I hate that the health and fitness industry seems to have only made getting healthy more burdensome and stressful for most. I don’t think most of us are trying to make it that way, but either way it certainly defeats the purpose right?! We live in the age of information overload. While that might sound like a good problem to have, it also makes it so so SO hard to pick out the most useful information from the newest fads or marketing gimmicks.
Health is not about looking like some photo-shopped actress or about who can be the most hard-core or dedicated. It should enhance your life, not burden it. So I’d like to set the record straight by laying out some of the biggest lies that we tend to believe that are only making it harder to become healthy and happy.
Lie #1. The nutrition part is too hard, so I will just exercise extra hard to lose weight.
No matter how crazy intense your workouts might be, you simply can’t out train a bad diet. In fact, training too hard or too often will actually increase hunger and cravings making it harder to eat better. Exercise can make you feel better in a myriad of ways like better sleep, more energy, more discipline, better mood, better metabolism, which is why it is part of the equation. It’s just not the entire equation.
Truth: If you want to lose fat, you need to improve the way you eat. If you’re looking to get healthy and fit and you want to start with the exercise just to get yourself going, then go for it! Just don’t expect to lose a lot of fat without changing your eating habits.
Lie #2. If I want to lose the fat around my (insert body part), then I must do extra work on said body part.
This goes right along with #1. Exercising a specific body part in order to lose fat in that specific area is futile. All the crunches in the world will not burn away the fat on your stomach. They will strengthen your abs. Strengthening all of your muscles, whether they have a layer of fat over them or not, is great for better movement and overall health. Unfortunately though you have very little say over where your body loses fat first.
Truth: Your genetics determine the rate at which and the order in which you lose fat. Of course, there are things you can do to encourage fat loss, but spot training is not one of them.
Lie #3. If I want to look like her, I need to eat like her.
I used to constantly be checking out what this trainer or that celebrity was doing. I was always looking for that thing that would be the life-changer for me and my clients. The only problem with all the information out there is that all it really does is keep you distracted from finding what works for you.
Come on now. For the most part, you know what you need to eat. But what’s challenging is breaking the old habits and creating the new ones.
Truth: You don’t need a new diet. You need to find tools that help you put into place a way of eating that not only gets you results, but is sustainable FOR YOU so that you keep your results! Sustainability is key. If you feel deprived and like you’re missing out, it’s only a matter of time before you go off the deep end. So while you may not get everything you want, you want to be getting enough to feel satisfied.
Lie #4. If it doesn’t happen in a month, it’s never gonna happen.
Most of us have completely unrealistic timelines for fat loss, so we quit before our bodies can ever catch up. Our bodies are designed to resist change. It takes time for them to adjust, especially if you’re making reasonable (i.e. sustainable!!) changes! There will come a time when the changes start to compound and the scales will start to tip, but how much time? Everybody’s a little different.
Truth: Accept that fat loss is going to be a process that takes time, patience, and persistence. The absolute best thing you can do is let go of the unrealistic timeline! It took you a while to get where you are and it will take you a while to get back to where you want to be.
*For lasting change, stop looking for the quick fix and go back to the basics. Health is not about how perfect you can eat or exercise or look. It’s about choosing the things that are better for you, the majority of the time. It’s about making lasting changes that create a more full and enjoyable lifestyle FOR YOU.