Food Diary Feedback: How much fat are you eating?


I think I have been eating so much better than last year, but other than having lost a few inches and pounds I don’t feel my body is changing much as of late. Can you please take a look at my food diary and tell me what is going on? Thanks, Lori


9:30am 2 egg omelette with turkey, veggies, 1 slice american cheese & 3 pieces turkey bacon

1pm stir fry – steak, veggies, sesame oil. (too much oil, upset stomach)

1:30 Hershey kiss

4:45 2 handfuls of pistachios

7:30 olives, meat, cheese and 2 glasses of wine

10pm dinner (all shared):

Foie gras appetizer (one piece of bread)

Green salad

Short ribs



thanks for the food diary. I would like to see if you know what you’re doing right and what not. Do you understand how to put your body into a fat burning state? Can you tell me what foods are good and which are not? – Ariane

Ariane, okay -
Breakfast: too much protein, cheese completely unnecessary, turkey bacon processed and probably just as bad as regular bacon.

Lunch – stir fry would have been OK if I had made it myself and used minimal oil.

Afternoon snack – nuts okay in moderation but i really needed some veggies and maybe a better source of protein.

Wine, Cheese, meat – the meat and cheese would be OK to have in moderation as long as I didn’t have the rest of the junk that day. Wine, is, well, obviously a cheat. 

Dinner – Foie gras – FAT on bread! bad. Short ribs – fatty and sugary. Need more veggies at dinner.  

Yes, I admit this was definitely an unprepared day. Lori


Right on. You know what’s missing and what needs some change. And, you eat quite a bit of fat. Going forward ask yourself if you really need to add more nuts and cheese if you could instead load up on veggies. 

Your breakfast of two eggs (10g of fat), 1 slice cheese (6g of fat), turkey bacon (… not sure about fat, depends on the type) is loaded with at least 20 grams of fat. You need 10 grams max per meal).

Then, more fat for lunch from the oil… then more fat from the pistachios – probably around 20 grams if you had two handfuls… olives – more fat. Cheese – more fat. Meat – more fat. And, it’s all animal fat, so not unsaturated but the type that clogs up your arteries. And then two glasses of wine that get converted straight away into fat by your liver because alcohol calories cannot be used by your body. They go right to your fat cells. Then foie gras… short ribs… hello! You may be eating ‘clean’ because you’re not eating grains and starches, but definitely not a diet that’s going to help you shed pounds and drop body fat. You eat way too many calories and the animal fat calories along with the loads of protein from animal sources are not necessarily balanced by a good amount of veggies. Then, alcohol to top it all off. Your poor liver has to handle all that, so please don’t overload it.

Keep in mind that to achieve fat loss, you have to eat a lean protein at every meal, paired with veggies that are rich in fiber. You ate as much fat as you would need in 2-3 days! Stick to 2 cheat meals a week and you will still get to enjoy your favorites without them going right to your belly and hips. Ask yourself next time if you eating to live or living to eat.

Let’s try this again with another food diary tomorrow.


Food Diary: Am I on the right track to lose weight?

Hi Ariane,

Thanks for the great butt-kicking workout yesterday. I thought I would take you up on your offer to look over a few days of my food diary. I think I am making some good choices, but of course would not be surprised if I’m off course somehow. 

DAY 1:

breakfast 7:30am

3 eggs, scrambled with 1 tsp butter

2 cups chopped up asparagus sauteed with some bell peppers (no olive oil)

1 slice bakery-fresh whole wheat bread (slice=roughly length of my hand but less thick)

snack 11am

1 container (6oz) Green Valley Organic Lactose-Free Plain Yogurt  
1 scoop Tara Whey Protein Powder (dark chocolate flavor. 1 scoop = 10g protein)

12 raw almonds

lunch 2pm

1 serving homemade carrot soup (just carrots, onions, garlic, ginger, low-sodium/low-fat chicken stock, and a tiny amount of miso paste (1/4 cup for the whole batch which is about 10 servings))

2 cups baby spinach
2 tbsp Annie’s Naturals Light Raspberry Dressing  

2 oz baked boneless skinless chicken breast

snack/treat 3:30pm

2 squares Taza Chocolate Stone Ground Chocolate 87% dark – so rich that I actually can’t eat more than two pieces. 

snack 4:45pm

1-2 oz tuna salad (tuna, carrots, red onion, some olive oil)

few slices bell pepper

workout (6:15)

