Eating healthy but not eating right
''I have a balanced nutritious diet.' A response I am accustomed to hearing - and it's true. Most of us do a great job of eating our 5 a day, have a good fibre intake, a good grasp on what constitutes macro and micronutrients but... that's not the conversation we should be having. It's not productive!
A successful weight loss journey needs to start with addressing some uncomfortable truths. Top of the list is understanding our daily energy requirment. This means addressing beliefs, behaviours and perceptions. Understanding what calorie dense food is and reverse engineering our programmed body-destructive habits that have caused a consistent increase in our waistlines over a period of years - naturally we all want to reverse this damage in a matter of weeks!
Too many people are eating healthy but not eating right. Now of course if takeouts feature daily in your meal plan then we need to talk about meal prep - that would be an obvious place to start. The hard conversations are with those with little appreciation of calorie density in regards to their food. "No matter what I eat or how much I exercise I stay the same weight." -A response that triggers the alarm bells that someone is trying to out train a bad diet and would benefit from tracking their calories for a 1 week.
Problem is, calorie counting is boring and despite using tracking apps like MyFitnessPal we do a good job of forgetting to journal everything we eat and a poor job of estimating portion size. "I only had a salad for lunch'' (minus the biscuit(s) with coffee during a short break & minus the salad cream).
It's easy to fall victim to this but my best advice remains that people stop counting steps and start counting calories. And execution is much harder than it sounds but everyone who has ever been successful in losing weight has had to find a way to achieve a calorie deficit.
Strategies to avoid the common pit falls and make it easier to be consistent include meal prep followed by logging your calories the night before. Remove temptation from your cupboards and fridge/freezer, plan your snacks, utilise intermittent fasting and don't be too strict on your calorie deficit targets. Aim for no less than 500 calories below your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) to avoid brain fog, lethargy and slowing your metabolism.