ESTIMATED READ TIME: 7 MINUTES
When I first started my fitness journey, I spent so much time focusing on the little x’s and o’s of exercise and nutrition. I was too strict and rigid in my approach and it caused me to sacrifice certain aspects of my life. Not only was I missing out on life, but I also didn’t achieve my fitness goals. Things became to structured and it didn’t leave room for life to happen. It takes an enormous amount of will power to keep up a strict nutrition/exercise plan. I spent years being entranced in this mindset and couldn’t find enjoyment in the journey. I realized that I didn’t want my life to be fitness. Instead, I realized that I wanted my life to be enhanced by fitness. During this blog, I want to suggest a different approach to your wellness goals. One that builds consistency while having the flexibility for life's tosses and turns.
Everything changed for me when I simplified my wellness approach. I found enjoyment in training again. I found enjoyment in eating. I’ve seen better results from letting go and focusing on the bigger picture instead of all the small details. One of the catalysts that allowed me to let go was figuring out what accounts for the majority of the results. In other words, I found out how to get the best bang for your buck in terms of will power. I found out what I should focus on and what I should let go of.
I’ve noticed a lot of people tend to focus on areas that account for minimal results. This motivated me to start a wellness movement around simplistic tactics. One that creates consistency and effectiveness. I want to provide you with tangible areas to focus on. Areas that account for 95% of the results.
Calories matter. If you are in a caloric deficit over an extended period of time, you will lose weight assuming all things normal. If you are in a caloric surplus over an extended period of time, you will gain weight. Everyone asks the question, what is my own individual caloric deficit/surplus look like? There are numerous calorie equations and calculators on the web. The important thing to remember is they are only estimates. I have an equation that I use in conjunction with a weight/activity strategy to provide a very accurate number. SparkFit offers this strategy as part of the membership package.
While calories are very important, the quality of calorie matters to a certain degree as well. Have you ever heard of the McDonald’s diet? There was a guy that ate McDonalds for every meal, while staying in a caloric deficit and LOST weight. However, his lean body mass (muscle) decreased and his body fat percentage increased. So essentially, he lost weight but got fatter. Now when most people want to lose weight, they actually want to lose fat and look better. This is where macro/micro nutrients come in. You want to make sure you are getting adequate protein in (.7-1.0 grams/pound of bodyweight), along with a combination of carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. Health goes so much deeper than what you see in the mirror so make vegetables and fruits a priority as well. The best part is that you can still enjoy ice cream, pizza, and other treats while achieving your goals as long as you're taking overall caloric intake into account.
If you want to be good at basketball, football, hockey, or baseball you have to play that specific sport. It is no different in the fitness arena. If you want to gain/lose weight, you need to train in a way that supports your goal. Too many times people just go into the gym and hope for the best. Go into the gym with a purpose. Focus on multi-joint exercises. Create and improve on functional movement patterns. Create your workout plan around the principle of specificity, progressive overload, and individual factors. Focus on movement quality and track your metrics.
In my mind this is the most important. You can have the best workout plan and most effective nutrition approach but if you can’t stick to it, it doesn’t mean anything. Be honest with yourself. Create a realistic game plan that you can execute. After a week or two, figure out ways in which it can be more sustainable or enjoyable based on your lifestyle and make those changes.
Keep tuned for more wellness tactics in upcoming blogs. Your best is yet to come!