• Are superfoods actually inhibiting your fat loss goals?

    By The W10 Team
     

    The superfood craze: why “super” foods may not always be the best choice.

    Superfoods are buzzwords in health circles right now.

    From Buddha bowls, to raw energy balls to goji berries, it seems that everyone is jumping on the health food train.

    With their 100% natural, whole food tag line they must be super, right?

    Not necessarily.

    More importantly, it might be these ‘super’ foods that are inhibiting your fat loss goals.

    Stop thinking about ‘healthy’ vs ‘unhealthy’ foods

    Now, we’re certainly not saying that these ‘super’ foods aren’t good for you. Unprocessed, nutrient dense foods are what we recommend should make up the bulk of your diet, as you will see from our W10 Nutrition Bible.

    In addition to containing a multitude of vitamins and minerals, they’re the foods that make you feel energised, are better for digestion, healthy gut function and overall health.

    That said, it’s important to steer clear of branding certain foods as healthy and by virtue demonising ‘unhealthy’ foods.

    Your nutrition should be balanced – and that doesn’t mean leaving out food groups or never letting chocolate or pizza pass your lips (you'll be pleased to know!)

    Fat loss ultimately boils down to energy balance

    The key is to make sure that your energy balance (calories from food vs. energy expenditure) is in line with your goals. I.e. if you are trying to lose weight you consume less total calories than the energy you expend. This is best done through a sensible calorie deficit and a little bit more movement.

    e.g. 1500 kcal per day + no cardio, by reducing your intake to 1450-1500 and adding a 30 minute run once a week you’ve put yourself in a deficit. Or, if tracking calories isn’t your thing, have one square of chocolate after dinner instead of two or forego the extra spoonful of peanut butter in your porridge.

    Healthy food calories still count

    This is one of the most important points to note, and is where most people go wrong. They think they're eating healthily, but aren't losing any fat.

    Sound familiar?

    Just because a particular food comes with fantastic health benefits, it doesn’t give us licence to eat as much of it as we want. Calories are calories and when it comes to body fat, your body isn’t going to distinguish the difference between an avocado and a chocolate bar.

    Fats are more calorie dense compared to carbohydrate and protein (9kcals per gram vs. 4kcals respectively) so it’s worth being aware of how quickly the calories add up here.

    You might be surprised by some of the calorie amounts in the foods that on the surface seem to be ‘super’ but are actually adding a lot of calories to your daily intake.

    Here are some examples of highly calorific "superfoods":

    A. Bounce ball: 207 kcals vs. curly wurly: 118 kcals

    Superfoods bounce ball

    Curly wurly

    B. Goji berries 28g (5 tsp) 97kcals vs. strawberries 100g: 33 kcals

    Goji berries superfood

    Strawberries

    C. Half a medium avocado: 120 kcals

    D. tbsp coconut oil: 120 kcals / olive oil 120 kcals / 120 kcal sunflower oil

    C. M&S nut assortment snack (70g): 452kcals

    Calories in nuts

    So, the next time you’re in your favourite deli eyeing up the smoked mackerel salad with eggs, avocado, pine nuts and an olive oil dressing, consider your goals and whether that is actually the right option for you.

 

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Set up in 2009 by founder Jean-Claude Vacassin (a regular health and fitness contributor to the Daily Telegraph) the W10 Performance gym is located in West London at 202-208 Kensal Road, London W10 5BN. W10’s Gym memberships offer personal training, nutrition advice, yoga, boxing, HITT and other functional fitness classes. They also have physio and sports massage practitioners onsite. They are proud to offer a high level of fitness to residents and local workers in Kensal Rise, Kensal Green, Queens Park, Willesden, Kilburn, Harlesden, Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill, Kensington and Westbourne Park areas.

 

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Call us on 020 3489 5428