The Best List Of Superfoods

Ever see one of those extremely useful lists of superfoods? Of course you have! A new one pops up somewhere every 5 minutes, so it’s pretty hard to avoid.

But if you somehow haven’t seen this before, let me fill you in on what you’ve been missing.

What Are Superfoods?

Superfoods are foods that are considered to be significantly better for you than all other foods, because they posses some special nutritional trait that provides an important benefit to you.

From improved health and disease prevention, to burning fat and making weight loss happen, these superfoods are supposedly THE KEY to every physical improvement you want to make to your body, and should therefore be a part of your diet.

The Ultimate List

With this in mind, I’ve spent the last 6 months rigorously reviewing hundreds of these types of lists and carefully researching every single food and their countless benefits.

Why? To provide you with the ultimate compilation of lists containing the absolute best, most amazing, most beneficial, most effective, most important, most healthy, and of course most super superfoods in the entire history of the planet.

So, without any further ado, here are those lists…

The Top 5 Foods That Cause Weight Loss

  1. No
  2. Foods
  3. Cause
  4. Weight
  5. Loss

The 4 Best Foods For Building Muscle

  1. No
  2. Foods
  3. Build
  4. Muscle

The 8 Weirdest And Most Effective Superfoods

  1. That’s
  2. A
  3. Marketing
  4. Term
  5. It
  6. Doesn’t
  7. Actually
  8. Exist

The 5 Most Unhealthy Foods That Are Making You Fat

  1. It
  2. Doesn’t
  3. Work
  4. Like
  5. That

The 4 Secret Foods That Burn Belly Fat

  1. Holy
  2. Mother
  3. Of
  4. God

The 19 Most Amazing Ideas For Idiots To Write Shitty Articles About

  1. Anything
  2. That
  3. Involves
  4. Meaningless
  5. Lists
  6. Of
  7. Foods
  8. Because
  9. It’s
  10. Easy
  11. And
  12. Looks
  13. Useful
  14. Even
  15. Though
  16. It
  17. Never
  18. Actually
  19. Is

Wait… What Just Happened?!?

Oh, I’m sorry. Was that not quite what you were expecting?

Hmmm. That’s odd. I wonder why that is?

Ohhh, that’s right: because superfoods are bullshit.

You see, back here in reality…

  • There is no single food that will cause you to lose fat.
  • There is no single food that will prevent you from gaining fat.
  • There is no single food that will cause you to build muscle.
  • There is no single food that will make you healthy.
  • There is no single food that will prevent or cure a disease.
  • There is no single food that will make up for an inadequate overall diet or workout program.

There also isn’t any “super” combination of foods that you can include together in your diet that will make any of these things happen, either.

The truth is, you could scour the Earth to locate every superfood that has ever been included on every one of these stupid useless lists, and then proceed to consume all of them every single day for the rest of your life. And guess what?

You could still very easily be an overweight (or even obese), un-muscular, unhealthy person with numerous diseases and health problems.

How could this be, you ask?

The Truth About Superfoods

A true “superfood” – by the definition typically implied by its usage – does not actually exist.

You see, “superfood” isn’t a scientific term. It’s not even a nutritional term. It’s a marketing term.

It exists for the sole purpose of grabbing your attention so you’ll:

  • Click through to a website.
  • Read an article.
  • Read a social media post.
  • Open an email.
  • Buy a magazine.
  • Buy a product.
  • Buy a food.
  • Stay tuned in to your local news report.
  • Watch the latest episode of Dr. Oz.
  • Navigate through one of those torturous slideshow lists that force you to load the next page in order to view the next useless item on the list, thus increasing the number of ad impressions served, thus increasing the amount of money being made off of your dwindling patience and the fact that you’ve been tricked into believing in superfoods.

Or, some other equally guaranteed waste of your time and/or money.

Above all else, that is what a “superfood” truly is, and that is what it truly exists to do.

The 10 Best Superfoods

Don’t Believe Me? Let’s Fix That.

Now, I realize you may not believe any of what I just said, because you’ve previously seen or heard the complete opposite.

That’s totally fine, but I want to help change that.

To accomplish this, let’s take a look at what I consider to be the 4 biggest claimed benefits of various supposed superfoods:

  1. It burns fat.
  2. It helps you lose weight.
  3. It builds muscle.
  4. It’s healthy, provides some sort of very significant health benefit, and/or contains a high amount of a specific nutrient that is healthy/provides some sort of very significant health benefit.

