In today's Blast from the Past we're going back a decade, to 2007, for a video that includes two of elitefts' most familiar faces: Jim Wendler and Justin Harris. In this video, Jim asks Justin to share some of the most common mistakes people make when dieting.
Justin says that when most people begin a diet, they often try to go all-out immediately and attempt to start with a carbohydrate rotation diet with precise ratios of carbs and protein in every meal. This may be necessary for a bodybuilder dieting to 8% or lower, but what about for someone who currently has no control over their diet? What about the average person whose normal day may include eating sausage for breakfast, skipping lunch, having pizza for dinner, and then eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before bed?
If you're used to eating like this, you don't need to start by measuring exact amounts of brown rice and chicken breast to shed fat. Instead, you need to start by simply eating better foods. Focus on basic foods, and at every meal make sure you get a lean protein source (chicken, lean steak, fish, protein shakes, egg whites) and a low-fat, complex carbohydrate source (potatoes, rice, brown rice, oatmeal). If you can't cook a meal and have to eat food from a restaurant, what was once two double cheeseburgers from McDonald's can now be a grilled chicken sandwich.
If you stick to these types of foods and stay reasonable in your portions, you don't need to immediately be concerned with exact macronutrient breakdowns. The simple change from eating foods such as pizza to eating oatmeal and chicken instead will do enough to help you reach lower body fat levels in the beginning stages of a diet. You may then have to make more precise adjustments to get down to 12% or into the single-digit body fat range, but if your goal is to drop from 30% to 15%, easing into it and simply eating better foods at every meal will most likely get you there.