25 min HIIT run (30 sec hard, 1:30 easy) +10 min warm up/cool down

dinner 7:30pm

3-4 oz baked boneless skinless chicken breast 

25 spears asparagus, 1 bell pepper, ~1 cup broccoli 


1 cup iced coffee (black and unsweetened)

3+ liters water

DAY 2:

breakfast 7:30am

3 eggs, scrambled with 1 tsp butter

1.5 cups spinach sauteed (no olive oil)

1 slice bakery-fresh whole wheat bread

snack 11am

1 container (6oz) Green Valley Organic Lactose-Free Plain Yogurt 

1 scoop Tara Whey Protein Powder 

13 raw almonds

lunch 2pm

3-4 oz baked boneless skinless chicken breast (about 1/3 tsp olive oil per 4oz)

2.5 cups baby spinach

1.5 tbsp. Annie’s Naturals Light Raspberry Dressing

snack/treat 3:30pm

2 squares Taza Chocolate Stone Ground Chocolate 87% dark

snack 5:00pm

1 slice bakery fresh whole wheat bread

2 tbsp Arrowhead Mills Organic Creamy Peanut butter

1 Kraft reduced-fat string cheese

workout 6:30pm

Slim & Strong class 

post-workout snack/dinner part 1 8pm

protein shake with 2 scoops Tara Whey powder and water

a handful of grapes (10>
dinner part 2 9pm

veggie saute (carrots, zucchini, onion, spinach—not sure how much of each but a big mountain of it, for sure!) sauteed in 1/2 tsp of olive oil


2 cups iced coffee (black and unsweetened)

3+ liters water

Thanks, Clarissa

Hi Clarissa,  

wow, that is one thorough food diary!

All in all your diet is very clean. You eat protein at every meal and loads of veggies – nice work! Here are a few pointers to make it even better. 

Post-Workout Meals: Make sure you eat protein after your workouts. While your veggies for dinner were great, you want to make sure you eat protein within an hour of finishing your workout, so you can feed your muscles and give them fuel to repair and rebuild. Also, after a workout your blood sugar level is low, so you don’t want to eat just veggies (carbs), but protein as well to keep your blood sugat balanced.

Butter: I would switch from butter to olive oil to make the eggs. butter isn’t the worst, but olive oil is better for you. 

Fruit: You have cut out pretty much all fruit, so you’re doing great!

Meal prepping: I love that you’re cooking up turkey burgers and make lots of carrot soup, so you can eat it for a couple days. Having meals ready is half the battle. 

Sugar: Ideally you want to keep your sugar intake as low as possible. Eliminate all processed sugar, such as sweets and candy. The sugar you get from veggies is affecting your body more positively because carrots also contain loads of nutrients and fiber, so they’re not going to raise your blood sugar as fast as a tablespoon of sugar would. The fact that you add chicken breast to the soup, is great because the protein helps balance your blood sugar as well. 

Your nutrition calculations: There is no need to eat exactly 30 g of carbs. It’s simply a guideline. If you feel full and have enough energy when you eat less, then you can stick with that. There will be meals when you eat more carbs and some where you eat less. What matters is that you find balance overall. Most importantly, check in and see how you feel after eating. Are you feeling satiated? Is your stomach feeling ok (no digestive troubles, no bloating, is your energy balanced, is your concentration good) These are all signs of a balanced meal. Paying attention to how your diet makes you feel is by far more important than eating exact grams of nutrients. Also, if all you paid attention only to calories and nutrient grams you would lose the connection with food and become a bit too focused on numbers, which i’m not a fan of. It creates a disturbed relationship to food. 

Balance: Make sure that after a high-carb day, you have a low-carb day to balance out the carbohydrates. Having too many high-carb days in a row (more than 2 or 3 days) will result in fat storage, blood sugar roller coasters, food cravings for carbs and sweets and will leave you feeling sluggish. Plus, you’d always be in fat storage mode. 

So far, so good! Keep up this way of eating and you should be noticing some great changes. If, at some point, you notice your fat loss stalling, make sure you cut out cheese and keep an eye on your fat intake as that is usually the culprit even with a very clean diet. 

Preethi’s 6th Detox Day

So in my post where I mention the parameters for food on our Detox Challenge (‘Let the detox begin’), I forgot to mention one key thing: with this diet, we commit to at least 3 hours of exercise per week. Whatever we like, but it should include both strength and cardio. (Ariane actually gives each of us her Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp DVD as part of the Detox Challenge, so that’s a great option for working out at home.) 

