Originally Posted by UFNut
Think I understand you now. So I gather you're saying that, you are trying to quell the notion that all you have to do is eat balanced and you lose weight without concern to how much you eat (or how active you are, which certainly helps). So given that they are eating primarily decent foods (not necessarily great, but decent) they simply need to eat less of it. No such thing as super foods, or whatever they call things like omega-3, etc. I'd say this is primarily true, but I think I'd prefer if my clients (if I had them) were to stop consuming things that made this process difficult, like sodas, and ridiculous calorie expresso drinks & smoothies. Some people discount this sort of caloric intake, when they shouldn't. I notice you drink zero calorie beverages for the most part so likely think this is a valid concern as well. I do notice you don't mention your water intake, but likely assume you consider that to be very important for weight loss and health in general, especially if you are utilizing weight training (or, sigh...cardio) for weight control and/or muscle gains. Not to mention sleeeeep.
On the other hand you'd think that if someone were eating a decent diet and they were gaining weight, the first logical thought would be, must need to eat a little less, and/or step up the exercise. But common sense doesn't seem to be very common these days, I guess.
Then again, in my best "not so fast my friend" impression, I think that better dietary choices in some places will help keep your clients from overeating in the first place, by being more satisfied by the meals they're eating, as surely you wouldn't disagree a big juicy steak with equal calories to a couple slices of pizza will make you feel fuller. Though I do understand how hard it is to convince people and it may just be easier to say "eat less", but then, I think it must be difficult to get them to do that either.
Either way I think your advice to them is good, now that I think I understand what you're saying. I am curious though, what would you say is the percentage of people who say they are following your advice but obviously are not (i.e. not losing weight). Or are they mostly honest about it if they've been "cheating". Just curious.
You pretty much nailed it. Now, I take a nuanced approach regarding 'better choices.' Yes, we know that protein tends to afford better satiety for many folks. However, here's my thing: I very much want my clients to eat the foods they enjoy, literally zero restrictions. Therefore, I invite them to embrace hunger pangs as they are transient and do not signal an actual biological need for nourishment.
You see, I'm digging my heels in a bit on this one point. I see people going overboard, in their anxieties, and don't want them to squander the opportunity to gain mastery over food, so as to allow them to lose weight eating any of the foods they enjoy. And why not ? Why not now while they're wanting to lose weight ? Eventually they going to eat them anyway.
I counsel my clients not to start at the beginning but rather 'plan for the end.' That is, I invite them to pretend that they've already lost their weight. I then ask them to imagine how they got there, was it by depriving themselves the foods they enjoy ? Was it by engaging in forms of exercise they are not likely to continue long-term ?
I'm quite strong on this point because I want them to plan for weight-loss (and maintenance) in the context of the overwhelming probability that they will simply gain the weight back. Sustainability is key. And sustainability points to minimum effective dosage, as small a change as is necessary and no larger.
Now, to another point of yours, I do have clients who are obviously not helping themselves coming in. And occasionally I have the good fortune to find an 'easy red button' in their food journals.
For example, one of my obese clients was getting 8-9 cans of sugared soda a day, no kidding. BUT, I didn't look at that and think 'unhealthy.' Rather, I looked at 8-9 sodas and thought '1,000 calories.' So, I had no problem negotiating her down to two cans a day and asking her to cultivate a habit of savoring them as here 'special treat.'
Finally, not many of my clients 'cheat' after I've gotten hold of them. There have been notable exceptions, but one thing I use to my advantage is their own acknowledgent that they've been caught red-handed coming in. This is to say that they either underestimate food intake on their food journals, or they outright lie about it. So, they get some rather straight (albeit diplomatic) talk coming in.
I had on client who complained about not being able to lose weight. Her food journal had her getting 800 to 900 calories a day. I knew something was amiss, so as I probed a bit, I also talked about Energy Balance Theory and how it works for everyone, and how it's unforgiving, and why we ought to be happy about that ... and finally she allowed as to how she'd left out a foot-long philly cheesesteak sandwich.
"But it was only one thing!", she whined.