Renáta, 42, mother of three lost weight by eating in moderation

Case Study

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“I can lose weight, but I can’t keep it off.” Renata, 42 y.o. mother of three, told me during our first call.
“I lost weight several times, but then when I stopped paying close attention to my food, the weight creeped back.”
I asked her how she approached her weight loss before and she said it was always through dilligent calorie counting and food restrictions accompanied by hunger.

She believed that to lose weight, she needed to:

– go all in
– measure every gram of food and be diligently tracking calories
– exercise hard daily
I managed to explain to her that this is not how I work and I proposed to take things slowly this time.
She is smart and it made sense to her to take things slowly, but previous experience had instilled in her these counter-productive beliefs that lead to yo-yo dieting.
But she decided to believe me and take things slowly this time and she realized that by losing weight slower, she can enjoy her life and even her favorite treats.
Here is a progression Renata has made so far. Before, she would get discouraged by slight bumps and gains in weight, but after seeing the trends, she is sticking with it.
Here is how our work has looked like so far (Keep in mind that your weight loss approach should be personalized!)
  1. At first, we used food journals and calorie counting to see where she is at and so she can get more insights into the food she eats.
  2. Then we transitioned from calorie counting to “intuitive eating”. Renata has learnt how to interpret hunger and fulness cues.
  3. Renata follows has learnt to make good food choices and she eats mostly whole foods but she also likes to eat pancakes?, a glass of wine? or whiskey ?, which allows her to stick with her diet.
If you want to lose weight for life, rather take a slow approach. You will avoid losing and regaining weight, which is frustrating!

I asked Renáta to share what things stuck with her:

  • “Think why I eat sweets in the evening.” In the beginning she saw this as an obstacle and we found out that it was a way for her to relax. Nowadays, she still eats sweets that are low in calories.
  • “Skip snacks.”
  • “Wait about half an hour when I start feeling hungry to eat.” Postponing meals a bit allowed Renata to distinguish cravings from real hunger.
  • “When I am making food for the kids, I don’t need to eat it as well.” Before, she would eat with kids, even when not hungry.
  • “I am weighting myself daily.” Weighting herself daily allows Renata to stay in check and not be horrified by weight fluctuations. For example she noticed how her weight fluctuates during the month and it does not bother her anymore.
  • “When I want sweets, I choose those that I really enjoy.” Removing and comletely avoiding certain food is not sustainable for majority of people and definitely not necessary. Renata found this as well and as a bonus, she is able to enjoy her favorite sweets while working toward her goals.

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