Recently I had some patients who couldn't figure out why they were not losing weight, despite regular exercise. I had addressed nutrition with them more than once and when I asked them about their food intake during their visit, they said they were doing well and following the guidelines I had given them.
The first step with any weight loss mystery is to always get a detailed account of what someone is eating, so I had these patients bring in their diet diary.
Sorry...no mystery....just what you're eating
The first thing I noticed was (and this was a big lesson to me) that they definitely were not following the dietary guidelines I had set out for them.
The foods they were eating left no room for mystery as to why they were not losing weight -- it was rather obvious.
It is not the number of calories per day that you are eating that matters, but what type of foods, in what combinations and the timing of your meals/snacks.
Write down what you are eating and take it to someone who knows
Most people do not have a realistic idea of what they eat throughout the day and how healthy the foods they actually eat are. When patients initially come to see me and bring me a food diary, about 80% of them say -- "Oh -- just to let you know this wasn't a typical week. There was a lot going on."
I typically eat well...
Many people seem to have a week that isn't typical more often than not.
That is another reason why I feel it is so important to see a naturopath or holistic nutritionist for healthy eating -- most people think they are eating healthy, when they really are not for one reason or another.
This is healthy....isn't it?
Another problem is that many people do not know what is and isn't healthy.
Remember back in grade school where you learned that pizza was good for you because it had all the food groups? I'm pretty sure I remember that actually being a joke, but many people have taken that as truth and run with it.
Pizza is not a real meal
Pizza is yummy, but it's a not a real meal and it's definitely not going to help you lose weight.
Why? Too many carbs, too much bad fat (usually) and not enough protein, good fat, fiber or vegetables.
Just accept it...
"Oh, no, I have my pizza with meat and vegetables on top", you might say. I guarantee you that if there were enough vegetables and whole meat on top to make a healthy meal, it would look like more of a big mess than a delicious pizza.
Something else that will keep you from losing weight: Fast food.
Okay, now that I've traumatized you, I am going to stop and let it sink in.