What do you think? Can you eat junk food and still lose weight ? Many health nuts, nutritionists, and fitness gurus will likely tell you “no way”…but I learned a brand new truth in the summer of 2020, that yes, you can definitely eat junk food and still lose weight.
In fact, it’s crazy to think that I used to reserve any and all junk foods to Sundays, which was always my cheat day. I was living a low carb lifestyle, and not really making the progress I wanted to make.
Who wants to eat a restrictive diet and do crazy cardio workouts 6 days a week without seeing a payoff?
I’m here to tell you that you CAN eat junk food and still lose weight. In fact, when I threw out my low carb mentality, and stopped restricting myself to eating cardboard boring meals, I lost 3% body fat, and dropped 12 pounds in just a few months. BTW, this all happened WHILE I started slowly adding junk foods into my every day diet.
That was one of the hardest changes to make, cause I truly believed deep down for the longest time that there’s no way I could eat Doritos, burgers, chips, fries, cake, pizza, and whatever else we’re preconditioned to believe we can’t eat if we want to hit our fitness goals.
But slowly and surely, my body started to take on a new shape, and things just weren’t making sense to me, because this was happening while I was eating whatever I wanted. So, how on earth is it possible to eat junk food and lose weight?
It’s so simple to do. I challenged a few different friends to do the same thing, and they also lost weight and they were pretty shocked. In fact, my best friend lost over 30 pounds in 2020, and he also was stuck on the low carb thing…until he let go of it and tried this.
Junk Food Isn’t The Problem – Calories Are
So you really want to eat cake, right? So do I. Actually, that’s sort of a lie…I’m not that big into sweets. But then again, it just depends on my mood. Normally I prefer saltier snacks, like a bag of cheetos and pizza. The point is, it’s all junk food, whether you’re going to McDonald’s for a Big Mac meal, or devouring a bunch of Mrs. Field’s cookies. We all know none of it is good for you.
The issue is NOT the junk food when it comes to losing weight. The issue is your calorie intake. It’s not carbs. It’s not fat. It’s not anything except CALORIES. I’m gonna spell it out.
C – A – L – O – R – I – E – S
All you need to do is calculate your calorie deficit. Don’t put more calories into your body in a day than you can burn off. If you DO eat more calories in a day than your body needs to burn, you’ll GAIN weight. So how do you even find out how many calories you need to eat in a day to lose weight?
It’s incredibly simple. Visit this link here and scroll to the section that says “eat at a calorie deficit”.
Follow the calculation exactly as laid out.
I’ll give you a little example here. Let’s say you did that calculation above, and you realize that you need to be eating 1900 calories a day to lose weight. By the way, if that really was the answer you got from the calculation, and you ate that amount of calories per day, you’d lose about 4 to 5 pounds per month.
Okay, let’s make this super simple.
You need to eat 1900 calories a day to lose weight. You haven’t eaten anything today yet, and you’re starving.
You’re REALLY craving a Big Mac from McDonald’s (junk food). No problem. A McDonald’s Big Mac has 550 calories.
So, just do the math… 1900 – 550 = 1,350 calories.
What this means is you could eat that Big Mac, and still have 1,350 calories left to eat for the day, and you’d STILL be on track to losing weight.
If you’re willing to follow this calculation, you’ll be on your way to losing weight, even while eating whatever junk food your heart is set on.
Are You Getting Enough Protein?
Please visit this link, and scroll to the section that says “hit your protein goals”.
It’s just as simple to calculate your protein needs as it is to calculate your calorie deficit.
Getting sufficient quality protein every day really helps you lose weight much more easily.
In the Big Mac example above, the Big Mac already has 25 grams of protein anyway, which is great and that counts towards your daily protein intake.
Track Your Calories With These Tools
Now, the hard part for most people is actually tracking calories in a way that’s simple and quick to do. I think this is the determining factor in getting results or hitting a brick wall and not making progress at all. It’s also the one part that people want to skip, cause it’s annoying.
You’ve got a few options. You could eat out all the time, which actually in some ways, would make it easier to track your calories especially if you eat at chain restaurants often, cause you’ll want to track your meals inside of an app like MyNetDiary or MyFitnessPal.
I personally use MyNetDiary to track everything. And I’m serious when I say you need to track everything if you want to lose weight and eat junk food at the same time. You can’t just sort of pay attention to what you’re eating. You must track it so that you don’t go over your calorie budget.
