Guys…. I bought a Fitbit

So as the title says, I caved and bought a Fitbit. It all kind of started because my girlfriend, Megan had one for work. It was the clip to your waistband kind and she ended up losing it and was looking for a new one. We came across the Fitbit Flex 2, which is worn on the wrist and is very small and lightweight. I decided I’d go ahead and get one as well because this one is waterproof and it tracks your swimming. I typically swim 2-3 times per week, so I thought “what the hell”.

I’ve only been wearing it now for 3 days, but as far as I can tell, the following are my takeaways so far:

  • It’s really lightweight and small. I usually wear a watch on my left wrist, so I decided to put this on my right wrist. I thought it would bug me or get in the way when I’m say, typing on a keyboard. But you know what? I hardly notice that it’s even there. Well done, Fitbit.
  • It can tell that you are swimming. I thought I’d have to plug in some shit to get it to know that I was about to do laps, but it automatically could tell (via accelerometers I assume) that the way it was moving, I must have been swimming. And not only that, but it was “to the freaking T” accurate in how many laps I’d been swimming. To be frank, that was pretty awesome… or was it creepy?
  • As accurate as it was for the swim, it’s kind of wishy washy in terms of tracking steps. For example, I had the app open on my phone and walked around and counted the steps in my head as the ticker on the phone also tallied them. That part was fairly accurate. However, I did the same thing while sitting and just waving my arm around and it counted steps too, so it’s not perfect. This is cheatable, no doubt about it.
  • Somehow it knows how you sleep. Again, I thought this would bother me by having to wear it to bed, but I didn’t notice it. I’m guessing it knows you’ve gone to bed when it stops moving for a while? Anyways, I’ve only worn it one night because I needed to charge it for another night. The battery life is just “meh” in my opinion. I’d like to see it go straight through for at least 3 or 4 days, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Anyways, the night I did wear it, it said that most of it was sound sleep. I was “restless or awake” for something like 16 minutes total. I guess that’s pretty good. The second part was how long I slept. Now, I have a good idea of how many hours I get and the Fitbit essentially verified that. And i’d imagine that if you’re a parent to young kids, the number will piss you off,  but I got 8 hours and 16 minutes of sleep. And I feel my best when I get at least 8, but 9 seems to be my best number.
  • Last, but not least in what I’ve noticed in these last few days is that I get more steps in than I thought. Yes, I do own a small gym, but a lot of my day is spent sitting, unfortunately. Or so I thought, anyways. I truly believed I’d maybe rack up between 4,000 and 6,000 steps a day, or the equivalent of 2 or 3 miles. So far I haven’t had a day under 12,000 steps. And I haven’t worn it on a run yet, so that was pretty eye opening.

So there you have it. My take so far on these wearable fitness doohickeys. Overall the technology is pretty neat. And I didn’t think I’d ever wear one or care for them, but here I sit (or maybe I should get up and start walking….). One last thing of note though before I get off my butt. If you are looking to become healthier by walking more, then you absolutely should because as I’ve written about before, it’s one of the best things you can do for your body. However, with that said, if you are looking for walking more to really make changes to your body (at least aesthetically) then it probably won’t do too much. Hit the weights, hit the pool, or hit the pavement with some gusto for that.

Ok, that’s all for today. I’m gonna go for a short walk because it’s beautiful outside and I’m going to Costco tonight for pizza. Seriously. And I’m excited about it.

Til next week!

Nutrition and Exercise: It’s a game of inches

You’ve maybe heard that football is a game of inches. And I suppose that’s true to a point. I guess whenever I think about football being a game of inches I always think back to the late Steve McNair throwing to Kevin Dyson (had to look the receiver’s name up) on the final play of Super Bowl XXXIV (yeah I had to Google that one as well). If you’re not familiar, McNair threw near the goal line and Dyson caught it, but he was tackled literally 1 yard short of the goal line for what would have been the game winning score. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be and the St. Louis (now LA) Rams won the Super Bowl.

1 yard short.

So this got me to thinking about how this relates to the world of nutrition and fitness. And actually the more I think about it, how it really is relative to most anything we do. It’s just that last little bit of effort. That extra 2 percent.

