(Read this before you sign up for another fitness transformation program or gym membership. Unless you like throwing money away.)
Yes it is not many days into 2018 and if you are still struggling with your fitness goals, weight loss or whatever goals that is health-related after many years, this blog post is for you. It is probably not rare for you to meet many people who struggled with their fitness goals year after year. Maybe just like you, they are getting a brand new start to 2018 and getting ready to change it this time once and for all. Chances are they may fail again. In fact, some may have gotten in shape briefly but fell off the wagon to lose all the fitness they had gained. You wonder when will all these struggles ever stop?
So why are you struggling?
Applying The Wrong Solution To The Problem
Most people have weight loss goals at the start of every new year because they have gained too much weight from overindulging in food and drinks over the festive season or possibly let their health go the wrong way too much for the whole of previous year. The typical move is to sign up for some sort of fitness program that promises fast results with some kind of special High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) method or a gym membership that has 24-hour access to huge variety of fitness equipment and fitness classes. BTW, signing up for fitness programs or classes do not mean you will get in shape. You still have to show up and do the work. The problem here is applying the wrong solution to the problem that needs to be fixed. This is kind of like applying a fitness solution to a weight gain issues caused by poor nutritional habits. While exercising can have huge benefits to health and contribute to weight loss, it does not do as much as what you put in the mouth for the next 365 days.
The thing is most people gained weight more from overindulgence than lack of exercise. If eating poorly is the cause of the weight gain, it makes logical sense to look at the behaviours that caused the weight gain instead of trying to out-exercise poor eating habits. Exercising should be seen as more of a way to improve overall health and fitness such as developing functional strength and prevent future health issues such as osteoporosis, low back pain, etc. If you need habit change to better eating, doing a 6-weeks Nutritional Habit-Based Coaching might be what you need.
Intensity Mindset or No Pain No Gain
Feeling guilty about eating badly can sometimes lead to thinking that working out harder and more can somehow redeem the poor behaviour. And this is what some clever fitness marketers are preying on. They sell the idea that harder workouts such as HIIT is the best way to lose fat and every workout session has to be HIIT and has to be painful. And most certainly harder workouts can have its place but for most mere mortals they need more consistency than intensity. They do not need HIIT workout everytime they hit the gym to get to their goals. I have seen many high stress individuals at my gym and have them applied 5 simple fat loss strategies with almost zero HIIT workouts for 12 weeks and lost more fat than they did when they were doing HIIT workouts.
In fact, it is probably worst for high stress individuals to engage in HIIT because they don’t need more stress to make it harder to lose fat. The truth is what matters most is what you eat and do most times of the year not how hard you trained for 28 days or 8 weeks. What you eat and do most times of the year will determine your health and fitness not that one-off intense training. Plus, you can get burn out from prolong engagement of performing HIIT if you are lucky enough not to get injured. How is that sustainable?
You want to do fun and entertaining workouts but still struggling to get in shape. Although there is nothing wrong with having fun or be entertained, but most fun and entertaining workout may not actually get you the results you want. I called those type of workouts “garbage training”. In fact, they should not be called training because they don’t train you to do well in anything except do better in garbage workouts. Most “garbage workouts” aim to entertain and have not structure, progression and consideration for individuality to get to your goals. If your sole aim is to be entertained and have fun and not worried about achieving your fitness goals then that is fine. But for people who have been struggling it can be a waste of time and it is not really fun and entertaining to continue struggling. Being entertained don’t equal to quality training. And you can’t expect results from low quality training.
You Are NOT SHOWING Up!
As the saying goes “Long term Consistency trumps Intensity“. If you want to live life with vitality, not prompt to health issues and stop the struggle, you have to show up for training consistently and eat healthy consistently and forget about the next secret to six-pack abs or bikini body. There is no secret. Or the secret is show up consistently and do the training that is right for your goals. And it is certainly easy to get into a habit of coming up with reasons to skip a training session or not eat a healthy meal consistently. The bottom line is the more quality training sessions you missed the more junk meals you eat the more you will struggle. It is as simple as that. Of course, it is simple but not easy that is why many people struggled with their fitness goals. If you are keen for the Guide to Stop The Struggle, please comment below.