How Many Calories Do I Need to Lose Weight? The Truth
Many people wonder “how many calories do I need to lose weight?” The pictures below are presented to illustrate one point: The world of dieting and health has become over-complicated.
There are a lot of diets in the world today. There are diets that have you analyze vitamin intake, there are diets that have you read every label on the food you eat, there are diets that have you meticulously count every calorie you consume, and there are diets that require more time measuring than actual gym time.
Guess what they all have in common? For 99% of people they don’t work. It’s just an absurd amount of work — work that virtually no one can follow through with.
This seems to be the trend in modern society – for success, for happiness, for muscle gain, for being a better spouse, for getting sex tips in Cosmo – it’s always 457 tips.
You ever wonder if there’s an easier way?
Making some kind of claim like “If you follow my system to the dot, I guarantee you’ll experience XYZ results,” is total garbage.
The important thing isn’t your system or diet – the important thing is how many people will actually do it.
That’s why I give people just one insanely effective piece of advice for reversing chronic disease and for losing weight: Just eat real food.
The Surprising Truth Behind Getting Fat And Gaining Weight (Pictures)
For the past 3 years, I’ve been working on gaining weight.
Now before you think I’m either insane, or an idiot, or both, being insanely skinny as a male is emotionally like being insanely overweight as a female – society’s image of the perfect male is a guy out of 300.
Thus part of my quest to gain weight. I had been lifting weights regularly for 4-5 years but I wasn’t seeing much growth, and I was getting frustrated.
But there was a problem. I ate “too healthy” to gain weight. It’s surprisingly hard to gain weight when you eat just… food.
In order to gain weight, after eating a plate full of sweet potatoes, chicken, and vegetables, I would toss down a double shot of olive oil (yes, I’m serious), or a couple tablespoons of peanut butter.
And that’s when I realized – if all you eat during the course of a day is “real food” – you end up staying full way longer, and eat way fewer calories – even though subjectively you feel like you’re stuffing yourself.
It’s virtually impossible to dramatically overeat when you just eat the right foods.
That’s when I got the idea for an experiment.
My Interesting Little Home Experiment
I wondered – how come I could only eat a big piece of chicken, some sweet potatoes, and plants and feel stuffed, but a large handful of M&M’s or Doritos would have the same amount of calories and leave me starving?
How come I could go out and eat 1,500 calories of Taco Bell and still have room, but another healthy meal at home would leave me stuffed with 1/3 of those calories?
So here’s what I did: I cooked a typical, 500 calorie meal for me. And then I decided to show you what that actually looks like with various other junk/snack foods — the pictures will shock you.
I want to show two things:
- A. For most people, in order to lose weight and reverse many chronic diseases – just eat real food – you will naturally not overeat – you will naturally feel full – you will naturally eat fewer calories – you will automatically get tons of vitamins and nutrients and get sick less.
- B. Eating real food is massively more satiating. That’s partly due to the protein, but junk food is also specially engineered to be addictive. More on that later.
It All Began With Some Doritos
And Then I Became Curious – How Much Did One Serving of Doritos Compare to “Real Food” I Might Eat at Lunch?
So I put some doritos on a scale, and measured it to 150 calories-worth ( 29g ).
…. And I crushed them up like some happy time drugs..
And I compared to them to 150 calories worth of chicken (about 5 oz):
And then I put them side by side…
… These are the same calories.
“Hmmm, interesting.” I thought. The chicken is a lot to eat. But I could inhale those Doritos at a party. Let’s keep experimenting though.
So What About Some Veggies? How Many Do You Need to Match the Doritos?
So then I took 3 full peppers
… And chopped them up.
… And put them next to the Doritos
The Doritos to the right add up to 150 calories – the peppers? About 135. That is a tiny handful of Doritos, something like 10 chips.
On a cheat day, It’s pretty easy to inhale 5 handfuls of Doritos and not even feel it in my stomach.
But those peppers were my veggie intake for more than three meals.
But What About a Nice Oreo Snack – How Does That Compare?
What if we took Oreos though – how many oreos would it take to match the calories of some peppers?
What’s interesting is that it takes me a couple meals to eat those peppers. But I can scarf down three oreos (or 5-10) in a few minutes.
But let’s not stop there. What about a nice nutritious breakfast of frosted flakes?
Or a Nice, Nutritious Breakfast of Frosted Flakes?
I took 41g of frosted flakes (150 calories)
And then smashed them up a bit, and put them side by side with my peppers.
Forgetting the sugar and the other garbage, this is roughly the same amount of calories as the peppers. And that’s without the milk at breakfast.
Or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Okay – This is Just For a Few Peppers – But What About For an ENTIRE Meal? How Would They Compare?
I decided to go ahead and make my actual lunch. My lunch involved:
- 4.6 oz of chicken
- 8 oz of sweet potatoes (227g)
- 4.9 oz of bell peppers (139g)
- 495 calories
And remember, this is a lunch that leaves me STUFFED.
Here was my lunch:
How a Full Meal Compares to Doritos
How a Full Meal Compares to Oreos
How a Full Meal Compares To Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
How a Full Meal Compares to Frosted Flakes
How a Full Meal Compares to M&Ms
What it Looks Like All Together
“That’s Cool And All.. But What Does This Crap Mean For Me?”
Everyone knows that junk food is bad for them. I don’t need to go into detail on that.
But few people realize how easy it is to overeat with certain foods and not feel full (and not just with junk food).
And few people realize how much easier it is to “eat until you’re full” and still lose weight when you just eat real food.
For example, the M&Ms that equal my entire meal were about two handfuls. I can easily polish those off mindlessly while watching TV.
And the Doritos? If I eat Doritos, I’ve never eaten less than 500 calories worth in one sitting. They’re airy and crunchy, and just not that filling.
Many foods give you the illusion that you are eating only a little, but you end up dramatically over eating.
Although I’ve used junk foods in this example, I’ve noticed a similar effect when eating fast food, drinking too many calories, or eating a medium-high carbohydrate diet.
Part of the benefit of eating real food is that (real) protein and (real) fat stimulate the release of hormones that say “I’m full.” And many “fake foods” are specifically engineered to be more addictive and non-satiating.
Stop Making Your Health Complicated
Weight loss is not merely about eating fewer calories. It’s time to start thinking about what you eat rather than how much you eat.
Stop asking stupid questions like “which diet do I pick?”
Do you think a freaking Eskimo used to have to think about what kind of food to eat for maximal longevity and health?
One thing I constantly talk about here is that we need to stop making weight loss and fixing chronic disease so complicated. The more homework you give people (calorie counting, nutrition calculations, vitamin ratios, logging everything that goes in their body) the less likely they are to actually follow through on your plan.
And the most important part of the diet is creating a system that actually works (NOT the diet).
You don’t need a bloody pie chart with stats and figures and do’s and don’ts every time you go into the grocery store.
When you “just eat real food” you automatically stay full and experience less hunger.
You automatically eat fewer calories.
You automatically see health problems improve and get better (especially if you lose a lot of weight).
You automatically get more nutrients and vitamins that prevent you from getting another cold this month.
My hope in publishing this is to remind you to focus on big wins and to keep it simple – the more complex it becomes, the less likely you are going to follow through, and the less likely you will be to see results and improve your health.
Stop making it complicated.
Just. Eat. Real. Food.
(If you agree, holla at me in the comments below. If you hate me and want to send me hate mail, please comment anyway).