I was working with (training) a client a couple of weeks ago and he was doing step-ups onto a box. He had dumbbells in his hands and I was instructing him to focus on lowering himself to the floor as slow as controlled as possible. Ideally, I’d be aiming for him to lower on a 3 second count. As the exercise rolls on this becomes more difficult, but we’ll not address that stuff in this post today. Now fast forward 2 weeks and I see him again for the same program. He’s a former collegiate athlete and has a good training background which makes my job easier because he remembered my cue to lower slow and controlled. After a couple of sets he tells me that the difference in how much more difficult the step-ups are because of this is extraordinary. He also noted that after the session 2 weeks ago he felt it made a big difference in how his legs were getting bigger and stronger (spoiler alert: he’s correct).

Now I’ve been in a lot of gyms over the years and I can tell you I’ve seen some really poorly performed exercises. And the step-up is certainly one of them. Nearly ever time I see it performed, the person is stepping up and then…. smack! That’s the sound of their foot contacting the floor. They plop right back down. No control. No slowing down. And you know what? It’s why they aren’t getting any stronger too. That 1 second fall to the floor as opposed to a 3 second slowed descent to the rubber is all the difference.

The last 2 percent.

Now how about nutrition? What’s the tie in with the whole “game of inches” when it comes to diet? Well this kind of coat tails off of the last post I put up regarding the difference between intensity and consistency where I explained that someone who puts in decent effort over the long haul will have much better results than someone who “kills it” for a few weeks, then wears out and reverts back to poor eating and exercising habits before “killing it” again a couple of months down the road. I could get deeper into that, but I already have so I’ll move on. The way I see that last little bit of effort with nutrition is all over the place. It could be not having that last bite of food on your plate “because it’s there” when you’re already satisfied. It could be opting to use spices on your chicken as opposed to slathering it in sugar-laden BBQ sauce. Maybe it’s ordering a 6 oz filet instead of the 8 oz.

Now none of these things seems like a big deal. I mean, what’s the big deal with an extra 2 oz. of steak? It’s only about 150 calories or so. And so what if you have 50 or 60 calories coming from BBQ sauce as opposed to 0 from the spices? Who cares if you finish off the last bite on your plate? It’s only 1 bite!

The last 2 percent.

The devil is in the details…. done consistently over time. Is anybody else seeing a pattern with these blogs lately or is it just me?

Til next week!

Intensity vs. Consistency with your training and diet

I wonder how many of you guys are tired of hearing me talk about consistency. I’ve certainly covered the topic A LOT in the past, but that’s because it’s so damn critical to success in your health and fitness journey. Anyways, I thought today that I’d look at consistency, or lack thereof, from a different perspective.

You know why Whole30 is so popular? Or 21 day fix? It’s because anyone can slam the gas pedal to the floor for 3 or 4 weeks. And there is likely to be some progress that’s seen. But nobody can can go all out all the time. You burn out. Break. Wear down. It’s science (probably). And the progress that you saw will wane. You’ll only be left with that “after” photo and the feeling of shame and guilt down the road when you realize you’re back to square one… or worse. Which leads me to the title of this post…

Tortoises can be found, but are pretty rare, because most people I see, act like the hare.

I literally just made that up. True story.

But it’s true. The successful people are the one’s who grind day in and day out. Some meals aren’t great, but most are pretty good. Some workouts or training sessions get shorted or skipped altogether, but most don’t. Even when they feel like just going home and plopping on the couch, they do it anyway. Even if they’re a bit under the weather, they do it anyway.

I’m going to take a minute and give an example here. There’s this girl I know who gets up around 5 am(ish) every weekday. She often works until 5 or 6 pm. So far, this may sound like a lot of you out there. Here’s where she stands out. After work, she will come home and take care of some things (walk dogs, start laundry, etc), but then she has the audacity to lace up the sneakers, go back out to the gym, get in a training session, and then come back home to cook, clean, and prepare for the next day. I don’t know about you, but after a long ass day of work and knowing what still lies ahead at home for the night, I’m not sure I’d have it in me to consistently lace up and go back out to the gym. Now sure, it may not be the greatest of workouts, but it’s better than not doing one AND… it maintains the habit. That last bit is key by the way. I often tell people that even when I don’t feel like getting in a lifting session or a swim at the pool, I at least make sure I show up and give it a try. And you know what? There have been times where I’ve gotten to the gym to lift or swim, got through my warm-up or a couple of sets, and packed up and went home. It wasn’t there for whatever reason. BUT… and this is a big BUTT (see what I did there?)… I still went and kept the habit.

