Since Sam had made progress on her own, we didn’t alter her diet much in the beginning, we just asked her to start tracking her intake so that we could monitor her foods, hold her accountable and so she could gain greater insight into her intake. She used the myfitnesspal app, which made tracking a breeze.
Soon enough, she got back on track with her fat loss. This simple solution worked for two key reasons.
First, remember that study I mentioned a couple paragraphs back that compared all the diets? Even though they found no specific diet was superior, they did identify one pattern across the most successful dieters, support. The participants that lost the most fat had support to help them achieve that goal. This support was either in the form of a coach, accountability partner or family member taking action with them.
Second, the mere act of logging helped uncover excessive cheats that were sabotaging her progress. She didn’t realize the magnitude of these indiscretions until she started logging, which is common. Sure, most people think they’re quite good at estimating their intake, but unless you’re highly practiced at it, there’s a strong chance you’re fooling yourself.
This is exemplified in a study where participants were asked to estimate how many calories they burned exercising (which they overestimated by 400%) and then consume as many calories as they thought they burned at a buffet (where they miscalculated by a factor of 2x). With errors this large, it’s easy to stall out in your diet and get confused about why it’s happening.