Allison is has battled weight for most of her adult life. She put on 20 pounds after she graduated from college and got a job in the working world. Formerly a tennis player, she’s 32 and had tried more diets than she could count over the past 10 years. She came to me at 5’7” and 175 lbs. Allison appears overweight, carrying most of the weight in her waist, arms and face. She’s famous for her “Last Supper,” feasting on Sunday, before starting a diet on Monday (though she often gives up within a few days or weeks). When she’s not on her diet du jour, she’ll start the morning strong and find some way to undo her hard work by the afternoon, only to spiral into a slippery slope of poor eating and self loathing.
Here’s what a typical day looked like, and here are my comments to get her on the right track:
6:30AM alarm off – snooze — 7:30 wake. 2 eggs, 1/3 avocado, spinach, ¾ cup berries, green tea at home.
Could you use that hour of snoozing to exercise? It could motivate you to eat well all day! Great breakfast. I’d add a full glass of water with a wedge of lemon. It’s great for your liver and immune system!
10:30AM Usual — sliced green apple and 0.6oz pouch of almond butter
Go girl! You should be satisfied until lunch. Add another glass of water or an herbal tea to check off your hydration goals.
1:30PM Lunch at desk. Salad with kale, mushrooms, tomatoes, salmon and sunflower seeds. Dressed with vinegar. Glass of water.
I love this lunch. It is clean and full of omega-3’s, fiber, vitamins and minerals. You could even have added a splash of olive oil to balance the flavor and increase the satiety if desired. Bonus if you made it at home and know exactly what’s in it!
3PM Colleague’s birthday. Work treated to Chai Latte and I ate 1 piece of cake from Magnolia’s.
Hey, you know what? Your day is so clean, that there’s room for a little indulgence! Next time swap the dense latte for a lighter version: a chai tea with steamed milk and swap a regular slice of cake for a sliver. Eat it slowly and enjoy! If parties are a regular thing at work, limit your indulging to a few a month and socialize with your own healthful snack that you keep on hand at your desk or bring from home.
4PM Already had the cake, and actually hungry, so had a granola bar and shared a bag of Skittles.
Uh-oh! Here’s where the wheels come off. If treats are planned, deliberate and mindful, you can work on having them and getting right back on track! If not, it feels like a “slip” and it’s hard to get your grounding again. I’d have suggested your regular snack here: grape tomatoes and 20 olives or ¼ cup ricotta cheese with cinnamon sugar and sliced apple, plus a cup of ginger tea.
7PM Day was shot anyway, so ordered Pad Thai and ate all of it with a couple of glasses of wine.
Sounds like you felt hopeless. Healthful Thai food is delish. Next time order a papaya salad, chicken satay and an order of sautéed greens. You won’t miss the rice, and stick to one glass of wine.
10PM Cheese popcorn from the bag.
Empower yourself with your snacks, especially at night, when you just want to relax. If you really need a PM snack, stick to veggies or berries.
Allison knows what to eat, is a fantastic planner and completely capable of reaching her goals. The trouble is that Allison is always on a “diet” in her mind, and eating healthfully is something she’s doing, rather than who she is. Healthy eaters are flexible, and do their best to eat well in every situation. Meals and snacks that aren’t as strong as they’d like are viewed as no big deal, as long as they eat empowered most of the time (85% or more). I’d have Allison PLAN indulgences, like her work birthday and plan for meals and snacks afterwards so she isn’t trapped in negative thinking. I’d have Allison look at each meal and each snack as a “Monday morning” to reframe each meal as an opportunity to do her very best and get back on track.
Tip: If you think you are an all or nothing eater, open up your calendar and plug in the indulgences you expect to have during the week. Then make a plan to eat strong around those moments.
Contact LMN to work with a Registered Dietitian who can help you reach your weight and wellness goals.