Many clients we’ve worked with through the years have pushed back pretty hard against logging their food intake. Excuses we hear all the time: “It takes too much time… I can’t get the application to work… I forget to put in my meals…” I can translate these excuses 90% of the time into one REAL reason why they won’t track: “Honesty HURTS.”
When people actually take accountability for the food they put in their body, even those who claim to “eat really healthy” often have a SHOCKING and educational experience the first week they actually track their intake. Those who typically eat like crap… they get about half way through the day, then realize they’ve already eaten their complete healthy daily allotment for carbs… by 1pm… and they quit.
In reality… EVEN WORKING WITH A PERSONAL TRAINER…. You CANNOT out-train a crappy diet!
Does EVERYONE need to track their macronutrients and calorie intake?
NO. For the people who have 50-100+ pounds to lose… tracking is actually less important! For them, it is a psychological battle against food, NOT a math equation. For the VERY heavy… it is a matter of controlling their psychological relationship with food, and simply getting on a more positively structured way of eating. For many in this category… a Personal Trainer is a GREAT member of their TEAM… but that team also needs to include family and support structure, and even possibly a Psychology Professional to address the WHY of food relationships. Going it alone against the triggers and addictions to food, even with a trainer guiding where they can, is VERY hard if family, friends, and loved ones are driving or enforcing destructive food behaviors… or if true eating disorder conditions and addictive behaviors are present. One of the FACTS ignored by the fitness community is that extremes weight gain is a psychological condition… NOT simply a lack of nutrition information or motivation.
For people with 20-50 lb to lose… Tracking is critical, but it doesn’t have to be PERFECT! For these people, the psychology of eating is a smaller factor, but often not the DRIVING factor. Tracking their calorie intake is important, but the detailed balance of carbs, fats, and proteins is less critical. As long as they are getting sufficient protein intake to support maintaining muscle while they lose fat, they are okay. After that, it’s just tracking calories. The ratios of carbs to fats is much less important. For these people, the steady encouragement and positive influence of a Trainer or Coach is critical. The know what they need to do, and understand the roll of nutrition, but the Trainer/Coach keeps them focused and on task.
For people who are already at a healthy weight, within 15-20lb of “super lean”, tracking becomes VERY critical to get rid of the last few nagging pounds of fat, without losing muscle! I equate body fat loss between 20% body fat and 5-7% body fat like the tide going out. The fat is like the water, and the muscles are the rocks beneath. The rocks don’t get any bigger (and hopefully don’t get smaller), but more and more of the rocks are revealed as the water (fat) recedes! If your calorie intake/balance is low enough to create the fat loss you need at low fat levels, but your macros are off, you will either stall out your progress, or lose critical muscle. At these lower fat levels, the balance of muscle glycogen (from carbs), and hormone production (from fats) become critical. The sources of carbs can become LESS limited (adding sugar), as long as the meal timing is correct. The devil is DEEP in the DETAILS when it comes to getting leaner than just “lean”.
In summary… everyone who wants to lose excess fat needs to be mindful of their nutrition, whether they are 5 pounds above their optimal, or 100. How precise you have to be with that mindfulness depends on your starting condition, and desired level of body fat.
To figure out what the best course of action is for YOU, and how to not only get started, but see your results through to your optimal condition, give us a call, or send us a message! We HAVE your solution, you just need to listen, learn, and execute!
“If what you’ve been doing isn’t working… try doing what your trainer told you to do…”