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A Food Diary Makeover

This week’s newsletter was inspired by a Synergy member experience. In an effort to lose weight, this member was on a diet of 1,500 calories per day. After an initial weight loss of about 20 pounds, she found herself at a plateau. Although she was keeping up with her small group training sessions at Synergy and kept a meticulous food diary to ensure she did not exceed 1,500 calories per day, her weight loss seemed to have stopped.
To try to understand why she had plateaued, we sat down and reviewed her food diary together. It was detailed and tracked each meal and snack she was having over the course of the day. And while it was clear she was not “cheating” or taking in more calories, I noticed that the majority of the food she was eating was processed or packaged. Her diet was seriously lacking in whole, natural food.

So, to help her make a transition to a healthier whole food diet, we decided she would start by just changing her breakfast. From then on she had eggs and fruit instead of her usual processed breakfast of a bagel or cereal. In less than a week, she had broken through her lull and was back in weight loss mode — just by tweaking that one meal!

In the months that followed she made more modifications to her eating and cut out more processed foods replacing them with real, whole foods. With each swap out, her results got better and better. She is still working toward her ultimate goal but without the changes she implemented, she likely would still be at a standstill at her original 20 pounds.

The moral of the story is this – all calories are not equal. You will always be better served eating 100 calories of real food over anything that comes in a package. Do you want to swap out processed foods for wholesome, nutritious and real food? Here are some swap out suggestions.


Instead of a bagel, toast, cereal or a breakfast sandwich, try…
  • An egg and spinach scramble
  • Plain Greek yogurt with honey and berries
  • Steel cut oatmeal with a sliced banana and slivered almonds


Instead of a sandwich with deli meat and cheese, try…
  • A tuna, avocado and tomato salad with arugula
  • Grilled chicken on a bed of spinach with olives, grape tomatoes and feta cheese
  • Homemade soup or stew such as butternut squash and beans, lentils and spinach or chicken and red bean chili
Instead of Lean Cuisine or other microwaveable “healthy” dinners, try
  • Grilled or baked salmon with brown rice and broccoli
  • Grass fed steak tips with baked sweet potato and roasted carrots
  • Homemade turkey meatballs and sauce over spaghetti squash


Instead of a protein or granola bar, try…
  • An apple with nut butter
  • Carrot sticks and hummus
  • Red peppers and guacamole


Do you keep a food diary? How does your daily diet stack up?

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