This week, I have been pondering why so many times people fail at losing weight/ bodyfat, and building a healthy body and mind that lasts. Here are 10 points that reflect my personal view on why most people’s attempts to lose weight do not work out as planned:
1. Trying to undo the habits of many years in a few weeks.
There is no ‘get rich fast’ equivalent to your health. You reap what you sow, and it takes time to build a strong, mobile, and healthy body.
2. Not utilising the initial burst of motivation that comes with ‘the new health buzz’ to get stuck into an engaging, and motivating pursuit.
Jogging on the spot in a room full of other people jogging on the spot while listening to their earphones or checking their social media might allow you to burn of some energy in the short term, but is neither motivating or engaging (in my opinion).
3. Failing to see the result in the minds eye before it manifests itself.
Anything worthwhile requires a certain amount of faith, and having failed in the past can dampen your faith, which leads me to the next point. You need to keep the faith, and be able to see it before it happens.
4. Not going straight to the best for advice and guidance.
Going cheap may seem like a smart idea at the time, but in the medium to long run, I have seen so many people loose out because the initial effort and motivation was wasted on following poor advice. What you should measure is not the price of the service but the value of the service. I have done this in the past myself, and when I end up back as square one, I always kick myself when I think of how far down the line I would be now if I went with the best from the start. Time is precious, and once its gone, you cant get it back.
5. Failing to see the value of consistently doing the basics.
Building a solid foundation with no frills attached is one of the most important things that I have seen bring results to our members. Personally speaking, I tend twoards doing a few things that bring the most results to the table instead of trying to do many things that bring small gains.
6. Deflecting responsibility for progress.
Life throws up many obstacles to progress and results when it comes to health and fitness, but ultimately the results won’t come until you assume responsibility for getting them yourself. Work schedules can be hectic, and the right food may not be readily available at times but you have to find a way to work around these things and keep the results you want to the fore. On a very similar note coaches and teachers are there to give guidance, and encouragement. A good coach will give you a path to follow, but the responsibility to follow the path is with you.
7. Thinking you can out ‘out-train’ a bad diet.
A couple of sessions of strength and conditioning is a good start, but you will never do enough training to cancel out poor nutritional habits. Start with the basics of healthy eating and build new routines that support the goals that you have.
8. Buying into a new diet or fad.
So many people I have met that have lost a lot of weight in the past through a ‘shake based’ diet, and other extreme diet approaches, only to put it all back on again plus more. The long and the short of it is that you can lose a lot of body weight by eating very little (i.e. taking on much less energy that you are using up on a day to day basis), which is great for the ‘before and afters’, but does little for your long-term health, or short term energy. The real long term solution comes from building eating habits that are heavily reliant on eating whole foods in the right amount.
9. Mistaking a ‘habit based approach’ for just eating whatever you want.
The biggest plus side of most diets is that they give structure to how you eat. The downside is that diets are usually unsustainable, unenjoyable, and once you stop them you revert back to your old habits. Building new habits is difficult, requires discipline, and needs consistency. It does not work to say ‘oh i’m not on a diet’ so I can eat whatever I want. My own approach to food is to eat a similar breakfast each day, and have 2 more main meals in the day. Food is there to be enjoyed and I love sharing food with friends and family as often as I can. I eat mostly whole foods, and aim towards a treat meal on Saturday afternoon to keep me on track during the week. I do not rely on supplements, extreme calories deficit, or so called health foods.
10. Missing a key part of the puzzle.
I have seen people transform their bodies, and am honoured to have been a part of helping so many people regain their health and fitness. In every case, there have been consistent factors that have been addressed, and the results did not come until all three were nailed. 1. Consistent practice of healthy and sustainable nutritional habits, 2. Regular strength and conditioning training, 3. Regular moderate physical activity levels aside from the training in the gym. The biggest challenge is getting those 3 elements on autopilot each time. Addressing only 1 or 2 out of 3 prolongs the time for the real results to come, and is equivalent or trying to cycle a bike with a pedal missing, or without the handle bars, or a chain.
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Time to get real when it comes to our health!
This article is by Ainle Ó Cairealláin MSc CSCS.
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