#3: Track your diet and training to ensure you’re achieving a calorie deficit.
We’ve all heard a friend or family member complain “I can’t lose fat even though I’m doing everything right!”
Unfortunately, humans are not very good at assessing how much they eat or how hard they work out. Studies consistently show that when people do food journals, they tend to under-record what they’ve eaten by a whopping 500 calories a day. They also significantly underestimate how hard they are exercising, both when training with weights and doing cardio.
This combination of “errors” is a primary reason that diet and exercise programs don’t lead to fat loss. In order to stop sabotaging ourselves, a few things need to happen:
- Since you know that humans are notorious for inaccuracy with food journals, you can make the choice to own up to what you put in your mouth and do a completely honest food journal. You don’t have to show it to anyone or feel guilty. This is raw data you need to overcome your biological drive for foods that work against your own interests.
- Get a trainer or a coach who can push you to ensure you are training as hard as you think you are. A trainer can also monitor your food journal and test your body fat, keeping you honest.
- If you can’t get a trainer, get a workout partner who is in better shape than you and knows how to push themselves. Assuming you don’t turn workouts into social hour, research shows training with a more advanced partner leads people to work harder.