Now let’s go through each of these claims one by one…

Claim #1: It Burns Fat

Um, no.

The sole thing that causes fat loss is a caloric deficit. That’s it.

Consume fewer calories than your body requires to maintain its current weight (aka a “caloric deficit“) and your stored body fat will be burned as an alternative source of energy.

This is the one and only way fat loss happens, has ever happened, or will ever happen. My articles about How To Lose Fat and The Best Way To Lose Weight Fast cover this in detail.

So, despite the amazing claims you’ll see for some of the foods on these lists, not a single one of them will actually burn fat. There’s nothing present in any food that is remotely “super” enough to magically cause you to lose fat without that required deficit being present.

And when that deficit IS present? It’s still not the superfood that’s causing your fat loss. It’s the deficit itself.

In fact, as long as that deficit exists, you can eat anything you want (not recommended, just making a point) and you’d still lose weight just fine.

Yes, you can literally eat a diet comprised almost entirely of junk food – for example, Twinkies – and you’d still lose weight just fine as long as that caloric deficit exists.

Don’t believe me? Look no further than Mark Haub, the professor of nutrition at Kansas State University who followed a diet just like this (The Twinkie Diet) to prove this exact point, and lost 27lbs in 2 months.

Does this mean Twinkies are a superfood? Nope. It means a deficit alone is what causes weight loss, regardless of the foods being eaten.

The reverse version of this is true, too.

If you maintain your current weight eating 2000 calories per day (just a random example), and you eat more than this amount – let’s say 2500 calories – you will gain weight regardless of what those calories are.

So whether it’s 2500 calories worth of Twinkies or 2500 calories worth of magical superfoods, you’re still going to gain body fat.

Why?

Because the specific foods you eat are not what dictates whether you lose weight or gain weight. That always comes down to total calories.

Details here: The 10 Best Fat Burning Foods

Claim #2: It Helps You Lose Weight

Alright then, what about foods that can at least help you lose weight?

Well, that would depend on your definition of the word “help.”

If you mean foods that are going to burn fat, the answer is of course no.

If you mean foods that are even remotely close to being something like this, the answer is still no.

You’re going to have to take your definition of “help” down quite a few notches before you get a “yes” out of me.

How far down exactly?

Hunger Control

If you mean foods that are more filling than other foods and are therefore more likely to help you control your hunger, which can then help prevent you from eating more calories than you should be, then yes.

The nutrients playing the largest roles in this regard are protein (sources: here, here, here, here and here) and fiber (sources: here, here, here, here and here), so foods containing them in good amounts would in fact be helpful to someone trying to lose weight.

But, here’s the thing.

The key to getting these benefits is much less about specific foods, and much more about eating a sufficient total amount of protein and fiber per day (ideally also consuming a meaningful amount of each at each meal).

So even though a typical list of superfoods may contain foods fitting this “high protein” or “high fiber” description – thus making them appear to truly be specialthe reality is that there are dozens upon dozens of foods that can provide the protein and fiber you need to play this beneficial role in your diet.

Which means that whether you eat the particular foods mentioned on some list or avoid those foods completely in favor of any of the various other foods or combinations of foods that can provide similar amounts of protein and fiber… the end result would be exactly the same, and the same benefits would be present.

Additional details here: Why Am I Always So Hungry?

The Thermic Effect Of Food

If your definition of “helping” you lose weight means a food that can make you burn more calories than other foods, then yes (although probably not for the reasons you’re thinking… more on that in a second).

See, your body burns calories during the digestive process (source). This is known as the Thermic Effect Of Food (TEF).

It just so happens that protein has a much higher thermic effect than fat or carbs, which means eating more protein will cause your body to naturally burn more calories per day.

Nice, right? But here’s the thing.

There are dozens upon dozens of foods that contain moderate to high amounts of protein which a person can eat to reach the sufficient total amount of protein they require each day to get this benefit.

It’s not any one particular food that does it. No single high protein food is “super.” It’s the total protein intake itself that is truly super in this scenario, and there are numerous food options available for getting that protein.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about various spices (e.g. chili peppers) that supposedly increase your metabolic rate, that’s either complete nonsense or unlikely to be significant enough to actually matter, depending on the spice (sources here and here).

Additional details here: How To Increase Your Metabolism

Maintaining Muscle

How about if your definition of “helping” with weight loss means a food that can prevent you from losing muscle mass while you lose fat? If so, the answer is once again yes.

