Over the years there are a few things that I always seem to find myself saying time and again. Whether it’s in a seminar, directly to someone I’m training/coaching or included in my book or course, certain things often bare repeating. There’s a reason for that. Mostly because it’s the truth, but also because I feel it’s useful or needed information to help someone reach their goals. Here are a few tips for you that I’ve given out countless times over the years.
There Is No Secret Easy Way
I’m sorry, I wish there was. If I ever find one, I promise to tell you for free! There is no one thing that others do or know that you can do that will be “the answer” to all your fitness dreams. There is no powder, cream, drug, workout, diet, celebrity trainer, magic beanstalk or whatever that is a universal key to success. There are some do’s and don’t’s and tried and true techniques and information that is available, but everyone is different. There is no magical secret that will make everything right.
You Have To Be Willing To Make The Right Changes
A lot of times people accept that they need to make changes. But it’s not just making the changes that you want to make, it’s about making the changes that your body needs for you to make. The change may be large or small. It may be one or several. The changes you need to make could be quite different than what someone else needs to make. I had a client who I suggested make five distinct changes. She changed two things and lost 25 pounds in three months. I had another who I asked to change six things. She changed five of them and saw absolutely no improvement. Once she changed the sixth, she saw a little bit of progress, but that soon stalled. We ultimately had to figure out a couple of other things that she needed to modify for her to really get the results she wanted. Sometimes it’s like that. We have to be willing to make the changes our body needs for us to make. Often, it’s not the ones we want to do. Sometimes we have to seek them out.
The Body Is In Charge
This just might be my favorite saying. It’s my way of reminding my clients, and myself, that there are limits to what can be done. Can you have wine or dessert or dairy or food bars or take Zumba classes for your cardio or change the exercise program you’ve been given or be vegan or whatever the case may be and still get the results you want? Maybe, maybe not. You can try to incorporate some things to fit your wishes, but ultimately, the body is in charge. Some people can eat ice cream and drink wine 4-5 times a week and still make great progress. That’s probably not going to be you. Again, it goes back to making the changes you need to make. But it’s not me or you that determines which things you get away with, it’s your body. That’s who is in charge!
It’s Easier To Avoid Calories Than To Burn Them
That unplanned snacking that you did on those cookies or bag of chips or couple of glasses of wine will be history in minutes, if not seconds. But it will take a lot longer than that to burn off their effect. This doesn’t mean you can’t have some planned treats (remember your body will let you know what you can get away with). You just need to understand that if you go beyond what your ideal really is, then your progress will certainly be negatively effected. It’s a lot easier to catch yourself and avoid them than trying to work them off later.
Don’t buy that huge Costco size bag of chips or cookies to save money thinking you’ll only eat a few here and there. The more you buy, the more you’ll eat! If you plan to have a treat buy just the amount you plan to eat and then be done with it. Better to spend a few more cents on the dollar than continue to set yourself back.
Always Get Back On The Horse
Things are not always going to work out the way you’d like. There will bumps in the road, mistakes made along the way and times when you get off track. Not only is that fine, it’s a perfectly normal part of the journey. Don’t beat yourself up over going off course. And certainly don’t continue down the wrong path! Simply pick yourself up, dust yourself off, get back on the horse and ride!
You’re Always On A Diet
Some people speak out against dieting and there’s even an anti-dieting movement. They simply don’t understand the meaning of the word “diet”. Your diet is merely the sum total of all the foods and beverages you consume in a day. It could be good or bad, high calorie or low calorie, healthy or unhealthy, for losing, gaining, or staying the same. But whatever it is, we are already on some type of diet and always will be. The key is to take your diet from wherever it is and make it into the diet you need for it to be, the diet that will work for you.
You Don’t Need Do “Fasted Cardio”
I wrote an article on this for the January Issue of Bellafit Magazine. It’s trendy and popular and a lot of people do it. The problem is that it’s based on misinterpreted science. It does not burn more fat (oxidation) and may even contribute to future metabolic issues. The science supports this (see the article for more). If you want to do it and feel it works for you, go right ahead. But it is not a better or more effective way to do cardio so if you don’t feel like crawling out of bed extra early and racing to the gym on an “empty stomach”, don’t worry, it’s not necessary to do so. No matter how popular or trendy, doing fasted cardio is not a secret weapon.
Diet And Exercise Work Best Together
This may seem obvious but a lot of people tend to focus more on one than the other. Exercise is most important for building or maintaining muscle and maximizing your metabolism. Diet is more important for losing body fat and getting leaner. But the combination of the two together is much greater than either separately in both the short and long term.
I hope you find these tips useful. Fitness is a journey full of many roads. Some are scenic and beautiful, others are steep and winding. But the places you reach by going on this journey can be amazing.