Imagine your friend who is trying to lose weight comes to you and says,
"For lunch I had a chicken salad."
or they say
"For lunch I had a Big Mac."
What comes to mind?
"You can't eat a Big Mac on a diet!"
"The chicken salad is obviously better for losing weight."
The crazy thing is that in this case, NEITHER is true!
When it comes to fat loss, these two items are identical.
Now this doesn’t reflect the health qualities of these items. Olive oil is a healthier fat source than the fat from the burger and mayo. And the greens, whole grains, and seeds of the salad contain more micronutrients and fiber than a hamburger bun. But when we strictly look at it from a fat loss standpoint, they are identical.
This tells us two things:
1. WATCH OUT FOR SALADS. Haha, this is kind of joke, but also has truth. Salads are sneaky. Sure, a pile of lettuce and veggies is harmless, but start adding nuts, seeds, dressing, crispy chicken, cheese and the calories can easily add up to 1000+ which is almost 2/3 of an entire day for a 160lb woman looking to lean down!
2. CALORIES ARE KING. Looking to lose weight? Eating the salad or eating the Big Mac yield the same result no matter how much healthier the salad is.
I am certainly not suggesting to start replacing your salads with Big Macs to lose weight. One could... but we'll leave that health and satiety discussion for another day.
What I am saying is no matter how "clean" something is doesn't change its caloric content. When it comes to fat loss, whether it comes from Panera or McDonald's makes zero difference.