It turns out protein plays the biggest dietary role in preserving muscle (sources here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). So if you want to ensure that more of the “weight” you lose is body fat rather than muscle tissue, eating a sufficient amount of protein each day is crucial.

But… here’s the thing.

Once again, it’s not about the food(s) you get the protein from. It’s about your total overall protein intake itself. That’s what provides these benefits.

And as I’ve already repeated and have no problem repeating again, there are dozens and dozens of foods/combinations of foods you can eat to reach the total protein intake you need to make this happen. Whether or not that total is reached by eating the superfood someone included on some list for this purpose doesn’t matter at all.

Another Fun Thing To Keep In Mind

Do you know what I love?

When some diet guru encourages people to eat more superfoods because they contain “this” and “that” and have high amounts of “this” and are very rich in “that” and all of these things will help them burn fat easier and lose weight faster and blah blah blah blah blah.

So now, the average overweight person sees this recommendation and instantly adds a bunch of walnuts, dark chocolate, blueberries, and red wine (all of which are foods commonly found on these lists) to their diet to get more “antioxidants” and “healthy fats” and other special nutrients with no regard for the hundreds of additional calories these “superfoods” will also be providing.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

In this type of scenario (which I bet happens a lot more than anyone realizes), not only are superfoods NOT helping a person lose weight, they’re actually doing the opposite: adding on to the person’s calorie intake and potentially preventing them from losing weight (or maybe even causing them to gain additional weight).

Fan-freaking-tastic.

Claim #3: It Builds Muscle

A superfood that builds muscle?

Umm… unless that superfood is a fortune cookie that you can crack open to reveal a little piece of paper that contains the details of where you can get yourself some steroids, there is no such thing.

There also isn’t a specific food that will have any remotely meaningful “testosterone boosting” effect, just in case you’re wondering. That’s nonsense.

The only thing that builds muscle is an intelligently designed workout program that generates sufficient amounts of tension, fatigue, and damage (source), which is then supported by a sufficient overall muscle building diet.

I cover all of this in detail in Superior Muscle Growth, by the way.

Claim #4: It’s Healthy

And finally, we have health.

I think I can kill this one in… let’s say… three points.

Point One: It’s A Single Food

First, I’m not doubting for a second that many of the foods on these types of lists are indeed “healthy” when looked at as a single food standing on its own.

I mean, on paper, I’m sure each of these individual foods are as high in whatever “healthy” nutrients they are claimed to be high in. You won’t get much disagreement from me on that.

The problem, however, is that the nutritional content of a single food is virtually meaningless in the context of someone’s overall diet.

Let me give you an example.

Think of the most super superfood of them all. Got it? Good.

Now add it into the diet of someone who eats like crap.

You know… the typical bad diet an overweight and/or unhealthy person might have. One that involves eating an excessive amount of calories, excessive amounts of junk food, excessive amounts of alcohol, not enough protein or fiber, not enough fruits or vegetables, etc..

Now 99% of their diet is still terrible, and the other 1% is this wonderful superfood.

Do you think they are suddenly going to become healthier because of this?

No.

That special food will have no meaningful effect, other than perhaps making this person falsely believe they did something that improved their diet (they didn’t), which in turn makes them think things are now better (they’re not), which may prevent them from actually doing the things they need to be doing to actually make those improvements (bingo).

Because THAT’S what the entire concept of superfoods makes people think… that they can eat their usual shitty diet and then have some blueberries or some broccoli every so often and it will somehow magically counteract all of the bad stuff.

It won’t.

That’s not how it works.

Point Two: It’s Not That Special

The second point I’d like to make involves just how not-super these supposed superfoods really are, even the ones that contain all of the amazing “healthy” nutrients they are supposed to contain.

To make this point, let me tell you about a very short conversation I had with someone years ago.

This was back when the acai berry was first gaining popularity as the newest and most amazing miracle food on Earth.

In trying to convince me that this was a food that EVERYONE NEEDED TO EAT if they wanted to be as healthy as possible, this person went on and on about how high the acai berry is in antioxidants.

This, of course, is true. The acai berry IS high in antioxidants.

“But do you know what else is high in antioxidants?” I asked.

Every other fucking berry.

As are many other fruits, and vegetables, and beans, and on and on and on.