I hadn’t quite started the exercise portion of all this. Had fallen off a bit last week, really – had not seriously worked out (I walked a lot, and I’m laughing at myself as I’m writing this because I know and hopefully you know by now as well, walking is NOT real exercise – unless you are in some way, shape or form physically incapacitated – and I always want to shake the people who claim they exercised when they really just went for a walk).

Anyway, I went to boot camp this morning with my husband in tow. Five minutes into it, and I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I plodded through what seemed like the rest of the hour but when I looked up at the clock, only 9 minutes had gone by. Usually the first time I look up, it’s at least 20 minutes past start. I looked over at Joe. He had stopped and was kneeling on the ground looking ready for execution. We were Mr. and Mrs. Pathetic this morning. But seriously, I felt exhausted and nauseous.

Here’s what went through my head:
Wow – I didn’t know I was this out of shape. Well I can’t be out of shape in just a week. Can I? But I can’t do this. Maybe it’s time to just sit this one out. More sumos? What’s gotten into this woman? This can’t be normal. How is everyone else doing this? Anne Marie always does the best sumos. Hm, why wasn’t she in class last week? I can’t do any more sumos. Ok. I can do it. I can do it. Jesus! I can’t do it. Help! Help! Maybe I’m just done with boot camp. Is the air-conditioning on? This is just not for me. This is too much. I can’t live like this. I don’t want to live like this. Oh wow – I can really feel my obliques. This is a great exercise for obliques. I should do this all the time. What? More push-ups? Crazy lady. Why aren’t we doing donkey kicks? Oh good – donkey kicks! 3-2-1. Hold it? No, you hold it, Super Woman. Stretch! Woohoo! Done and done. Is Joe alive?

How sad is this for someone who has been going at boot camp for TWO years now? I could barely walk after this class. Really had the wind knocked out of me. Ariane said my body is just going into fat-burning mode. I’ve felt something vaguely similar when I’m doing the Quickie Blubber Burn - it’s the point where your body has gone through the energy stored in your muscles and starts burning your actual fat for energy (which is good stuff!). But this felt impossible. Of course, I’ve never been on detox before. And my body may just be reacting slower to all this detoxing than everyone else’s is. 

My detox hero, Monica, said she has been looking at my food diary on Pinterest and that I haven’t been eating enough. Which Ariane confirmed as well. (Hence the extra green stuff in my lunch today, pictured on top). I felt dizzy at one point during the day today and just generally unwell. Turns out I need more veggies in my diet – not getting enough veggies means I’m not getting enough carbs since veggies are now my main source of them (until we add back the grains, which will happen in Week #2). 

I’m sooooo tired of chewing those vegetables, though. I look at broccoli and not only do I feel bored to tears, but I feel plain lazy to put it in my mouth for all the chomping I’ll have to do to swallow it. My co-worker, Danielle, suggested juicing it all which is a great idea. That will make it a lot easier for me to get all my veggies in. This is really opening my eyes as to how few vegetables I make it a point to add to my daily diet. That can’t be good. That’s one concerted effort I’m going to make even when off this detox. Much easier for me to do when they are cooked and flavored with Indian spices, though. Will have to start gathering some new recipes. 

That’s what I guess this process is about. Learning what you need to do keep yourself eating healthy. My name is Preethi and I need to eat more vegetables. I’m realizing as far as this goes, I do better if I’ve cooked them myself. I can’t stand plain steamed vegetables. It’s like eating cardboard for me. And my cooking cannot be dependent on having time – I need to make the time. 

Ok. That’s all for today. Going to throw some vegetables in with the spicy chicken on the stove. I think this post is the most I have ever written, said or thought about ‘vegetables’ in my whole entire life. 

The Slim & Strong Detox Challenge is conducted by Ariane Hundt of my favorite Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp. You can visit her site for more info. I should be bitching about it plenty over the next 3 weeks as well.

How do I Clean Up My Food Intake Before the Holidays?

