Fat loss is generated by creating an energy deficit, whereby more energy is expended through metabolism and movement than consumed from food and fluids.
The variables we can primarily manipulate are food and fluid intake, and fitness, which can be referred to as the three F’s.
When it comes to eating for weight loss, we aim to modify the foods and fluids consumed with the aim of decreasing total energy intake, while maintaining satiety, mental and physical performance.
To allow these changes to be made, we need to track food intake in real-time for a period of seven days to gain an accurate understanding of energy intake and dietary patterns.
Food recall, whereby you try to list everything eaten last week, is notoriously inaccurate, making it vital to track food intake in real-time time throughout the seven-day period.
Many people lose weight while tracking as they become more aware of their intake, control portion sizes and minimise discretionary food intake.
There is a familiar pattern to many executive client food logs.
They tend to eat well during the day and at main meals, but energy expenditure blows out at meetings, functions, or any time alcohol consumption is involved.
These meals out can be managed by avoiding starchy appetisers such as bread, that is often mixed with energy-dense oils and dips, replaces with fresh fish or salad.
It’s common to not want to impair others ordering, particularly when entertaining and picking up the tab.
Others don’t like drawing attention to their healthy food choices, particularly when they are still overweight, because they haven’t achieved the goal yet.
I’m all for minimising discomfort at all stages, but if it’s been identified that eating out with others is where energy intake is blowing out, we really have to find an approach to cut the intake down.
Most people understand or even appreciate someone who is making an effort to improve their health — they might even want to join.
There might be the odd comment every now and then, but it never comes from the fittest one at the table who is eating and drinking intelligently.
Tom Fitzgerald is a nutritionist and exercise scientist specialising in body recomposition. See more at Integrated Fitness & Nutrition.
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