Unfortunately, what I see far too often are people who take the hare’s approach. And we know how that one turned out, don’t we? They go for a couple of weeks at full throttle. Killing it! Woooo!!!! Then they fizzle out for a few weeks or months. Then they realize they’ve gotten lazy about their diet and exercise and….

Wooooo!!!!! #killingit

And the cycle continues. But that won’t cut it. What you need to find is something that you:

  1. Enjoy
  2. Can do easily on a consistent basis

That’s it. There is no number 3.

So stop the full on, full off cycle and get consistent already. You’ll likely finally see the results you’ve been looking for all along.

How it feels to really be healthy

“It’s not something I can explain. There aren’t any words for it. Without experiencing it for yourself, you’d just never have any idea.

And that’s a shame. I sometimes wish there were words for it so I could get some extra motivation and excitement delivered to my clients. But then again, I also think it’s important for them to discover it on their own. It’s almost certainly different for each of us. Just like your favorite food might be amazing to you, it might only be just okay for me. I’m only speculating here of course, but I like to think I’m right…. or at least close.

To date, the closest comparison I have to telling people how wonderful it can feel when you exercise regularly, eat well, and get good sleep is that feeling you get when you finally wake up after having say, the flu, and you feel human again. Then I say “that’s a pretty awesome feeling, huh?” to which the obvious reply is “oh yeah!” “Well what if I told you that you could experience that almost all the time?” are usually the next words out of my mouth. “Oh, that would be wonderful!” And yet for whatever reason, it just doesn’t seem to take hold for some. It just doesn’t resonate well enough and I can’t figure out why. How can that not be enough?

From what I can tell, the answer, according to the food logs I see, appears to be the following:

  • chocolate
  • wine
  • cheeseburgers
  • pizza
  • doughnuts
  • fried chicken

Well…. you get the point. For them, it just isn’t worth it. They’d rather choose the food over the mood. And you know what, I like food as well! I can see where they are coming from. I used to be that kid too (hint, hint for an upcoming post). But the good news is that I’ve had some pretty good success with clients who used to be that way and have since changed their tune. I wish I could say my success rate is 100%, but it’s not. Sometimes people think they are ready to make the change when in reality, they aren’t. Or sometimes I like to word it like this: “Everyone wants to be a beast…. until it’s time to do what beasts do”.

So, think you’re ready to wake up feeling like a million bucks almost every day? I can help you learn the tools that can make that happen. It doesn’t come easy. It will take quite a bit of time. But as I like to say, nothing worth while ever came easily.

Get in touch with me at: asmith@fgnutrition.com

Or if you want to learn more about me and what I do here at Feel Good Nutrition and Fitness, check out the website at: www.fgnutrition.com

Til next time…

What the deuce is the Glycemic Index?

Maybe you’ve heard of it and maybe you haven’t. About 5 or so years ago I predicted it would be the next big “thing” in the diet world. Since the tabloids and celebrities are always trying to make a buck off the next big thing I thought it would be  a pretty good one for them to piggy back off of. Turns out I was only partially correct. It didn’t really blow up like the low fat phase in the early to mid 90’s. It certainly didn’t become the heir to Atkins. And it didn’t receive the same reception as the oh-so-glorious gluten free diet. But books were written nonetheless and I receive questions about high and low glycemic foods pretty regularly so I decided it would be a good post to write about.

So what is the glycemic index?

The glycemic index was originally created to aid diabetics in better controlling their blood sugar levels via their diet. Makes sense. And it works pretty well too. But as with gluten, it’s really only applicable to a certain population group. A gluten free diet is necessary for those with Celiac disease. It must be avoided so as to not destroy their intestinal lining. The glycemic index is designed, as I said earlier, to help diabetics. However, it has little carry over to the general healthy population. Here’s how it works: foods are arraigned on a scale from 0-100 with the score representing a certain food’s impact on blood sugar. The higher the score, the more the food raises blood sugar. So for instance, a pop tart would be very high on the scale, likely in the 90’s but I didn’t check. Another example would be rice cakes, white bread, or pineapple. However, on the other end of the spectrum you’d find foods like almonds, green beans, or spinach.

