What Is Your Secret?

*The title of this post was taken from the Nada Surf song of the same name*

A few months ago, I wrote a piece about a client of mine with Down syndrome named Tina. You can revisit that article hereSince that article was released, Tina has made it through all of the holiday events of last year and teetered around the same few pounds without seeing a new low in weight loss.

While she is very self-sufficient, Tina also requires the help of a provider to get her to and from work and to assist with some of her activities of daily living. She has changed providers over the time that I’ve known her and her job schedule continues to change as well.

I do try to keep conversation going to gain a better understanding about what’s happening with her diet and exercise regimen. She sees me twice a week and we normally focus on getting some strength training and some cardio work in that she might not be able to do on her own.

Recently, after not seeing a lot of progress with weight loss, I started to drill down some more with one of her providers to find out what was happening with the diet. Most of the meals had been portioned so she was only able to access a certain amount.

However, there were a couple of things that popped up that sparked further conversation. At lunch, she was eating half a sandwich, a yogurt and a rice cake. She regularly would go to Subway and get a 6″ sub with condiments (mayo, ketchup, or dressing). Frequently, in the middle of the night, she would eat another rice cake.

I asked her to remove both rice cakes and any condiments from her sandwiches aside from mustard.

A week later she was down nearly 2 lbs and back to her lowest weight.

So that I don’t step on my toes with previous advice, please remember that nothing happens in a vacuum. Tina could have made some other changes as well (dietary or exercise.) By removing her rice cakes and condiments we were realistically shaving off somewhere between 100-300 calories a day (depending on the condiments of choice.) It did shed a light on some of those sneaky places where calories might pop up.

Rice cakes can vary between 30-70 calories. Condiments can run the gamut. While mayonnaise can be a bigger problem than ketchup, they both have calories. Dressing can beat out mayonnaise depending on type and fat content.

The point is, if you’ve been doing really well with your diet but you’ve gotten bored with it, some of these extra things can creep in and they add up (even if we like to think they don’t.) It’s easy to point a finger at the big culprits like second helpings, a side of fries or the extra two slices of pizza when you really meant to eat one.

If you’re stalling with weight loss, you may need to look a little closer and find out what secrets you’re keeping. Have some routine meals and snacks that are basically fool-proof and require little to no guesswork when it comes to how many calories are involved. In Tina’s case, subtracting a couple of rice cakes and some condiments got her moving in the right direction again.

And her journey continues. This is a picture of Tina at her lowest weight since she’s been training with me.