"Carbs make me blow up like a balloon. Just LOOKING at carbs makes me gain weight."
"I only eat fresh foods. Nothing processed ever! I should be losing weight!"
"I lift weights an hour a day, and then I do at least an hour of cardio every day. Seven days a week. But the scale won't budge. I must be doing the wrong workouts."
It's not a fad diet; it's not about "eating clean"; it's not about eating healthy; it's not about restricting certain foods or food groups; it's not about eating next to nothing; it's not about eating more protein, less fat, less carbs, less anything; it's not about working out for hours a day...
So what is the absofuckinglutely single most effective weight loss strategy?
"If you want lose weight, research shows, the single best predictor of success is monitoring and recording calorie...intake throughout the day -- to "write it when you bite it." (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190225075616.htm)
Is it tedious? Meh. Is it time-consuming? Once you become astute at it and use an app like My Fitness Pal, it takes about 14 minutes a day.
Of course, you need to know how much you should be eating for your present goal (i.e. Are you dieting to just lose weight (see a smaller number on the scale)? Are you wanting to maintain muscle? Are you wanting to gain muscle? Are you wanting to loss fat/build muscle?) before you start tracking your calories/macros. That's where an experienced and knowledgeable nutrition/weight loss coach can help you dial in the numbers you should be aiming for.
You also need to be committed and consistent. The University of Vermont study cited above further found that "[w]hat was most predictive of weight-loss success was not the time spent [logging food] -- those who took more time and included more detail did not have better outcomes -- but the frequency of log-ins..."
There you have it. Along with logging your food on a daily, consistent basis and being accountable to someone to make sure that it's done; losing weight doesn't have to be the struggle most people put it out to be.*
~Brooke J. Savage
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Coach
NASM Certified Weight Loss Coach
*There will, of course, be those who swear on their fucking lives that they don't track their calories/macros; that they don't need to track their calories/macros; that they have never tracked their calories/macros; that they've won competitions yet never tracked one single thing they've eaten. Good for them! They.are.the.minority.