Yes, You Can Still Eat Burgers and Lose Weight

How to eat what you enjoy and still reach your goals – plus a bunch of tasty burger recipes.
Published August 29, 2022

With WeightWatchers, no food is off limits. The program is a lifestyle, not a diet, and takes a holistic approach to weight loss and healthy living. By emphasizing balance and overall health, there is room to eat the things you enjoy – yes, even burgers – and still lose weight.

“I believe the healthiest you is the one where you feel comfortable being yourself, and that includes making choices without guilt. When it comes to food, balance is key,” says Emre Ozgur, founder of Safe Sweat. “If you love a burger and haven’t been told by your doctor not to eat one, then go for it! Finding a healthy balance comes with making everyday choices.”

And moderation is key to finding that healthy balance, he explains.

“Your grandmother was right though when she said everything in moderation. If you deprive yourself completely, you are making forced hardship a habit and that is no way to enjoy life,” Ozgur says. “Healthy eating is a lifestyle. You should be free to be you and it shouldn’t feel hard or uncomfortable. That is why moderation and balance are the keys to maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the long haul.”

“If you really enjoy burgers, eating them occasionally is perfectly fine as part of a healthy balanced lifestyle, even if you are trying to lose weight, because the impact of one or two burgers over time can be minimized if you are doing other healthy things that counter its effects,” adds Dr. William Li, physician, scientist, president and medical director of the Angiogenesis Foundation, and author of Eat To Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself.

“This means having a daily healthy diet that is heavily plant-based, avoiding sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, minimizing alcohol intake, and [being] modest about the volume of food you consume each day,” Li says. “You also want to be physically active, make sure you tend to your gut health by eating pre- or pro- or post-biotic foods, and manage your stress levels.

How to make your burger healthier

Ozgur says he loves a good family barbecue and often opts for the burger. But there are a few ways he suggests making a burger healthier, including:

  • Load up on veggies
  • Switch the white bun for a whole grain option
  • Swap out the bun for lettuce

Andrea Kloegman, Safe Sweat’s other founder, also recommends having prepared veggies on hand for easy snacking.

“Prep your veggies and place them in easy-to-reach, open containers in the refrigerator. You will be surprised how often you reach for the veggies if they are easy to eat. I also have carrots, salad or other veggies out for anyone to eat while we are making dinner. Since the kids are always hungry, they snack on the vegetables first without thinking twice and I love it.”

She adds, “A healthy lifestyle isn’t about being perfect, it’s about getting up when you fall.” The key is to keep trying to reach your goals and embrace setbacks and imperfections when they arise, she explains, because it’s all part of being human.

“Have a goal to be a little better than you were yesterday, and before you know it, you’ve made lasting lifestyle changes without even realizing it.”