The same could be said for [insert any other vitamin, mineral, or micronutrient] found in [insert any other superfood].

“Wow!! Did you know Superfood X contains a lot of Nutrient Z?!? It’s so amazing!!”

Yes it is, until you realize that plenty of other foods and combinations of foods also contain a lot of that same nutrient.

Point being, there is never anything so special about any one food some writer decided to put on their list beyond the fact that it just happened to be the one food this writer decided to put on their list.

Point Three: It’s The Overall Diet

Remember “The Twinkie Diet” from the example I gave earlier? The point-proving junk-food-filled diet that professor Mark Haub ate for 2 months to show that a caloric deficit was the sole cause of fat loss, regardless of the foods providing those calories?

Remember how he lost 27lbs during that time?

I bet you’re wondering what else happened during that time… in terms of his overall health.

Well…

Haub’s “bad” cholesterol, or LDL, dropped 20 percent and his “good” cholesterol, or HDL, increased by 20 percent. He reduced the level of triglycerides, which are a form of fat, by 39 percent.

So, let’s see.

He ate Twinkies. He lost weight. A variety of his health markers improved.

Does this mean Twinkies are the most super-duper-bestest superfood of all time?

Or does it simply mean that a caloric deficit is the sole cause of fat loss – not any supposed magical foods themselves – and losing a bunch of body fat as a result of that caloric deficit happens to improve virtually every health factor there is?

I’ll let you figure out that answer yourself.

Ah, screw it… [spoiler alert!!]… it’s the second one.

My point? In the context of someone’s overall diet, there is not a single food that is capable of making someone healthy or unhealthy, even if that food has “healthy” or “unhealthy” nutritional properties.

You can eat blueberries everyday and still be an overweight person with diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, or you can eat Twinkies everyday while losing 27lbs and improving the health markers that prevent diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

It’s always your overall diet that makes these things happen. Not the inclusion or exclusion of a single “good,” “bad,” or even “super” food within that diet.

But We Want Something Super To Strive For!

I know, I know.

That’s a big part of what makes the concept of superfoods so appealing.

It’s the idea that there’s something you can easily do that will be extremely beneficial to the way your body looks, feels, and functions. And it doesn’t get any easier or more appealing than “eat the magical foods on this list.”

Unfortunately (and perhaps disappointingly to many people), it’s a concept built on bullshit.

That’s the bad news.

The good news, however, is that there is indeed something super for us to strive for after all.

Granted, it’s not going to be nearly as appealing as a pretty list of foods. And no, it’s not going to be quite as easy as that pretty list of foods, either.

But, the important difference here is that, unlike superfoods, this thing is real.

As in… really real.

And completely legit.

And absolutely-positively-guaranteed to have a significant beneficial effect on the way your body looks, feels, and functions.

In fact, it will have THE most beneficial effect possible.

Ready?

It’s something I call a super lifestyle.

And guess what? I’ll even present it to you in the form of a list.

The Super Lifestyle List

Super lifestyles are comprised of the following:

  1. A super diet, the kind that allows you to consume the total amount of calories, macronutrients, micronutrients, and water that you need to support your specific goals and overall health, all of which is put together in whatever way is most preferable, enjoyable, convenient, and sustainable for you as possible. #PECS
  2. A super workout, the kind that is designed with your specific training needs and goals in mind, built around the proven fundamentals of what is optimal for reaching those goals. (My free weight training guide covers everything: The Ultimate Weight Training Routine)
  3. A super sufficient amount of sleep and sleep quality, ideally in the range of 7-9 hours per night.
  4. A super minimization of stress.
  5. A super use of supplementation to eliminate nutrient deficiencies that you are unable to fix through diet alone (common examples include omega-3s and vitamin D).
  6. A super use of moderation when it comes to the things that truly warrant a sane-yet-still-enjoyable amount of moderation (e.g. sugar).
  7. A super avoidance of the things that truly warrant being avoided as completely as possible (e.g. smoking).
  8. Super habits that ensure everything on this list is put into action.
  9. Super discipline to ensure there is consistency with those habits.
  10. And if you want to go even further, super amounts of laughter (it’s good for you), sex (it’s also good for you), happiness, fundoing more of the things you love and less of the things you hate, and on and on and on.

If you want your body to look, feel, and function as well as it is capable of looking, feeling, and functioning… THEN THIS IS THE TRUE WAY TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

No amount of lists of magical foods is going to do it, no amount of magical foods on those lists is going to do it, and no one specific thing of any kind is going to do it.

