Losing Weight with Donuts Third blog post by luke anthony hobson (ed.d. abd)

You can eat anything and lose weight.

This has to be too good to be true right? There is no way on earth that someone can eat donuts and lose weight... Right? I am only allowed to eat clean foods including lean meats, whole grains, healthy fats, fruits, and veggies, right? Eating a slice of pizza will send me into a downward shame spiral where my fat cells multiply by infinity and I'll feel depressed, right? Ugh.

If you feel and think this way, I don't blame you. Society has transformed the minds of everyone to believe that certain foods will instantly make you gain fat. People! Your body does not have some magical indicator that says broccoli will make you lose weight while a bagel will destroy you. I followed this practice for years only eating "clean" foods and found myself stuck cause I was so sick of eating the same boring stuff everyday. It made me want to go binge on junk food on the weekends because it was something that was off limits. As soon as you take away something, your mind will crave it more. This is why my last blog discussed why going cold turkey is setting you up for doomsday.

Death to clean eating

I am the leanest I have ever been in my life and I eat all of the foods that are "off limits." Dairy, bread, soda, and other so called bad for you foods are things that I consume daily. Here's proof that I'm not a beached whale:

When you drop 25 pounds and can still eat burgers.

Yes, it sounds absolutely contradicting compared to what you know and I know that I am asking a ton from you to be open minded, but hear me out. I promise that I won't steer you down the wrong path when it comes to your weight loss journey. So let's begin..

examples of ex-clean eaters

So you might be saying to yourself, "OK Luke, so you say that you are eating grains and dairy, but you really aren't eating pure junk food." Case and point heard my imaginary reader! Why don't we look at a study with a doctor who pushed the envelope to the epitome of extreme when it comes to eating junk food and losing weight. Let's bring in Dr. Mark Haub.

Dr. Haub is a professor from KSU who infamously took on the "Twinkie diet" back in 2010. This man decided to see what would happen if he only counted calories while eating a convenience store food type of diet including Twinkies, Doritos, and other sugary snacks. He made sure to still get in protein by whey protein drinks and took in vegetables from canned green beans. Now any person who knows a thing or two about nutrition is absolutely cringing and holding onto their stomach imagining the amount of toxins and poison this guy decided to eat every day. Here's whats interesting.. Did he gain a ton of weight and develop cancer? Nope. Instead he lost 10% body fat, dropped bad cholesterol, and increased good cholesterol. But...what..how..did..he..what? By all logic and reasoning, this guy should be on his death bed and instead he is looking better than ever.

Ok so this is only one case, what about another one? Let's bring in Dr. Layne Norton. Dr. Norton is a champion body builder and power lifter who competes at the natural level. He also holds his Ph.D. in nutritional science and is considered the founder of a way of eating called, "If It Fits Your Macros." Needless to say, this guy knows quite a bit about food. Dr. Norton decided to prepare for a body building show by eating ICE CREAM SANDWICHES every day before his show date. His results? He came out looking like this. Once again to hit home, this guy decided that he was going to be judged by his body with ice cream as his secret weapon...

Are you starting to be convinced yet? Let me explain how this is possible..

IF it fits your macros

You've probably heard of this terminology before called "If It Fits Your Macros" or IIFYM for short. IIFYM is a method of eating that allows you to eat whatever kind of foods you want as long as you hit your macronutrients aka protein, carbs, and fats. Its also important to note that you need to consume at least 20-30 grams of fiber for your body to properly function. Side note: notice how I did not say the word "diet" because I hope that all diets die off. They are temporary quick fixes by eliminating foods and not educating people on proper ways of eating. Instead of me saying to you that you shouldn't eat two slices of pizza, I would rather provide you the context by saying something like, "Hey, if you eat those three slices of pizza, you are consuming 700 calories and that means you have to be careful with how much you eat for the rest of the day." Moving on!

IIFYM works like this: you will have a macro target to hit each day. If you hit this target (depending upon your goal) you will lose weight or gain muscle. You can find out your macro total by a few different avenues (books, calculators, coaches, experimenting with your own numbers, etc.). Let's say that I have to reach my goal of consuming 150 grams of protein, 150 grams of carbs, and 40 grams of fat. This equals out to 1,560 calories. Now I could do this in a variety of ways. If I eat 4 oz of chicken (32 grams of protein) and a cup of rice (48 grams of carbs), this means that I would have to still consume 118 grams of protein, 102 grams of carbs, and 40 grams of fat. Why IIFYM is interesting is that this form of eating teaches you the sense of balancing a budget. If I wanted to spend my macros on a food like a donut, I can, however, donuts are high in macros since they are high in calories. A donut from Dunkin Donuts is typically around 410 calories, with 25 grams of fat, 43 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of protein. So if we were to add my donut into the original numbers, it would look like this:

