Jim Wendler recently said that in a recent T-Nation article. He never saw the person's diet, but still he knew. For those of use who are serious about training, we all know that the average-American diet sucks. Most people who think that they eat well actually eat pretty badly. That's how Jim Wendler was able to deduce that the person's diet sucked. Plus, when a person comes out points to a fitness goal and ends the sentence with, "...no matter what I try," 9 times out of 10, it's their diet.
It's pretty difficult to deduce if a person is eating right just based on what they tell you because half of the time, they are horrible at remembering EVERYTHING they eat or drink. The other half of the time, they don't realize that what they're eating is bad for them. So, keeping this in mind, I came up with several questions anyone can answer and, I believe, can solve the question about whether or not their diet sucks. I won't pretend this is comprehensive. It isn't. This is just stuff that I observe from people who aren't in good health (and subsequently, in bad shape). Most of them violate these points.
1. How many different liquids do you drink on a day to day basis? If the answer to this question branches out much farther than water, then your diet probably sucks. If you're drinking soda, gatorade, coffee, juice, Red Bull, and some beers then you're slurping down a massive wad of calories that will, most likely, end up feeding your andipose tissue. Drinking your calories is, by far, one of the easiest ways to gain weight. So, don't.
2. How much do you love salt and sugar? Do you crave it? Can you control these cravings? If your answer was a lot, yes and no then your diet probably sucks. I notice that people who can't control these cravings usually end up snacking. Compulsively. That's the kind of eating that people don't really realize they're doing when they try to keep track of what they're eating.
3. Do you like fruits and Veggies? If the answer is anything less than... "sort of," then your diet probably sucks. If you don't like them, then you won't eat them. It's a simple concept. Personally, I think that that food pyramid thingy sucks in one, key regard: I think that people should switch the serving suggestions of the grains for the serving suggestions for fruits or vegetables.
If you want to drop some weight and get healthy, then eat at least two servings of fruits and or vegetables with every meal (and while you're at it, one at every snack too). Find a way to enjoy them if you don't naturally like them.
4. How often do you make your food at home, from scratch? If the answer is anything less than... "about half of the time," then your diet probably sucks. Take my word on this one: the more that you don't prepare your food and the more that you eat out, the harder it gets to eat right. I'm not saying that it can't be done because I find a way to eat right when I'm out on the road. Still, it's much easier to eat healthy when you have more control over how your food gets prepared.
Divorce is an awful thing. Good diet and great exercise are married. These two elements of clean livin' can't cheat on one-another. Your body pays the price. You don't earn your cheat-meals in the gym. You just render a lot of that sweat that you left on the floor pointless. Think about that for a moment: those four max set of pull-ups that you worked so hard to crank out? It's like they never happened!
So, keep these, "your diet might suck" questions in mind when you decide that you need to eat or drink. If you're bad at keeping track or moderating your splurges, then you might want to consider just drastically cutting back on the junk that you eat entirely.