I have been involved in the fitness industry to some extent since 2003, and in that time I have noticed that people generally have changed the following:
1. How they view their bodies;
2. How they view food; and
3. How they view exercise.
Now you may be wonder why they hell am I writing this and what does it have to do with losing weight!
As you may well know, the statistics for the proportion of people in western countries that are overweight or obese are astounding! Furthermore globally we spend $55 Billion dollars on weight loss products every year.
If you ask me, it sounds like that money is not being well spent! It seems that as a society we are more concerned than ever with how our bodies look but our bodies are in worse shape generally than they ever have been.
Why is this?
I think the problem is that people that are “trying to lose weight” and you may be one of them, the problem is that the focus is on losing weight.
How could that possibly be a bad thing? It is so vitally important that people take control of things in their life that are making them unhappy and do something about it. My hat is off to anyone that recognises a problem with their weight and decides to do something about it.
However the problem is that they focus is on the wrong thing completely. Here’s the thing…the way your body looks is a result of usually the food your put inside it, and the exercise you do. Notwithstanding outlying genetics and medical conditions, that is the crux of why your body looks the way it does.
The focus should not be on weight loss or aesthetics! Losing weight and looking damned sexy is a result of a good diet and an appropriate exercise regime.
Here’s what you really need to focus on
Take a moment to appreciate Jessica Ennis:
If you don’t know who she is, she is a heptathlete, and she did indeed win gold at London 2012 Olympic games for the heptathlon.
The heptathlon includes 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m, long jump, javelin, and 800m. It is no wonder that Jessica is so ripped! But she sure isn’t overly masculine either.
Her training regime would be brutal beyond comprehension for most people.
I’m assuming you aren’t an aspiring heptahlete so why talk about Jessica Ennis?
When am I going to get to the point?!! Okay so Jessica, like many athletes are not concerned in how much they weigh, or how many calories they are consuming, or if they are consuming too many carbs or any of the usual worries that comes with most fad diets aimed at weight loss.
An athletes mindset differs to someone ‘trying to lose weight’. The major differences are this:
- Workouts vs training (people trying to lose weight do workouts, but athletes train)
What’s the difference? Training leads to a much more specific outcome….that is to develop speed, speed endurance, acceleration, aerobic capacity, strength, power, etc., basically to develop their physical capabilities so they can perform better.
- Diet vs Fuel
Often people trying to lose weight get on these diets designed specifically for them to lose weight. Athletes don’t do diets, they make sure they are getting all the fuel they need to recover from their training sessions and enough fuel to hit it hard at the next days session. They make sure they are getting all the nutrients necessary to keep their bodies at their full potential. AKA, their focus is getting exactly what their bodies need for good health, hard training and solid recovery.
Fad diets often skip super important nutrients that are vital for health, culprits such as Atkins, Paleo, anything low carb, and anything super restrictive.
The biggest difference here is that most athletes don’t have these negative feelings towards food. They know what foods are good for them, and knowing that it helps them with their training is motivation enough to eat them. There isn’t this feeling that certain foods are “bad” and there is very little guilt during the odd treat.
What you can learn from athletes
I’m not saying you need to go out there and train like an olympic hepathlete, but I am saying you can sure change your attitude towards your training and the foods you eat. Focus on exercises that will help you get stronger and fitter in everyday life and move better, and don’t do fad diets! Focus on good nutrition and with a good exercise program, you’ll lose weight, have more energy and generally feel more healthy all at the same time!
That’s it for now. Good luck and leave a comment if you agree or don’t agree or are confused!!