You are hungry. You want something delicious. You don’t want to get fat. Lucky for you, the diet trends of the past few years have allowed you to shovel down a large steak with some asparagus and butter on the side, preceded by a salad doused in olive oil. You come out of dinner feeling like a winner since you have eaten almost no carbs and followed your Paleo plan!
Well, depends. If your goal is to eat healthy, provide nutrients to your body, and fuel your workouts.. you have eaten a perfect meal! However, if your goal is fat loss, unfortunately you have done yourself an injustice.
No matter what diet trend is in fashion at the moment, you can never escape the fact weight loss means burning more calories than you have consumed. Fat, although a healthy and necessary nutrient, provides a TON of calories. Let’s take an example of your steak dinner:
- Steak (6oz filet) – 300 calories
- Asparagus with butter – 120 calories
- Salad with olive oil – 200 calories
… for a grand total of 620 calories
Let’s compare a leaner meal:
- Turkey breast (6oz) – 150 calories
- Salad with Balsamic vinegar – 40 calories
- Asparagus – 20 calories
… for a grand total of 210 calories
So, if you substitute your steak dinner for a turkey dinner every day for a week you will save yourself 2870 calories (410 x 7). Since a pound of fat is 3500 calories, you are saving almost a pound per week!
I don’t want you to get bogged down with counting calories. Nor do I want you to hate fat (the good kind). Fat provides numerous benefits including: lubricating your bones and joints, making your skin and hair smooth and silky, and improving your good cholesterol levels.
So unless you are on a weight loss diet, enjoy the olive oil, avocados, and steak. However, if your goal is to lean out, you need to carve most of the fat out of your diet for now.