Do you suffer from amnesia?
Chances are pretty good that you do…
I’m not talking about taking a blow to the head and not knowing your name or how to tie your shoes.
I’m talking about Food Amnesia.
Many of us consider ourselves health-conscious when it comes to food selection. In fact, in nearly all of our initial assessment interviews a comment is made regarding their “good” eating habits.
“I eat pretty clean.” Number one statement right there!
But do you?
A number of studies have been published over the years regarding our daily calorie consumption and our perception thereof.
One in particular, in the British Journal of Nutrition, found that, on average, adults underestimated a massive 25% of their daily calorie consumption.
Let’s put that in perspective…
If you have determined that your daily caloric intake should be 2000 calories, then you are more than likely under-estimating an additional 500 calories, coming from different bites, licks, and tastes.
That is most definitely enough to halt fat loss completely.
These extra calories are not usually coming from a blatant disregard to our nutrition. We’re not going out and buying Big Macs and ice cream and intentionally making the decision to eat all those extra calories. (Most of the time…)
It’s usually coming from mindless snacking. Those little bites, licks, and tastes.
They seem so small at the time, but they add up.
Case in point…
I was in a client assessment meeting recently and performed a body composition test. The client, let’s call him Taylor, had reported very good compliance to their nutrition, with the only exceptions (reported) being meals missed, not additional foods eaten.
The results of the test came back and there was an increase in body fat. Taylor couldn’t believe it.
He had worked very hard in the gym, prepped and eaten all his assigned food, and had a very good week all in all…or so he thought.
After some discussion and questions, it was revealed that there were a number of additional treats and meals eaten throughout the week.
The treats seemed so insignificant at the time that Taylor had simply forgotten about them.
These additional calories were enough to cause an actual increase in body fat despite an otherwise assertive effort with daily nutrition and exercise.
So what causes this food amnesia?
For one, we don’t always know how many calories are in the foods that we eat.
The FDA finally got involved to thwart this apparent problem, by approving a law to require restaurants with more than 20 stores to post calorie counts for their menu items.
A solid effort, but in my opinion, this is not really the problem.
Not knowing the caloric information of our foods is a major problem, but most of us don’t even know how many calories we need anyways.
So is that the problem?
Do we just need to know what is in our food?
I think we simply need to be more self-aware.
The little things matter.
When we are making efforts to change our physique the mindless snacking can really add up and be the difference between making progress and getting frustrated.
Taylor had honestly thought he had a near perfect week. He should have lost body fat.
But after thinking about the calorie-laden drinks, a few bites of cake, some other mindless nibbling, and a few other “justified” treats, the perfect week didn’t seem so perfect anymore.
He had gone from what should have been a caloric defiict to a caloric surplus.
You simply cannot lose body fat when you are in caloric surplus.
If you think this may be happening to you then I invite you to keep a food journal. You can do it on your phone, or on a small notepad that you keep on you at all times.
Record everything that you eat for at least three days. Then go back and add up all the calories and see where you are at.
It may surprise you!
If you need extra accountability then apply for our Fit Lifestyle coaching program.