Tuesday marks the beginning of the new year, and of course an over abundance of resolutions which will be attemtped, yet never fullfilled. Before the end of next week, gyms all across the country are going to be full of eager beavers sweating their butts off to burn all of those unwanted pounds. In a good many basements new, fitness fanatics will be assembling the newest most trendy treadmills and other exercise equipment to get their fat butts into shape. This is the year! “It is going to happen” says all who make resolutions.
Then, come February, about the time the new fitness freaks figure out that being in shape is hard work, the gym will be less packed, and there will be good reasons why the treadmill you just had to have has not been used in a couple of days.
By March, the gym will be back to normal and most of the new treadmills will now be the over glorified rack where clean clothes are hung once they come out of the dryer. This happens every year all around the world.
Those scenarios are also going to apply to new diets, many will go strong for the first few weeks, then they will gradually peter out by March and those unwanted pounds will pile back on.
I have thought about how to best address the subject of people falling off the wagon in regards to diet, and I think that just being bluntly honest is the only approach to use. Either you will shake your head in agreement, or you may get pissed and want to punch me in the nose. There are many decent apps to use for weight loss out there. Some are paid subscriptions, and some are free. I follow two regular, but also am constantly checking out others. On all that I follow, or have followed with a social media content such as Weight Watchers, MyFitnessPal, and Spark People, i see a common trend with each which in my opinion is a flaw which helps people to fail in their weight loss journies. The flaw, ironically is actually necessary, if used properly, yet many do not. That flaw is allowing the individual, or even encouraging them to eat extra calories for their fitness activities. These allowances for extra fit points if you follow Weight Watchers, or extra calories on the others, is a no brainer for those who have their diet and fitness dialed in, but for those who see it as just a way to eat more, then you have lost your battle before ever beginning the war.
The problem with these programs and their extra calories and fit points is people game them in order to eat more. If you are going to game the system, then you might as well make a run down to your local Krispy Kreme and buy a couple dozen donuts and give up the thought of losing weight and getting healthy. What do I mean by gaming the system? Let me give a few examples:
- You count the same activites you have always done, such as house work as being fitness points. If these activities did not help you to lose weight before, then using that activity to justify eating more is not going to help you now.
- You count every step you take during the day as fitness. News flash, if you are not elevating your heart rate, then do not count all of those steps in order to eat more. You are only sabotaging your own efforts.
- A large percentage of people will way over estimate how much they can count as physical exercise by a huge margin. A good many will count light or even moderate exercise as high intensity. I would challenge anyone to walk into any gym and pick out a single soul who is out of shape and going truly high intensity for more than a couple minutes at a time at best. You can not go at a high intensity for two minutes, and then go at a light to moderate intensity for 58 minutes and call it 60 minutes of high intensity. If you fudge on this, you are only cheating yourself. Period.
No matter which program you may choose to utilize in your weight loss journey, you must be honest in how much you consume and the actual intensity and duration of your physical exercise. No matter if you use a points system, your weight loss or management is still, and always will, come come down to calories consumed against calories burned. This is something you should have learned in basic junior high school biology. As effective as the points system is for many if not most on Weight Watchers, it can have you all over the map in actual calorie counts. I know this as I have tracked both for close to two years now. Their point system can have you under and over eating depending on how you use the system, while still earning a blue dot every day.
If you want to truly be sccessful, you must honestly track everything you eat. Many people fail to do this, sometimes simply because a little nibble here and there may not seem to matter. But, consider how much you may be eating and not tracking may be costing you each day. As a parent and grandparent, here are a few scenarios that have happened in my home in years past:
- You prepare your child a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and trim off the crust for them which you then proceed to eat. How many calories, grams of carbs, proten and fat did you just consume?
- The cookie package has been left on the counter with a half an Oreo in it, and before tossing the package in the trash, you pop that piece of cookie into your mouth.
- You took your child to the doctor and there was a bowl of candy on the receptionist’s counter. How many calories and carbs did you just sneak?
- You went to the grocery store hungry and could not resist the temptation of the free samples being handed out by the kindly employees.
- Maybe you were packing a healthy lunch for work, and as you were measuring out some nuts, you ate a small handfull that were at the bottom of the can.
- Your child did not eat all of their piece of cake and did you finish it before placing the dish in your washer?
If you have set a goal of weight loss as a New Years resolution, then be serious and go all in every day. Track your food intake accurately, track every nibble you take. Ensure you are truthful in tracking your exercise. Do not track your exercise as if you are a super athlete when you know that you are still in poor shape. If you are truly athletic, you need a lot of extra calories, but not as many more as you may believe. Be honest with yourself in all that you do.
For the New Year, if you must set a resolution, then make your goals specific, realistic and achievable. Do not set yourself up for failure by not being honest with yourself in what you are willing or able to do in order to meet your goals. Start slow, and be patient, you did not get out of shape over night, you will not get in shape over night either. Follow David’s Way, we can help you with quality nutrition and fitness information. My methodology is simple in principle yet highly effective. I guarentee we can help you to meet all of your objectives.