That’s just not how this works.

What you want here, or really… what we ALL want here… is something that can only be achieved when everything on this list comes together for the long-term.

Not just some of the things. And not just for a short-term period of time.

Everything. Long-term.

That’s what it’s going to take.

And superfoods? Nope. The only thing superfoods are doing is adding to the never-ending list of things that distract people from the super lifestyle they should be focusing on.

Don’t be one of those people.

NEW: My brand new fat loss program, Superior Fat Loss, is now available. It’s completely designed to allow you to lose fat as quickly and effectively as realistically possible… WITHOUT losing muscle, or feeling hungry all the time, or giving up the foods you love, or doing tons of cardio, or following annoying diet rules, or experiencing excessive metabolic slowdown and plateaus, or regaining the fat after you lose it. You can learn all about it right here: Superior Fat Loss

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jay is the science-based writer and researcher behind everything you've seen here. He has 15+ years of experience helping thousands of men and women lose fat, gain muscle, and build their "goal body." His work has been featured by the likes of Time, The Huffington Post, CNET, Business Week and more, referenced in studies, used in textbooks, quoted in publications, and adapted by coaches, trainers and diet professionals at every level.

107 thoughts on “The Best List Of Superfoods”

107 Comments

  1. An INCREDIBLE article. LOVED every single word. Thanks for taking the time to write it. LOVED IT!!!!

  2. At first i was like what kind of bullshitery is this! couldn’t imagine you hopping on the bandwagon.
    I was relieved once I saw the answers I expected from you!!

  3. So far out of all of your articles, this one I think is my favorite so far, definitely one of the funniest ones you’ve done. Also very informative as well! Such as it was when I read the first article I found after Discovering your site by googling “the best workout routine” and The first thing I read was “Bodybuilding Workouts SUCK For Building Muscle!” after that, I had that moment of clarity you get when everything just clicks into place and you realize “bloody hell! I UNDERSTAND THINGS NOW!” Yep that’s basically what turned my whole mind around with workout stuff… Anyways awesome stuff as always Jay! #PECS

    • Thanks man, definitely appreciate it. Very happy to hear how helpful the site has been.

      And if I can be douchey enough to have favorites of my own articles, I’d say this is definitely one of MY favorites, too.

  4. I was so worried when I got this that you were finally going to put a foot wrong with your advice.

    So glad to see my faith wasn’t misplaced

  5. Hey Jay great article! Its very refreshing to see someone pushing honesty and not website hits or pounds of bullshit information.

    So I am new in my journey to a super lifestyle and im in the process of weight loss with a caloric deficit and your Beginners routine.

    So far so good from what I can tell but I was curious about Plateaus for someone that is in a deficit. So this doesnt apply to me currently but if im still trying to lose weight and I hit a month long plateau should I stay in the beginners routine until I start swapping to a surplus and doing the proper thing to build muscle? I know these beginner gains end eventually and I want to make sure I stick to the right workout. Id hate to swap to an intermediate routine early when my issue is I hadnt transitioned into a caloric surplus.

    Hope that block of text makes sense

    • A plateau just means you need to either slightly reduce your calorie intake, slightly increase your calorie output, or some combination of the two so that a deficit exists again. That’s all it takes.

      • Well considering i’m in a caloric deficit and the only lifting gains im getting are from beginner gains isn’t it expected I will plateau completely at some point once the beginner gains stop?

        If that is true and i’m losing weight i’m gaining progress on my goal but on the lifting side i’ve stagnated. What is your recommendation in that case?

        • Fat loss plateaus at some point for people with anything more than a tiny bit of fat to lose as a result of a) a small amount of adaptive thermogenesis, and b) mostly as a result of weighing less… which is why the calorie intake that allows someone to lose weight when they are 250lbs won’t still cause weight loss when they are 200lbs.

          This combination requires a small reduction in calories (or an increase in calories burned… or both) to create a deficit again and break through the plateau.

          Progress/plateaus with lifting is a whole separate thing of its own that I cover here.

          • You know I thought I had read all of your articles but I must have missed this one. That or I just forgot the information because im a dumbass lol. Thanks man your the best and I appreciate you preaching the truth about fitness.

  6. Once again, Jay explains to THE WORLD how simple having a great physique can be! Yet another great article Brutha Jay! RIGHT ON as usual!! LOVED IT!!

