I first met with a female client back in December, at which time she assured me she has been eating healthily but cannot lose weight. She explained her diets consists of a protein shake in the morning and differing lunches and dinners, but the quick run-down did seem full of healthful foods. I told her, “It sounds like you’re eating some good foods, but you may just be over-eating all the same. I know it’s a pain in the butt, but I think you should track your calorie intake for 1 week and then we can assess and go from there.”
She was reluctant at first, but eventually agreed after some insistence on my part. The first week she reported an average intake of 1700 calories and lost 1/2 pound. This was not the result she was looking for so I recommended trying another week at slightly less calories, about 1,500/day. She’s 41, 152 lbs at 5’2″. This is a 30% reduction of her total daily calorie burn assuming she is “moderately active.” She wasn’t at the time, so this is not deprivation.
Cut to today. I get a call from her saying she wanted to update me. She’s added activity (now exercising 5-6 days/wk), re-arranged her menu to include a protein shake at dinner instead of breakfast (she was over-eating at dinner on healthful foods and is more easily able to control her intake at breakfast) and it still isn’t working. Nah I’m just kidding. Of course it’s working. She’s lost 9 lbs in 2 months and is no longer tracking anything because this system seems to help her regulate her intake without having to worry about it.
What’s the take-home lesson? Get some exercise. Control your intake, even of healthful foods. Find a way to do both that doesn’t seem too much like work.
My favorite quote of the converstaion… “Matt, tracking my calories was a pain but it was exactly what I needed. It showed me I was just eating too much. Thank you.”