Top 3 Nutritional Mistakes – Why You Need A Food Journal

Top 3 Nutritional Mistakes (and how to fix them) by Michael Roussell of T-nation outlines 3 mistakes bodybuilders make when trying to build mass while keeping body fat levels down. I mention it because body builders are just extreme versions of the rest of us who are interested in getting or staying lean – their goals are the same, their practices are just a little more intense.

1) Focusing too much on Macronutrient Breakdowns

I’m a big believer that the type of calories (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) you eat does matter, but people can overlook the importance of total calories. Yes, it’s possible to manipulate macronutrients percentages so that you can eat more or less food with favorable advances toward your body composition goals, BUT total calories matter. I liken the total vs. type of calorie debate to the diet vs. exercise debate. They’re not exclusive and both matter!

2) Skipping Meals & Eating Unplanned Meals

Not getting the results you want is one thing, but to not know how well you’re following your plan means you’re blindly stumbling around the land of mediocrity with no chance of success.

Lack of proper compliance … is the number 1 reason people don’t reach their physique goals. If you aren’t reaching your goals, yet haven’t filled out a compliance sheet like the one below, I don’t want to hear about how the diet you’re on doesn’t work or that you need a personalized nutrition plan.

3) Not Giving Your Plan a Change – “The best diet is the one you’re not on.”

… today and there’s an overabundance of training programs accessible at your finger tips. In fact, there are so many programs there is a growing population of people who have become training whores, switching to whatever new program has been published that week.

Unfortunately, the same trend has been emerging with diets and nutrition. Internet forums are overwhelmed with people who are “cutting” one week, “bulking” the next, and “cutting” again the following week. If you’ve done the Velocity Diet, Massive Eating, Get Shredded Diet, and the Anabolic Diet in the span of 8 weeks then I’m talking to YOU.

I have gotten my best result when I write everything out to get a calorie estimate and stick to it for a couple of months. I think this is because it’s very easy to forget eating, not eating and what you eat. I’ll admit, it was a pain in the arm the first couple of days but then it got easier because you get better at it. A food journal is a skill, as is a different eating plan and remaining compliant to it, that gets easier the longer you do it.