Lou Schuler, author of The New Rules of Lifting and many other excellent books on fitness recently recommended The End of Overeating by Dr. David Kessler.
Dr. Kessler, former dean of Yale Medical School and UC San Francisco, puts forth a host of simple yet profound information on how and why America has developed such an obesity problem. But I won't attempt to review the book here, but just draw upon a couple of points. I encourage you to go read the book.
In regards to overeating Dr. Kessler analyzed research on caloric consumption and found that in regards to weight gain and metabolism, diet composition, genetics and many other topics we see bandied about in the media the most important factor, by far is simply the amount of food one eats.
We should all know by now that writing a food log is essential if one wants to lose fat (or gain muscle). In regards to that:
Most people do a poor job of reporting what they eat, and overweight people are particularly innacurate reporters.
I've seen figures in other sources that say most people, especially those overweight tend to underestimate their caloric intake by 40%. That's a lot of calories folks.
You need to know how many calories you should take in to reach your goals, then you need to make sure you aren't going over that by keeping an accurate food log. This is about your health and nobody else will care, so you might as well do it right. Fooling yourself only affects you and those that care about you.
And how about this complicated piece of wisdom from Dr. Kessler:
How much we eat predicts how much we weigh.
Who would've thought? ;)
Of course there is alot more to it than that, including how food manufacturers do everything they can to make sure we eat more by loading our food full of sugar, salt, and fat. So the best thing you can do is limit how often you eat out, don't buy or eat processed or fried foods, and eat more veggies and lean protein sources.
Finally, Dan John has released the latest edition of his fantastic free newsletter Get Up. Go read it. It'll take 10 minutes and is full of simple, yet profound advice. Dan has a real knack and cutting through the crap and dispensing simple, quality advice that only someone with 40 years experience can do.