When fitness gets brought up in conversation, I have heard every excuse in the book on why people aren’t healthy and will never be. I’ve heard things like “I just like food too much”, ”I’m just big boned”, and “I don’t like salmon, so I can’t ever stick to a diet plan”. After hearing more and more of these types of responses, I started to try and figure out what made people think these were legit roadblocks to living a healthy lifestyle.
I came to realize that although there is a lot of information on how to get in shape, there’s a lack of information on how and when the information should be applied. This leads people to think that whatever diet or workout strategy they are reading about is the only way to get in shape and should be used by everyone, at any time. This could not be further from the truth. An example of this is the diet I use for my prep diet to get ready for competitions. People always want to know what I eat when I prep. When I tell them, one of two things will usually happen, they will either be immediately discouraged with the idea of healthy eating due to the restrictiveness of the diet or want to try it themselves. If they attempt to try it, they will usually fail miserably at it and abandon it after a week or two. The latter happens not because they have no will power, its that they don’t have the lifestyle habits developed yet, nor the desire to compete, which is what gets competitors through strict dieting in the first place. My diet is never meant for a beginner. My diet is meant for an experienced competitive physique athlete that has to get down to unhealthy levels of body fat for a short period of time. Basically, its meant to be extreme. This type of thing is happening more and more with the rise in popularity of physique shows. More information is being put out there discussing different diet and workout plans that people have followed for getting ready for shows, but very few people warn that they are not for the average person. No beginner should ever begin by weighing food out, only eating six foods, or training seven days a week.
So, where should they begin?
The best place for a beginner to start is at the basics, the small lifestyle changes. These are what will bring the most lasting change. Take someone who eats fast food every day. They need to develop the habit of cooking their meals, going to the grocery store, and making good food choices, before they even think about trying out a restrictive diet plan. They should start by cooking half of their meals at home, then the other half they can eat out. Little by little, the number of home cooked meals go up, and the fast food gets phased out. Then once they are used to cooking at home, then they can start to play around with food choices and different macro breakdown.
The same can be applied to training. A person that doesn’t work out should never jump to a 6 day a week plan. Instead, they should start slow, working out 2-3 days a week with a program that doesn’t leave you unable to walk for days. The goal is not to be miserable, the goal is to get in the habit of going to the gym every day. Once that habit is developed, then you can up the intensity and experiment with different programs.
So if you are just starting out, keep all of this mind. I know it can be tempting to want to jump into a program that is very restricted and intense because it promises results. The results will come, but if the foundation is not laid, the results will be short lived. Trust me, slow and steady wins the race every time 😊