I’m Losing Weight Without Trying But You Don’t Want My Diet



Losing weight without trying sounds great, right?

For many overweight and obese individuals, it sounds great. But, for me, an already healthy-weight nutritionist, it means something’s wrong. 

What it means for me is that I’m not nourishing my body.

The good news is that I know why I’m losing weight. My dietetic internship keeps me busy and broke.

Here’s a look at yesterday’s food intake:

Breakfast: Hummus, whole grain crackers, an orange, and a cup of 1% milk

AM Snack: 3 leftover Christmas cookies and a mug of homemade hot chocolate

Lunch: 12 oz. pasta fagioli soup and 6 mini crackers from the hospital café

PM Snack: 2 low fat cheese sticks and 10 M&Ms while working

Dinner, if you can call it that: Banana with peanut butter

Calorie Intake
SuperTracker.USDA.gov estimates I consumed only 1440 calories of the 2200 calories needed to maintain my pre-internship weight. 

I was 800 calories under yesterday. If I’m that many calories under every day, I’ll lose about 1.5 pounds a week. And, that’s actually what I’m seeing. 

How'd I calculate that?
800 calories under per day x 7 days =  5,600 calories under per week

5,600 calories per week / 3,500 calories per pound = 1.6 pounds lost per week

Is that a healthy amount to lose?
In someone who is overweight or obese, 1 to 2 pounds a week is a healthy weight loss. In someone who is already at a healthy weight, 1 to 2 pound weight loss can also be healthy. But it also depends on how someone is losing weight. Losing weight by eating a limited diet isn't healthy nor is excessively exercising good for you (even though exercise is important--just don't overdo it). 

In someone who is underweight, weight loss isn't recommended. A healthcare practitioner should be consulted if a 2 pound weekly weight loss continues. 

So, what can be done to slow or prevent my weight loss?
It'd be nice if I could just eat a lot of dessert (I am the Junk Food Nutritionist, after all). This would help me increase my calorie intake certainly. But nutrition is about so much more than calories. 
It means picking "healthy" foods wisely. 

For yesterday's snack, I could have had a piece of fruit. But I chose to have some cheese instead because, for roughly the same number of calories, I'd be getting protein and calcium from the cheese, instead of mostly carbohydrates from the fruit. (Fruit does have vitamins and minerals--don't get me wrong--but I know I'm low in calcium and I can't get that from fruit.)

I'll try to keep you updated on how I'm making healthier choices in the new year.

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