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Why diets fail

Right now, we are at the halfway mark for an eight-week challenge. In four weeks, we can learn that things might not be working as they should. I’m a little in that boat. It seemed like I made progress in the beginning, and it seems like I’ve done great with my nutrition plan, but I still have some troubleshooting to do. Yet there are several of you in the 1st Phorm App with me making tremendous progress and that is fantastic! Our journey will ebb and flow, and some of you will learn these other lessons as we go along together.

The thing is, we all have to be honest about what we are doing. If you need help, treat it like it’s the most important lab experiment you’ve ever done – your own body, your own health, it’s on the line! Ask if you have questions. Research and read some of the links I have provided from other places.

Oh, there are many reasons. Is it really Calories in VS Calories out? Does it have to be one extreme or the other? Is there a middle ground? I love Precision Nutrition articles because they go into great detail and provide links to supporting article like “Calories in vs. out?

The nutrition labels are not always correct. The FDA label laws give it a 20% margin or error. It could have more calories and still be in compliance with the law. If you eat a lot of processed food, this can be an issue.

People often underestimate their calorie intake. It’s easy to miscalculate how much you’re eating, as it’s usually unintentional. The most typical ways people do it:

  • They underestimate portions. (For example, without precisely measuring “one tablespoon of peanut butter,” it might actually be two, which adds 90 calories each time you do it)

  • They don’t track bites, licks, and tastes of calorie-dense foods. (For example, your kid’s leftover mac and cheese could easily add 100 calories)

  • They don’t record everything in the moment and forget to log it later on

  • They “forget” to count foods they’d wished they hadn’t eaten

Don’t believe this can be a big issue? Here’s a landmark study that shows that most people under report their actual food intake, sometimes by more than 1000 calories.

It’s important to know your approximate estimate for a TDEE to start with, and then from there to know what is a healthy range for a calorie deficit. Do you know your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure)? It’s mainly based on your gender and height, but there are many other factors. There’s a great article about various calorie deficit ranges in an article about “The 1200 calorie diet” which many of you might learn something from. If you are eating too low and thus not able to comply with your nutrition plan, take a look at that link.

If you don't know your TDEE I can give you a good estimate based on the averaging of most of the scientific formulas given to me by my nutrition professor in college. You can also find out by doing a body composition DEXA/DXA scan.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to keep digging into the problems I’m facing right now with this new season of diet and exercise. You should know, what may have worked for you before, may not work again. Look at the complexities in our metabolism.

I found some great recipe ideas, the link says all under 500 calories but I found many under 300 calories which is great for us “short people” as you’ll see in the various deficit ranges.

It's hard, I know, but I'll keep going and troubleshooting my own problems. Besides, four weeks isn't long enough to see if all the changes I've made in my life will work. This journey requires time, patience, accuracy, and an adherence to the plan.

Do we have a plan? If not, are we willing to make one? Are we able to follow it? If not, why not?

Let's dig in!

Advisor Roberta RS in the 1st Phorm App

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