“I just want to reach my goal as fast as possible and then maintain it.” Is like a kid saying they want to learn everything in one week of school and then go back on summer break.
I hear this at least once a week and the answer is, that’s not how it works.
I realize this is how many things in our lives work these days.
You have a house built and then maintain it.
You have the sod laid and maintain the lawn.
You buy a car and then have maintenance done on it.
You have a website developed and then tweak it over time.
You watch the road being built and then you see road crews come in from time to time to maintain it.
But this isn’t how bodies are transformed. There is no expedited construction process. There is no off-site growing/pruning to be done prior to installation. There is no outsourcing of health, and for every short-cut you take, there is an equal and opposite consequence.
This one statement is the root cause for so much yo-yo dieting.
This method of thinking leads us to believe there is a magic pill, some secret potion, or the answer just around the corner.
We start something and then when we don’t see results in a matter of a few weeks (or for some it is just a few days), we throw in the towel. Give up. Chalk it up to another program/system that didn’t work for us.
If you haven’t seen this chart yet, here it is again.
We workout incredibly hard and restrict like crazy in the beginning, but then we rebound.
I get it… we are excited by the new, the shiny, the hope that THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT. And it CAN be if you find a program rooted in long-term health. Anything less will leave you worse off than when you began. Check out this article about the psychological damage that can be done through yo-yo and chronic dieting: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-science-willpower/200911/the-problem-dieting
Just about anything works in the beginning. Maintaining is a different story.
If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
I so badly want to say to use your intuition. To base your judgement of how good a program is on what makes sense, but as you can see in the opening paragraph of this post, our brains are primed for thinking our bodies can be engineered like all the other things in modern life.
Add in the genius marketing tactics and we are at the mercy of people who know more about marketing than about health.
What to do?
Of course you are not someone who is going to throw your hands up in the air and say it must be pointless if there are marketing geniuses manipulating my every choice.
That would be as effective as complaining about how fair or unfair it is that you have to workout and watch what you eat and someone else doesn’t (yet).
It is up to you to educate yourself and I don’t mean through reading countless social media posts from “fitness people”. Remember how I said the bar to entry in fitness has never been lower in this post? If you are capable of signing up for a social media account, you can now position yourself as a fitness expert.
We refer to it as a fitness journey because it is truly a journey. There will be trials and tribulations and you will find that if you don’t consistently complete the basics, you will always be starting over.
I have gone to great lengths to create a program rooted in health. Weight training, HIIT, steady cardio, and clean eating. And repeat.
If you haven’t signed up for the SKFitLife Free 10-Day Jump Start Program, sign up here and enjoy 10 daily email lessons from me where I explain each of these elements so you can make an educated decision on what constitutes a program rooted in health.