  7. Your writing style is simply just great. You motivate me and make me laugh simultaneously. I look forward to your articles. Always on the money. I have gotten many friends to subscribe to your blog. THANKS for keeping it real, and calling out the shite for what it really is

  8. Great article — I suspected it would be a “smart-ass” one, but it was even better than expected.

    Now I just can’t wait for my wife or someone else to tell me about the next “Super Food,” so I can reply by forwarding this to them.

    Outstanding work.

  9. Your article just made my day! I was saying to myself there is NO WAY this article is about to support the con behind “super foods.” And you have me grinning from ear to ear! I truly appreciate your passion and zeal for genuinely helping people!!! This is why I look forward to your emails – the truth is enlightening.

    Thank you for this!!!

  10. “You can eat blueberries everyday and still be an overweight person with diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, or you can eat Twinkies everyday while losing 27lbs and improving the health markers that prevent diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.”

    I actually laughed, not the usual stronger nose breathing, the actual noisy laugh. That stuff should be taught in schools.

  11. The end of step 2 should be reworded to say, “FAT-FREAKING-TASTIC”!

    Excellent piece my man!

  12. Thank you or your clarity! I tend to get bogged down in all of those food lists; taking screen shots of lists, saving them, losing them, finding more…it’s exhausting. I feel like you just released me from the pressure of trying too hard to eat the “right” vegetables. Now I’m free to just keep up my healthy lifestyle.
    Thank you!

  13. I wish I could force every female friend of mine who wants to know how I lost over 60 pounds and then refuse to accept that counting calories is the only secret I have. They all want a shake or a diet plan or special foods. It’s like banging my head against a wall to convince them that a whole ton of good diet food which equals up to a billion calories is NOT going to help them loose weight!! Love you and your brutal honesty.

    • (*to read this. The first sentence should say) wanted to add I only lost all that weight after reading your blog! It suddenly clicked for me and what you said made total sense. Thanks doesn’t cover it!

      • Abby, I feel you! Same boat here. I had a very obese coworker, my age (23 at the time) having back problems and other health issues from being so overweight…I had been following my aha! moment from Jay’s articles with calorie counting and lost 45 pounds pretty quickly. When I suggested it to her, she said she had tried calorie counting but that it “made her feel like she was starving herself”. At the time, I didn’t know what to say, so I just shrugged and dropped it. Now, I feel like I should’ve replied: “But that’s the whole point”. Fat loss doesn’t happen unless you deprive your body of the insane amount of excess calories you’ve been feeding it for years.

  14. Another great, no-nonsense article! Sticking to the “super lifestyle” principles is the ONLY thing that’s ever truly worked for me. People love to hear a success story and are eager to hear the easy trick or convenient tip that changed everything. I have found that most people leave disappointed and frustrated when you tell them “you have to create a deficit and count your calories”, or “you must be consistent and make a lifestyle change”. I believe the problem is a lack of discipline. Until a person is completely tired of where they’re at, they will not change.

  15. Love your articles man, started 4 months ago mostly based on your extended weblogs devoted to eating healthy en working out, thank you so much!

  16. Great article!! I’m a big fan of you and the truth!!
    I have 3 questions, not in relation to this article but in your general knowledge..

    1.What happens when you eat one day an amount of calories for weight gain and the next day an amount of calories with caloric deficit??
    So for example:
    1)1900
    2)2400
    3)1900
    4)2400

    Can you lose fat and gain muscle at the same time?? (I think I know the answer but I wanna know why…)

    2.While following your workout plan for beginners for example and workout 3 days per week, shouldn’t I eat the days I workout more calories since I burn them in my workout and less the days I don’t workout??

    3.I noticed I’m getting stronger while I’m on a caloric deficit.. I believe there is also visible difference of muscle gain on my body.. Am I gaining muscle or isn’t gaining muscle a condition to get stronger??
    When you say you can’t gain muscle and lose weight at the same time, do you mean you can’t even gain a little or it is not the optimum way to go??

    Thank you in advance!!
    Keep up the good work!!

    • 1. If you end up in a net surplus for the week, you will gain weight. If you end up in a net deficit for the week, you will lose weight. If you end up breaking even at maintenance, you’ll do virtually nothing other than, at best, MAYBE make very tiny improvements over a very long period of time. Read this one, especially the part about recomps.

