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I came to a sudden realization last week. After scrolling through my social feeds I noticed that if you pay enough attention there is always some new idea that is trying to take over. Whether it be through a new diet for weight loss, a new type of training for strength and size or perhaps even a new way to track your sleep. Within this idea, there are always people who support it – saying that the methods and practice changed their life.
Seems like everyone is successful in their quest for optimal health and fitness, but if you look around you know this to not be true.
The most confusing part of all of this is that no matter where you look there will always be conflicting opinions on what works.
You may find one website that illustrates and backs up the use of whole grains – and another that claims they are terrible for you.
We can all be honest about one thing – these opinions online are confusing. Trying the sort of fact from fiction in the health industry is one of the greatest troubles we have come across.
Let’s create a little scenario for you…
Let’s say you do find one diet or workout program that speaks to you. You decide you’re going to try a low-carb diet – you’ve heard of many people that say it works – why wouldn’t it work for you.
Fast forward a couple months – you step on the scale and there are no results to call home about.
You’re standing there thinking you have done everything by the book. You listened and followed the guide and have not lost any weight, have not seen any visible changes in your body composition and now that there are no results you are not feeling so hot about all the time and energy you put into your training.
Something I would urge you to consider is that not all diets or plans work for every person. This is why personalized approaches are always recommended.
Before you start getting all stressed out and give up I also want you to stop and think about a few important things that you did right.
1. You Challenged Yourself
There is something to be said the amount of character development that goes on while you are trying out a new workout or diet plan. It takes commitment and dedication – character traits that should not be overlooked.
2. You Adapted Your Lifestyle
Personally, I see this as the biggest advantage to your new lifestyle changes. The simple act of making more conscious decisions to healthier choices, avoiding fast food and eating unprocessed will always be better for your health – even if you don’t see the scale move.
The next thing you must remember is that stories like yours are not ones that are shared on social media. I would argue that maybe 10-20% of people that engage in a new diet or workout program succeed.
This is not to say that you cannot succeed – but it’s important to note that the success stories you see online are a very exclusive group of people. Sometimes, they are not even real stories altogether.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the success stories that we forget that we are all made different. Some of us have bodies built for higher fat diets, while some may thrive with very low fat. We all need to take note, take a step back from tossing back bulletproof coffees and understand that sometimes your body needs what it is asking for.
Think about it, starch is not bad for you. Many civilizations were raised on starchy foods and fruit. You’re not going to die eating a diet high in carbs – in fact, it’s generally the opposite as many dieticians recommend half your plate as fruit and vegetables.
I am not saying to go out and immediately change your diet to that of a strict vegan – just as I would never say to immediately change your diet to a ketogenic style.
Make small, sustainable changes in a direction that is best for your body. Don’t get stressed out if the scale doesn’t move. Don’t get stressed out if you have food cravings for fast food.
Pretty simple, but we always recommend you record what you are doing and analyze it objectively.
If you start a new diet and realize that you are feeling tired or lethargic, make sure you are getting enough sleep first and then make choices for what’s next.
The biggest mistake you can make is constantly blaming food for how you feel when it’s really only a small portion of your daily habits and routines.
We have this general fear of specific foods. To some degree, us writers are to blame for this. We have told you to avoid foods and to seek out specific foods but we are here to say that you should not have a fear for any food.
Not everyone has gluten sensitivity, lactose intolerance or issues digesting legumes or high-fat meats. Everyone is different, everyone has a different body.
Vegetarians, for example, lose the ability to metabolize proteins after a while – they adapt – and if you come from a cultural heritage of vegetarians this might be why beef and pork make you feel sick. On the other hand, if you come from Scandinavian descent your body might be better adapted to a high-fat diet – that’s just what was available.
Understanding that everyone has a different body and avoiding certain foods is silly will make your life so much easier.
The same principle can be said for your fitness and body composition. I’ve seen far too many people become dissatisfied with their fitness simply because they did not meet their body fat goal or their weight loss goal.
It’s totally ridiculous. Your body takes time to change. Yes, having goals is a great idea but you should never fixate your life on one particular goal just because you think it will bring you some form of satisfaction if you obtain it.
Instead, morph your life around the new lifestyle of training and ensure that you are making good, sustainable changes to improve your body composition.
Here’s a little news flash for you. Stop placing so much attention on the superficial components of your life. Stop being focused on your weight. Stop being focussed on if you make changes to your quad or chest size. Stop being so focused on every little calorie you put into your body. If there is one thing you should always try to emphasize it is that you are finding happiness and enjoyment in your training.
The day you start to train and find yourself truly happy with your fitness, happy with the food you are eating and completely content with the entire process is the day you see major advancements in your personal life and physique.
Surround yourself with individuals who inspire you in the right way. People who see you and your goals for something that is an amazing and beautiful journey. Try to avoid those who are only looking at you or asking you how much weight you have lost. Becoming fixated on the numbers will always be a troublesome road to go down.
At the end of the day – whether or not you want to believe it – your quest for health and fitness is one that stems out of your personal desire for happiness.
You may think you are training to look better, but really – you are training because you desire personal success and happiness; ideas that come from within – not from the exterior.