“My metabolism is so slow! No matter how little I eat, I just can’t lose weight!”
“I have bad genetics! My activity level is through the roof but the scale just doesn’t budge!”
Six months ago, we had an overweight boy sign up for our obesity program.
He told us he’d been working hard, exercising religiously and keeping a rough count of his calorie intake.
“I only consume 2500 Calories a day”, he said.
We gave him a document and asked him to take photographs, measure and fill in every single thing he put in his mouth for 4 straight days.
After our calculations, his average daily energy intake came to a whopping 4700 Calories!
So, was he lying?
He just underestimated his energy intake… by a LOT!
Misreporting of food intake and activity level is common among both obese and underweight subjects.
Overweight individuals generally tend to underestimate their calorie intake, and look for other (more complicated) explanations for their situation.
When in reality, all they have to do is peel back a layer, focus on the basics, cut out the noise and track their food accurately.
That, oddly enough, is easier said than done.
Lichtman et al. Discrepancy between self-reported and actual caloric intake and exercise in obese subjects. The New England Journal of Medicine, 1992 Dec 31;327(27):1893-8