I was walking around the supermarket the other day and I overheard a woman say to her friend, “melons, they are a superfood aren’t they?”. She then grabbed one and put it in her basket.
I’m making an assumption here but I’m guessing that seeing as it’s January she wasn’t buying the so-called superfood purely for its health benefits. But instead believed it would help with her fat loss.
If this wasn’t the case I stand corrected but I know that many people wrongly believe that buying all these overhyped and often over-priced superfoods will magically help them lose weight.
What even is a superfood?
A quick internet search says they are ‘a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.’ Foods we are often told are superfoods are things like blueberries, chia seeds, beetroot and wheatgrass.
Well what about if I was to tell you that in order to lose weight you don’t need superfoods. You just need to eat less?
Not quite as sexy and punchy as a lot of what you read online or in magazines. But it’s usually the case.
First we need to understand that losing weight and being healthy aren’t necessarily the same thing.
We all know we should eat a balanced diet, with enough protein, plenty of fruit and veg etc. If we do that, most people when they combine it with regular exercise will dramatically improve their health.
But they won’t necessarily lose weight from that alone.
The reason is that in order to lose weight or reduce fat you need to control the quantity of calories you eat. You need to be in what we call a calorie deficit. This means that you need to be eating slightly less calories than your body needs.
Going back to health and superfoods, all foods contain calories, no matter how healthy they are. If you are over-eating any type of food you are going to put on weight.
So rather than filling your shopping basket with ‘superfoods’ instead take a look at what you are currently eating. What can you remove, are the basics of a healthy, balanced diet in place?
Once you’ve done this you can begin controlling your portion sizes and bingo you are addressing the health aspect and also controlling the quantities.
Notice there’s no mention of superfoods here. Sure including the odd superfood ingredient here and there is fine but suddenly adding a load of superfoods to your diet is only going to increase the amount of calories you are eating. You might even put on weight.
Don’t be fooled by the latest fads. It might not sound sexy but it’s really quite simple.
Eat a balanced diet in the correct quantities, get regular exercise and you’ll be fine!