OMG I’ve blown it!….. 😱
I hear this sort of thing so often… a client has ended up having a Mcdonald’s for lunch and thinks they’re blown everything, they’re disappointed and angry with themselves and feeling guilty. On another day they’re feeling virtuous because they went to Pret and had the Falafel an Hummous Rice bowl – which is full of “healthy” food so it must be good.
Now before anyone reacts – I’m not suggesting a Mcdonalds is a “healthy” option, nor am I suggesting it’s got more health benefits than the falafel and hummus bowl. They’re both very different nutritionally, and they both taste very different too. But for many people trying to lose fat or weight they might naturally assume that the McDonald’s is a terrible option and that by having it they’ve ruined their day (diet -wise). Whereas if they chose the falafel bowl they would be feeling guilt-free and virtuous and like they were on track. However in actual fact that “healthy” bowl has more calories and fat, and less protein than the 6 nuggets and small fries. The McDonald’s also has over 50% less salt too. The bowl also doesn’t include any dressing which can add another 200+ calories (and extra fat and salt).
So if you had to grab a McDonald’s (or just fancied one) you’d be far better off just having one. I’m certainly not suggesting your whole diet be made up of “junk food”, but it’s important to be aware of the facts to avoid unnecessary guilt. And to remember that lots of the foods we perceive as being “healthy” may in fact be higher calorie and therefore unhelpful for weight loss if you’re consuming them without realising the calories. At the end of the day, as always, it comes down to calories. If you want to lose fat or weight, then you need to be at a calorie deficit. And it’s important to still have foods you enjoy as part of an overall balanced diet. So don’t sweat it if you end up with a McDonald’s now and then if you want it, but then have a dinner with a range of whole foods and vegetables etc.
Be curious about what you’re putting in your body, look at the nutritional labels on food and don’t always assume the “health” food is the best choice.