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Can You Eat Junk Food And Get In Shape

By Phil Graham

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Quick Summary

  • Yes. You can eat junk food and get in shape provided you monitor your calorie intake and meet your essential protein and fatty acids needs.
  • Junk food should never make up the bulk of your diet, even if the food choices fit your calorie needs.
  • Junk food isn’t filling and may leave you feeling hungry. This can be problematic for fat loss.

The simple answer is YES. You can include junk food as part of your daily eating regime.

However, this doesn’t mean you can eat as much Chocolate and Pizza as you like. There are certain rules and principles you must respect before you rush off and start snacking.

First, let me ask…

Q. Is junk food good for you?

Honestly? Is It?

Are there any benefits to including junk food in your diet?

Ask a health professional or someone on the street, and their first reaction will be a confident NO. Junk food is not healthy and should be avoided or kept to an absolute minimum.


Here are a few reasons why most people have a negative perception of junk food:

  • Junk food is high in calories and increases fat gain.
  • Junk food is low in vitamins, minerals and fibre.
  • Junk food doesn’t fill you up and increases you chances of overeating the rest of the day.

All of these points are true. However, these negative aspects only become apparent when junk food is overeaten or makes up the bulk of someone’s diet.

The reality is. There’s no such thing as a good or bad food. Just good or bad diets.

Too many people look at food in isolation. Blaming individual foods as the sole cause of obesity and other metabolic disorders like diabetes. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Excess calories and low levels of physical activity are the main reason for today’s obesity epidemic. This is a huge topic well outside the scope of this article.

Long story short - Always look at your diet as a whole. Across the day, week, month and year.

For example, if you maintain your bodyweight on 2500kcals, which diet would prove more healthful?

A. 2500kcal of entirely fresh, whole minimally processed fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat.

Or,

B. 2500kcal of Oreos and Processed beef burgers.

The answer is A of course.

Even though both diets yield the same energy. Option A provides more essential nutrients, vitamins minerals and fibre. Option B is lacking, and will inevitably jeopardize health in the long run.

Now, if I added a third option that included

C. 2500kcal of mixed food sources. With 2000kcals coming from fresh, whole minimally process fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat and 500kcals coming from Oreos and other sources of junk food goodness.

Would this be unhealthy? Not necessarily.

The bulk i.e. 80% (2000kcals) of the diet is made up of whole foods and a mere 20% (500kcals) is comprised of junk.

It still allows me to control my energy balance, bodyweight and obtain all my essential nutrients, whilst at the same time include 500kcals of junk food for intuitive or social nibbles, if I really wanted it.

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