How does the glycemic index work?

Foods receive their scores by having healthy individuals consume 1 portion of a food after an overnight fast that is at least 12 hours in duration. Then, after ingesting the food, the blood sugar of the person is checked to see how much it was affected from their baseline, or fasted, blood sugar level. I’m dumbing this down a bit, but this is the gist of it. But one last (and I think really important) thing to note here is that each food is eaten individually. That is, they are not eating a meal, but rather just a relatively small portion of just one food by itself.

How then, is the glycemic index flawed as a diet?

Well, it just doesn’t translate to the general, healthy population. The reason is that when we eat, we don’t just eat one piece of white bread. Well maybe some of you do on occasion, but it’s extremely rare in what I witness among my clientele. So if you are consuming a high glycemic index food, but it is paired with foods containing fat, fiber, and protein (which almost every meal has), then it doesn’t really matter. This is because fat, fiber, and protein all slow the absorption of sugar into the blood stream thereby pretty much rendering the glycemic number of the food useless.

But what about insulin?

Ah, insulin. Poor insulin. I think the perception of this happy little hormone would be different if people knew it was an anabolic hormone. I also think people would think differently about gluten if they knew it was a protein, but that’s for another post. So here’s the deal with insulin. When we eat, our food gets broken down into small molecules that our bodies can use for energy (and many other things), but for now we’ll focus on energy. Trouble is, these little molecules need help getting into our cells so that they can be utilized. Well, insulin is like the Uber that gets you to your destination. It picks up the molecules and transports them into the cells. And for this discussion, we’re referring specifically to sugar, or glucose. Now our cells are happy and have plenty of energy available to them. However, since you also ate a meal containing protein and fat, those molecules are floating around in your blood too. But since the cells are happy with the energy they have at their disposal, the body decides that it should probably store these fat molecules for later just in case there’s a period of time in which we can’t eat. This is where insulin gets a bad rap. People assume that because this process is occurring, then that must make us gain weight. Trouble is, this is no big deal (and normal) as long as we are not overeating. It still comes down to calories in vs. calories out. You see, you’ll use it later and maintain or lose weight as long as you eat at or below what your body needs in a day. It doesn’t matter that you store it. What matters is if you eat above your caloric needs and store too much of it over a period of time.

So with all this said, there are certainly cases to be made for say, whole wheat bread over white bread or whole grain rice over white. You get the nutrients that are stripped out of the refined versions (white bread and rice). You also get the fiber from the bran that was removed from the stripped down versions as well. Obviously fiber aids in digestive health and most Americans don’t get nearly what they need. The point of the post wasn’t to say that it doesn’t completely matter which foods you choose, but rather to point out that the glycemic index concept, as it applies to healthy individuals, is flawed. I’d argue that we need to focus on more important things such as eating at or slightly below our caloric needs. We need to eat more fiber, fruits, and vegetables. That’s where I think we’ll see the most success. Let’s focus on what really matters instead.

 

Are you working out or training too hard?

Over training. The idea that the weekend warrior somehow isn’t losing weight because he or she is training too hard seems to be all the rage in the magazines and online articles these days. Trouble is I’m not buying it. I’m calling bullshit.

This is one I’ve kind of been putting off for a while because I wasn’t sure just how relevant it might be to you guys, but it’s now something I need to get off my chest as I can see it spreading and becoming detrimental to society.

Yes, I believe over training exists. And yes, I believe it can occur in people who are not professional or Olympic athletes which is where you might expect it to pop up more frequently. I recall working with a mother and her 17 year old daughter back when I worked at Life Time Fitness. This girl had some pretty serious issues going on and not only from a diet standpoint (while not officially diagnosed, she was anorexic). I worked briefly with her near the end of my time there, so I didn’t get much of a chance to intervene. And looking back that’s maybe a good thing because I was a noob who had literally just obtained my RD less than 6 months prior and didn’t really have any business dealing with the issues she had. If she were to come to me today I’d refer her right on to a more qualified RD who specializes in eating disorders.

