One of the biggest questions we get asked is on weight loss. How can I lose some weight? I have been struggling to lose weight for X amount of years…… The first question I ask is do you keep a diet journal consistently, and do you have someone to look it over for you. I don’t start with asking them what they are eating or if it is low carb or high carb, or high fat or low fat yada. yada, yads. My first rule is, I don’t want to hear about what you are eating and I won’t listen if you try and verbally tell me everything you ate yesterday and the day before. The reason is, it isn’t everything, not even close. The body doesn’t lose weight over what you ate in one day. It does so over long periods of time. Over the years I have sold nutrition journals and I still do, but with the invention of the smart phone, journaling has become even more user friendly. There are numerous apps that are free online that can assist you in this journey. The even better part of it is that people can hold you accountable from a distance by reviewing it on their computer. I do nutritional help by logging in to my client’s account and viewing their nutrition with out them even being in fron of me. The App that I have used the most and recommend to my client’s is called My Fitness Pal. It can be accessed from a smart phone such as a iphone or droid, a tablet, or home computer. The ease of use is amazing and the database of food is large. If there is a food not listed you can add it to the database for future use and you can even enter your own recipes. The accessibility to cell phones and ease of use is important in being consistent. After about 5-7 days you will start to see trends in your eating behaviors, and most importantly you will see that you may be eating more or less than you thought.
Do your best to enter your own food combinations when available. Meaning if you made a chicken breast salad at home enter all the ingredients individually into the app. Don’t pick a standard salad out of the database. In the beginning I did measure foods out a bit, but after a week or 2 I got the hang of it and could estimate my intake much better. Also make sure to look at what you entered. I have had clients accidently enter 3 cups of chopped eggs into the app instead of 3 whole eggs. Another thing to look at is the choices. If you enter boneless skinless chicken breast you may have 50 choices. Make sure to look at the calorie counts and protein counts. Some foods are added into the system and may have the calories correct but not have anything entered for grams of Protein, Carbs, or Fat. When I am working with a client, I am not just looking at calorie counts, but rather looking at the ratios of the macro nutrients. Another great benefit of using this app is that it will start to save your most recent and frequent foods used. So if you tend to eat lots of egg whites it will show up on this easily accessible menu. You can then just tap the choice and not have to enter it in again from scratch. The only problem I have found with this is that foods you enter in your phone don’t necessarily show up on your computer and vice versa, but after a bit of time it will all work itself out.
GIve your login information to a trainer,nutritionist, or knowledgable professional. Just make sure you use unique passwords and login. They can check on your nutrition remotely and give you feedback via email or phone. When clients have in person nutritional consults we pull the screen up in my office and review the entries together. Hands down this is a crucial part of the process!