Are You Lying About Your Diet?

Today, I’m going to talk about weight loss. And I’m not going to be politically correct. So if you are easily offended, press your “page down” button right now.

Most overweight people are carrying their extra pounds because they eat too much and exercise too little, not because of “bad genes.” And the latest research shows that they’re probably lying to themselves about their diet.

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture had 524 men and women – some of them overweight and some of them with a normal BMI (body mass index) – estimate how many calories they ate each day. Their estimates were then compared to their actual calorie intake, as determined by a proven scientific method.

The results were shocking. On average, the subjects underreported their calorie intake by 11 percent. So if, for example, they thought they were eating 2,000 calories, they were really eating 2,200 calories. Do that for 18 days, and you’ll have overeaten a whopping 3,600 calories. That’s a whole extra pound of fat.

But here’s the worst news. The subjects who had a normal BMI under-reported their intake by only 3 percent. That means the overweight folks in the study under-reported their food intake by much more than the 11 percent average.

No wonder they can’t lose weight!

To stop lying to yourself (and your trainer), you need to start keeping track – in writing – of everything you eat. That includes each handful of grapes, chips, etc., and all the leftovers you scoop off of your children’s plates and into your mouth.

This should be an eye-opening exercise for you.

If you find – as I suspect you will – that you are consuming more calories than you’ve been admitting to, take action to stop the offending behavior before you gain even more weight.

[Ed. Note: It may be uncomfortable at first. But once you pinpoint the problem, you can begin to solve it. Since losing weight can be tough, make sure you have plenty of support from your loved ones. Or join an online support group. And for an exercise routine that builds muscle and burns fat, try fitness expert Craig Ballatyne’s Turbulence Training program.]