Do you feel overwhelmed by what it takes to lose weight and get fit? Don’t let the OCD crowd get you off track – it’s much simpler than they want you to believe!
A growing proportion of fitness fans follows the trend of micro-managing every little detail of their diets. Starting at the foods and drinks they eat and ending at the specific number of each macronutrient (“I had my 332 g of carbs today!”).
If you don’t do this, they believe, your macros will be “pulled out of alignment,” you’ll die a horrible death and on the way make zero progress towards your fitness goals.
Ok, that’s something of an exaggeration, but not as much as I’d like it to be.
But if you’re reading this, chances are you’re a recreational trainee-to-be. You neither want to be a professional athlete, nor are you planning on joining Cirque de Soleil any time soon. You’re into it for the personal benefits: increased self-esteem, decreased waist-line, or just a reduced rate of injury in your day-to-day life.
If that is you, why make your life more complicated than it needs to be?
Professional Athletes vs. Recreational Trainees / Regular People
Because to achieve those goals, the accuracy of your diet and the efficiency of your training can be exceptionally sub-par. What matters is that the general trend is in the right direction:
- For weight loss or gain to the number of calories you eat has to be lower or higher than the number of calories you burn.
- For resistance training what matters is that you’re getting stronger over time.
Concentrating on these removes a considerable portion of the mental burden from you. That’s not to say that you should never care about the composition of what you eat and how you train, but it’s secondary to the more pressing goals.
(Slowly) Turning the Tides
They only need some simple yet proven strategies:
- For resistance training you just have to make sure you’re following an appropriate program for your fitness level and let it run until it stops working. Then you aim for the next level and then you can earnestly start wondering about nutrients.
- For weight management we discussed proven strategies in the caloric density and choice architecture posts. Making a small change based on those concepts starts the avalanche.
Thank You For Reading!
Having every single workout or meal perfect isn’t necessary or even realistic. What matters is that you make sure that your system is generally doing what you want it to do. If you go from averaging 2,800 kcal / day to 2,600, you’re going to lose weight. If you manage five pull-ups instead of three, you are making progress.
Hopefully I made clear enough what I meant to say here, if not please ask your questions down below.
Picture courtesy of the U.S. Air Force.