CAN YOU EAT TAKEAWAY AND STILL LOSE WEIGHT?
Losing weight is all about one thing, calories in versus calories out, or otherwise known as the law of thermodynamics.
Calories are a unit of energy, and we can transfer more energy into our system by taking it from the foods we eat.
Some foods contain higher amounts of energy than others.
For example, protein and carbs both contain less energy than fat per gram (P&C are 4 calories per gram whereas fat is 9 calories per gram).
This is, however, where it can get tricky.
You see, not all calories are equal, and what I mean by that, is that the calories we consume CAN follow a different digestive pathway, which determines how the calories of that macro nutrient will be broken down and used within the body.
Protein generally goes to building a stronger structure.
Imagine you have a brick made up of lego pieces. If you threw it against a wall, it would break into as many pieces as it was made up of, and each of those pieces would land somewhere different.
This is sort of what it’s like digesting protein, carbs and fats.
The pieces of lego (the individual molecules of the macronutrients), go absolutely everywhere, they don’t all follow the same direction.
This what happens with macro nutrients, when they are digestion they get used for different things.
Now, back to the simple stuff………
No matter what, if you eat fewer calories than you burn off, you are losing energy, and therefore you will lose weight.
This is like saying that if you throw a ball in the air, it will come down. You can disagree all you want, but it is a fact of life.
When it comes to takeaways, people often label them as bad food, because takeaways are seen as a food that you eat when you are relaxing for the night, and when you relax, you usually eat less healthy foods.
Generally speaking, yes, foods like chocolate, crisps, chinese takeaway, KFC, Fish and Chips and even Subway, are all considered bad foods because of our association with them.
We associate these foods with a ‘night off’.
The only issue with these foods is they are very energy dense (calorie dense).
Compared with other more nutrient dense food, takeaways will contain a lot of empty calories.
So if we go back to the equation of calories in versus calories out, we want to associate our takeaways with how much we have, not necessarily what we have.
If I go to our local chinese takeaway, I usually order myself an omellete (made with 4 eggs) and chicken and mushroom soup.
Before this, I would usually order chow mein, seaweed and share spring rolls with my wife.
The omelette contains more protein than my previous order and is more filling than chow mein, and the soup is a rather tiny amount of carbs.
Proteins – 4kcal per gram (and are more satiating)
Carbs – 4 kcal per gram (less satiating so you are likely to eat more)
Fat – 9kcal per gram)
As long as the calories you eat are less than the calories you burn, you will lose weight.