Updated: Dec 2, 2022
Too often I have had clients come to me extolling the virtues of this diet or a training phenomenon.
It can sometimes put you on the back foot as you try to keep up with the latest craze and the results seem too astonishing to make any sense.
But I always stick to my core beliefs that hard work and consistency are really the only constants that get results. Yes, many of these diets and training regimes probably do give you these results....but how long can you realistically keep this up for?
I have always been passionate (to the point of resisting getting on my soap box) about the relatively boring subject of staying consistent with training, progressive overload, time off, reassessing lifelong goals/intentions, incorporating flexibility/mobility and watching your nutrition in a balanced way.
Removing a key element of your nutrition such as carbs or pounding your body with HiiT training or spending hours in the gym daily just doesn't sit right with me. It is simply not healthy.
Our lives are about living.
Food for some is function, which to a point is true, but I think food should be enjoyed with variety.
Training should be beneficial for the mind and body but not to the point of exhaustion / overtraining.
Unless you're a professional athlete or training towards something aesthetically such as bodybuilding. Your training should be something that is strengthening and improving your health and fitness.
Focussing on consuming your proteins, fats and carbs according to your body's macro requirements through a varied diet will help you to understand what your body needs to function and become a healthier version of yourself.
But I don't know where to start and I don't want to have to track every single mouthful of food I eat!
One of the things I try to work on with clients is journalling or utilising an app such as My Fitness Pal. This is purely to set a foundation and understand the energy going in in relation to the energy they put out which can be tracked via a Garmin, FitBit (or similar) or simpler still.. A measuring tape.
Ultimately I teach my clients how to move away from tracking and intuitively understand and mindfully make the best food choices.
The fact is that all weight loss diets (keto, juice cleanse, Atkins, Cambridge etc) rely on restriction in one way or another and is often why they work so well in the short term as they are eliciting a calorie deficit. People then fail to maintain this loss because they can no longer bear such a restriction and consequently pile it back on.
Being able to understand calories in vs calories out makes it easier for you to make more mindful food choices especially when out at restaurants or at foodie events.
Many of my clients will tell me that understanding what macros are and what foods help keep them to feel fuller for longer mean, even if they haven't prepped their food, that instead of grabbing any food on the go, they will make more mindful choices at roadside service stations hotels and conference centres.
Often when we reach our goal weight / size we tend to get a bit lost.
I was speaking with a client and much like many of my clients, whilst she completely understood the why of a calorie deficit and how to do it, (and exceeded the goal she had set at the beginning) ultimately she wanted to be able to enjoy food with less restriction despite the fact she would have liked to have lost a few more inches on her tummy.
I turned to her and said "ultimately, what would make you happier, having a flat stomach or knowing you are now in a better mindset and your body is stronger and more flexible and will continue to get stronger and more flexible"
The realisation of all that she had acheived in the last 10mths made her realise that, whilst with time, she will eventually lose what little she had left of her mum tum, being happy and becoming so much stronger was far more important. Knowing some leeway in terms of her nutrition was what she needed has become her new reality because it was realistic to her lifestyle.
Also, knowing she is in a far happier place in her mind I know that she will, without a doubt, reach any further aspirations with greater ease because her mindset is so much more balanced.
Not everyone is trying to lose or gain weight, many are just trying to understand how to simply eat and fuel their bodies better and more importantly how to change a mindset created from generations of poor media messaging into a positive accepting voice of reason.
In the same vein, fitness is often seen in the extreme. There is an underlying notion that more is better and less is frankly a waste of time. For many, even fitting in a 15-20min walk a day is an accomplishment and should be applauded. Doing resistance training 2 x a week should be applauded. It's not how hard you thrash yourself, only to then injure yourself and take time off to recover, it's about consistency and appropriate training to your given lifestyle.
Most fitness influencers, it is their job, they have no excuse not to turn up to the gym daily, prep their food, take highly edited and angled photos. But fitness influencers are not most people. Most people have 9-5 jobs and maybe kids to work around, parents to take care of, serious health issues. Time becomes more restricted. So, when you make time for yourself to improve your well-being and you consistently turn up for training or going for a walk, week in, week out. I promise you, you will see results. But never compare yourself to a fitness influencer.
The most important thing is applying consistency.
Perhaps, you can get to the gym 2 x a week but then you have to do a home workout to top up your training or go for a walk daily.
Fuel your body with the good stuff but never forget to enjoy food as well, life is indeed for living..incorporate the chocolate, wine or crisps into your macros. Get outdoors. Whatever you do, keep turning up for you.
Creating strong minds and strong bodies is far more important then fuelling a diet and fitness industry that doesn't always have your best interests at heart.
Listen to your body and what it truly needs.
Fuel your mind with positive action for change and self belief.
For more information on online and In person personal training, drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Let's find the best version of you!