Though of course I pay pretty careful attention to what I eat, I'm not hugely into the whole nutrition thing--the chemistry, the enzymes, the hows and wherefores. So I appreciate hearing from someone who IS incredibly well-versed in such things.
There's an interview up with diet guru Dr. John Berardi over at Tmuscle that's worth a look whether or not you're into getting huge. Berardi makes a lot of great horse-sense points, this one, I think, chief among them:
Knowing sucks...Now that may sound ironic coming from a guy who went to school for a long time and has a PhD and stuff, but what I mean is we all like to know stuff. In the training and nutrition world, we're fascinated with knowing NEW stuff. But its not knowing that's the limiting factor, it's the doing that's the problem.
Specifically, it's the doing of the key, basic things repeatedly with relentless consistency that gets people into wicked shape.
So that's why I say knowing sucks. No one ever got into shape just by knowing, so my best advice is to stop spending time and energy trying to learn new crap. Instead, spend time and energy doing what you already know works. If you can do that day in and day out, in 6 months time you'll have a remarkably different physique.
It's a strong point, and one that can't be reiterated often enough. We're all looking, it seems, for a magic bullet: how can I get in great shape easily, quickly, painlessly, with no sacrifice whatsoever? They say they want to get in shape, then build in a thousand qualifications--'without strength training,' 'without working out more than twice a week,' without giving up Oreos', and what do you know? It doesn't happen for them.
The answer, Berardi is suggesting here, and I second that, is that you can't. You can probably find ways to make it more pleasant for yourself, but the fact is that no one ever got into exceptional shape without what he's calling 'relentless consistency.'
I've trained a lot of people over the years. All of them get in better shape. But the ones who make exceptional progress are the ones who don't miss workouts. Who don't show up late. Who find ways to stay active on their off-days. And--most essentially--who keep their diets in check.
I'm not saying you can't make progress or enjoy training or being active in a casual way--personally, I think that's fine and great and I'm happy to work with those people as well. It's just not going to rocket you towards impressive fitness in the way that many people believe it will. You get out what you put in.