Dear Barb,

I have been exercising on the regular, doing cardio and strength training, but my body hasn’t really changed. What gives? I eat healthy after my workouts but I only maintain. I resist cheating all the time but the scale never changes. I love food and think about it all day long. Could I be a secret foodie?


Insanely Frustrated


Dear Frustrated,

Unfortunately, just because you exercise doesn’t automatically mean weight will fall off and reveal toned arms, toned legs and a flat belly. To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. It is mathematical and mental control and the fact is calories DO matter.

When you walk for an hour or run for 30 minutes, which burns about 300 calories, then you suck down a 300-calorie post workout protein smoothie or anyfood equaling 300 calories, you have not created a calorie deficit – you just come up even as if you never exercised, just maintained the same, no wonder you are frustrated!

The number one reason that people working out are not losing weight is because they’re eating too many calories a day when their appetite is boosted from exercise. If you burn 300 calories working out, only eat back 150 calories.

Food is easy to attain and takes only the effort of opening the refrigerator or driving thru a fast food restaurant. Choices of food and portions of food are really the game changer. That control will make you successful. If it were easy, wouldn’t everybody be skinny?

Here is a test for whether you are a foodie or a sugar addict. When you finish eating a healthy meal by chewing it at a slow pace and enjoying every morsel and you are satisfied, would you say “yes” to a cookie for dessert? Would you say “yes” to a half-cup of broccoli? If you said “no” to the broccoli, you are not seeking food but seeking sugar. It is the SUGAR that you crave and is the hardest addiction to limit. It’s in bread and healthy foods too, but it is literally sabotaging your progress subliminally.

Your brain needs fats and sugars but many times cutting back on fats too much will create a sugar craving instead. Balance is the key. No more than 24 grams of sugar per day and the recommended daily fat amounts for women (1,500-calories) are 33 to 58 grams per day, (2,500-calories) for a man’s diet is 56 to 97 grams of fat per day.

Start googling foods that are 150 calories or less that you like and buy those foods. Watching grams of fat on all boxes, cans, meats, cheeses and desserts, will guarantee you see the scale go down, it is all mathematical and mental control.

And finally, I would suggest a fun hobby or an engaging project to keep your mind off food as a focus. Mentally planning healthy snacks as a lifestyle before you are starving can be a game changer too.


Barb Rock is a mental health counselor and the published author of “Run Your Own Race: Happiness after 50.” Send any questions related to mental health, relationships or life issues to her at BarbRockrocks@yahoo.com.

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