The health and fitness industry today – it’s booming. And by this I mean: countless rows of food supplements online and in stores; endless streams of sign-up promotions; the never-ending blogs and vlogs promoting opposing theories and takes on how to “gym”. This industry is literally everywhere and it’s been clouding so many of us from the real way to stay in shape, maintain a balanced lifestyle and eat the right foods.
So let’s cut through the irrelevant and get straight down to the essentials.
Today we are seeing more join the gym and actively begin their inevitably short-sighted endeavour to “get fit” or “stay active” or whatever it may be. It’s proven that 45% of us join the gym as a “new year’s resolution” in the hope of losing weight – but just 8% actually succeed.
Facts speak for themselves – the industry has deliberately over-complicated itself through mass advertisement and miss-leading theories so that we, the customer, (and albeit confused and innocent customer) are opening our pockets in the hope we will find a quick fix to a deep problem.
Flick onto Google and you’ll see possibly the biggest stream of unproven, health-related “ideas” and “solutions” that one could ever imagine. Protein, image, looks, muscles, dietary supplements, weight gaining supplements, different pills, liquids and powders that can do anything from giving you a more vascular-look or give you that unnatural energy boost for the pre-workout litter our internet today.
It was only last week that one of my friends asked me: “where do you buy your protein from and oh, by the way, should I buy creatine or creatine monohydrate?”. It was at this point that I realised I have been so oblivious to the commercialisation of the industry. People who want to get involved in this unfortunately have to wade through utter pages of miss-matched theories before they can get the answer they want. If I were to then compare what my friends individually thought on “good” or “bad” foods – the results would be surprising with some arguing coffee and a glass of red wine a day being good for you while others saying the complete opposite.
The truth is: we are getting such mixed responses from endless and nameless sources that the industry is in a complete money-making mess. The consumer is confused – but it doesn’t matter and big companies and so-called “experts” will always exploit the fact that we don’t really know what’s in our food supplements our why we should take things 8 times a day or before bed and the reasoning behind it. We, as a result, are miss-using these products and simply depending on big results from minimal effort.
Below are my 5 simple rules that echo the stripped-down and principal pillars of health.
1: Do not focus on one food type and do not use protein as a food replacement. Use it wisely. Consume normal amounts of protein straight after a work-out for maximum effect at replenishing torn muscles. But don’t be one of these guys who eats 8 scoops a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s not healthy.
2: There are no set techniques best suited to any one individual. Just because someone online says technique X is the best doesn’t necessarily mean it’s best for you. In fact, just stick to using the personal trainers in your gym, rather than online resources – as it’ll only confuse you more. Again, keep it simple. Do whatever feels comfortable yet gives you a satisfying workout – the results will show for themselves.
3: Don’t force yourself to sign up for something you’re not going to do. You need to be mentally prepared when joining a gym. Write down your goal – it might be to attend just once a week or maybe for others, 4 times a week. Now stick to it, give room for a few exceptions and stay strong to what you’ve written. Discipline cannot be underestimated.
4: If you’ve skipped a day – and don’t intend of doing any other exercise – then compromise by not eating so many carbs. This is just wasted energy and will be stored as fat. No wonder so many people who “go to the gym” carb-load too much and end up looking worse than when they started.
5: Know the theory. Eat the right amounts of protein, carbs, natural fats and fruit and veg. Restrict yourself on all the unhealthy things – alcohol, cigarettes and artificial sugars/ fats. Easy?
With these rules in mind – you are well on your way to a comfortable health transformation to whatever suits your needs. Just keep these 5 things in mind and you can’t go wrong.
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