A sure-fire way to successfully lose weight and lean out is to track the macronutrients (and by extension calories) in our diet, measure the results and fine-tune our food intake accordingly. This adheres to the timeless strategy for achieving goals in all walks of life;
- Make a plan
- Take action
- Evaluate the results
- Repeat the cycle
The problem is tracking food intake in minute detail is a miserable lifestyle habit to try and sustain. Outside the niche world of bodybuilders, fitness models, physique competitors and like-minded people who are trying to get aggressively lean it is also a largely unnecessary inconvenience.
However this is not to say the rest of us cannot derive some value from a short burst of detailed food tracking ourselves.
When we revise for an exam we spend a few intense weeks attempting to embed a field of knowledge into the circuits of our brain which can be tapped into again and again long after the initial period of study is over.
Short-term meticulous diet tracking is like revising for a lifelong exam on the caloric load and nutrient profiles of the foods we regularly consume. Once done we are armed with an internal database of foods, portion sizes, calories and macronutrients which we can use to eyeball food options and make immediate snap judgements as to their approximate energy cost and nutritional profile. This has the potential to create intuitively better food choices and easier weight management over the long haul.
Short periods of study, tedious as they might be, can have long-term pay-offs!