Before too many of you get excited about the expectation of an article about billionaires and blindfolds, sadly this article is not relating to any of that. Presently in the health and fitness industry there is very much an ‘all or nothing’ approach to everything from nutrition to training programmes. This month I want us all to take a deep breath, close our eyes and consider the grey area.
The weight training mantra of ‘go heavy or go home’ has been around since Ronnie Coleman started competing for the Mr Olympia title back in the mid-90s. This all out approach has now crossed over into all forms of training and more recently nutrition, which unsurprisingly, ends in confusion and more negative outcomes.
One Size Fits All
In relation to nutrition, there must be a phrase I have used more than any other over my last 10 years in this industry; “there is no one-size-fits-all diet”. Yet people still search for the magic formula. I tell my clients that nutrition is, at best, educated guess work.
Everything about us is different to the next person, height, shape, DNA etc. yet we still assume that if we eat and exercise the same as someone else we will get the exact same result!?
Many of us have heard the expression starting ‘everything in moderation’ and often people apply it to their eating habits. Moderation is about finding a balance between two extremes – deprivation and overindulging.
If your goal is to lose some body fat and you believe two chocolate bars a day is moderation, you would only need to adjust your idea of moderation if you were failing to lose fat. If you reduced your intake to one bar a day and began to lose fat, then you are still consuming in moderation, but your idea of moderation has changed.
There will always be debates about which training system is best and what exercises should be done for A, B and C. The truth is that you should switch your training programme as soon as you stop seeing results, which could be after as shorter time as 4 weeks or not until 10 or more weeks. So spending time trying to find the ‘prefect’ programme is futile as you will have to change it sooner or later anyway!
The Grey Area
There is and always will be a grey area in terms of health and fitness, nutrition and exercise. Be aware of your goal and ask yourself if your approach is working. If results have stopped then switch your path but make sure it still heads towards your end target. There is more than one way to skin a cat!