The fitness industry is overloaded with popular exercise trends, gizmos, and special diets. Fitness trends come and go. Some of the exercise and nutrition trends are helpful, and have a long lifespan. Examples of helpful fitness trends are high-intensity exercise, and low-carb diets. Others trends are fitness duds, and disappear into the waste bin of Miracle Cures Past. Popular fitness duds include food combining diets, electric muscle stimulators, and the ThighMaster. Here is my favorite fitness trend, and my #1 fitness dud:
#1 Fitness Trends:
Habits and Baby Steps, instead of Radical Detoxes or 180-degree “makeover” programs.
A typical diet, cleanse, or weight loss program assumes that you’ll wake up on your “start day” and completely change your habits all at once. You’ll follow “the plan” and suddenly be able to stop stress eating, start exercising, get plenty of rest, and take the ideal mix of vitamins for optimal health. You’ll just wake up and somehow be able to embrace dozens of new, healthy habits all at once.
This typical diet or cleanse forces you into “food jail”, with proclamations of ‘No This’ and ‘Never That’. You must power through each grueling phase, and deny yourself every pleasure until you’ve hit your goal weight.
Humans are creatures of habit. Whatever you do most of the time, that’s what you’re like. Your behavior is not designed for drastic, immediate changes. Basics and Beyond’s entire approach to coaching is to gradually replace unhealthy habits with healthier habits. You work these improvements into your lifestyle bit by bit, making it easy to create permanent changes over time.
Successful change needs to happen gradually, so that each new habit and lesson becomes a natural part of what you normally do. You can’t change 15 things all at once and expect to be able to maintain all those changes. Drastic change only leads to willpower struggles, then failure, then shame and depression. Then you have to start all over again.
#1 Fitness Dud:
Belly Fat diets.
In a nutshell, you cannot eat or exercise a certain way to remove body fat from a specific part of your body. The “belly fat diet” idea stems from some research that shows that stress hormones like cortisol may increase fat storage in the abdominal cavity. So the Belly Fat Diet rationale is that if you minimize stress and inflammation, you’ll burn away all that fat around your midsection.
If you do minimize your stress and inflammation (which is a good idea, by the way), it will not cause your body to preferentially burn fat away from a specific area. When your body oxidizes stored fat for fuel, it will take it from wherever it wants to. Specific exercises or diet plans cannot target fat loss from a specific area. You can get fatter or you can get leaner, but you cannot decide where.
So What Can You Do Next?
- So are you sick of trying (and then failing) to do a drastic lifestyle turnaround?
- Do you like the idea of building healthy habits gradually, making yourself healthier over time?
- Are you on board with the idea that consistency is what brings success?
Contact Basics and Beyond to talk about what kind of help you need. We work with people both in-person in Nashville, or online worldwide.