Is this you? You work hard to eat healthy but you can’t seem to lose weight. So then you think you are doomed, that your body is uncooperative, and that you will never reach your goals. Here are some of the things I look for in a client who tells me they eat healthy all the time but just can’t seem to budge the number on the scale (or make their pants fit looser).
1) How much of that good food are you eating? Portion control is a huge issue for people who are trying to shed some body fat. Our eyes are bigger than our stomach. We’ve become used to the huge portions we are served in restaurants and accept them as “normal”. Are you eating restaurant-sized portions at home? If so, it’s time to cut back. Choose a smaller plate so that your eyes don’t fool you into feeling like you’re getting ripped off (a big plate with less food will leave you feeling less satisfied than a smaller plate that’s full).
2) How often are you eating? If you’re eating three meals PLUS snacks, there’s a good chance that you’re eating too much. Yes, even if your snacks are healthy. Snacks are a great way of adding an extra 250-500 calories to your daily intake – the exact opposite of what you want to do when you’re trying to get thinner. An extra disadvantage to constant snacking is that your body learns to rely only on food for energy; that is, it doesn’t ever learn to dip into those fat stores in your body for fuel.
3) And finally, have a look at those healthy foods on your plate. By whose standard are they healthy? Is it something you read about in a fitness magazine? Those magazines are fun to read but not always the source of good advice. If your breakfast consists of cereal or toast and your lunch consists of pasta and your dinner has a huge serving of rice, you may not be eating as healthy as you think. If it’s overwhelming to weed through all the good nutritional advice and the bad nutritional advice that’s floating out there in magazines, on television and on the Internet, you should consider working with a health coach such as myself, at least for a little while, until you learn what foods work best for you and your health goals.
P.S. Although I didn’t address it above, don’t forget the impact of your fitness plan on your overall weight loss success (or lack thereof). Endurance exercise is not conducive to weight loss once your body gets used to it (I find most people see amazing results for about 3 months then they plateau). If your progress has come to a grinding halt and you are an endurance athlete, consider adding some weight lifting (no, you won’t get bulky!!), and some interval training to your weekly workouts.
What do you think? Are you stuck in a weight loss rut? Are you possibly eating too much of a good thing? Let me know in the comments below!