I was reading an online blog from another dietitian, Rebecca Scritchfield, this week. She had recently been to a nutrition conference where the dietitian that works with The Biggest Loser participants had spoken about her experience on the show. Take a look at the list below. These are characteristics that many of the show’s participants shared prior to beginning their weight loss journey.
- no idea of the number of calories they need or what they actually consume
- most skip breakfast and snacks and let a long time go between meals
- most consume very little fruits and vegetables
- most are not getting enough protein, and what they do get is high in saturated fat
- most get very little whole grains
- most have too much “white stuff” (sugar, refined flour)
- little planning of meals, mostly on-the-go eating and dining out
- most are meeting their daily caloric needs through beverages alone (e.g. caloric sodas, juices and fruit punch)
- many consume very little water
- nearly all reported limited to no exercise
- nearly all prioritize everything and everyone else in their life ahead of their own health
Does this sound like you? It sure sounds like many of the Lifexcel clients I see. Three of these stick out to me.
- Consuming very little fruits and/or veggies. I hear all the time that people don’t like the taste and sometimes even the smell. Many have bad memories from childhood where they were forced to eat broccoli or beets until they gagged. Eating fruits and vegetables are essential for a healthy lifestyle. They are typically low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. There is such a variety of fruits and veggies that it often just takes re-trying some foods you have written off. Or try some foods you have never tasted before like kale or kiwi.
- Skipping breakfast and/or meals. This is VERY common and seems not to make sense. How can skipping meals contribute to someone being overweight? The science behind meal skipping is complex. In short, metabolism slows WAY down when the body is being starved. Also, skipping meals causes your body to have a decreased muscle mass and muscle is where fat is burned within the body. So the less muscle, the less fat burning capacity you have. Not eating also causes blood sugar to spiral. Lastly, when you let yourself get ravenous chances are you will eat large quantities of unhealthy food when you finally do allow yourself to eat
- Limited or no exercise. Burning calories is just one of many benefits of exercise. Everyone needs to be active. I recommend that you don’t go more than 72 hours from your last workout until you do some type of physical activity again. If you hate exercise, open your mind and try some new things. You have to find an activity that you can do for a lifetime. I have a client who does belly dancing. Dog walking, hiking, frisbee golf, ballroom dancing – get out there are try something new.