In the case of the Big Mac, it’s so easy. I open the app, type in “McDonald’s Big Mac” and it’s entered into MyNetDiary. You tell the app how many calories you need to eat in a day, and it does the math for you as you eat throughout the day.
And pretty much all chain restaurants are in the app, from Chipotle, Burger King, Taco Bell, Applebees, and tons more. If you like to cook at home, all the home meal kit delivery services are also in the app.
I personally have a food scale, because I eat at home a lot. It’s amazing how what I once thought was a 100 calorie chicken breast is actually 300 calories. No wonder I wasn’t making progress before. I don’t mind at all taking a little extra time to weigh foods I’m eating. Click here to see the food scale I have and how it’ll help you.
When you see the fat loss progress you’re making by following these steps and using these tools, you’ll absolutely understand how powerful they are. Everyone I’ve personally helped to lose weight is using both of these.
Intermittent Fasting Makes It Way Easier
This isn’t absolutely necessary, but it’s made my life so much easier and it’s made eating so much more fun.
Plus, when I DO eat junk food, I get to eat a lot more of it. The thing is, before I started doing intermittent fasting, I was eating 4 to 6 small meals per day, which was kind of annoying, cause I always had to be thinking about what my next meal was gonna be.
Intermittent fasting allows you to not think about food after you wake up. I just drink coffee and water for the first 4 to 6 hours after waking up, and when I do eat, I pretty much have a huge dinner. I eat ice cream before bed. I guess I have a sweet tooth before bed at night. Sometimes I’ll have a pizza and then a huge bowl of cereal afterwards.
For me, I break it up into 3 meals. My first meal is about 500 – 600 calories. Then I eat a HUGE dinner that’s about 1200 calories. Then I eat another meal literally as I’m about to fall asleep in bed. That last meal is about 500 – 600 calories too. It’s fun and it absolutely works wonders.
Visit this page here to learn how intermittent fasting can benefit you on your weight loss journey. It’s made eating junk food so much easier to do for me. I pretty much eat what I want now, which I could never have said in the past.
No More Crazy Cardio. Just Walk
Another thing I do every day, which isn’t necessary but it WILL help you along your journey to lose weight is walking 10000 steps a day. I never really gave it much thought in the past, but after doing it daily, I’ve noticed myself really lean down in ways I never saw, even doing crazy cardio workouts like Shaun T’s Insanity.
Walking 10,000 steps a day will burn about 400 – 500 calories each time you do it.
It’s sort of mysterious cause it doesn’t really feel like you’re doing any exercise at all, cause you walk around throughout the day anyway, but you’d be very surprised at the changes that will start to happen in your body if you decide to implement this daily.
Plus, just walking around the house counts. Walking to your car counts. I track all my steps using the same MyNetDiary app that I use to track my calories.
Again, this isn’t necessary but it’s helpful. My best friend who lost 30 pounds didn’t implement daily walking, and he still got fit just following the calorie calculation above.
One Last Thought – Don’t Eat Junk All Day
So, can you eat junk food and still lose weight ? Yes, you can, but there’s one last thing I want to say. Junk food for the most part has WAY more calories than healthy and nutritious, wholesome foods. They’re just so often packed with extra oils and sauces, and crap that make a greasy sandwich clock in at 800 calories or more.
I don’t think you could eat an exclusive junk food diet and really be satisfied, because you wouldn’t be able to eat all that much. I think it’s way more fun and satisfying to cook a huge steak and potato dinner, which to me, is not junk food, but still an amazingly delicious meal.
You’ve got to think of it this way though. Let’s go back to the Big Mac example above. Let’s say you wanted a large fry and a large coke to go along with your Big Mac. Well, now, you’ve got to add in the rest of the foods to your daily calorie budget. A large coke is 310 calories. A large fry is 365 calories. So:
Big Mac = 550 Calories
Large Fry = 365 Calories
Large Coke = 310 Calories
You’ve just eaten 1,225 calories…and if your daily budget is 1900 calories to lose weight, then 1900 – 1,225 = 675.
You’ve got 675 calories left to eat in the day.
This is why I don’t suggest eating ONLY junk food. I’d swap out that regular Coke for a Diet Coke that has zero calories too…save yourself 310 empty calories that you don’t need.
Hopefully that makes sense.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. I know that a lot of people believe you can’t lose weight and eat junk food, but when you really understand the concept of eating at a calorie deficit, it’s absolutely possible. Have you tried to lose weight while eating a strict diet? What do you think about eating junk food and losing weight? If you have any questions or thoughts / comments, please leave them below and I’d be more than happy to get back to you. Thanks so much for reading.