Hi Ariane,

Yesterday’s workout was great.  I was feeling really down on Monday because I had to miss all last week due to work.  But I’m feeling back on track with my eating and yesterday’s workout really energized me and I’m feeling stronger.  I wanted to send you my food diary for the past week to see what advice you can give me about it because I want to put my best foot forward before the holidays start:


Breakfast – 12oz homemade protein shake w/ Spirutein powder, raspberries, blueberries, ice and 1/2 cup milk

AM Snack – 1/2 whole wheat English muffin w/one egg white

Lunch – Salad with tuna, avocado, garbanzo beans, blue cheese and 1 tsp olive oil

Dinner – Baked fish, kale, 5 bites macaroni and cheese

Desert – 3 pieces dark chocolate


Breakfast – Protein shake (like Monday)

Lunch – Baked fish, kale, 5 bites macaroni and cheese

Snack – Baby carrots, 1 tsp peanut butter

Dinner – 1 baked chicken breast, 1 pc. corn on the cob

Desert – 2 pcs dark chocolate


Breakfast – Protein shake (like Monday)

Lunch – Salad with pesto chicken, garbanzo beans, blue cheese, no dressing

Dinner – 1 chicken taco with refried beans

Desert – 2 pieces dark chocolate


Breakfast – Veggie Egg White omelet

Snack – 1/2 bottle Special K Protein shake

Lunch – Salad

Dinner – stew of tomatoes, chicken, okra and green beans

Desert – 2 pcs dark chocolate


I continued eating like this throughout the weekend and I’m very proud of myself, particularly for not drinking every night.  I hope it ends up showing on the scale!!!  

Thanks, Celine

Hi Celine

Sorry you had to miss yesterday. Your legs would have been so happy today.

Your food diary looks quite clean, but if you really want to take it to the next level of fat burning then I suggest the following:

                Limit your fruit intake to about 20-30g of carbs per day (from fruit) or cut it out entirely. Fructose leads to fat storage faster than other carbs because only your liver can metabolize it – not your muscles – and the liver can only handle about 100 grams of carbs per day before it starts converting it to body fat.

        Protein shakes for breakfast are a good idea but they rarely keep you full for long. Instead, eat a meal that requires chewing as your breakfast and have the shake 2-3 hours later as a snack. You’ll feel full a lot longer because liquids get absorbed so fast that they never keep you satiated for long. Start your day with enough protein – 20 grams is the average a woman needs per meal – 5x a day. 
                Cut out all bread or limit to one slice per day. Eliminate your starches such as mac and cheese and beans. Or, you can limit the amount by simply sticking to 3-5 bites. You have so little it probably doesn’t have much impact. 
                You’re doing fine regarding your fat intake and stick mostly to healthy fats. I would skip the blue cheese because it’s not just high in fat but it can also make you congested.

                The 2 pieces of dark chocolate are a good treat. you can keep that if it satiates the desire for something sweet. 

                Skip the Special K protein shake. It really isn’t special at all and is loaded with 20 grams of sugar (that’s how much is in a typical candy bar!) and has only 10 grams of protein and the ingredients are not very clean. Also, it contains soy, which can cause digestive issues. You’re better off with a whey protein shake – simply mixed with water.

                Skip the dairy in your shake. Instead, make it with water. Dairy can cause breakouts and the milk sugar and hormones in milk aren’t great for your body. 

                Veggies are your best friend. When in doubt about what to eat, choose veggies in any denomination.

Other than that you are doing great, especially if you’ve been able to cut the booze down. Alcohol stops all fat burning, so avoiding it is much better than trying to burn it off with insane workouts. 

Clean Up My Diet!

Hi Ariane, 

Here is my food diary for the last 3 days. I don’t know if I’m getting enough calories because I get hungry somewhere between 10-midnight. Thanks, C. 

Turkey omelette (3 eggs 2 whites) w onions and mixed veggies
1 1/2 slices whole wheat bread w butter
Coffee w fat free half n half (no sugar)
Am snack:
Plain non-fat Chobani yogurt and 1 oz cashews
Lunch: Mango Orange protein smoothie from Red Mango
Pm snack:  Protein bar (titan low-sugar)
Dinner: Shrimp stir fry

Lunch ( woke up at noon )
Turkey omelette with veggies and 1 stick pollyo string cheese
1 slice whole wheat toast with butter
Coffee with fat free half and half (no sugar)
Am snack: Plain Greek yogurt with blueberries and peanuts
Dinner: Tuna on whole wheat with a spinach, tomato, and carrot salad with light ranch dressing 
PM snack: banana & pollyo cheese stick
Midnight snack: a handful of cashews

Breakfast: Vanilla Greek yogurt with blueberries, strawberries and a few peanuts.
Am snack: pollyo string cheese
Lunch: Lean Cuisine grilled chicken primavera
Pm snack: whey protein shake with water
Dinner: chicken stir fry – chicken and veggies

Thanks, C. 

