Memory malfunctions and failed weight loss

Weight loss success depends on a lot of things. The main thing, however, is that there is a consistent calorie deficit. To lose weight it’s necessary for fewer calories to be eaten than burned.

That is the simplest thing about weight loss, but not much else is so simple. Complications include the source of the calories, the nutritional quality of the source of the calories, and managing to maintain a calorie deficit.

So much depends on making good choices. Making the right food choices is the biggest challenge for achieving successful weight loss results. It’s also extremely confusing because there is so much conflicting information about what we should be eating.

Although we would like it be clear, it’s anything but and even science doesn’t completely sort out the mess. Some people prefer to take a low-carb approach and there is plenty of scientific research to endorse their choice. Others like low-fat and then there are those who embrace moderate carbs and fats. They, too, can find lots of reliable research that convince them they’re doing the right thing.

Choosing a food plan may seem like the most important thing in losing weight, but it’s not. The most important thing is having a reliable memory. No matter what food plan you follow, you need to remember how much you ate and how much exercise you got.

When it comes to eating and exercising, memory malfunction happens a lot. People tend to forget how much they ate. They even forget having eaten altogether. Sometimes memories fail to remember how large the portions were or that second and possibly even third servings were eaten.

Food eaten in between meals often gets forgotten. Maybe the apple was remembered, but the 2 doughnuts were forgotten. Maybe eating some ice cream was remembered, but how much was actually in the bowl was forgotten.

When your memory malfunctions you forget how much you ate and that threatens the calorie deficit. Memories can malfunction in other ways too. Oddly while memories tend to forget how much food we eat, they believe we got more physical activity than we truly did.

When it comes to memory malfunction and exercise, we walk for ten minutes and our memory of the walk was that it lasted at least an hour. Ten minutes of walking doesn’t burn as many calories as an hour of walking. What happens when we remember we walked longer and farther than we actually did? We think we earned a little treat.

If you suspect your memory may be malfunctioning based on the progress you’re making getting to your weight goal, there are some easy ways to supplement your failing memory. High tech people use their smartphones and traditional folks rely on a pen and a pocket notebook.

Tracking your food ensures you are aware of every bite, every calorie. It helps to ensure that you make the most of those bites with superior nutrition and a few, extra special treats. It’s the most reliable way to ensure you maintain the slight calorie deficit necessary to lose weight.

Tracking your exercise is an equally effective aid to fight memory malfunction. You can wear a device that does the job for you. I prefer to tuck my iPhone in my pocket which counts my steps and my trips upstairs. If I wanted to, I could program it to track a lot more, but steps and stairs is all I need.

If you track your exercise with a pen and notebook you will want to track the activity, the intensity level and precisely monitor and record the duration.

Intensity is easily determined by:

  • Can sing the whole time – Low
  • Can carry on a conversation but can’t sing – Moderate
  • Can speak a few words, but can’t carry on a full conversation – High
  • Not enough breath to speak – Too High (only safe when under the supervision of a trained professional)

If you do nothing else, start tracking your food and exercise and watch what happens to your weight.

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.