“I eat really healthy but still can’t lose weight. What should I do?”
On this week’s FAQ Friday Facebook live, Jadie discusses the question we hear most often. “I eat really healthy but still can’t lose weight. What should I do?” Watch the video or read on below!
I hear this questions in a lot of different ways. “I’ve been on this diet for a long time, but I just can’t lose weight.” “I eat really healthy but I’m still really tired all the time,” or “I’ve been following this diet but I’m not seeing any results.” Whenever you think you’re eating healthy but not seeing the benefit, that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
We are going to address this in 3 different ways. First, are you really eating what you think you’re eating? We may have an idea of what it means to eat healthily, but not even be eating those things. I’ll give you an example of this and how to fix it.
Second, if you are eating healthy, we’ll discuss what to do to change things up to get better results.
Finally, the magic bullet to getting a healthy diet: see your doctor!
Are you sure you’re eating healthy?
First of all, it might seem a little condescending to say “Are you sure you’re eating healthy?”
We all have some idea of what it means to eat healthily. The trouble is our memories are really terrible at remembering what we actually eat. Inaccurate self-reporting is something that researchers have had trouble with for years. It’s just part of human nature.
So while you may think you are eating healthy, you may forget about the cookie you just grabbed without thinking. We also tend to underestimate the serving sizes of what we ate.
The best way to combat this is to track what you are eating as best you can. My Bite Me Food Journal is just what you need. It’s really easy to print out a copy and have it handy. There are also many apps for your phone that will help you track your food.
I use both, I’m kind of a paper and technology kind of gal. I use MyFitnessPal, which is owned by Under Armour now, but sometimes you don’t have access to an app. Recently I was at a conference and we didn’t have cell service, but we had a buffet style lunch. There’s no way I would have remembered what I ate unless I jotted it down on paper.
I also just read a study that said photographing what you eat actually produces the most accurate reporting. I guess Instagram foodies figured something out a long time ago!
To give you an example of how tracking can help, this just happened to me a few weeks ago. I thought, “I’ve been eating well, and I’m just not feeling the way I think I should be feeling.” So I started tracking what I was eating on MyFitnessPal, and I quickly realized my problem. Sure, I was eating more fruits and veggies and healthy things, but I was completely neglecting protein. Just not eating it at all. We often think about manipulating our carbs and fats to lose weight or gain energy because those are the body’s sources of energy. But protein is extremely important to maintain proper body function. It just never occurred to me that I wasn’t eating all the protein I needed to eat until I started tracking.
So if you think you are eating healthy but still can’t lose weight, start tracking what you’re eating, so you can make sure you are actually eating what you think you are.
Use your tracker to experiment with your diet
Secondly, after you have tracked for a week or so and you are happy with what you’re eating, or you’ve been following a diet exactly and you still can’t lose weight, then it may be that that’s not the right diet for you.
Everybody’s body responds a little bit differently to different types of diets. Take a look at what you are eating and do a little research on healthy changes you can make. Maybe currently you are eating a lot of whole grain breads and fruits, but maybe try cutting back on those to eat fewer carbohydrates. Or maybe you’ve been doing a high fat diet and putting butter in your coffee, and you think it may be beneficial to cut back on the fats. Once you know what you are currently eating, you can start tweaking things to find what works best for you.
And again, you’ll want to track everything so you can tell what is working for you, what actually helps you lose weight.
You may notice my food journal is called the “Bite Me Food Journal,” and that is because I am a firm believer that when you hear someone telling you how this perfect diet or supplement or patch helped them drop 50 lbs or will “save your life,” we should just say “Your diet can bite me.” The truth is what works for one person might be harmful to another. This could be why you can’t lose weight.
A good but little-known example of this is bulletproof coffee. I asked my nutritionist about this new fad and she replied that many people can gain benefit from medium chain triglycerides, but she couldn’t drink it herself. It turns out there is about 25% of the population who don’t metabolize fatty acids well, and she is one of them. If she drinks bulletproof coffee, it raises her cholesterol almost immediately.
High cholesterol has been proven over and over to be a risk factor for the number one cause of death, but you would never know this unless you were checking your cholesterol.
That leads me to my third point. If you want to change things up but you have no idea which direction you want to go:
Go see your doctor and your nutritionist
I suggest your doctor first because they are going to be able to draw blood and check your labs. They can see what’s going on in your body at that exact moment. It’s a snapshot of how you’re body’s working. They’re going to be able to see immediately if you are deficient in certain types of vitamins or you have an overabundance of something, or if your cholesterol is out of whack, etc. Whatever it is, and they’re going to be able to tweak your diet for what you need.
But then I suggest you take those results and go see a nutritionist or a dietician. A lot of doctor’s offices have a nutritionist in the office these days. If they don’t they’ll have dieticians that they work with that they can refer you to. And I know a lot of insurance companies are actually covering dietician visits 100% as a preventative measure. So if you are lucky enough to have that provision in your insurance, you should definitely take advantage of it.
A dietician will be able to listen to your history with food, look at what you’ve been eating, and take a look at your labs. Then they’ll be able to tailor a diet that is closest to your ideal source of fuel.
They’ll be able to give you the reasons why you need to eat certain things. A nutritionist can give you guidance on what you can do to get specific things like more vegetables or healthy fats in your diet, whatever you need.
And they’ll keep you accountable! They’ll keep you on track and give you the confidence to stick with a diet that is optimal for you to reach your goals, whether that’s weight loss, more energy, or better overall health!
Honestly, most diets fail because they are not what our bodies really need. We can force it for a while and maybe see some progress, but in the long run, we slip back into the old habits that are keeping us tired and overweight.
If you are not seeing the results you want, start really keeping track of what you are eating, tweak things that might not be working until you find a diet makes you feel great and reach your goals, and see your doctor and nutritionist for deeper insight into what your body truly needs to be the most healthy, perfect body it can be!
Then once and for all, you’ll never have to say, “I just can’t lose weight!”