Dear C., 
your food diary shows you’re headed in the right direction. Just a few things to look out for:

  • Limit your bread for breakfast to one slice. Your veggies should provide the bulk of your carbs. Skip the butter on the bread as your eggs already contain enough fat.
  • Watch your fat intake.  The eggs already contain fat and if you add butter or string cheese you’re getting a lot more than you need, plus it’s saturated fat (the type of fat that’s unhealthy if eaten in excess). Fat doesn’t just increase your calories quite a bit but it can also make you feel quite heavy and sluggish as fat slows down your digestion. Add a little bit of fat but limit it to about 10 grams 5x a day. Stick to healthy fats, such as olive oil avocado and nuts. 
  • The orange protein smoothie is loaded with sugar. The average Red Mango smoothie has about 50 grams of carbs (that’s about 11 teaspoons of sugar!) for a 16 oz serving (here’s a great site to see what’s in your food). It’s not going to keep you full for a long time and will also give you a blood sugar spike, resulting in loads of insulin release (telling your body to store fat). You’re better off making your own protein shake or just eating real food. 
  • Most protein bars are high in sugar and artificial ingredients. Make sure they’re low in sugar (less than 10 grams) when you do eat them and grab them only when you have nothing better to go with.  Bars are not nearly as satiating as real food and also don’t provide high quality nutrients. 
  • You’re doing great on getting protein at every meal.
  • Make sure you add more veggies to your day so you get adequate fiber and satiation. 
  • Skip the flavored Greek yogurt. It’s loaded with about 25 grams of sugar (5 teaspoons!). Go with plain and add your own flavor by adding a few slivered almonds,  cinnamon or a few berries. 
  • You’re limiting your fruit, which is good as you are keeping your fructose intake low. Fructose gets converted to fat by the liver much faster than any other type of carbohydrate. 
So, just a few tweaks and your fat loss should speed up. It might be a good idea to track your food intake online for a 2-3 days so you can understand where your nutrients are coming from. Aim to have about 30 grams of carbohydrates (mostly from veggies) 5x a day, along with 20 grams of protein (about the size and thickness of your palm), with about 10 grams of fat (1 tbsp of olive oil or 1/2 avocado or 10-15 nuts). is a great site that allows you to just scan your food item with your iphone and it will automatically calculate your nutrient intake. 

I’m training for the New York City Marathon. What should I eat?

Hi Ariane,
Here is my food diary for the last three days.  As I mentioned, I am in week 2 of an 18-week marathon training program.  I would like to lose at least 10 lbs in July and another 10 in August, so that when I start building mileage in September, my body is better conditioned and rid of some of the excess fat. I ultimately want to make sure that my diet gives me sufficient energy to train, but also allows me to lose weight at the rate I would like to. 
Thank you!  L. 
Day 1:
Breakfast:  Smoothie with 1 scoop Jay Robb Vanilla Protein powder, 1 cup skim milk, 2 cups blueberries, ice and water
Snack:  Chobani plain Greek Yogurt,  1 cup honeydew
Lunch: Chopped Salad with romaine, bell pepper, celery, red onion, cucumber, feta cheese, tuna and lime basil vinaigrette
Snack: ½ cup homemade hummus and 1 cup carrots
Dinner:  Omelet with 1 egg, 1 cup egg whites, spinach, mushrooms and feta
Day 2:
Breakfast:  Smoothie with 1 scoop Jay Robb Chocolate Protein powder, 1 cup skim milk, 1 cup strawberries, 1 banana, ice and water
Snack:  2 cheese sticks with an apple
Lunch: Chopped Salad with romaine, bell pepper, celery, red onion, cucumber, feta cheese, avocado and lime basil vinaigrette
Snack:  Handful of almonds
Dinner:  Tacos with shrimp, onion and bell pepper sautéed in 1 tbsp. Canola oil, two small Ezekiel sprouted grain tortillas and 2 tbsp. salsa. 
Day 3:
Breakfast:  Scrambled Eggs (1 egg, 1 cup egg whites and ¼ cup milk), cantaloupe and strawberries
Snack:  Chobani plain Greek Yogurt with 1 orange
Lunch: Chopped Salad with romaine, bell pepper, celery, red onion, cucumber, feta cheese, tuna and lime basil vinaigrette
Snack:  ½ cup homemade hummus and 1 cup carrots
Dinner:  Salmon steak with kale (cooked in 1 tbsp. olive oil)

Hi L., 
this is a great question. When you pick up Runner’s World or Running Magazine you will always read recommendations to eat lots of carbohydrates. That explains in large part why most people who train for a marathon never lose weight. You need to keep in mind that these recommendations are made for runners who are at their ideal weight and not looking for fat loss. These runners also put in at least an hour or more every day, so at that rate of running you can eat slightly more carbohydrates without gaining weight. 

