This is a sentence I hear all too frequently- “I don’t know why I can’t lose weight. I eat pretty healthy.”

Here are the most common “healthy” meals or diets I hear from clients:

Breakfast (this is the biggest)- A banana and some oatmeal; a smoothie with lots of fresh fruit; a yogurt with granola; a protein bar

Lunch- a salad with grilled chicken; fast food but only a couple times a week; a protein bar

Dinner- whole wheat pasta; gluten free anything (unless you have been tested for celiac); a homemade dinner covered in cheese

I use agave/bananas/honey instead of sugar.

I don’t eat carbs.

I only have a few drinks per week.

I go out to eat a couple times a week but I make good choices.

And possibly the number one problem: I do great during the week but go completely off the rails on the weekend.

Look at this breakfast I see most typically- a banana and oatmeal. These two items are whole foods that we encourage clients to eat, but they are carb only and usually too much carb. There is no protein and no fat in this meal. So is it healthy? Maybe, but it’s not complete. Same story with the smoothie. Most people who have never logged meals have no idea how much food they are eating and tend to fall into one of two categories: way over-eating fats or way under-eating total calories.

So what is healthy eating? For us, healthy eating is firstly about the quality of foods you are eating, second about composing all your meals and snacks of protein (yes, at every meal including snacks!), fats, and carbs, and lastly about amounts of food.

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