Without adherence, efficiency is useless
When choosing a diet or new workout program, it's tempting to go for the path that seems to offer the fastest and seemingly most effective route to losing weight or feeling better.
But these paths almost always involve radical changes to your eating or extreme workouts that the vast majority of people will not be able to keep up with. Early on, most of us should focus on goals we can achieve with relatively minor tweaks to how we eat or work out.
You might have seen a ranking of diets this year, and the number one factor experts were supposed to weigh by- how easy is it to follow? Rightly so, a big factor in why the fat destroying keto diet finished dead last.
Part of the allure of these diets is that in our virtue obsessed culture, they provide yet another opportunity to pat ourselves on the bum and show ourselves and people on social media what ass kickers we are. Nobody on IG cares about how you took a day off or, OMFG, you consume carbohydrates?!
We often get caught up trying to feel or look like we're doing more than we realistically can, want, or need to be doing.
Think of two personal trainers. The first is one of the most renowned in the world, someone known for creating one of the most scientifically efficient programs ever available.
The second got a weekend certification, has almost zero practical knowledge of kinesiology or even basic anatomy, and their "program" is just something they threw together in their head on the drive over.
Or two diets. Let's take the aforementioned "keto" diet making the rounds. If followed, you're virtually guaranteed to rip fat off your body.
We'll put it up against a new diet I just created ten seconds ago- I'm calling it the three sandwiches diet. Your diet will consist of three different sandwiches per day that add up to around 1950 calories.
With a dedicated athlete or the most hardcore of healthy, disciplined eaters, the weekend personal trainer or the sandwich diet will be a complete waste of time. But obviously, dedicated athletes and nutrition junkies make up a fraction of the population!
Eating sandwiches is a lot easier than never eating carbs again. Doing crunches and riding a stationary bike is much more realistic than some HIIT/crossfit/cardio blast obstacle course or whatever your friend on Facebook is trying to get you to do.
If you have more fun or like the diet or program/trainer, you will show up. That's all that matters in the beginning.
Be realistic, build your base and build
If you stick to your 1950 calorie sandwich diet or keep going to see that shitty trainer, you'll eventually lap your counterparts, who make big gains in the first few weeks, then crash after that.
And then, once you're on a stable base where you have cultivated routine and discipline with your fitness and diet- now it's time to get a little crazy. That's when you should start seeking out the most scientifically effective programs or diets or stuff that really pushes your limits.
But we spend too much time when we're starting trying to figure out what the best and most effective techniques when anything is good at that point. Ask yourself- can I keep this up forever? If the honest answer is no, don't bother. Start with things that you can realistically maintain and enjoy, then level up after that. Eventually the range of things you could keep up forever will grow and grow!
Don't get sucked in by the allure of quick gains and being one of the cool kids. Find things you know you can maintain without turning your life upside down, keep pushing and taking your small gains. Like interest in a bank account, they will add up to big things down the road!
P.S. For the sandwiches, I would start with bacon and egg, peanut butter for lunch, then maybe turkey for dinner. Whole grain bread at least though :)
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