Many of us are slaves to what I like to call the fitness matrix. We are connected to one machine that makes profits from the masses even when these methods prove to do nothing for us and sometimes may even work against us. It's important to be vigilant when seeking the truth. These are five ways to begin the process of unplugging and learning how far the rabbit hole goes.
1. Latest Diet Fads
Over the decades there have been many diet fads. Most of them include following some sort of calorie counting plans or some talk about food that you can purchase. The truth is all these types of plans have been ways for companies to capitalize off of desperate people who don't really know any better.
What's always worked is the basic changing of the diet to eat high protein and getting rid of the fats and the sugars. A lot of these diets allow people to eat what they want through some sort of process of elimination of one thing or the other. But never really focus on the content of that food. So in other words, it's not about eating less or eating before a certain time of night. It's more about eating the foods that will supply the body with fuel for the muscle and to promote long endurance to train harder while eliminating fats and sugars for the most part.
2. Food Pyramid
Throughout most of the 20th century we were taught about this triangular food pyramid that consists of your basic protein, fiber, dairy and vegetables for your daily consumption. Even when people would go visit their local doctor's office, this type of advice used to be suggested as a healthy way to control obesity. This led to people over the years believing the way that they ate their breakfast, lunch and dinner would aid in a healthy lifestyle.
Contrary to what was told, it has led to obesity being at an all time high in this country. Even today, in the 21st century, many of my personal clients and on some popular forums, you still can see people suggesting that things like dairy and other high in fat foods, can somehow lead to a lean, mean physique. But if you've ever pushed your body to the limits when dieting trying to get the beach body appearance, you know that this is not the case.
3. Workout Fads
From the early days of aerobics to modern day Crossfit classes, we have seen many workout fads come and go. One of the things that has stood the test of time has always been good old fashion weight training and cardio. A lot of times people get bored with the same workout and cardio routines. So in the search for something exciting and new, they will try almost anything even at the risk of injury.
Not to say that new fads like Crossfit aren't effective when trying to stay active, but at what cost do we subject ourselves to dangerous moves that only professional or active athletes are trained to perform? Many of these new fad seekers are not prepared for these extreme types of workouts and will definitely end up injuring themselves just because they want to prove a point that they are determined to physically change.
4. Magic Pills
There are a lot of gimmicks that claim to aid in burning fat and getting toned on the market today as well as many years ago. However, most of them have proven to not really be much different than basic supplement vitamins with a fancy label, a little sweetener, and a model on TV to prove it works. There have been a couple that have worked but were banned for many reasons and some unknown.
Even if you were to have a strong drug that really worked, you should know that nothing builds a better foundation than educating yourself on proper nutrition and an exercise plan in order to achieve your goal. Most of the time, the gimmicks do not work and only result in spending a lot of money on something you could have gotten for cheaper or not have purchased at all.
5. I am the way that I am
This is probably one of the most common statements I've heard over the years from many people who have a hard time figuring out how to achieve their goal. it is hard to unplug from what your parents have told you as children. That you are born with what you have and that it is nearly impossible to change that. And this not only is a problem with fitness but with health issues as well.
Many people think that if they were over weight as children this is part of their genetic make up and ultimately unavoidable as an adult. Another statement made is about the metabolic rates their body processes fat, or more commonly referred to as having a slow metabolism. This is somewhat true if there is no education on how to change their cell structure. One factor in changing your body composition is of course what you eat.
One of the main reasons why your parents believe this is because of what they cooked for you when you were a child. So in order to change the course that you believe to be inevitable, you must change the way that you live on a daily basis.
Another point that could be argued and unavoidable is aging. It is true that you can't avoid getting older, but you can avoid destroying your body by way of proper nutrition and staying active. So it all comes down to your mentality, wanting to seek more knowledge and the discipline and consistency to follow through. So I guess in a way the statement "I am the way that I am" can be true in a positive or a negative way.
The fact is, we as human beings have been conditioned to believe what has been decided before we were even born by people who we never knew and a system that decides for us. But we must unplug from this way of thinking and look at how things affect us through our own experience and search for knowledge instead of the programming that is marketed to the masses.
Until next time train hard and eat well.
Curtis Fisher is a personal trainer, diet consultant and body builder. You can find more fitness and diet tips at his blog Diet What Nots | Training, Eating, Science.