One of the biggest struggles I see at Edge Fitness is people who begin eating healthy, but still don’t lose weight.

Look, I know that putting in work and changing habits is frustrating.  We solved the problem of spinning your wheels at a gym and not getting results in the gym
—this post should clear up some misconceptions that are stopping people from getting the results they’re working toward.

You will not get lean by only eating healthy foods.  In fact, you might not even get healthier. 

I’m not saying that food quality doesn’t matter, because it does. 

But when you’re trying to get lean and lose fat, the only thing that matters is how many calories you eat on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.   Without figuring out how much fat, protein, and carbs you should be eating, you’ll never get the body you deserve.

(note: I know someone out there is going to throw down the gauntlet and talk about how they/their friend got super lean and all they do is follow paleo or eat grass fed beef.  I’m going to lay the argument to rest by saying they got lean because they ate less calories then they needed to maintain their bodyweight, not due to paleo.  The caveman that over-ate paleo was probably rocking a gut, too).

Reason Healthy Foods Aren’t #1: You’re eating too much fat.

Dietary fat got a bad rap for a long time in the fitness and health industry.  Low fat was all the rage, and unless you were low fat you couldn’t lose weight.  Luckily, we all grew out of that and got smarter.

But then somewhere down the line, people started forgetting that grams of fat still have calories.  They have 9 to be exact, making them the most calorically dense of all macronutrients (fat, protein, and carbs). 

A healthy medium (typically your bodyweight or goal bodyweight x .5 does the trick) is what we’re after, not avocado, bacon, cheese, coconut oil sandwiches. 3_30_to_Today_Cjip_PPF-e1376519391406

Reason Healthy Foods Aren’t #2:  You’re Not Counting what you Eat

At some point, counting calories, fat, protein, and carbs is what will take you to the next level of leanness.  In my experience, people who eat healthy use their “good” food habits as a reason to not count and track.

We live in the easiest time ever to track.  There are hundreds of apps to track for you, and if you’re more ‘old school’ you can use a notepad and google whatever you just ate. 

If you fit your healthy foods into your caloric intake, then you’ll lean out in no time…and you’ll probably realize that eating 8oz of nuts and 2 cups of organic pasta every day isn’t helping you lose fat.

Reason Healthy Foods Aren’t #3:  You Relapse Harder than Everyone Else

One of the last things I see with people who eat healthy all the time is that they don’t.  They usually get sick of it and have a hard relapse of hearty beer, gluten filled treats, and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. 

Which is okay, on occasion. The difference is the guilt and rationalizing with those who eat healthy.  There’s nothing wrong with not eating the right foods all the time, but feeling stressed out and then convincing yourself that it’s OK because you eat healthy all the time, isn’t.

People who track and use calorie counters are able to fit some Ben and Jerry’s into their diet without stressing about whether or not they’ll lose weight. There’s no guilt, because it fit into their nutrition framework (how much fat, protein, and carbs they should eat each day) and move on.

One of the leanest clients I have tracks everything, and manages to fit a chipotle burrito and chips, two cans of coke, a jimmy john’s sandwich, and a bit of other junk into his diet each week.  There’s no guilt, no sliding backward, and no issues of health.  He’s eating to be lean, he has a plan, and he sticks to his nutritional framework.

Healthy food is great, but it’s not a game changer people think it is.  You still have to work around your nutrition framework.  Which is actually a good thing, if you’re into having your cake and (guilt free) eating it, too.