Anyways, it wasn’t so much that she was limiting her food (which was evident in food logs assuming she was being honest, which… let’s be real… she probably wasn’t), but rather she exercised for hours and hours on end. I’ll never forget her mom explaining to me that she would slap on her Garmin and literally run circles around the house. This sounds odd enough to begin with, right? But here’s the kicker. She would do this for up to 17 or more miles at a time!!!!  This type of anorexia is classified under the “binge/purge” title. The other is just extreme limiting of calories and nutrition overall. Either way I’ve always hoped she eventually got the help she needed.

But back to this idea that those of us who are exercising hard for a few or even most days of the week and are inducing over training is down right silly. That’s called being healthy and normal. Although as I write this I realize that it, unfortunately, isn’t normal. Most people don’t exercise consistently or at an intensity necessary for optimal health. And that’s sad. And it’s extremely costly too. But that’s another post for another time. The bottom line is if you think you’re not losing weight because you’re body has been working too hard and needs time off, you’re likely kidding yourself and need to look at other factors.

For example, I do have some clients who train hard and work their butts off. There are plenty of people out there who do that and eventually stall in their progress. They usually think the answer is to go even harder. And that can be true up to a point. However, I’ll ask them this question: “You train hardcore, but do you recover hardcore?”. Quite easily the most overlooked aspect of changing the body is the recovery period. And yes, nutrition plays a huge roll in that, but there’s more to the story. Are you constantly stressed and can’t shut down (turn off the sympathetic nervous system) thus having chronically elevated levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body? Are you not getting enough quality sleep at night? Because 7 hours of tossing and turning doesn’t count, brofessor. Is every single one of your training sessions pedal to the metal (very rare, mind you)?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you’ve not planned out this fitness journey very well and that’s why you’re stalling.

So to answer the question in the title, “are you training too hard”, the answer is almost 100% “no” in what I’ve found in the people I work with. Not that that isn’t the case in other populations, but just my observation. I often tell people to forget what your Fitbit, Garmin, or treadmill tell you about your calorie burn because for one, it’s likely way off. And for two, who cares? Don’t eat based on what some machine thinks you might need to take in. Eat based on how you feel. Are you hungry? Ok, go eat something until your satisfied. Then, wait until you’re hungry again and repeat for the next 70 years.

Sorry about that last bit of tangent, but those things just really get under my skin. But again, no, you’re probably not working too hard. Then again, I could be wrong. If you want to set up a time to meet with me however, we can come to a more conclusive answer! Just email me at asmith@fgnutrition.com

Til next week!

What if you got $$$ to workout?

“Dude, if I got paid what those actors get paid I’d be freaking jacked too!”

“I could get in sick shape if you paid me a million dollars, yeah!”

And I’ve heard plenty of others like this. It’s this sense that somehow money is the ultimate motivating factor in being in the best shape of your life. It’s what thousands of “challenges” offer up as their reward following a 30 day or 8 week weight loss challenge. The popular online program among the fitness industry, Precision Nutrition, gives away tens of thousands of dollars annually to their clients who excel in losing fat or getting into better shape. Hell, I personally know a couple who owns a very successful gym out in California who, at the end of the challenge they ran, awarded the top winner a weekend stay on Richard Branson’s private island! After hearing this I asked one of them why they would go to such an extraordinary length, to which the blunt reply was “because we don’t f*** around”.

Well alrighty then!

But all this got me to thinking “why”? And at first glance that seems like a stupid question to ask, doesn’t it? It’s freaking money after all! And there ain’t isn’t such a thing as too much of that is there?

But I decided to think a bit deeper. Go beyond the obvious. You see, in my line of work it is really important (scratch that, it is crucial) that I find what motivates each individual client. And you already probably guessed that it’s different from person to person. And you’d be right. But did you know that there is more to the story? It involves looking at the situation from both an external motivational standpoint and an internal standpoint as well. And what we know is that long term adherence to something like, say eating well and exercising, is correlated not as much with external motivators as it is with internal ones. Now this is probably a bit of an oversimplification, as it will no doubt vary from person to person, but overall, the internal motivators are what I’m looking to get to. Sure, external ones such as money or a trip to an island are great in the beginning, but the shine or luster wears off after a while. And that usually occurs before we’ve had enough time to develop the habit.

