You may have the biggest enthusiasm and determination in the world to achieve your weight loss, health, or muscle building goals. Do you sometimes feel that it is dictating your life, rather than fitting into it? Don't allow your hobby to become an obsession when it comes to health and fitness.
Yes, for professional athletes and models, their lifestyle, routine and decisions may be dictated by fitness and training. This isn't the same for the everyday person just wanting to look good and improve their health, their routine should fit into their life. Believe me… I've been in this situation where I was solely dictated by wanting to look like a cover model, and nothing else mattered! When in reality this look is perfectly achievable while fitting into your life, by just making the right decisions.
Points to help you determine if it is an obsession in your life:
Just because you want to lose weight or build muscle you do not have to limit your food intake to particular ‘magic’ foods. Yes for some people with allergies, avoiding certain foods is key, but not one type food is going to help you achieve your goal just like one type of food is not going to demolish your goal.
- You follow a very restrictive diet
For decades, bodybuilders have sent the message that avoiding entire types of food like dairy or fruit was crucial for losing weight. Labelling foods as either 'clean' or 'dirty.' When you tell someone that they have to cut out their favourite chocolate, for example, to lose weight you’re pretty much setting them up for failure. They will crave their favourite food, and eventually give in and throw in the diet.
So whenever you start any diet, always ask yourself "can I see myself eating more or less the same food choices what I am today, a year down the line?"
- You train till you are unable to walk or even worse, sick
An exercise program should be enjoyable, achievable and make you feel and look better. Not destroy you every time you go in the gym and put you off training! It should still be challenging and looking to progress each week, but to make progress there is no need to almost kill yourself every day.
No one is perfect no matter what they tell you or post on social media.
- You expect perfection
This is something I recently had to come to terms with while on holiday. I have my goals, and being a military man I like routine and knowing where I am going, but being on holiday broke up this routine.
It is important to know there is more to life than training every day, and I’m sharing this with you because I want you to see that role models, fitness pros and in shape individuals aren’t perfect and aren’t always shredded and smashing new PRs every week.Most of the time all you see on social media is people posting about their new records or progress, but they do not post about their failures or drawbacks.
I’m not always perfect but I strive to be. Consistent in the long run and always be the best I can be, physically, mentally and socially.
You shouldn't use someone else as your physical competitor and shouldn't be comparing yourself to everyone. Everyone is unique and has a whole different set of circumstance.
Always comparing yourself to bigger, stronger and photoshopped pictures
“We are always asking ourselves “are we good enough?”
Ask yourself these questions when you look at that body on Instagram:
Do they really look like that? Has the picture been air brushed? How long have they been training? Are they happy? What does their true life really look like? What are their goals? What is their lifestyle like? What is their job?
Many of us believe, including my past self, that this bodybuilding/bikini body was the ideal representation of a perfect male/female and ultimately what we should all strive for everyday.
What you need to realise and understand is that this ‘look’ is an extreme that pushes the limits of muscular development and leanness. In a sport littered with performance enhancing drugs and eating disorders, yes that is right eating disorders, this extreme conditioning is often pointless and impossible without the help of steroids or a professional lifestyle.
- Obsessing over the tiny things
The basics work and have worked for years. Like Greg Nuckols said - ‘Hard work makes muscle grow. More work and harder work generally makes them grow more. I think that’s about the safest statement about muscle growth, and also the most useful, since it helps keep people from getting hung up on details that are much less important.’
Unless you are a professional athlete looking for that extra 5% over your competitors there is no need to worry about the tiny things that will not give you much bang for your buck. Like; meal timing, meal frequency, should I use dumbbells or a barbell, should I take a protein shake straight after my workout etc etc.
Just adopt an approach to your diet and training and allows you to be consistent, enjoy it and make progress.
- Punish yourself when you fail on your diet
This links back to not expecting to be perfect. I see it a lot and I used to do it; When we accidentally eat too much we shouldn't end of throwing in the towel and giving up, eating a lot more than we should have.
Take ownership, move on, and just get back on track. It’s just one meal and in the grand scheme of things it will make no difference.
Do you avoid drinks with your friends or meals out so that you can exercise or stick to your meal plan?
You avoid social situations
You only live once and missing all these parties and gatherings with your friends is not essential to achieve the body you want! All it takes is prior planning and intelligent decisions on eating and drinking.
You don’t have to an extreme lifestyle to achieve the body you want!
It’s also healthier
, more enjoyable
and certainly more sustainable
if adopt an approach you enjoy and fits into your life.
Remember to talk to the experts at GoNutrition
for any advice when it comes to reaching your fitness goals.