One key to maintaining a healthy weight is to balance the calories you eat with the calories you burn. But that’s sometimes easier said than done.
Balancing your calories sounds deceptively simple. Eat more calories than you burn and you’ll gain weight. Take in fewer calories than you burn and you’ll shed some pounds. Keep your “calories in” and “calories out” about the same, and your weight should stay pretty stable. So why is it that hardly a week goes by that someone doesn’t complain to me that they’re “exercising like a madman, but not losing any weight” or, “eating like a bird but the scale won’t budge”? It simply boils down to this: when it comes to counting calories accurately – the ones you eat and the one you spend – there are so many ways it can go wrong.
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Eating before bed isn’t always a no-no. There are times when a nighttime snack makes sense.
Let’s say you’re my client. It’s the first time we meet, and we’re talking about your eating habits. As you’re telling me what you usually eat and when, you mention that there’s something you do that you probably shouldn’t… you always eat a snack right before you go to bed. You expect me to tell you that it’s a habit you should break, but before I weigh in on the subject, I’ll want to know more. What do you eat? How much? Are you eating because you’re hungry? Or is it just a habit? And, if you don’t eat before you go to sleep, what happens? Once I’ve got a better picture of your nighttime noshing, I’m in a better position to say if it’s right or wrong.
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Let’s face it – losing weight is no simple task. If it were, we’d surely see fewer people struggling to get their weight down and keep it off. Taking in fewer calories than you spend every day sounds like a simple enough formula, but counting calories accurately – both the ones that you eat and the ones that you burn – takes considerable practice.
On top of the calorie counting problem, I’ve found many dieters – with good intentions, mind you – who make critical mistakes when it comes to devising their own health plans. So when patients tell me they can’t lose weight, it’s often because they’re committing a few of these common dieting mistakes.
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