“What would your life look like if you lost 50 pounds?”

“So you’re looking to lose ‘x’ amount of weight. Why?”

These are just a couple of questions I ask my client’s regularly. They may seem kind of dumb to you, but they are really important. Most people come to see me because they step on a scale, look in the mirror, or need to buy new clothes because the old ones don’t fit. Or maybe their doctor told them they need to lose weight. That one comes up quite a bit too. But aside from the doctor recommendation, those are really more about vanity than anything else. And not that there is anything wrong with that. AT ALL! Hey, we all want to look good naked, right? But long term success rarely results from just wanting to look good. There just isn’t enough pull for it to last longer than say, a few months. That’s why you see 21 day fix, and 90 day whatever challenges. You don’t see many 730 day challenges do you? And that’s because no one can jam on the gas pedal that long. But 21 or 90 days isn’t enough to establish habits for most people either. So my challenge is getting to a more internal motivator.

Often times I ask the “so you’re looking to lose ‘x’ amount of weight, why?” question at the end of the session. And I then tell them to really think for a long time on it. Don’t just blurt out the first thing that comes to mind because that usually goes back to vanity. And what I find when they come back to me a week or so later is that they’ve found the actual reason. It’s not to look good or because their doctor said so. Here are a few examples:

“I need to be there for my grandchildren”

“I want to watch my kids grow up and get married”

“I won’t live past the age of ‘x’ if I don’t change”

“My dad died of a heart attack and he wasn’t even 50”

Is the theme starting to sound familiar? Sure, looking good is great, but the real reasons hit home hard don’t they? That’s why I have to keep Kleenex on my desk. Many of my clients end up crying at the thought of what might happen if they don’t change. And I also know this:

Win the heart and the mind will follow.
The mind can easily create logic to justify
what the heart has already decided.

So I’d like to pose a question.

Why is it that money is this big motivator in the weight loss industry? Is money really more important than your health? Your spouse? Your kids? Why not change for them instead of something that, according to The Notorious B.I.G, only causes mo problems anyways? Why not do it for you?

Til next week…

 

100th post!

The date is April 18th, 2011. Poised at the keyboard, fingers dancing in excited unison, is an up and comer. A spring chicken. And he’s thinking to himself, “shit this is gonna be fun. I know what I’m doing. People are gonna be lined up and banging down the door for this knowledge I have. I’m gonna change the world, man!”

Poor spring chicken.

Fast forward to January 17th, 2017. Lines stretching all the way to Terre Haute weren’t exactly formed. Nor was a hinge damaged or displaced from its perch. Things didn’t quite pan out the way he thought. But… it’s also not quite been 6 years either. Many mistakes were made. And in hindsight, most of them were necessary to have evolved to where our subject is today. Those mistakes will continue as they should. Tweaks will continue to be made at each failure. Seminars will continue to be held, regardless of how many people plop their butts in the seats. To paraphrase the situation, “onward and upward”.

I don’t know why, but for some reason today I’ve been reflecting a lot more than usual. Thinking back on all my former clients and if I was able to give them the best from me. Thinking back on some of the crazier things that I’ve come across. From the woman literally showing me her bare skinned belly to show me where the fat needed to come off to the guy who swore by the GOMAD diet. For those wondering, that’s an acronym for Gallon Of Milk A Day. I’ve thought about how my whole approach to diet and lifestyle changes is so very distant from what I used to teach. Meal plans? What was I thinking? Dialing in macros to the exact gram? Why in the world did I ever think anyone would adhere to that?

I’ve thought about the different office venues I’ve resided in. From a fancy, marble floored, chandelier entry way to a square in the upstairs of a gym within an industrial complex (great gym by the way). And to where I am now. My own, albeit small, gym and nutrition counseling room here in Carmel, Indiana.

I don’t know what lies ahead, but who does? That’s the fun part, after all. What I do know is that I will continue to do my best to provide quality nutrition and exercise advice to whoever is willing to listen… and hopefully simultaneously open up their checkbook. I have certain specific business goals that I want to meet as well as personal ones too. I’d imagine you do as well.

So I suppose my goal for this post is to get you to thinking about your goals and what is important to you. Don’t just be a passenger or go through the motions each day/week/month/year. Don’t don’t. Do. Be you.