      2. Generally speaking, yes… to make up for the additional calories burned during the workouts.

      3. Read the article I linked in #1. Some people can do both at the same time. If you’re a beginner, you’re probably one of those people.

  17. Nice. One to send to my mates so they can get a good idea of what you are about from one article

  18. Jay, your writing style is just impeccable. You have changed my life. I’m one of those females who has run countless marathons, tried countless diets, fallen for countless marketing scams, until the day I stumbled upon one of your no nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is articles. It has been 20 weeks and I am finally building the body I’ve always wanted. And for the first time in my life, I am truly enjoying the process. There is no food that I can’t wait to have or no workout that I can’t wait to ditch once I reach my results goals. I love what I am doing and will definitely do it for LIFE. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    • You’re welcome, you’re welcome, you’re welcome! Extremely happy to hear it!

      Feel free to shoot me an email in a couple of months and let me know how well your progress continues to go.

    • They’re a real thing! Things like kale, celery, watercress.

      You know that if you eat only these things you’ll scream and cry and have fits of murderous rage that’ll burn any calories you accidently consume from breathing near proper meals.

      ( I actually enjoy kale, celery and water cress but god id be depressed if I lived off of them)

  19. “1. Holy
    2. Mother
    3. Of
    4. God”

    Jay, I nearly pi$$ed myself laughing with this article! It needs to be published and displayed alongside Women’s World and every other health-related magazine, and maybe people would WAKE UP and stop kidding themselves.
    You are fresh (in every sense of the word) and refreshing, I love seeing an email from you, you never fail to entertain and educate at the same time! Keep it up brother!

    • I totally agree with all of the positive comments on here. WAKE UP, PEOPLE! Back in the day when I thought some of the crap about superfoods was real, I bought a book hoping to find THE foods that would supercharge my health. After thumbing through it, I quickly discovered that if I ate basically anything OTHER than packaged food, I’d pretty much be eating a superfood.

      You rule, and your sarcasm is GREATLY appreciated !

  20. OMG I love this article. It’s the way u express, simple words, the way u named every single thing. Love it, live it, love it. I’m a fan of u and it’s helping new a lot to reach my goals . Thanks for the time to get us informed.

  21. Great read. I can’t believe you called out the great Dr OZ. People are looking for the magical silver bullet to solve weight gain. Sad, the real problem is we have to work all day at a desk burning nothing and come home tired. As kids we were burning energy all day and having a great time…And our last thought was food! Hey, we were too busy too eat.

    My superfood breakfast:

    Smoking a cigarette, drinking coffee and eating white powdered donuts.

  22. Really good article, I love it. I have recently begun to question whether this with calories in and out is really true? I recently read about a guy (Sam Felthman, google him) that ate a ridiculous amount calories for 21 days and even though he went up 1.3kg he also reduced waist circumference by 3 cm. He did this on a low carb high fat diet. When he did the same with a standard diet (read crap diet) he gained a lot more, I can’t find the link now but I think it was something like 6-7kg with the same amount of calories. This makes me believe that what you eat affect your body more then the amount of calories. I would love to hear what your opinion is on this?

    • …and, if you can’t ignore everyone that challenges “calories in vs calories out”, at least consider it with this qualifier: even IF someone happens to exist with a strange metabolism which resists adding bodyfat on a low-carb/high fats super-high-calorie diet, that person is a statistical anomaly, a genetic freak — but YOU are almost certainly not. For you along with the 99% of the rest of us, with normal physiologies, “calories in vs calories out” is the correct and effective fat-loss approach.

  23. Dang… Your website has been extremely enlightening and delightfully sarcastic! This article was amazing.

  24. As always a very great article. Now if I had a simple guide to stay motivated and on track all the time that would be a different story. Thank you for all the awesome knowledge from this site.

  25. Thanks Jay,

    I so much wished more people could sign up to your “no bullshit attitude and “get real” by making snarky comments and revealing the many lies seemingly the entire fitness and health industry is built on.
    There was never and will never be a wonder pill. There is no substitute for a healthy lifestyle. Deal with it!

    On a related note: How can I persuade others of this simple, yet sometimes inconvenient truth? I wish I could do more to help out a fat friend on the one end and a superfood-fanatic on the other to get back to a normal life. Unfortunately merely reading your articles may not always be enough … (I know there’s no simple answer to that question.)

    Anyway, thanks a lot for everything you’ve done and please keep on doing it. You will not get to know me and many others who have read your articles personally, but rest assured you’ve already changed my life and assuredly many others to the better. Thank You!

