You see your co worker, friend or family member at meal times and they seem to have a lot of food on their plate.
This isn’t the first time you’ve noticed. You ask yourself ‘how do they eat so much and stay slim?’
It feels like you’ve got hardly anything on your plate but you’re stuck in XL clothing. Nothing you’re doing is going to get you back into your suits. And now you’ve had to bite the bullet and buy the next size up.
All sorts of reasons come into your head to make sense of what is happening.
‘Maybe they have one of those fast metabolisms?!‘
‘Their meal seems to be low in carbs maybe that’s it?!’
You want to put an end to your curiosity but a thought stops you:
I couldn’t possible ask them how they are eating so much and stay so slim that would be rude.
So you there you are, left in wonderment.
Let me explain what is going on and put you out of your misery and confusion.
This is the majesty of energy balance at work.
That person has an equal amount of energy coming in as they do going out. Over the long term.
What you are seeing is a snap shot of that persons day, one food serving. You don’t get to see what they do for the rest of the day.
Unbeknown to you that big meal that you saw them eat could be the only meal they are consuming all day (calories in).
Unbeknown to you they could be a super active person through the day. They might also exercise in the morning a bit more in the evening (calories out).
In answer to your question; their energy intake matches their energy output over the long term. Calories in match calories out.
Your body is very comfortable in this position and won’t try and convince you to move from this point. Only when you start changing your weight will your body push back and convince you to stop.
The most important thing to take from this is; if you are trying to lose weight but it doesn’t seem to be happening. It’s because your calorie intake is matching your calorie output.
So what you need to do is tip the energy balance scales in your favour. To see you expending more calories than you are consuming. This is what is known as an energy deficit and is the mechanism that every weight loss diet works on. Every single one. It’s only the methods to get you to achieve this that differ from diet to diet.
When looking to lose weight you need a starting point! And you want to keep it as simple as possible. You need to know your energy requirements for weight loss (a daily or weekly target).
Then you need to record what your energy intake is. (Don’t say I’ll tot it up in my head, you are not rain man, plus you’ll be way out). Use something simple like a tracker (MyFitnessPal).
Sticking to this will see you achieve weight loss, but that’s only one half of having a healthy diet. The other is making sure that 80% of the energy/calories you are consuming are from nutrient dense foods.
Stick with this and it won’t be long before you might get someone plucking up the courage to ask you;
‘How do you eat so much and stay so slim?’
If you need more help with this get your copy of my Guide to Vitality.