Alongside my personal training work, I also do some fitness copywriting work. The two overlap in lots of obvious ways. They also overlap in other, slightly less obvious ways. The nutrition agenda is one of those less obvious ways.
In copywriting, we refer to something called ‘marketplace sophistication’. In a nutshell this is how well educated the consumer is on a particular product or service. With a brand new product or service, the market isn’t very sophisticated, meaning you can effectively bullshit your way to success.
Over time though, the customer becomes more aware, more sophisticated and more educated on the topic. They can spot a crap product a mile away, so marketing lies don’t work any more. Only truth does.
It’s how I feel about weight loss and the nutrition market.
By this point, we already know what a ‘good’ diet consists of. Unless you’ve had your head in the sand, you’ll have at least a basic understanding of a decent meal. You’ll know your thrice-weekly takeaway rounded off with a weekend on the beer probably isn’t helpful when it comes to losing weight.
You know this stuff. So why do you need a book or a meal plan to help you lose weight?
You don’t need a meal plan to lose weight. You just think you do.
I’ve worked as a personal trainer for nearly 15 years. During that time I’ve seen every version of a person wanting to lose weight….
The person willing to do whatever it takes. The person willing to change absolutely nothing about their lives. The person who is willing, they just need a push. The person who needs someone in their corner to support them. The person who thinks merely turning up to a gym once a week is a ticket to a lean physique.
All of these people have one thing in common – they know the solution to their problem lies elsewhere, but they just aren’t sure where.
The answer to almost all of the fitness and weight loss problems we have lie within us. In our own behaviours, our own habits. The most frustrating thing for me when trying to help people lose weight, or talking to people about their weight loss is when they know that their actions aren’t conducive to weight loss, but they do them anyway.
Asking a personal trainer or a nutritionist for training plans or meal plans when you aren’t willing to make better choices at meal times is a pointless endeavour.
The first thing you need to address is your habits. The reason weight loss fails for the vast majority of people is because they address the wrong problem.
The biggest problem isn’t a lack of knowledge. It’s a lack of execution. Anyone can stick to a diet for a meal, a day or a week. It’s when it becomes week 2, week 3, week 4 etc that you really see who has addressed the real problem at the foot of the issue – their habits and their actions.
Weight loss for the long term
It’s not impossible to lose weight for the long term, but it’s more than merely thinking you’re going to eat better. Thinking you’ll do something doesn’t actually equate to it getting done, if you know what I mean?
You have to change your behaviours in a long term sustainable way. At first, this will be a conscious effort – you’ll have to make decisions at every step of the way. It’ll take up more brain space than you realise – when I’ve done challenges in the past I’ve really had to make conscious decisions at a lot of points of the challenge.
You’ll have to as well. Accept this reality early and it’ll make the whole process easier.
The reality is that your body will conspire against you when it comes to significant amounts of weight loss. Your hunger hormones, Leptin and Grhelin will go through a period of re-adjustment. You’ll feel hungry regularly and you’ll need a better strategy than ‘just ignore it’ if you’re going to lose weight successfully.
You’ll face temptations. You’ll be caught in circumstances where it’d be easier to eat something unhealthy. If you want to lose weight for the long term, these situations have to be dealt with. Whether that involves extra exercise, some fasting or allowing extra calories within your plan, it doesn’t matter. You just need a plan.
Im currently going through a phase of weight loss. I’m going to drop around 10kg (22lbs). I’ve decided that although I like the extra muscle weight lifting has given me, but it’s not always helpful when I’m trying to sprint around a football pitch! There’s also a bit of vanity there too – I prefer being leaner to where I am now.
I have a strategy for when I come up against temptation. I have a plan for when I’m caught without a healthy option. I have a plan for my activity.
My entire energy balance (calories in versus calories out – the fundamental pillar of all weight management) is going to be maintained by planning, not accident. I’ve accepted I’ll need to make behaviour changes, I’ve accepted my eating will have to change. It’s down to ME to make sure this happens. I can’t make excuses if 3 months from now I look at the scales and they haven’t changed.
If you expect to lose weight just because you hired a personal trainer or bought a meal plan, you’re in for a shock.
A diet book or a personal trainer will map the way, but you have to be willing to drive the car. If you’re not, forget about it. Save your money and accept your current reality.
If you’re at a point in your weight loss where you’re determined to do it, but don’t know where to begin from an exercise point of view, I’ll start by suggesting you pick up my HIIT training book. It’s an absolute beaut. Over 100 people have bought it and have seen some fantastic weight loss results. You can pick it up here…
By the way, if you subscribe to the Hoyles Fitness mailing list you’ll receive a free eBook containing 101 Health and Fitness Tips, plus offers and news exclusive to Hoyles Fitness subscribers. Click the image below to download…