New Year, New You......New Diet too??
How many of us actually stick to our new years resolutions?
Only about 20% of us see it through which leaves a good chunk of us falling off that proverbial wagon.
When you consider that a very high percentage of those wagons are fitness related I think that tells us something. Maybe it tells us that most of us don't feel as fit or as healthy as we would like to be, but for some reason we just cannot generate or maintain the motivation for long enough to go the distance.
Why is it that so many fall off the wagon?
It can be a combination of expectation, sustainability, frustration and will power.
When the new year rolls in most people venture into improving their health and fitness and are lead down the shady back streets that are fad diets.
Understandably these are the first place that people new to health and fitness turn too, as those diets are the ones usually packaged up nicely and endorsed by celebrities showing off their "beachbody" in your favorite magazine - claiming that it was all down to this new diet.
I get it, its enticing and appeals to our human nature.
Don't get me wrong, in the short term almost any new diet will encourage weight loss, as long as they adhere to the basic but most important principles of consuming less calories than you are using on a daily basis.
But where these fad type diets fall short is the extent to which they do this.
Many of these simply promote under eating by cutting out complete food groups or severely altering portion sizes and dramatically reducing calories.
But severe calorie restricted eating is a short term fix and possibly a long term problem.
Eating too little food can leave you missing vital macronutrients, vitamins and minerals that can have severely detrimental effects on metabolism, which can cause rapid weight gain at a later date and a subsequent nightmare trying to lose it again, hence how "yo-yo" dieting was born.
Not to mention the psychological battle of trying to stick to such measly portions of food or not eating carbs for days on end. Doing this can leave the dieter tired, moody, unable to sleep and unable to stay awake.
Just how long do you think you can keep that up?
So I encourage you to think twice before you start your new years plan. Or if you've already started one and stopped... before you decide on your next option.
If it is linked to health or physique then think twice before you purchase that fad Celebrity endorsed MLM franchise juicing plan!
Trust me, if I or any top coach in this industry thought that one of those "diets" was the best or the most optimal path to get results for ourselves or with our clients do you not think that is what we would be doing?
After all, our business relies on getting results with our clients, whether that is building muscle, getting stronger, increasing performance or simply dropping body fat.
If it was the best way, our gyms and would be full of shake weights, juice plus, waist trainers and trampolines and areas to drink detox teas in your rest periods (oh jeeze) but guess what?... It isn't!
If you walk into ours or any top facility thats purpose is to help people improve in any area of health and fitness and actually does get results, you'll see across the globe there will be a commonality that ties them all together. I'm not necessarily talking equipment, although that won't vary greatly either.
You're going to see squat racks benches, bars, plates and dumbbells etc maybe kettle bells or some other funny shaped bars and machines but the idea is the same as resistance is resistance.
You're also going to get coaches who care for people, who make service to others a part of life, these coaches dont sell waist trainers (at least I hope not) they teach principles of nutrition that adhere to human physiology, the best coaches co-author with each individual, strategies in which they can apply them to suit their lifestyle.
What these coaches won't do is try and sell you onto some dogmatic idea that the reason you're not as lean as you like is because you are missing a fat burning supplement or some "detox" tea tripe.
Purchasing a diet plan doesn't automatically mean you will drop weight. That diet plan must adhere to basic principles in order to work, but the thing about how those principles apply to you may be different to some one else.
For many people that popular diet plan from instagram will work and for many they wont, so having a basic understanding of the principles first will arm you with the ability to understand why a plan will or wont work for you or how to adjust it to suit your needs.
Just because you're eating "clean" does not entitle you to rapid fat loss, if you eat too much "clean" food you will still get fat.
So save your hard earned pennies on those gimmicks, you're not missing any key ingredient, we all have the ability to progress, its simply about application.
Consistent application of the 1 or 2 most important things will always beat applying 6 or 7 things that don't really have an impact.
Think of the empty mayonnaise jar...
If I gave you;
Water, Sand, Rocks and Pebbles & assured you that they all fit in the jar, in what order must they go in?
If you get your priorities wrong and the list upside down, it doesn't all fit in the jar.
Its exactly the same when it comes to nutrition, training and especially so when trying to change ourselves.
Focus your efforts on the few things that have the biggest impact.
This ensures you aren't changing too many habits at once. Most of the time a few sustainable tweeks will pay off more than a massive overhaul that lasts a few weeks, if that.
Remember, do what you can manage and maintain.
If you're just starting out it doesn't have to be complex, it can simply be a case of getting yourself into the position to make nutritional changes first, by making behavioral changes that give rise to later steps.
It could be something as simple as better quality sleep and drinking more water. It could be to eat protein at each meal and get 3 training sessions in.
These things will reduce stress and tiredness, in turn increasing energy, motivation and will power. A few key ingredients you will need to move forward.
Whatever those first steps are make sure they are sustainable ones that you can maintain and make habit, once those steps have been made habit then we move up a level.
Applying simple changes levels you up and ready for other steps.
Once you have laid down those steps then we can look at the next steps, like;
- tracking food intake in some way
- prepping and cooking meals
- following a training plan
One step at a time, add the big rocks first. This takes care of the order of priority.
So lets not get carried away with a strict regime from some fad diet, start filling that metaphorical mayonnaise jar with the big rocks - the few changes that have the biggest impact - don't choose some extreme sounding diet that is WAY different from normal behaviors, dont stop eating an entire food group, adopt the small changes with big impacts.
- Try eating more protein at meal times and snacks
- Include more veg
- Dont go zero carb or zero fat
- How many training sessions? - the amount you can stick to is a great start.
Diets don't come in a box or a book, they are individual to each of us. There isn't the perfect diet and the strategies that work for me might not work for you, but if we can adhere to the few basic principles that do matter then the rest is somewhat up to you.
So make sure you're not eating more than you burn and that you eat a decent amount of protein that is right for you.
Do those things and you are well on your way, everything else is mere details and details come last.
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.
** If you liked this post please use the tabs below to share it with others **