It's never fun to hear uncomfortable truths that you'd rather not admit are true – in fact, isn't it just easier to not think about them at all!? But the thing is, if you only ever pay attention to what you want to hear, you're likely to be woefully misinformed about more than a few things, because refusing to ever challenge beliefs you hold about fitness, nutrition, and health because they're comforting can blind you to the truths you're going to need to face at some point if you want to lead a healthy, well-informed life.
So buckle up and read on if you're ready to face the music and start cultivating healthy habits and an active mind.
11 Fitness, Nutrition, and Health-Related Truths We Don't Want to Face
1. Near-Instant Results Are Both Rare and Dangerous
If someone told you that you could lose x number of pounds in a month or less, that would sound pretty great, right? The problem is, it is almost never that simple. And even if you do accomplish that impossible goal, it's not going to be very fun. At all.
And the fact that you will likely hate the process so much means that in all likelihood, you're just going to backslide as soon as you achieve your goal—if you achieve it at all. What's more, gaining and losing weight too fast is dangerous and can have a bunch of nasty effects on your health. So don't fall for some intensive program that's supposed to get you into shape in no time. It's never that easy. Recognize promises like this for what they are: too good to be true. The vast majority of the time, quick fixes just don't work.
Instead, find a workout routine that you can enjoy. If you hate exercising, you're not going to keep doing it, so focus on finding a healthy lifestyle that actually makes you feel good, rather than treating it like a chore. (Need help? Join the Tribe for FREE at JoinWLFM.com)
2. It's Not Fair
Something a lot of people who get the short end of the stick don't want to think about is that everyone is not really created equal when it comes to things like workout needs and general health. Some people can get lean easily, like it's no big deal, or can gain muscle when they seem to be barely trying, or manage to stay lean and fit like it's nothing.
And then there's people who just weren't very lucky in the gene lottery when it comes to fitness. They have to work three times as hard as their friends to achieve the same results, losing body fat is a grueling challenge, and keeping it off is even worse.
On average, it takes about 12 weeks after beginning to exercise to see measurable changes in your body. – CrazyHealthFacts.comTweet This!
The sad truth that you need to realize at some point or another is that this is just the reality of things. If you're one of the people who has to work harder, don't let that stop you. Accept the challenge for what it is and press on all the same. And if you're one of the people to whom fitness comes easy, please don't rub it in the rest of our faces. Be considerate of the feelings and needs of your friends who have to work harder than you to get to the same place.
3. It's Not Easy
While finding a fitness routine that is enjoyable to you is important, you also have to accept that sometimes, it will be less enjoyable than other. In fact, even the perfect exercise plan for you will feel like a chore sometimes.
The thing is, these are the moments when it matters most that you push through and don't let it stop you. Getting bored of things, even things we find enjoyable, is a fact of life. Keep going through the motions, workout in smaller chunks of time, etc, etc. Eventually, you're likely going to come out of the slump and it won't feel so bothersome anymore. Press onward until you get there.
One of the most common complaints that makes it difficult to finish your workout is that it can be difficult to maintain high energy levels during your work out. For help with this, check out 15 Ways to Keep Your Energy High When Working Out.
4. Everybody is Different
When someone you know succeeded in their health and fitness goals by following a certain plan, it's easy to think “well, it worked for my friend, maybe it'll work for me too.”
And, to be sure, getting ideas and inspiration from the people around you is great. Just remember that just because it worked for someone else does not mean it will necessarily work for you. Maybe it will, but you need to accept that it might not.
Everyone is different, and your body is unique. You can eat the same foods as someone else and have different results, because each body is unique and has specific needs. This goes for workouts too. Experiment until you find something that you and your body can agree on.
Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day. – HHS.govTweet This!
5. Looking Good Is a Bad Goal
Being proud of the way you look is a wonderful thing, and great for self-esteem. But it shouldn't be the ultimate goal of your health and fitness routines, it should be a side effect. Believe it or not, it's entirely possible to look great and still be very unhealthy.
Instead, make the goal to be healthier and to feel good. If you accomplish this, looking good should come on it's own. If you obsess over your appearance and work out solely to improve it, though, you're going to fixate, and you'll never be satisfied.
6. You Have to Think Long-Term
Short term goals are good motivators to keep you on the right path, but if short term goals are all you have, what happens when you achieve them?
The answer is, you lose motivation. You achieved your goal. You lost that pesky 10 pounds, or you got that resting heart rate down. So what now?
You need long-term goals in addition to your short terms goals, and your ultimate long-term goal should be to feel and be healthier, indefinitely. It's a goal you'll chase for the rest of your life, and that's a good thing, because it keeps you working to keep it up.
Recent reports project that by 2030, half of all adults (115 million adults) in the United States will be obese. – HHS.govTweet This!
7. Attaching Happiness to Weight Loss Is a Recipe for Disaster
This is an especially common problem with women, but it can affect anyone. It's all too common to be so obsessed with losing weight that you believe you'll only be happy once you get to an ideal weight.
Just like with looking good, let this be a side effect, or a goal you pursue for health-related reasons, not because you think it's the only way you'll be happy.
READ this article: Don't Quantify Your Goals, Qualify Them
8. You Probably Already Know How to Be Healthy, You Just Don't Want to Do it
Eat a lot of plant based foods and lean meats. Eat mostly “real” foods, fresh produce and the like, not canned or preserved. Do at least 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at least five days a week.
These are all probably things you've heard before. These days, how to stay healthy is fairly common knowledge, people just often don't actually put in the effort to do it consistently.
So make the effort. Pause and ask yourself “do I really believe I'm making healthy choices most of the time? If now, how can I change that?”
9. Shortcuts are Rarely Good
We all want fast results, but just because we want them doesn't mean we have them. All kinds of marketers will pander to our desire for instant results. Ignore this. Acknowledge your innate desire for quick results, and accept the reality that you can't always have what you want.
10. Stress is a Killer
While it's very true that working out can help reduce your stress level, there are times when it just doesn't seem to be enough.
Or worse, your stress is preventing you from working out in the first place because you have so much else to worry about. What you need to do in situations like this is take a deep breath, find at least a brief moment to yourself, and remind yourself that whatever your current situation, it will pass, and to abandon beneficial activities like eating well and working out will only make it worse.
For more on the subject on stress management, read 5 Ways to Make Stress Not Suck So Much.
11. There Is no “Best” Way to Approach Health and Fitness
As we've mentioned a couple times now, different things work for different people. In spite of this, there are always hordes of people ready to tell you that their way is the best way, and if you're not eating what they say you should eat, or doing the kinds of exercises that they say you should do, that it's pointless.
This is awful, harmful, and just plain incorrect. Find what works for you, and what's within your means. Always accept advice or tips, but stop listening the moment anyone says “this is the only was to do it.”
Author Bio: Hugo A. Foley
My name is Hugo A. Foley founder of Bodybuilding Clinic. A few years ago I’ve never expected that I would have such a passion for fitness. I was tired of seeing all the bullshit out here that mainstream media and the 99% have trust upon the brains of others. Since then I’ve been on a mission to help people become a better version of themselves and get in the best physical shape possible.