Foods to Avoid for Weight Loss
Just recently I had a question from a man who was about to start my Abs Over 40 course asking if there were any foods, he should be avoiding for weight loss.
And the answer to the question was quite surprising, NO there aren’t any foods you should be avoiding if your goal is to lose weight and build a lean chiselled body.
Now, before you start eating anything you want and thinking that’s the road to a lean body, that’s NOT what I’m talking about here.
My point is that in the grand scheme of things, i.e. how many daily calories you’re taking in, whether you’re eating in a calorie deficit and whether you’re doing your strength training workouts, there isn’t any ONE food that would magically cause you to gain fat.
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If you’re in a calorie deficit, you’ll still lose fat regardless of whether you eat that “bad” food, but if you were exceeding your BMR calories that’s a different matter.
Can I lose weight eating junk foods?
Yes, it is possible to lose weight eating nothing but junk foods. You could eat French fries, burgers, pizza and still lose weight, but you would drop muscle, fat and find it difficult to recover from your workouts.
Quite simply, the body composition you would experience from eating junk foods can’t match that of eating healthy, unprocessed foods to lose fat and gain lean muscle.
Not to mention the way healthy food makes you feel.
Healthy foods give you lots of energy and provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function optimally, you’ll have more energy and recover from your workouts better.
Healthy foods are the key to longevity and vitality.
How to fit junk foods into a fat loss plan
When getting a lean body, I never recommend “diets” or quick fixes, but rather an overhaul of the way you’re eating on a day to day basis.
That’s the only way to lose fat and keep it off over the long term. And for that to happen it needs to be something that’s enjoyable and sustainable.
So, if you can lose fat on 2000 calories per day, making those calories as enjoyable as possible so that you feel full is the key to long term fat loss.
You do that by not limiting any macronutrient i.e. carbohydrates, protein or fats and eating a variety of foods with plenty of lean proteins, veggies, healthy fats and carbohydrate sources.
Then, if you’re maintaining a calorie deficit, you’ll still have room to eat that “bad” food you crave without feeling starved or neglected.
Weight loss and cardio
I know men who have GAINED weight running marathons, yes sounds crazy, but running marathons doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you want and still lose fat.
Doing excessive amounts of cardio isn’t the answer to getting lean. In my Abs Over 40 Course, I prescribe only 3 strength training workouts and add in some cardio options.
But it isn’t necessary to lose fat and sculpt a lean body.
The problem with too much cardio is it lowers testosterone (the last thing us men over 40 want), strips away lean muscle and makes you ravenous, not the best thing if you’re trying to lose fat.
A much better option is to limit cardio to 2 x steady state cardio sessions per week, for heart health or better still add some walking to your routine like I do.
The great thing about walking is it burns extra calories, is enjoyable and doesn’t make you ravenous like cardio does.
I’m training all the time but still can’t lose fat?
Some men over 40 have approached me asking why they can’t lose any fat despite doing lots of cardio, cutting down on carbohydrates and eating nothing but chicken.
And I always tell them to chill out, take a step back and increase their calories.
More cardio is NOT the answer to fat loss!
You see, when you’re in a calorie deficit, not losing fat and doing excessive amounts of cardio your body releases a stress hormone called cortisol.
And cortisol makes you hold onto fat. The answer is never to restrict calories more or increase cardio further.
The solution is to increase calories, bring your leptin levels back up, cut back on cardio and give your body the rest it needs to lose fat.
Much better to relax and stop stressing about fat loss.
The bottom line when it comes to fat loss
The key point that I want you to take away from this article is there aren’t any foods that will cause you to gain weight.
It’s the total package of factors over the long term that matters, i.e. how many calories you’re eating each day and what your training looks like over the week.
Cardio can help you maintain a calorie deficit but should never be used as a tool alone to get a lean body.
And some of your favourite foods can still be eaten if you’re trying to get lean and maintaining a calorie deficit.
Get abs over 40
If you’d like a complete system to losing fat and building lean muscle without taking over your life i.e. something that’s practical and effective for men over 40, check out Abs Over 40.