Why Do I Lose More Weight When I Eat Junk Food?

Are you someone that has an obsession with wanting to lose weight but can’t seem to get the results you’re looking for? Do you lose more weight when eating junk food? There are a lot of misconceptions out there about weight loss.

Clearing up these misconceptions can make weight loss seem much more of a reachable goal for you.

This article will detail some of the myths about weight loss and why you may be losing more weight when eating junk food.

Top Reasons You May Be Losing Weight Even Though You’re Eating Bad


a person in a red shirt and white apron holds a large ice cream sandwich

This could happen for several reasons. A lot of people don’t have linear progression with their weight loss efforts because it requires a lot of consistency. You may find that you do better with your weight loss efforts when you consume junk food. This can happen for many different reasons.

You can find some of them outlined below.

1. You Aren’t Restricting Yourself

One of the main reasons a lot of people end up not losing their desired weight has to do with the unsustainable approach they take.

RELATED: When Will You Start to Lose Weight Without Exercising? 

Many try to go at weight loss with various strategies that aren’t practical. This can include starving yourself or putting too many restrictions on what you can and cannot eat. While in theory, this may sound good, it’s usually going to result in negative results.

When you restrict yourself too much, you will find yourself compensating. You will also find yourself lacking motivation and more.

When you don’t limit yourself and you simply focus on the calories you are consuming, you will have a much better chance of sticking to your weight loss efforts including both diet and exercise.

2. Cheat Days Work

Another reason you may find yourself losing more weight effectively when you consume junk food has to do with the way cheat days work.

If you are consuming junk food every day, you are likely to pack on the pounds. However, if you are doing it strategically once per week, you will find it can help propel your weight loss efforts.

Studies show that there are plenty of benefits to giving yourself a cheat day to consume junk food. Not only does it help to boost the metabolism, but it can also keep you from splurging on foods throughout the week [2].

When you put all of your junk food eating into a single day, it’s going to psychologically help you for the rest of the week.

3. You’re Working Out After

If you have a goal of losing weight and you find yourself eating a lot of junk food, you are likely going to work out more to burn the excess calories off. While this isn’t true for everyone, you could find yourself feeling guilty.

This guilt will drive you to work out more often. This can keep you active and burn more calories.

While you won’t be able to burn off all of the excess calories you consumed, it’s a good way to keep yourself motivated to continue exercising and working out.

4. You Don’t Lose Motivation

As mentioned previously, adhering to a restrictive diet can be demoralizing. It’s no fun having to consume the same boring foods day in and day out. It can decrease your motivation to want to continue on your weight loss journey.

Losing weight is a long process.

It’s a journey that requires a lot of time and commitment. Many people won’t have the patience to go through with it. When you allow yourself to eat junk food occasionally, you won’t feel as demotivated throughout each day.

After all, you aren’t completely changing your life. Have you ever tried to quit something cold turkey? It’s challenging. It’s one of the reasons a lot of people fail to quit what they are looking to stop doing. Allowing yourself to eat junk food on occasion can help you suffer the same fate.

You won’t lose the motivation you need to keep going to achieve your weight loss goals.

5. You Are Counting Calories

The only way you are going to lose weight successfully is by counting calories.

You need to count calories to ensure you are consistently putting yourself at a caloric deficit. You won’t be able to do this when you aren’t actively counting how many calories you are taking in daily. You are losing weight while eating junk food because you are consistently tracking how many calories you are consuming.

This alone can keep you progressing towards your goals. If you aren’t counting calories, you won’t know if you are putting yourself in a position to successfully lose weight.

6. You Are Eating Junk Food In Moderation

If you are consuming bags and bags of potato chips, you aren’t going to lose weight. The same is true if you are consuming 4,000 calories of fruit. It doesn’t matter what you are eating, you need to consume it in moderation. Too much of anything is a bad thing.

You want to avoid consuming anything in excess. As long as you are eating junk food in moderation, you won’t be completely ruining your weight loss goals.

RELATED: If I Exercise But Eat Bad Food Will I Still Lose Weight? 

If you are losing weight while eating junk food, it means you are consuming the junk food in moderation.

