In case you’re wondering, the left image in the blog post photo isn’t real. That’s an old photo that I took on some random face-shifting app that existed before Snapchat.
I personally have never been that overweight before, but I’ve been around many family members and close friends who have.
Over the years, I’ve picked up on the patterns of people who struggle to lose weight — even when they feel like they’re doing everything right. That means they are exercising and watching their caloric intake somewhat.
Similar to guys who have the Skinny Benny Mindset and don’t realize the things they’re doing that prevent them from gaining muscle, many people have the Fatty Patty Mindset and don’t realize how they’re hindering their fat loss progress.
The following are five of the most common mental mistakes you might be making if you can’t seem to lose weight despite tracking your macros and working out.
Fatty Patty Mindset Mistake #1 — Not Tracking Condiments
Condiments such as ketchup, mayo, and ranch need to be accounted for just like anything else you eat that has calories in it.
They seem so harmless. They aren’t filling. They don’t take up very much space on the plate.
But oftentimes they still contain a lot of calories.
Let’s say you decide to grab some fast food, so you head to Chik-Fil-A and order a grilled chicken sandwich combo.
Those would be the accurate macros… if you didn’t add any condiments.
However, if you ate the sauce that comes with the sandwich and a packet of ketchup with the fries, your macros would look much different.
That’s almost 100 extra calories and those are lower-calorie condiments than most others.
So if you didn’t track your condiments with every meal, you could easily be consuming an extra 400-600 calories without realizing it.
Related: How to Eat Out and Not Get Fat
Fatty Patty Mindset Mistake #2 — Logging Fitness Activities in MyFitnessPal
MyFtinessPal is awesome for tracking macros, but it’s terrible for tracking physical activity.
In fact, MyFitnessPal is well-known amongst fitness fanatics for greatly overestimating calories burned from exercise.
Why do they do this? Not sure.
But my theory is that they do it because it makes people feel good about themselves and that feeling encourages them to keep using the app.
Many products use similar techniques, so it wouldn’t surprise me one bit.
But that’s not why you shouldn’t be logging your calories burned. It doesn’t matter that MyFitnessPal is inaccurate because tracking calories burned is a mistake altogether.
It’s so common for people with the Fatty Patty Mindset to track their calories burned because they believe it frees up extra calories for them to eat.
This simply isn’t the case.
Your diet should reflect your normal daily activity, including exercise. The calories you burn are already accounted for.
The other reason people make this mistake is because it makes them feel like they are eating in a lower caloric deficit.
This is also a terrible idea because eating far below your caloric goal for the day can be just as detrimental to your fat loss as eating above your caloric goal.
Stop bullshitting yourself and start focusing on being accurate!
Fatty Patty Mindset Mistake #3 — Ordering High-Calorie Salads
The third mistake I see people make is assuming a salad is healthy or low-calorie simply because it’s a salad.
I’m sorry to break it to you, but the most tempting salads on the menu usually have just as many calories as any other entree — if not more.
Let’s take a look at a few popular culprits:
Where You’ll Find it: Au Bon Pain, Ruby Tuesdays, McDonalds, KFC, Chick-fil-A
Why it’s Worse: Even before you add the salad dressing, which can clock in at 200 calories, this type of salad can easily reach 900-1000 calories due to the “crispy” (read: fried) chicken pieces. Add the creamy, cheese-packed dressing and the saturated fat can easily exceed 12 grams.
Where You’ll Find it: Applebee’s, Au Bon Pain, Chili’s
Why it’s Worse: Typically, this type of salad (which also may go by Santa Fe style or just “Fiesta”) is essentially a deconstructed taco or burrito: loaded with cheese, rice, tortillas strips, not to mention add-ons like guac and sour cream, it can run anywhere from 800 to 1200 calories, 14g saturated fat, and more than 1400mg sodium.
Where You’ll Find it: Applebee’s, Au Bon Pain
Why it’s Worse: The name is deceptively healthy, but extras like fried noodles, almonds, and a sodium-packed Asian-style vinaigrette add up to sky high calories (about 1200), alarmingly high sodium (2000mg at Applebee’s) and more than 12g saturated fat.
Where You’ll Find it: Cosi, diners
Why it’s Worse: While a typical Greek salad has lots of healthy ingredients (romaine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions), the additions that give it bulk and personality (feta, olives, and stuffed grape leaves) can add hundreds of extra calories. You start with a 300-calorie base but add two ounces of feta and you’re up 150 calories; add the olives and you can add 200-400mg sodium; douse the whole thing in olive oil and rack up another 100-200 calories. While all in all not too bad as a meal (and rich in healthy fats and other nutrients), if you’re trying to lose weight, this salad could sabotage your efforts.
If you’re looking for a salad with lower calories, avoid the cheese, olives, fried chicken, and creamy salad dressings.
If you have to drench your salads in dressing to enjoy them, maybe salads aren’t for you.
There are plenty of other ways to lose fat without eating salads.
Fatty Patty Mindset Mistake #4 — Drinking Diet Soda
Diet soda isn’t doing you any favors.
Sure, maybe you think it tastes good and it satisfies your sugar craving…
But that’s exactly why it isn’t doing you any favors.
Aside from all of the health concerns of artificial sweeteners, diet soda only increases your cravings for sweets because it’s dramatically sweeter than normal soda.
I think the health risks for someone who drinks diet soda in moderation are exaggerated, but I still avoid them altogether because, calories or no calories, they’re terrible.
What I recommend instead is replacing soda altogether with flavored sparkling water. They have no artificial flavors, no sugar, and they taste really good. Plus, it feels like you’re drinking regular soda.
Fatty Patty Mindset Mistake #5 — Associating Emotions With Food
This is by far the biggest mindset mistake I see people who struggle with weight loss make.
How many times have you been on a roll losing weight when all of a sudden life happens and you start fucking up your diet?
Well, I have news for you, “life happens” to everyone and that’s no excuse.
I’ve noticed that there are two tendencies that cause this behavior:
- Rewarding yourself with food
- Cheering yourself up with food
You’re not a dog. Food is not a treat.
Food is not therapy. Food is nutrition.
I get it — eating food is fun, especially with friends and family. The best things about holidays are family, friends, and food.
I realize that food is a central part of every culture and the activities we do for fun.
But that’s no excuse.
You know what you need to eat to lose weight — you have to stop letting your emotions cloud your judgment.
When life throws a curve ball your way, the last thing you should do is screw up your diet. That will only cause guilt, regret, and it will be discouraging when your fat loss progress stalls (or reverses).
Eat to live, don’t live to eat.
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What do you think? Do you agree, disagree or have any thoughts to add? Let me know in the comments below.
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