact, the vast majority of my private consultancy practice is weight loss based.
Patients and clients alike seek the secret to weight loss when in reality there isn’t a secret formula. Instead, it is about getting their heads around a few basic principles that they need to stick too forever. At the time of writing, we are in the process of finishing our Winning Weight Loss Programme which will address these issues. So if you need a helping hand, keep an eye out for the programme. In the meantime however, there are some things you can start doing today that can make a difference to your weight.
‘What can I eat for weight loss’?
One of the most frequent questions I receive is ‘what can I eat’? This is a tricky question because my answer is always ‘it depends’. It depends on what else you are eating and how this fits together with the other foods in your diet. It also depends on how active you are.
As a dietitian, I don’t like dealing in absolutes and banning any food really. Some should be eaten less frequently and some need to be portion controlled. However, food is there to be enjoyed and so eating plain chicken and broccoli all the time can wear thin.
In fact, I wanted to use McDonalds as a good example of how making slightly different choices with even fast food, can make a big difference to your overall calorie intake.
Don’t get me wrong, if you want to lose weight, McDonalds or any other fast food outlet, isn’t the place you want to be visiting too frequently. However, what I want to show you today is how a slight relapse with your diet doesn’t need to be a complete collapse.
Using McDonalds as an example for weight loss
Just changing your order and portion of food can make a huge difference to the effect on your weight.
For example, ordering a large fries, a big mac and a can of coke gives you 1098kcal for the meal (keep in mind a drink from McDonalds is likely to be much larger than a can so this will likely be more calories).
Simply swapping those options for a medium fries, a cheese burger and a diet coke reduces the calories to 638kcal.
That’s a difference of 460kcal. That’s pretty significant. Considering most people are working somewhere between 1600-1800kcal for sustainable weight loss, that saving can easily be a quarter of your days intake.
If the big mac option is really just once in while, then fine, have the big mac. However, if you are having the equivalent of the big mac option fairly regularly, whether cooking at home or eating out, you can see how this starts to add up.
In fact, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends reducing your intake by 600kcal per day for weight loss. Of course, there’s much more to weight loss than this. I also appreciate, you would likely need to reduce by more than 600kcal if you’re hanging out in McDonalds every day. Nonetheless, I find it interesting you can almost achieve this just by changing your order when eating out.
In summary, if you’re serious about weight loss, then putting simple measures like this in place can help keep your weight loss consistent. If you’re eating fast food regularly, it opens a wider question about the quality of your diet. I’ve only used McDonalds as an example to show how you can still eat certain foods without completely going off the rails.
However, you can replicate this at home. Swapping certain foods out for lower calorie alternatives can make a big difference. In fact, I’ve published a video all about this, looking at food swaps which you can find here.
The key thing with any weight loss effort is sticking with it. So even if it seems hopeless, keep at it and keep making changes. Eventually, the weight loss will happen. Strategies, like this are tools you can choose from your proverbial tool box to help you. Remember, if you need more of a helping hand, keep an eye out for the Winning Weight Loss Programme.