Mike Robertson of Robertson Training Systems and Indianapolis Fitness & Sports Training puts out a great newsletter, and, in the most recent issue, he interviewed fat loss nutrition expert Leigh Peele. Check out the response Peele gave to one of Mike's questions below:
MR: So if a client came to you with the New Years Resolution to drop some serious body fat, how would you help them do that?
LP: The first thing I would do is send their butt to target and have them buy two things. A journal and a food scale. It will be the most enlightening and eye opening experience of their lives. I would make them log their daily dietary habits of what they are still doing. Give them a big eye opener into how much food they are really eating, and then from there help them map out a plan.
The problem with most people is they expect it to be easy. No thought, no work. That is great and all if you are eating nothing but chicken breasts and lettuce. It is a bit different if you want to have any variety of food or lifestyle in your diet or training. Lazy tracking breeds lackluster results for the majority of people. You have to understand what you are putting in your body, then and only then, will you know what to take out.
I thought this was a great answer, and really drives home the point that if you are serious about getting your diet in line and losing body fat, nothing comes easy. You really have to work for it and put in the effort. I get frustrated with people who assume proper nutrition "just happens". Look, as Leigh Peele pointed out above, you have to monitor and track your food intake. You have to get to the grocery store each and every week to buy the proper food. You have to read labels, measure out servings, weigh food, etc. in accordance with your calorie requirements. You have to research menu items ahead of time if you are going to be dining out. It just doesn't "happen". Tracking and monitoring become even more important if you want a lot of variety in your diet. THIS IS A FULL-TIME JOB...ONE YOU BETTER BE PREPARED TO COMMIT TO!
As new year's day approaches, don't fool yourself into thinking you can make a small change here and there and try "to eat healthier" and get the results you want. You better be prepared to commit to this stuff full on. A lot of people will see "I can't do all this monitoring and tracking...it's just not practical." That's fine...just don't bitch about not getting any results. If it was easy and didn't take any planning, sacrifice and effort, 2 out of 3 people in this country wouldn't be overweight or obese.