Now I know what you’re thinking; this is nought but click-bait, another way of promoting this fitness plan or that supplement in lieu of healthy self-control and restraint. The fitness industry, whilst it does have its shining lights, is by and large a festering pit of self-promotion and money making schemes designed to feed off your general idiocy caused by the mass promotion of fallacious misinformation put out by that same industry.
But do no fear, cherished reader, for I am not a part of the dark side of the fitness world. And that is why when I title this ‘Never Diet’ that is because that is actually what I’m recommending. No, there is no miracle alternative, no supplement or detox pill. This is based on a very simple and effective mantra that, when followed, will pretty much guarantee good fitness for the duration.
‘The best diet/fitness plan is the one you will keep doing.’
This is a widely held belief from those who are genuine in the fitness industry but for me, whilst it is absolutely true, it is based upon something that is rather false. The problem with diets and fitness plans is that they are inherently temporary. They are there so that an individual can reach their optimum or desired weight or fitness and at that point they tend to drop off and relapse into previous bad habits, believing that now they essentially have a ‘cushion’. Now I know what you’re thinking; this is my lifestyle, there’s no chance of that. Of course this isn’t an absolute and there will be exceptions to the rule but the majority of people who are pursuing a new healthy living lifestyle are casuals. They are not aspiring to make terrific gains, look like a bodybuilder or never enjoy food again. They are people who want maximum results for minimum effort and sacrifice. It might seem a harsh notion but it is actually purely economic; the best practice is the one that gains the most from the least. The problem is for these people that this is less of a lifestyle shift and more of a trend; mostly based in vanity and personal egotism it often has little to do with the noble and ancient pursuit of good health and fitness. The main reason the casual tends to relapse? They aren’t fully committed. We know it, it’s nothing to feel bad about; you want a life outside of this. But dieting creates a permanent state of ‘wanting’ within the temporary diet and as such when the end point is reached the one desire, for better health and fitness, is now satiated whilst the second, for unhealthy foods and routines is left starved. The motivation from the start is based in ‘wanting’ and as such it inevitably ends at the same point.
Quick Fixes and Necessity
The final point I shall make is the problem with dieting in the 21st century cesspit of health and fitness. Everything has a quick fix, a four week plan. Want to lose belly fat? We’ve got a pill for you! Want to boost muscle growth? You need a supplement.
Of course you don’t need these things; these are specialist products which are by and bulk utterly facetious. The few out there that are genuinely good or useful are not needed by the majority of people but by the few who are pursuing this day in day out ad infinitum, usually professionals or people who have gained employment within the industry. The same is true of dieting; by and large it’s unnecessary for the majority of people and as always there are no long term quick fixes for your health and for general good fitness. It’s more than a marathon; it’s a slog. Most people think of it as the quick smash Six Day War when in reality it’s more like the never ending battle between Rome and Parthia. Again the best approach is the one you will keep doing; not for one month or one year but one you could see yourself doing, and doing happily, forever.
Now after all this you’re probably thinking ‘that’s all well and good but what should I do then?’ And it’s a worthy question but one you didn’t need to ask. Because of course, as always dear reader, you know the answer. Stop doubting yourself; stop questioning your own intelligence and stop paying attention to all that contrarian fitness advice from experts who got their qualifications from the school of the Quick Google Search.
The only solution, the only real strategy, is to eat healthy food, frequent exercise and diversification of both. That’s it. No, don’t think like that. You know what healthy foods are and you know what unhealthy foods are. Lean meats, fish and vegetables. Potatoes, rice, pasta is all good in moderation. In fact mostly everything is good in moderation. Don’t eat too much; you know what too much is. Go running frequently; it’s good to see the world, get fresh air in your lungs and it’s good for your heart and stamina as well. Do calisthenics; in layman’s that’s exercise without machines. You probably don’t need them if you’re just trying to get yourself into general good fitness. Stretch more. Commit the amount of time to this you feel comfortable; anymore and you probably won’t stick to it for that long.
I know this all sounds patronising and ridiculously simple but that’s because when you get right down it health and fitness is less about protein shakes, calorie intake and complex fitness plans but more about covering your basics. The rest? You build on it from this solid base if you really feel like it. Don’t buy into the marketing, the quick fixes and the 4 week miracle diet. It’s mostly malarkey and at the very least it’s only a short term solution. You wouldn’t build a house without laying the foundations first; do no approach your health any differently.