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Sometime The Small Things Make A Difference

When we eat a bunch of carbohydrate/sugar containing foods and down lots of alcohol we have every expectation that the scale will go up that week.  When this occurs we understand why the weight increased and even more importantly, what we need to avoid the following week to allow the weight to come down.

Conversely, it is quite frustrating when we see the weight remain the same or even go up even though we purposefully avoided the damaging eating/drinking behaviors that usually cause the weight to increase.  This sense of frustration is not a good one for long-term weight control as frustration often will lead to the “I give up” mentality.

When patients express frustration for a week in which they did not see the results they were hoping for, despite expressing “I followed the plan”, I will ask them to keep a food diary for one week and write down everything/anything they are consuming.  By doing so, this allows me to help them identify the “small things” that could be making a difference.  Some of these “small things” may include:

  • Eating too much cheese.  Cheese is perceived as a “healthy” food for weight control as it contains protein and calcium.  However, the protein in cheese is not a “good” protein for weight loss as chicken, eggs, fish or lean red meat.
  • Snacking on too many fruits.  Once again, fruit is perceived as “healthy” due to the content of fiber and vitamins.  However, fruit contains sugar and the “small” fruits such as grapes, cherries and strawberries are subject to eating more portions than a person planned on.
  • Not eating enough protein:  The ingestion of lots of protein (not in the form of shakes/bars/powders) is key to revving up metabolism.  Often, people overestimate how much real protein they are actually eating.
  • Ingesting small carb snacks to a larger extent than the person recollects.  The human brain is interesting in that often we will trick ourselves into thinking we are eating less or drinking less alcohol than what is reality.

If your weight loss is slower than you would like or the weight seems to be stuck at a certain level, take a step back and analyze what “small things” may be contributing to this situation.  Keeping a detailed food journal will be of great help.

Perhaps a synonym to “small” is “tiny”.  Enjoy an Elton John tune.

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