Two weeks into the New year. How are you holding up?

You’re still on track, right? The wheels haven’t completely fallen off anyways, right?

Well if they have, you’re like most everyone else. When something is new it is exciting. When it’s new there’s curiosity, the unknown. There’s potential. It probably gives you butterflies.

And then a few weeks later that’s all gone. It’s no longer magical. You know all about it. It’s hard. It’s not all fun and games and hopes and dreams. So you bail. And that’s understandable, isn’t it? Maybe you just weren’t seeing progress fast enough. Maybe you got sick or injured. Maybe your boss got on your ass “Office Space” style and had you working the weekend so you couldn’t get in that long run with your friend. Or maybe you were just focused on the wrong thing.

Look,  I’m making this short and sweet and to the point today. This is actually almost identical to the post I put up last week. And you know why? Because I’m literally GIVING you the secret to long term success. The last post I wrote was likely the most important one of mine you could ever read. You can read it here: http://fgnutrition.com/wordpress/2017/01/03/yep-its-the-new-year-again-how-this-one-really-can-be-different/

I’m done typing today. Just click the link above. And yeah, that might be lazy on my part, but I really do believe that the focus on the task is something everyone needs to know. Hell, even if you read it last week. Read it again. I believe it to be that important.

Yep, It’s the new year again. How this one really can be different.

I know, I know. I didn’t want to write it either. I’m pretty anti-resolutions. I don’t need to bore you with the statistics about the percentage of people who make a resolution and then don’t follow through on it. You already know that it’s high. You probably know because you’ve personally made one (or a lot of them) and they didn’t really pan out. You’ve also probably heard all the reasons “why” they don’t work and my personal belief is that they don’t work because you don’t want it badly enough. If you were truly serious about it, you wouldn’t have waited until the start of the new year. You’d have started the moment you came up with the idea.

But enough of that. I’m coming to you today to tell you how to actually succeed. And this isn’t subject to only new years resolutions, but really any change you want to make when it comes to your nutrition and health or fitness. It’s what I work on with all of my clients on a daily basis. And you’ve certainly heard me elude to it in previous posts if you’ve been following along over the years. We know that there isn’t really any secret. It’s not sexy. It boils down to consistently eating pretty well and getting in exercise over a long period of time. Aren’t you excited?!

But you knew that too, didn’t you? After all, if it was so damn easy we’d all be sporting 6 packs. In fact, and this is still crazy for me to think about, but if you are of a normal weight for your height, then you are a minority. Most people are overweight or obese. That’s just a fact, albeit a sad one. Were quickly approaching our general population to be at 70% overweight or obese. Seventy. Not seven.

So… we know that it takes consistent dedication to eating well and exercising. Bottom line. But how do we consistently do it? I think that’s the question most of us aren’t asking. And it’s the most important one. And here is my answer:

Focus on the task.

That’s it. Focus on the action you need to take that will lead you to your goals. Too many people focus on their weight, for example. If instead, however, they were to focus on getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night, have a vegetable with lunch and dinner, or drink half their body weight in ounces of fluid each day, then I think a lot of people would be a lot more successful. You see, focusing on the task is easy. There’s no emotional tie to having a vegetable at dinner each night. That ain’t the case when you step on the scale after putting in work for a couple of weeks and it’s barely budged. That shit will bring you down, man. That’s a goal killer. Now yes, you might hop on and maybe not seeing it down is just more motivation, but eventually, that’s going to get old. Instead, just focus on the tasks. And do them. Ev. Re. Day. Over a long period of time. You WILL see results.

Now, you can also pair that with just having low expectations and you’ll also be happy!

But seriously, the task is the key. That’s the golden ticket. Stick to the task, do it and you’re set. Sure, I’ve made it sound more “easier said than done”, but trust me it gets easier. You know why? Because by focusing on the task, you’re subconsciously forming a habit. You’re forming a norm. And the norm should be eating well and exercising. If down the line you find yourself out of whack because you haven’t exercised in a few days, you know you’ve got it. If you feel like absolute crap after eating a greasy, fried or super sugary meal, you know you’ve made it. Try it for a year. They go by pretty fast and the time will pass anyways, so give it a shot.

Happy 2017 everyone!

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