CLIENT: Valerie

  • Female, mid-50s
  • Omnivore
  • Married. Busy mom of two teenagers. Works full time.
  • Workout routine: Walks in the neighborhood with friends sporadically on the weekends
  • Food history: Breakfast and lunch were nonexistent in Valerie's routine. She would grab food at meetings or eat nuts on the run until lunch. Many days, lunch was in the office, at her computer. Sometimes, she would eat a salad from the deli nearby; other times, she would eat during working meetings, eating whatever was ordered for the meeting. If she was super busy, she would eat protein bars a couple of times per day because of the convenience. Dinner was at Whole Foods Market or a takeout with wine.
  • Weight loss: feels stuck. Has middle weight gain (the beginnings of the apple body shape). Has dieted most of her adult life. Can't figure out why she can't lose weight.
  • Self-confessed sugar problem: she grabs a handful of dark chocolate chips each night after kitchen clean-up.
  • Likes to cook but doesn't make time to cook during the week.

Weight Loss Goal: to lose 15 pounds and keep it off.

Here's What We Did

  1. Timed Eating: We started Valerie with timed eating to ensure her blood sugar was balanced and she wasn't getting hungry, which causes internal stress and promotes weight gain. Timed eating is very important for Valerie to give her a sense of strength, balance, and food security.
  2. Meal Planning: Next, we encouraged Valerie to get some glassware/Tupperware with sealable tops so that we could tackle a bit of planning for mid-day food.
  3. Macros: From the start, we decreased sugar intake and increased proteins and healthy fats in her diet via protein shakes in the AM and an afternoon snack of veggies with protein dip. Lunches were better planned and packed the night before. Dinner leftovers became the backbone for delicious lunches she could count on during her busy work weeks. Dinners were made in batches in advance over the weekend, and the freezer was stocked. Some delivery services were used to help with dinners, but they were lower in carbs and all whole food.

Mindfulness + Fuel
Valerie views dinner time as a celebration — every day. And had lost sight of the need to fuel her body. She was feeling bad about herself because she was judging herself via her food choices, sugar cravings, and energy swings. She was restricting her food during the day and would be literally starving by dinnertime so she would let loose at night. There was a wine habit at dinner. Front-loading her food gave her the sustained energy she needed to be calmer about her dinner choices. The wine habit was replaced by wine occasionally and a kombucha mocktail during the week with dinner. The sweets after dinner habit was dropped slowly but surely.

Accountability + Logging
Valerie needed someone to hold herself accountable to herself. She needed someone to tell her it was OK to prioritize her needs as much as her kids', clients', parents', and everyone else's needs. Her family began to all eat the same foods, sitting down and eating together most nights. Her food became a source of calm for her instead of the stressor it had been. Logging her food helped to break the habit of not planning her food life. She soon realized that if she had planned, she would have experienced a much more balanced day. If she didn't, she saw her macronutrients skew toward lots of carbs, which for her was not working for weight loss. She worked hard, focusing on her food choices, food timing, food prep, and planning. She was able to eliminate the party atmosphere of dinner.

Valerie started a more consistent endurance-style fat-burning exercise routine. She continues to work on prioritizing her needs. This is a true case of "if mamma isn't happy… nobody's happy."

The Outcome
Valerie lost 15 pounds over 12 weeks in time for summer shorts weather. She needed quite a bit of healthy fat in her diet for sustained weight loss.

Valerie's Macros: 55% Fat, 20% Carb, 25% Protein