“I have changed my diet, I go to the gym a couple of times per week, and I haven’t had a glass of wine in almost a week… but, the scale hasn’t moved! I am getting frustrated, and I am thinking that this isn’t going to work for me.” – Client
“Let’s start with your diet. How many calories are you consuming every day?” – Me
“I don’t know. Probably about 2,000.” – Client
“Let me see your nutrition log, and we can see exactly how much you’re eating.” – Me
“Oh, I don’t track. I don’t have time for that, and it’s too annoying.” – Client
The First Mistake of Weight Loss
This is a common conversation I have on almost a daily basis (at least it seems like it).
A client comes to me with the goal to lose weight but can’t tell me how much he/she is eating.
Now, let’s put this into context into other areas of your life.
If your kid comes home with an F on her report card, and you meet with the teacher to find out why your kid failed the class, you expect that the teacher will have a log of all of your kid’s grades.
If, when you go to the meeting the teacher says, “Well, it was time-consuming to track and keep all of Susie’s grades over the last couple of months, so I just made an assumption of what her final grade would be,” you would probably lose your mind on Mrs. Johnson.
Tracking your meals is no doubt a tedious task, but it is one that is necessary for reaching any of your body composition goals.
Without tracking, you are just guessing, which is a sure way to not be accurate with how much you are eating.
When you overeat, even by just a little, your body is consuming more calories than needed.
Those calories will be stored for later use during a time that you aren’t eating enough.
The problem is, and fortunately, food is not at a shortage for us in the developed world.
We don’t need to be storing extra fat on our body to prepare for the next meal that might not come for another few days.
When you compound the extra calories every day, the weight will eventually start piling on.
For example, if your Basil Metabolic Rate (BMR), or in other words, the amount of calories your body burns on a daily basis just to survive- is 1,500. And, you are consuming 1,700 calories each day, that means you are in a caloric surplus of 200 per day.
If this is happening on a daily basis your total calories for the week are increased by nearly 1,400 calories… That is like adding the 8th day to the week, without burning any calories at all.
No wonder why it’s so easy to put on weight, even when you are trying to change your lifestyle.
Simply put, track your meals.
Become disciplined in the fact that if you are not assessing, you are only guessing.
There are a lot of free apps out there that you can download onto your phone, and use to track your nutrition.
Most of these apps even remember the meals and portion sizes that you eat, so that it makes it easy to input them into the daily tracker.
Without tracking your meals, there are way too many variances that can propel you in the wrong direction, even when you are making a conscious effort to eat better.
If you have ever participated in a Discovery Session with me, this is one of the first areas that we cover.