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An Exposé Series: A Day in the Life of the American Working Professional, Part 3

  • Karran Gupta
  • October 2, 2015

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In Part 1, we took a look at a day in the life of Sara. Sara thought she was making healthy choices in her eating habits, when in reality she was sabotaging her own fat loss goals in a big way.

In Part 2 we discussed Angie’s story. Angie has good intentions – she works out, she tries to make healthy eating choices for the most part, but a few wrong moves throughout the day and she has blown her fat loss goals right out of the water.

So what if you are reading this expose thinking, “Hey, I eat healthy dammit. I know what I am doing here. I work out, I eat right, and still, nothing. Nada. I can’t budge the weight loss.” Well then, maybe you need to take a gander at this.

Consider Jeremy. Jeremy is a 33-year-old professional, who works down the hall from Sara and Angie. He is 5’-10”, 200 pounds, and wants to lose his belly and gain 6-pack abs. He loves food, but has totally revamped his eating habits, focusing on whole foods whenever possible. He is determined to reach his goal. He exercises 5 days a week – 3 days of weight training, and 2 days of cardio. Let’s take a look at a typical day in Jeremy’s life.

6:00 AM Rise and shine. Jeremy wakes up, has his pre-workout shake (a scoop of protein powder blended with a banana and skim milk), and heads off to the gym.

7:45 AM Jeremy returns home from the gym, gets himself ready for the day, and eats his typical breakfast, a bowl of oatmeal with Splenda and blueberries, 4 egg whites, 1 whole egg sprinkled with a little hot sauce, and coffee with Splenda and skim milk.

8:45 AM Jeremy packs up his cooler with all his food for the day and leaves for work (luckily he lives close).

9:00 AM Nose to the grindstone like the girls, lots of work to do. Jeremy settles in, filling up his giant water bottle for the first of five times that he fills it throughout the day.

12:30 PM Lunchtime. Jeremy doesn’t eat the cafeteria food, he prefers to bring his own. He happily munches on his whole grain tuna salad sandwich, which he brought from home, as he surfs the net, reading the latest sports news.

1:30 PM Lunch is over and Jeremy gets back to work.

3:00 PM Snacktime. Jeremy pulls out yet another goodie from his bag – fat free cottage cheese mixed with some dry oats, walnuts, raspberries, and a little Splenda for sweetness. His coworkers tease him because he brings in so much food, but he smiles to himself as he thinks about how much healthier this food is for him over what other people get from the vending machines and from the cafe. His abs will be popping in no time!

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5:00 PM The workday is over. Jeremy leaves to run some errands, and then goes home to make dinner.

7:00 PM Jeremy sits down to eat a quick dinner before he leaves again to go watch his nephew play football at the high school. Dinner tonight is grilled pork tenderloin, sauteed green beans, and baked sweet potato.

10:00 PM Jeremy arrives home again, excited that his nephew’s team dominated the game. Time for his last meal, cottage cheese mixed with peanut butter, and a little Splenda, before he calls it a night. He is whooped.

11:00 PM Jeremy gets in bed, almost immediately dreaming of himself at the beach this coming summer with his rockin 6 pack abs.

Totals for the Day

What Jeremy Thinks He is Eating

Pre-WO – 329 calories, 2 g fat, 45 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 33 g protein, 166 mg sodium
Breakfast – 489 calories, 9 g fat, 66 g carbs, 10 g fiber, 29 g protein, 500 mg sodium
Lunch – 315 calories, 4 g fat, 33 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 31 g protein, 600 mg sodium
Snack – 452 calories, 20 g fat, 35 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 33 g protein, 850 mg sodium
Dinner – 438 calories, 14 g fat, 46 g carbs, 10 g fiber, 34 g protein, 1500 mg sodium
Snack – 340 calories, 15 g fat, 16 g carbs, 2.5 g fiber, 33 g protein, 923 mg sodium

TOTAL – 2363 calories, 64 g fat, 241 g carbs, 37.5 g fiber, 193 g protein, 4539 mg sodium

What Jeremy is Actually Eating

Pre-WO – 345 calories, 2 g fat, 50 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 33 g protein, 166 mg sodium
Breakfast – 596 calories, 10 g fat, 85 g carbs, 12 g fiber, 34 g protein, 700 mg sodium
Lunch – 422 calories, 10 g fat, 41 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 32.5 g protein, 1000 mg sodium
Snack – 567 calories, 28 g fat, 42 g carbs, 9 g fiber, 39 g protein, 900 mg sodium
Dinner – 548 calories, 21 g fat, 52 g carbs, 12 g fiber, 36 g protein, 1800 mg sodium
Snack – 468 calories, 22.5 g fat, 20 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 39 g protein, 932 mg sodium

TOTAL – 2926 calories, 93.5 g fat, 290 g carbs, 62.5 g fiber, 213.5 g protein, 5498 mg sodium

Jeremy’s BMR = 1976 calories per day, plus activity multiplier of 1.55 = a grand total of 3062 calories burned per day.

Jeremy thinks that he is in a deficit of nearly 700 calories per day, which should work out to be about a one and a half pound loss per week. However, in reality, the amount of calories he is actually taking in each day is only a little over 100 calories less than his maintenance level of 3022. What!?!?!

Jeremy considers himself meticulous, maybe even anal, with his calculations on FitDay. He tracks almost everything. So where is the discrepancy? How could he be so off with his figures?

In Part 4 I’ll tell you exactly where Jeremy and so many others go wrong, and talk further about why YOU may be hitting a fat loss brick wall.

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