A 24 year old female came to me motivated to lose weight. She told me her entire family was obese and her father had recently passed away from diabetes-related complications. This client was desperate to not follow a similar path, but could not understand why she could not lose weight. For as long as she could remember the thought of breakfast made her feel nauseous. Often she would not eat until lunch, sometimes later. She reported cutting back on iced coffee and soft drinks months ago and now just drank water.
She had lost some weight but not as much as she expected, and her weight had now stalled. She reported that she felt she ‘didn’t eat that much’ as she only ate ‘twice a day’. When we started discussing hunger, it became apparent that she would be quite hungry in the afternoon and evening. She thought maybe her portions were a little large, but she ‘had vegetables at least three nights a week’. She also reported that she had takeaway 1–2 times a week. We explored this further, and discovered the takeaway was at least two times a week, and often upsized to a large meal. I explained how not eating was affecting her decisions regarding food later in the day. These large meals were putting her in excess of her kilojoule/calorie requirements in just one meal.
The solution was breakfast and more volume through plant-based food. We started with just one piece of fruit for breakfast, then worked up to a more substantial meal. We added more snacks throughout the day. Initially she was resistant as she felt like she was eating more food. She was right: she was eating more food, but with fewer kilojoules/calories.
Her food choices improved dramatically. When she noticed the weight starting to come off again, she then fully supported the plan. At our last visit she had lost 13 kg, and was fully aware of how her meal patterns had been holding her back.