Ready, Set, Slow

There is no quick fix, magic pill, special workout, or diet that will accelerate you into fitting into the pants you haven’t been able to fit into or the personal record on that 5k run or losing the 30lbs you put on over the past five years. There’s the detox, vegan, paleo, no sugar, water-fast diet that will solve all your problems and make you skinny, buff, and boost testosterone and make you look 10 years younger. Doesn’t exist! I’ve tried it all. The fine print on all these quick fixes should read,

“Warning! This diet or workout is not manageable or sustainable in any way at all. You might lose weight or get stronger temporarily, but if you continue following this diet or doing this workout you will either go crazy, get injured, or gain all your weight back and then some.”

It’s hard to swallow, but it really takes time. It takes being strategic, thoughtful and very intentional to really accomplish what you really want: long-term, sustainable weight loss that fits into your lifestyle.  

The right frame of mind is key to being successful here.  

  1. Be slow and strategic. Studies show us that starting with too much change can be overwhelming and a lack of success can lead to failure. We see that when we start by making manageable changes in lifestyle and nutrition we are more likely to create habits that last.

  2. Build skills. Creating changes around lifestyle and nutrition is not too different than any other skill that you might obtain. If you showed up to a gym and a coach asked you to squat 300lbs on your back without any instruction or training, you would most likely get hurt. However, a good coach would first get to know you and ask some questions about your past, your goals, and your current fitness level. Then the coach might have you start with a warm up, then maybe practice just squatting without any weight, then slowly add weight little by little, until you had built the skills you would need to squat something heavy that works for you. The same applies to nutrition and lifestyle. Build the skills you need first rather than jumping into something that is overwhelming.

  3. It’s not all about nutrition and lifestyle. You might be surprised, but starting with food or working out isn’t always the answer.  Take for example about the 300lb squat. What if the client here was injured, shouldn’t the coach help fix the injury, maybe show a couple of stretches or give some physical therapy help before starting to work on squatting? Well, the same applies to you as we begin working on changing things like lifestyle and nutrition. We can’t just jump in. We have to figure out what we need to work on fixing so we can make your work meaningful. If you aren’t sleeping at all at night because of anxiety and stress, it might be pointless to start by asking you to eat the right balance of carbs, fats, and protein.  We should first help you fix what’s causing stress and anxiety so you can get your sleep back on track. Then we can start working on food.

NutritionAaron Leventhal