    • Thanks dude! Definitely appreciate it.

      As for your question… here’s a quote I like:

      “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

  26. ”Torturous fucking slideshow lists that force you to load the next page in order to view the next useless item on the list”.

    I’m freaking tired of those too!!!

  27. I’ve got a question.. I’ve seen your upper/lower and push/pull/legs routine.. honestly i can do both and fit in my schedule but the problem is im not satisfied with upper/lower because its kinda like a long session and it get boring.. the push pull legs seems much better for me.. but unfortunately as natty its not enough frequency as upper/lower is.. so what do you think if i did like that :

    Day 1 : Push
    Day 2 : Pull
    Day 3 : Legs
    Day 4 : Rest
    Day 5 : Upper Body
    Day 6 : Lower Body
    Day 7 : Rest

  28. Your articles are just what I have been needing. I finally after 23 years of trying to figure out how to make sense of everything I have found your website! I am so looking forward to reading everything you have. Thank you, this has really changed my mindset and made a difference for me 🙂

  29. ok I am conflicted and I have a big problem with the ” healthy aspect ” … I agree with all other points about calories .. muscle growth etc … but when it comes to fealing healthy as a overal feeling I have a question …
    I red that article about the study with the twinkie diet and found out that you didn’t mentioned to us that he was only eating twinkies combined with other junk food 2/3 of the time and the rest 1/3 it was different .
    It’s right there in the article : “Two-thirds of his total intake came from junk food. He also took a multivitamin pill and drank a protein shake daily. And he ate vegetables, typically a can of green beans or three to four celery stalks. ”

    Well that changes things a lot isn’t it ?
    So I was thinking if somebody did an experiment where he eat only junk food … let’s say only cheeseburger everyday for 2 months …. nothing else … no fruits no vegetables nothing … only cheeseburger… and drank only water (and his goal is to maintain his weight only – so no deficit no surplus)… and then we compare to a guy who eats mostly “healthy” and junk food now and then(still the same number of calories for maintaing weight) and all other external factors being equal… can you honestly tell me that the guy who ate only cheeseburger will ever have lower cholesterol and will feel healthy compared to the guy who ate mixed foods… ? … again assuming they have the same goal of maintaining their weight and their weight is also into normal categories … no obese guys no skinny guys and all other factors are equal… apart from the different diet.

    Think about it and give me an honest answer.

    • Do these external factors that are equal include total calorie, macronutrient and micronutrient intake? And exercise? If so, everything would be about the same for both in the end.

      If not, then someone who eats 100% shit will likely be deficient in a variety of micronutrients (and possibly protein too), which would be bad and unhealthy and stupid.

      Basically, it’s about your total calorie, macronutrient and micronutrient intake for the day. Not the foods that do/don’t provide it all.

      • I see … it makes sense what you are saying … but what about foods that do provide all the necessary macronutrients and micronutrients but also have things considered chemicals like aspartame fried oil or other stuff … if you eat excessive quantities of those but you also get all the necessary macronutrients and micronutrients … would you still be healthy on the long run ?

        I can only tell an example from my father’s life … when he was younger he used to eat a lot of food that was made with fried oil… when he got older he just started eating the same quantity of food but it was boiled … no more frying pans involved in his food preparation … and he felt much healthier … is this possible or it’s just an illusion ? His weight was the same … his physical activity was the same … his food was basically the same but prepared differently because my mother convinced him that we shouldn’t eat food prepared in pan by frying it with oil…. for example no more fried eggs … only boiled egs …etc.
        So does the way you prepare food have any impact on your health in the long run ? Or a boiled meat it’s the same as a fried meat ?

        • “Excessive amounts” of anything isn’t good… even things that are usually considered good (protein, fiber, water, fish oil, vitamins, etc.).

          Keep everything (calories, macronutrients, micronutrients) to sufficient levels rather than excessive or deficient, use moderation with things truly deserving of it, work out correctly… and chances are you’ll be just fine.

  30. Thank you this is fantastic! I am a rehabilitated nutritional therapist who has had the wool pulled out of her eyes by actual science and I am desperate for articles like this! It’s strange how commited people are to they’re snake oil remedies even when you tell them you’re the quack that bottled it and you can personally guarantee the contents are useless at best and down right dangerous at worst. People seem addicted to their false alternative remedy gods

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