1560 - 410 = 1,150 Calories

40 - 25 = 15 Grams of Fat

150 - 43 = 107 Grams of Carbs

150 - 4 = 146 Grams of Protein

What the math above shows is that now I only have 15 grams of fat for the rest of the day while I still need to eat quite a bit of protein and a moderate amount of carbs. Depending upon my mood, this may or may not be worth it. To go back to the budget analogy, if I only have 100 dollars to spend a day, would I rather spend that money by breaking it down into segments of 20 dollars throughout the day (small meals a day) or would I rather spend 80 dollars right up front (one caloric heavy meal) and then have to portion my money for the rest of the day? This is totally up to the individual.

What I really want to show is that there is no need to overthink when it comes to losing weight. You do not need to fear donuts, pizza, and everything else. What you need to understand is that moderation is key. If you are going to go all out and eat a ton of pancakes for breakfast, then get ready to eat super small portion sizes for the rest of the day or else you will blow your budget on your macros.

I want to try this, but god that sounded like a ton of math

If you would like to try this way of eating, congrats! There is no magical diet or supplement out there, but I have to say that IIFYM is the closest thing. Its a way of eating that shows you the breakdown and information on food instead of just saying something idiotic like carbs are evil or fats will only make you fat. Have you ever looked at the back of package before and wondered what all of those numbers and percentages mean? The nutritional chart on the back of anything you eat shows macros.

After you start understanding macros, you will understand foods and this will further allow you to understand your body. Some people find that like consuming more carbs while other people like consuming more fats. The beauty in this way of eating is the knowledge that comes with understanding food and yourself.

Now to be blunt: learning the first steps of IIFYM is challenging. Normal people do not track their foods or use a food scale to weigh out meat, but those who follow IIFYM do. At first it drove me a bit nuts and then I slowly began learning foods by memory. While at first its challenging, it is absolutely awesome to know that you are limiting the guess work when it comes to losing weight. For instance, lets say you start off with a 2000 calorie limit. You hit the macros for two weeks straight and the scale does not budge at all. If you drop the calories down slightly to something like 1,950 calories and the scale goes down, then boom! You found your starting point and you can fluctuate the macros from there. You will eliminate those dreaded times of wondering if you are doing something wrong or if you should go out and buy some garbage supplement to "speed up your weight loss." This way of eating provides a peace of mind and answers instead of blindly guessing.

You'll also notice that this requires some math obviously. Americans suck at math and we suck at losing weight.. I wonder why.. Oh right, that whole math thing.. Let me explain some tips below on how to start this.

STEPS FOR IIFYM

The first step for IIFYM comes with understanding what types of foods you like. Use this form of eating as realizing that the door to eating whatever you want is wide open. Now I'm not saying eat pop tarts every meal since they have zero vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that your body need. What I'm saying is that if there was some kind of food that you always wanted to try, but were too afraid because it was too fatty or you read bad things about it online then go right ahead! It took me some time to find foods that I liked that also had enough fiber (thank you double fiber bread and cinnamon). Write down all of the foods you currently eat now and which ones you want to try. Keep this list cause it will be handy in the future.

With your new food list, try to aim for around your body weight in protein a day (.8 - 1 gram). I say to do this first since consuming a moderate amount of protein a day for most people is quite challenging. So if you are 160 pounds, aim to eat around 130 - 160 grams of protein in a day. Give this a shot for at least two weeks or so. If you want to use the tracking app that I use, its called, "My Macros+." It can be found here. Its super simple and intuitive to use. Once you master this amount of protein, start to track fiber and try to get in 20 grams a day. When you can hit your protein and fiber goals, thats when its time to actually track each macro every day. Like I said before, you can find examples of your macros in numerous places. I have used formulas from a few books and websites that I have on hand and I'm more than happy to share these with you if you are looking for a starting point.

Wrapping this all up

IIFYM is a wonderful and simplistic tool that will educate you on what your food is made up of and will help you to understand weight loss. Is this a requirement to use to lose weight? No, not at all. Is it an advanced way of tracking and understanding how weight loss works though? Absolutely. The key take away is that moderation is everything and always remember the budget analogy. If you blow your budget all on expensive food items then get ready to eat like a bird for the rest of the day. Do not fear foods. Do not ban certain foods. Learn to enjoy them in the right way since we only live once and donuts taste awesome.

Want to hear more from me?

Check out my YouTube channel and as always, feel free to email me! Summer is upon us people. Lets shed the pounds together!

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