One of the persistent myths out there in the world of weight loss concerns “clean eating”. The idea is that in order to lose weight we need to eat like bodybuilders with our diet consisting entirely of minimally processed whole foods i.e. something that was recently alive or had a face. If someone had a Frappuccino every single day some people might think it’d be impossible to lose weight because you are eating something “bad” everyday.
But that’s nonsense. First of all, sugar isn’t what’s making you gain body fat. Eating over your maintenance calories is making you gain body fat. So long as you are in a slight calorie deficit it’s perfectly possible to have “junk food” everyday as part of a healthy lifestyle. So long as you account for the caloric load it is possible to have your mocha everyday.
However, I will say that if you are already a pretty lean person or happen to be a tiny woman your total caloric budget might be low enough such that it’s not necessarily advisable to drink your calories. The reason is that you’re “wasting” your calories on stuff that won’t fill you up. Feeling full and satisfied after eating calories is an important strategy in the quest to lose body fat because if you’re in a slight caloric deficit you’re likely going to be ever so slightly hungry. And if you’re drinking 600 calories of sugary sweet beverage everyday and your maintenance level is 1800 calories that might make it difficult to stay in a deficit will also managing your hunger level.
But the solution is to not try to eat totally “clean” 24/7. Nor is the solution to go crazy on “cheat days”. Just exercise a little bit of restraint and get the tall Frappuccino instead of the venti. Learn to manage your portion sizes and you will be able to indulge a little and reward yourself after your stressful day. Incorporating small rewards into your daily life will make the overall process of weight loss far more sustainable than trying to eat “clean” 24/7.