Your case is different though. For the coming weeks make sure you don’t eat more just because you’re running. Unless you run for longer than 60-75 minutes there is no need to eat more because you have plenty mineral and electrolyte stores and also glycogen stores in your muscles to fuel yourself for a run. Also, you still want to get lighter, so for now your goal is to keep your glycogen stores half full – enough to have energy but not full so you prevent fat burning. 

When you go for a run longer than an hour then take with you either Gu or AccelGel (has 5 grams of protein to sustain you a bit longer) or Coconut water (high in electrolytes and better than Gatorade or Powerade). After about 45 – 60 minutes take in your first Gel or drink and then continue to take one about every 15 minutes. Your body has at least an hour worth of energy stored in your muscles and liver, so until that point you don’t necessarily have to refuel. For runs less than an hour long you need nothing but water. 

Here’s what to do to rev up your fat burning:
  • replace the milk in the protein shake with water – saves lactose calories (keep in mind that lactose in dairy can still stimulate an insulin response and with that tell your body to store fat). 
  • eat more protein for dinner. one egg and one egg white is only about 10 grams of protein, plus feta… you need about 20 grams per meal – 5 x a day. 
  • watch your fruit intake. one cup of berries and 1 banana – that adds up to about 40 grams of carbs, plus the milk… too much! Fructose is metabolized by the liver only (not muscle). Overloading the liver with fructose can lead to fat storage easily. You need on average 30 grams of carbs per meal – 5x a day. 
  • watch your fat intake in your salad. dressing PLUS avocado PLUS feta cheese – that adds up to at least 20 grams and you need only about 10 per meal – 5 x a day. 
  • tacos – high in starch. skip starch for dinner to rev up your fat burning. go with a lean protein and veggies. Keep in mind that your dinner should be the lightest meal of the day. No need to fuel your body at night since you’re about to sleep. 
Other than that – nice variety, a good amount of veggies, varied protein choices. 
Just make sure you cut out the excess. You know your body doesn’t need much food to get by, so focus on how great it feels to be light on your feet when you run.

Get running, burn fat, get lighter and by November you’ll be amazed at how much faster you’ll be!

Cheers, Ariane

Why am I not losing weight?

Hi Ariane,

I was disappointed after you weighed me on Friday. Even though I have gotten a lot out of the class within 3 weeks as far as getting stronger, having significantly better endurance, lowering my blood pressure and sleeping better, I kind of have nothing empirical to show for it.  I can fit my work scrubs pants better and also  some other pants I bought a few weeks ago that now fit quite well.  My shirts are a bit looser under the arm, too.  I can also see a difference in the contours of my legs, arms and even my face (sharper chin/cheekbones).  I don’t think it’s enough that other people would notice, but I can definitely tell.

The other thing I’ve gotten out of the class that was a goal was regained my desire/need to exercise on a regular basis again.  Don’t like paying for a gym then not go because I don’t feel like it or am too tired.  I’ll be glad to get back to weight machines, too, and build up some more strength.

One thing I thought was neat about taking this class is that the more classes I went to I could sort of feel the next day even that I was getting tighter/skinnier, though to be honest, I could tell a difference this week as it went on that it wasn’t the case so much.  I debated getting weighed last night, because I was feeling a bit bigger again (especially around my stomach).  I was quite pissed off last night to see nothing had changed apparently after all that work (at least as far as the numbers go), so the one glass of wine I planned to splurge on when I came home because of a stressful week at work became a big vodka cranberry on the way home (gotta love bars on the LIRR platforms at Penn Station :-) ).  And then I ate crap when I got home.  I allowed myself a pity party of figuring why eat well last night when none of the rest I’ve done made a difference apparently.  But then I barely enjoyed the crackers, so I guess that’s something.

I gave up wine (which I love) the whole time (except for the one Thursday where I had one at my friend’s birthday dinner), as well as cranberry juice (that I drank almost every morning) and Coke/Pepsi at lunch (a bad habit I’m not sure why I got into it).  I’m a big water drinker already and have had considerably more than I used to have.

I don’t know.  Maybe I’ve just been eating too much of a good thing, too?
I’m perplexed.

