Can I eat junk food and still lose weight? On the surface, it seems like a simple enough question. I decided to put the question to the test with my five days on a diet experiment.
For five days I ate nothing but junk food, but worked out religiously and did not exceed my allotted 1,200 to 2,000 calories (depending how hard I worked out.)
Some people don’t consider the processed sweet treats at the grocery store junk food because they are labeled “diet.” For purposes of my experiment, I did include the “diet” and “Weight Watchers” treats in the junk food category as well as the obvious junk foods: fast food, potato chips, ice cream, fast food and doughnuts.
At last, maybe I could enjoy being on a diet that helped me lose weight without losing my mind. Instead, I discovered five reasons you can’t eat junk food or be on the fast food diet and still lose weight.
No 1: Why you can’t eat junk food and still lose weight: Junk food really is addictive. The food manufacturers add sugars including high fructose corn syrup as well as MSG and other flavor enhancers, artificial colors and flavors that create a physical dependence on the foods (to increase their profits.) Meanwhile, you may already be psychologically addicted to the comfort foods. Think about it. Your favorite “comfort food” or junk food is not really that appetizing if you take out the memories associated with the food.
No. 2: Why you can’t eat junk food and still lose weight: Most junk food and fast food does not contain fiber. Junk food constipates. It’s difficult to lose weight on a fast food diet when you aren’t able to keep your digestive system happy.
No. 3: Why you can’t eat junk food and still lose weight: Junk food and fast food does contain enough vitamins and minerals. When your body is craving foods, it’s often a cry for help. Feed me vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, satisfying protein and complex carbohydrates for energy! You will feel ravenous even if you ate a lot of junk food. It’s called empty calories for a reason.
No. 4: Why you can’t eat junk food and still lose weight: Junk food and fast food does not fuel a workout. You can’t exercise properly without eating healthy fruits, vegetables, proteins and complex carbohydrates from whole foods. If you don’t have the energy to work out, you won’t burn fat and lose weight.
No. 5: Why you can’t eat junk food and still lose weight: Your body will turn on you. A calorie is not a calorie. If you eat digestible food meant for the human body such as an apple, your body uses the nutrients and calories and most likely, nothing is stored as fat. But, if you consume a foreign artificial substance – found in abundance in junk foods – your body will not be able to digest the food properly. Your body will mostly likely store much of the junk food as fat simply because your body is confused!
After five days on the junk food and fast food diet, I felt a little like Morgan Spurlock, the independent filmmaker who did the documentary, “Super Size Me,” by eating McDonald’s food every day for 30 days.
Morgan Spurlock gained 24 1/2 pounds on his fast food diet. Thankfully, I did not have to “Super Size” my junk food portions. I weighed myself with my special Tanita scale that keeps track of how much muscle and fat you have. I gained two pounds, but what is more significant is the fact that I also lost 1 pound of muscle which means I had a total of three pounds of pure fat gain while staying in the “right” caloric range and exercising.
Bottom line: Can I eat junk food and still lose weight? NO!