Monday, 29 July 2013

Is eating too much preventing you from losing weight?

Over the past 6 months I've tried unsuccessfully to lose some weight.  I'd be happy with a few kilos - maybe just 5kg - to bring me back into the healthy range and help those clothes fit a bit better.  I'm now making healthy lunches to take to work for the first time in my life and I plan the week’s dinners in advance to make sure I have the ingredients I need so I'm not tempted to take an easy unhealthy option.  I'm no angel of course.  Sometimes this plan goes out the window for whatever reason - and I've been pretty lax with exercise recently.

I know the weight will go if I ramp up the exercise considerably - I've experienced that before when I trained for a 10km fun run.  But I don't want exercise to consume my life.  I know food choices can stop me from losing weight.  But I thought I pretty much had that covered - apart from the occasional weakness - which shouldn't be too bad if it is only occasional right?

So if I'm eating healthy food - they why am I still no losing weight?  And more concerning - if I can't lose weight now - what happens if I gain a substantial amount of weight due to pregnancy?  What hope do I have then?

I know someone who is preaching the good word of the Michelle Bridges' 12 week challenge.  She loves it.  So far she has lost 35kg and signs up for every 12 week session.  At $200 for 12 weeks it isn't exactly cheap.  She thinks it is good value as a dietician visit costs $70 per session and she can access dieticians through the program AND get exercise advice AND get shopping lists generated AND get the weeks meals planned.  But for me I just can't justify the expense.  I heard that the Michelle Bridges' Crunch Time Cookbook is similar - it has a 12 week meal plan and recipes that are very similar.  It is currently available on iTunes for $19.95 - or at Kmart for $25 if you want a hard copy. 

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Michelle Bridges – she is known for being a trainer on The Biggest Loser.  Her book is divided into 3 sections – the first talks about diet and mentions two very interesting pieces of information

  1. Weight loss is 80% diet.  Exercise can help you meet those goals, but if she had 2 contestants on The Biggest Loser – one who solely changed their diet and one who solely ramped up the exercise, it would be the dieter who would win.
  2. You can eat all the right foods, but if you eat too much, you won’t lose any weight.

That last point was a very big “AHA!” moment for me.  I need to start calorie counting!  I need to understand the implications of adding avocado to my salad sandwich and I need to understand how many potatoes to serve.  

So for the first time in my life I am about to embark on calorie counting.  If you think about it, many weight loss programs offer disguised calorie counting.  Light n Easy does it for you.  Weight Watchers disguises it for you in the form of points.  They make weight loss easy but it then becomes hard to do it on your own.  What happens when you find a recipe that doesn’t specify points?

And it sounds crazy but I’m very much looking to finally getting on top of good nutrition.  Stay tuned – I’ll keep you updated here on how I go!

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