As a nutritionist many of my clients are avid dieters, they have spent a lifetime yo yo dieting feeling the euphoria of standing on the scales and seeing the weight has dropped, measuring themselves and being able to fit into a size smaller clothes. Reaching their target weight and celebrating. Having friends and family tell they they look great. Only to find several months down the line their weight has crept back on (may be even more) and so the cycle of the weight loss misery starts again.
One of the key areas my nutrition coaching focuses on with clients who feel they want to ditch dieting and free themselves of the cycle of restriction and then abundance is not WHAT they are eating but HOW MUCH they are eating. It is pointless going on a "health" food diet for several months and then reverting back to normal eating after reaching that magic number - the so called "target weight"
getting rid of the scales and focusing on the amount of food eaten is one of the the first phases of a journey I will travel with my clients. The mind set change for eating nourishing food and moving to become fitter,comes later.
Looking at the actual amount of food consumed . The size of the portions eaten,can and will have a massive impact on the energy intake & it does not have to be drastic calorie restrictive hell.
Take the example of cereal below:
In the first image I have attempted to replicate the photograph on the front of the box. The second image is the recommended portion size for this particular cereal- 45g. This equates to about 3 dessert spoons. which sits there looking sad and lonely in the bottom of the bowl. When I measured out the full bowl I had poured to replicate the image it turned out to be equivalent to 7 portions!
Most people realistically would not eat 7 portions,, but lets say for example they eat 4 servings.
A 45g serving is 182 calories with 6.3g fat. If someone is trying to lose weight and eat a healthier diet, then this muesli would seem to be a good option. However, if they just pour the muesli into the bowl without thinking about the portion size, they could well be taking in a greater proportion of their daily energy intake as well as their fat intake: 4 portions is 728 calories.
As a general rule the energy intake for an individual to maintain weight is around 2000 calories for a woman and 2,500 for a man. 728 calories is almost one third of calorie intake based on 2000 calories a day. In todays' society people rarely eat 3 meals a day, which are only 600-700 calories per meal. Food is so abundant for most people and they rarely think of portion size. Individuals will eat a great huge bowl of muesli and feel really virtuous because they have used skimmed milk!
The amount of fat recommended per day is around 44-77g so the fat content of this muesli is actually quite good. However, if you are looking to drop a few kg and love your muesli, then it may be a good idea to just check out how much you are actually pouring into the bowl.
I make my own muesli, its absolutely delicious and is full of seeds, nuts and berries which give protein, vital vitamins and minerals and natural sugars. Plus an oat base which provides soluble fibre. I eat it with full fat Greek yogurt and a handful of berries. It is very satisfying and I only need a couple of spoons full for breakfast. I also know exactly where all the ingredients have come from.
If you would like the recipe, please feel free to e mail me and I will willing send it on to you.
I provide 20 minute free consultations for anyone who feels they may want to be helped with improving their nutritional health.