Thanks for all your help.  I’ve been enjoying having my ass kicked 3 days a week.  Sort of. :-)

Sat, May 7
11am Chix Caesar Salad
4pm Atkins protein drink
8pm Large salad w/ mushrooms, cauliflower

Sun, May 8
11am 6 egg Omelette (5 whole/ 1 white) w/ chopped broccoli/ mushroom
3:30p Smoked salmon (cracked pepper/plain) + thin whole wheat wrap
7:30p Large mixed green salad w/ mushrooms/ cauliflower

Mon, May 9
7:45am 6 egg (3 whole/white)/ chopped broccoli/ mushroom sandwich on Arnold thin wheat roll 11:30 2 light babybell discs w/ 1 turkey slice
1 pm 2/3 of small plate of hummus + 1 pita bread
8:30p Large mixed green salad/ mushrooms + asparagus (8 spears)
Trader Joeʼs Milk Choc bar square

Tues, May 10
8am 2 Boneless chix thighs, califlower 11:30 2 light babybell cheese discs w/ 1 turkey slice
1 pm Chix Caesar salad
3:30pm – Oikos Choc yogurt
730p Sauteed flounder + 12 asparagus spears 9pm 1 Trader Joeʼs milk choc square

Wed, May 11
8am – 2 Boneless chix thighs, 8 asparagus spears
1pm Omelette w/ spinach/ mushrooms
4:45 pm Atkins protein drink, Oikos Choc yogurt
9pm 2 chix tenderloin w/ carrots

Thurs, May 12
8:30 Chix tenderloin (3 small) sandwich w/ broccoli side 
11:30 2 light babybell cheese discs w/ 1 turkey slice
1pm – Chix caesar salad
7pm-Chicken Piccata w/ broccoli side, 1 glass white wine, strawberry sorbetDay

Fri, May 13
8:30 am 6 egg (5 white/1 whole)/1/2 pkgs chopped broccoli sandwich onArnold thin wheat roll, 2/3 cup sliced carrots
1pm – Omelette w/ tomatoes/ mushrooms
4:30 pm Oikos choc yogurt
8:30p Salmon filet, 12 asparagus spears

Sat, May 14
1 1/2 cup carrots, Atkins protein drink
4pm -mixed salad with 1/2 cup chix, mushrooms
7pm BBQ chix + green beans 9:30 pm Oikos Choc yogurt + 8 dark choc Ghiradelli chips


Hi D,

You had the classic response to not seeing a difference in weight: a pity party fueled by the foods that got you into trouble in the first place. Just because you haven’t seen a change in the number on the scale doesn’t mean that all the other good changes you’ve made and noticed are non-existent. What would you rather have: feeling energized, clothes feel better, less tired, looking better…. or just having a lower number on the scale and nothing else has changed?

Here’s what might be going on:
You have been working out regularly for 3 weeks and have made huge improvements in your endurance and strenght. AND, you even like working out now (somewhat, i get it :-)
Chances are you’ve put on a good amount of muscle and sometimes the body fat machine doesn’t pick up on that for about a month. That’s due to the fact that as you reduce your starch and sugar intake your water household changes. That is reflected in the amount of water your muscle holds and that shows in the body fat measurement.
So, be a bit more patient to see the change. Just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it won’t show in the next week or two. But, it will show.

Your metabolism may be still slow from previous dieting, lack of exercise, low muscle mass, erratic eating, foods that slow your metabolism, etc. It can take up to 8-10 weeks to repair a slow metabolism and sometimes people don’t see a change until then, even though they have a perfect diet. It’s just the body holding back in fear of this being yet another diet attempt that deprives the body of energy. It will always respond to that by going into starvation mode – holding on to any calorie it can get.  Consistency is the absolute key and you’re well on your way towards that. A good step towards that would be that you do your best to eat every 3-4 hours. Wait longer and your blood sugar will drop and you’ll be ravenous at the next meal.

Your diet is not as clean as you may think. 
While you eat only 3 square meals (you’d be much better off with 2 snacks in between or at least one late-night snack before bed to stabilize your blood sugar), you are not losing weight.
I see quite a bit of sugar in your diet. I suggest you take a marker and circle all the sugar and refined carbs to make it obvious:

  • Refined carbs: goldfish crackers, wraps (watch wraps as most are loaded with carbs), bread
  • sugar: oikos chocolate yogurt (has at least 15 grams of sugar) go for the  PLAIN!
  • trader joe’s chocolate
  • strawberry sorbet
  • ghirardelly chips
  • wine
Your breakfasts are well done –  lots of protein with veggies.
Your lunch may need a change as caesar salad can load up in tons of calories from the fat in the dressing. Make sure you change up the dressing to a low-fat kind, such as olive oil and vinegar and lemon perhaps or anything else you like. The Caesar dressing will do you in otherwise.
Snacks: For the time being I would also skip the cheese as snack and instead snack on a piece of fruit (if you crave something sweet) or cut up a lot of veggies that you can keep handy at work.