7. It’s Giving You a Rush Of Energy

You will notice when you consume a bunch of candy that it will increase your energy levels. It’s commonly referred to as a “sugar rush.” This sugar rush can coincidentally give you the energy to go for a walk or to get physically active in another way.

This is a great way to get yourself walking when you might not feel like it or working out on a day you would normally skip.

If you are consuming a lot of sugary junk foods, it could be helping give you the short-term energy boost you need to get moving. Moving more is one of the best ways to keep yourself losing weight and staying healthy.

Myths About Weight Loss

a woman shows off her abs to her friend after working out

1. You Need To Stick To A Strict Diet

A lot of people have been convinced they need to follow some restrictive diet to successfully lose weight.

While sticking to a diet can prove to be beneficial for your weight loss goals, it’s not the only way to lose weight. It could be a hindrance to your weight loss efforts if it’s unsustainable or impractical.

There is no “right” diet when it comes to losing weight.

There are plenty of studies showcasing how low-carbohydrate diets can work and many other strict diets. The truth is, that these diets work only when you adhere to a specific principle. That principle is consuming fewer calories than you are burning daily.

Maintaining a caloric deficit is the way to lose weight. Not eating lemons for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Stop following the next ‘fad’ diet and start counting your calories.

2. All Carbohydrates Are Bad

This is another big misconception that has been exacerbated by all of the low-carbohydrate diet followers out there.

Carbohydrates do indeed convert to glucose in your body for energy, but that doesn’t mean they are going to cause you to put on excess weight. There are plenty of carbohydrates that can be beneficial to your weight loss efforts. Ideally, you want to consume a moderate amount of carbohydrates.

Not only is it going to help your weight loss efforts, but it’s going to keep you much healthier than by loading your diet full of high-fat foods that can increase your risk of developing heart disease [1].

While you want to try to incorporate more complex carbohydrates into your diet over simple carbohydrates, don’t be afraid of getting a healthy dose of cards. It’s not detrimental to your weight loss efforts and it can keep you healthy.

3. You Need To Starve Yourself

This is a big misconception that a lot of people have about losing weight that is simply not true.

Starving yourself can hinder your weight-loss objectives. It can completely stunt your metabolism. When you starve yourself, your body goes into self-preservation mode. This shuts down your metabolism because it conserves what it has available.

This can negatively impact your ability to lose weight because you will be burning calories/fat at a slower rate. You are indeed likely to lose weight during the initial stages of starving yourself.

However, that weight loss is unsustainable and you will gain it back just as quickly. This is an impractical way to lose weight and it’s not sustainable whatsoever. You can consume plenty of food throughout the day and still achieve healthier and sustainable weight loss.

There is no reason to starve yourself.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Can You Drop 20 Pounds in 30 Days Without Exercise? 

While you do want to put yourself at a caloric deficit, you don’t need to starve yourself to do it. Simply add more nutrient-dense foods to the mix.

4. You Need To Eat Low Fat Foods

This is not true at all. A lot of the low-fat foods are detrimental to your weight loss efforts because they generally have more sugar in them. While they have less fat, they will contain more sugar which plays a bigger role in you packing on pounds.

5. You Need To Cut Out All Snacks

There is absolutely nothing wrong with snacking. Snacking is healthy and it’s a good way to keep yourself from overeating. While you do want to opt for healthier snacks whenever possible, that’s not practical for many.

You don’t have to worry about a little snack here and there curbing your weight loss efforts. While you do need to count the calories of the snacks you’re eating, you have to do that with anything you eat.

Cutting out all snacks isn’t the key to weight loss.

Do You Have To Stop Eating Junk Food To Lose Weight?

As you can probably tell, the answer is “no.” You can successfully lose weight no matter if you are consuming junk food or not.

While it’s easier to lose weight when you are eating nothing but healthy foods, consuming junk food here and there isn’t going to hurt. If you are doing it strategically on a cheat day, you could be helping yourself progress towards your weight loss goal. Don’t let the idea that you have to consume nothing but vegetables stop you from losing weight. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about weight loss.

Now that these myths have been dispelled you are in a good spot to achieve all of your weight loss goals.


  1. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/
  2. https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips/nutrition/the-skinny-on-cheat-days