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Syns and Points? NO, just calories.

A few weeks ago, I reviewed a 3-day food diary from a client who was starting my 1-1 personalised coaching service. I noticed that she hadn’t put any calories against her dinner or her fruit snacks, so in our initial phone conversation, I asked her why? She replied, “Sure, they are free, are they not?”. You see, she attended slimming clubs for years, where she was brainwashed by their system. She operates under the diet programming mentality that calories aren’t real, just Syns and Points.

Diet, free, low fat, low low, fat-free. The removal of one of the most essential macro-nutrients for human health – Fat!

Heaving portions of food that never has to be counted sounds like manna from heaven, its the perfect lure, the ideal hook to get women to sign up.

People will lose weight initially because they are filling up on low-calorie, high-volume, starchy carbs like potatoes and pasta. It encourages portion distortion.  However, as the body gets leaner and lighter, the process of metabolic adaptation occurs. The body doesn’t need as many calories as the metabolism slows down, yet people become used to gorging on huge amounts of unlimited carbs, meat, and fruit. Scratching their heads wondering why their weight loss has plateaued. Feeling like a failure. Another diet knocked on the head.

Noticeably, her food diary was also devoid of dietary protein, again totally essential for female health – and probably the most essential macro-nutrient for a dieting female. It helps balance out hunger and appetite.

It’s funny, as I can now tell a by a client’s food diary if she is a repeat attendee of the slimming clubs. The pattern is there.

Needless to say, after informing my client that she was indeed consuming over 750 calories that day on vegetables, fruit, fish, rice, that she didn’t account for, she was shocked. However, she then realised the main reason she struggled with her weight for years- OVEREATING ON CALORIES!  She since lost 10 lbs, getting stronger, healthier, and says has never felt better (probably due to additional fats and protein in her diet).

Just to clarify ;

Foods aren’t free, all foods contain energy ie: calories. Yes, even nutrient-dense fruit!

Don’t ever force feed yourself, if you’re not hungry don’t eat. (Unless medically required) Why would you?

Eating chocolate is not a ‘Syn’- it’s actually quite enjoyable. It’s called a balanced diet. No commandments or laws are broken.

Breakfast isn’t the most important meal of the day- it’s just another meal with calories. It doesn’t facilitate weight loss either.

Eliminating fats out of your diet is not healthy. Fats are incredibly important to your health, especially hormonal health. Think Oils, butter, avocado nuts, and seeds. Avoid the toxic ones especially the partially- hydrogenated trans-fatty acids in processed diet foods and diet snacks.

If your weight loss stalls, don’t accept the excuse that it might be muscle- I think it’s safe to say it’s not due to muscle gain- more likely due to not being in a calorie deficit UNLESS:- ??you are consistently strength training practicing progressive overload 4-5 times a week in the gym, facilitating your diet with 2g protein per KG body weight. Oh and even then you’d be lucky to gain a pound or two of muscle in a year! The odd Spin or Hiit class doesn’t count.

Finally, if you are ever told you are not losing weight because you are ‘not eating enough’ please do the following- turn on your heel, walk out the door and don’t go back, put your hard-earned money back in your pocket where it belongs. FACT- If you aren’t losing weight it’s because you are eating too much, not moving enough, and you are not in a calorie deficit.

Hope that clears things up.

If you have been on the slimming clubs’ merry-go-round with no success and can’t get off, then contact me on [email protected]. There is another way. If you are struggling and need help with your diet and lifestyle, I can coach you.  We are fully qualified nutritionists and personal trainers who, through our 1-1 online coaching, are helping dozens of women every week.  Coaching slots open weekly.

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Tara Grimes
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