Do the atkins shakes fill you up? it’s liquid calories after all and your body will absorb any liquid very fast. That means you don’t have to chew (less satisfaction), no digestion (no filling feeling), and the impact on your blood sugar can be immediate if the drink is filled with carbs and sugar (quick rush, followed by a quick crash). You may want to try another protein snack in the afternoon and see if that makes a difference in your appetite and energy. 

So, here’s my suggestion for the last week of Slim & Strong:  cut out all chocolate, alcohol, and sweets. Replace the Oikos chocolate yogurt with the plain greek yogurt, replace the wraps with a good grainy bread to fill you up, replace the caesar dressing with a low-fat dressing, and try to eat your dinners a little earlier.

Don’t give in. It’s a matter of switching a few things around and getting your body to realize you’re working WITH it, not against it. Check out Rebecca’s blog post. She’s now in amazing shape and struggled for 3 months with losing barely anything. I have a feeling you’re in the same boat (not for long!!!!) 

Food Diary Feedback

Hi Ariane, 

Here is what I ate the last two days. Please let me know where I need to change to put my body into fat burning mode.  I’m trying!!! Compared to what I used to eat — this is a huge change! I have only had 1 diet coke since the nutrition class (over the weekend)— which i was having 2-3 per day…soo that is a huge change. 

Breakfast – 4 egg whites, 2 cups of raw vegetables (peppers, carrots, celery, cucumbers), and a banana
Snack – 0% Greek yogurt with 12 almonds 
Lunch (had a work event so this was tough and not a normal lunch) i put lettuce on a plate and took a vegetable wrap and dumped the vegetables on the salad and threw out the wrap, then took a half of turkey sandwich – threw out the bread and had the turkey and cheese and tomato. 
Afternoon snack – PowerCrunch Protein Bar
Dinner – Half of Zero Impact bar and a salad with tuna, tomatoes, reduced fat cheese, and balsamic dressing


Breakfast – 0% greek yogurt with 12 almonds and  a reduced fat cheese stick
Snack – banana
Lunch – tuna with reduced fat cheese and a  little mustard, 3 cups of vegetables
Snack- PowerCrunch Protein Bar
Dinner – half of zero impact bar and a salad with ground turkey, carrots, reduced fat cheese and balsamic dressing. 

A: Your food diary is quite clean! Congrats to implementing so many changes so quickly. Just a few notes. 
  • Make sure you limit tuna to once or twice a week to avoid eating too much mercury. Your body stores it in the fatty tissue and can’t get rid of it, so toxicity is an issue. 
  • Skip the Zero Impact Bar for dinner. You can have half of it it as a snack right before bed and it will help you keep your blood sugar balanced throughout the night. Or, you can simply have a protein shake (ideally, a casein shake) right before bed. 
  • Do your best to replace protein bars with real food as most of them contain sucralose (splenda) and other artificial ingredients which don’t cause the same level of satiation as real food and some can cause sugar cravings.

Welcome February Boot Campers!

Hello to you Ladies and our Single Very Brave Man!

Welcome to the February Session of Slim and Strong. We’re off to a great start after you learned everything about how to burn fat today.

This week please post your food diary for a typical day here and I’ll give you feedback so you can make the most of your eating habits.

Here’s the first one from Eileen:

Breakfast: egg whites with low fat mozzerella cheese on one slice of whole wheat toast
Snack: 20 almonds with one string low fat cheese
Lunch: Chicken salad
Snack: Fage 2% greek yogurt
Dinner: 1 chicken sausage with broccoli
5 pieces of dark chocolate

The verdict: Excellent choices as every meal contains a lean protein and a healthy carbohydrate. This allows your body to use stored carbs in the muscle and liver for immediate energy. Then, once these stores are exhausted you’re digging right into fat stores!
The dark chocolate is a great dessert choice as it is high in antioxidants and low in sugar.

I hope you’re feeling satiated and full Eileen! Keep up the good work! You’ll see why eating this way has paid off when we’re celebrating the biggest loser at our gettogether tonight!