Failing at fat loss? It’s your diet.
Of all the components that make up a successful fat loss plan, by far the most critical is a sound diet; unfortunately this is the area in which most people fall short.
I’ve seen (and made) a lot of mistakes over the past 11 years, but a couple of these missteps are, by far, the most common:
Information Paralysis. These folks never even start because they are obsessed with creating the “perfect” nutrition and training plan for dieting. Let’s be honest, this is just another excuse some people make to avoid actually doing something. I’m certainly not trying to call anyone out (you know who you are, and I’m only trying to help), but there are people who have been emailing me the same questions over and over for many years.
The solution? Do something. Anything. Sub-optimal is far more productive than idle. There is no “perfect” plan. There is no “one size fits all”. So, spend an afternoon doing some basic research, come up with a plan, get started and adjust as you go. Remember, you’re just losing fat. There’s no question that fat loss takes discipline and hard work, but it’s not complicated. There’s a world of difference between dropping some excess weight and dieting down to 3% body fat for a bodybuilding show (which definitely can be tricky).
Poor Diet. I get this a lot: “John, I walk/run/get on the treadmill almost every day, but I never lose any weight!” Of course my first question is, “What’s your diet like?” The response almost always starts with, “Oh, I eat really healthy…”, and is then followed by a list of highly processed foods that are loaded with empty calories. Usually they throw a veggie or piece of fruit in there somewhere, which I suppose somehow makes all the crap they just named off okay.
The solution? It’s pretty simple: highly processed foods are generally poor choices and should be eliminated. Clean, natural, whole foods are what you should be eating. The key to this? Don’t be afraid of your kitchen! So many people say to me, “Oh, but I can’t cook!” Yes, you can. There’s a big difference between creating all-new dishes and merely following a recipe. With a little practice even the most inexperienced home cooks can follow a healthy recipe. Along these lines, when you’re dieting don’t go out to eat–or at least make it a planned once per week (at most) splurge. Yeah, there are some healthy restaurant options out there these days, but for the most part you’re going to be getting a heavy dose of calories. It should go without saying, but fast food should be avoided at all costs when dieting.