So I came across this picture and the related blog post on Instagram and I have to say that it’s posts like these that can really have a negative effect on the HEALTH industry.

Now, I am ALL for flexible dieting. I love my chorizo tacos and unless I have an event coming up, I literally eat them once a week (or more. Let’s be honest 😂). But just because I believe in flexible dieting for the people needing to lose a few pounds or maintain (the average dieter) that doesn’t mean that I’m so disillusioned that I believe that all calories are created equal or that it doesn’t matter where you get your calories from “as long as it fits in your macro breakdown.” 
Now, I will say that I agree that for the purpose of weight loss/gain calories in vs calories burned is the number 1 thing that matters. BUT to say that this salad with healthy fats and healthy carbs and no processed chicken (or at least minimally processed chicken) is the same as this over processed crap burger is ridiculous. That is the equivalent of saying a snickers bar is the same as eating a piece of fruit. Oddly enough, some people still subscribe to this belief. 

I am not shaming this person, so to speak, because her point was to say “look at the calories you’re eating.” However, she did go on to say that “you might as well eat the burger instead of the salad.” It was also said that the over processing of food did not matter. That “protein is protein no matter how processed it is.” I call BS on that statement. The over processing of foods matters. So much more than most people understand. Let’s take the hamburger from McDonalds. It is processed, filled with so many preservatives and fillers, which not only diminishes macronutritient and macronutritient content, which in turn has a huge negative effect on the digestion of the food. If the food doesn’t digest properly, what little nutrients that hamburger does have does not get distributed into the body. We have all seen the pictures of the McDonalds meal that has been left out for months and doesn’t decompose. Think about putting that in your body and waiting for it to break down. Now. Think about eating a preservative free, non processed chicken breast (on a salad) and tell me which one you think is actually better for you, calories aside. 
Being HEALTHY and losing weight is so much more complex than that and saying that picture 1=picture 2 is so misleading, especially for people who struggle daily with their weight. In recent studies, it shows that the majority of obese individuals are actually malnourished. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. That comes from years and years of eating foods with no substance or nutritional value. Foods that have been so over processed that I’m surprised we are legally allowed to call it food (I.e. McDonalds.) Eating foods of that variety (or chips, sodas, candy, etc) can wreak havoc on your metabolism and hormones, causing serious conditions such as insulin resistance, thyroid issues, PCOS and of course diabetes. Not to mention that years of “food abuse” can have damaging psychological effects ranging from food addiction to binge eating disorder, and many more, thus making weight/fat loss even more complicated! 

What is my point to this post? Being healthy and losing weight is complex. It’s hard. Especially if you are seriously over weight. And again, I’ll say I am all for being flexible and enjoying your life (I think I’ve made that abundantly clear) but the source of your calories DOES matter. So don’t be fooled with posts like this claiming that 1 equals the other. Because it doesn’t. 
If you are looking for a starting point to lose weight, start by looking at ingredient lists when shopping and stay away from items heavy on the preservatives by choosing fresh foods instead of boxed, canned or frozen meals. Taking steps in that direction will benefit you more in the long run than by going on an extreme diet! 

If you have any questions or confusions about nutrition and losing weight, please feel free to reach out to me! Either on Facebook.com/MichelleTrent01 or at MichelleTrentFitness@gmail.com