Yes its complicated, but you don’t have to complicate it. You want to lose weight and tone up. But how? What’s the right way to go about this?
My dearest friend, there is no right way. There is only going to be your way. That will be the best way.
"Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” - Bruce Lee
It really isn’t the job of a personal trainer or a fitness mentor to tell you what to do, only to guide you in the right direction. If you are going to make lifelong changes towards becoming healthy, you must make an effort. With this being said, lets start with a general guide.
"Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successfull personality and duplicate it.” - Bruce Lee
For simplicity we will file this into 3 approaches: Balanced, Extreme and Oblivious. I will always opt towards balance.
Balanced approach (recommended): 3 square meals a day. Your plate will consist of a wide variety of veggies, a handful of fruits, meat and some sort of high quality fat. You stope eating when you’re feeling full. You will lift weights 3 times a week, do something active on the weekends. You can have social “cheat meals” and a few drinks so that you don’t have to be “that guy” who brings tupperware full of chicken and broccoli to a restaurant. Your supplements are minimal and you don’t spend a ton of money on protein powders. The focus is always on balance. If you ever feel like absolute crap afterwards, then your body has a pretty good way of telling you that you’ve shifted the balance in one aspect of your life. What kinds of veggies, meats or fats? What type of weight training? Don’t worry too much about it at this point. Just start and shift your focus towards balance.
"A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at." - Bruce Lee
Extreme approach (not generally recommended): You try one or all the latest nutrition tactics: fasting, intermittent fasting, low carb, carb only, high fat, high protein, fruits only, cleanses, juicing, raw food only, etc. You train almost everyday if not everyday, sometimes twice a day with cardio in the mornings (sometimes fasted), weights at night. You work out 5 times a week, cardio 4 times a week. You take fat burners to get the last bit of fat off your stomach. You take shakes pre, during and post workout. You take a pre-workout, BCAA’s creatine, L-Cartnitine. You’ve thought about taking steroids or some sort of growth hormone. You eat 6 times a day and sometimes more. If you don’t eat something you will rip the arms off the closest person to you. You have to stop whatever you’re doing, so you can bring out your tupperware and start shoveling down food. You never go out or hang out with friends. You won’t go hiking because its your leg day. You won’t help an old lady with her groceries because its your arm day. All you do is talk about fitness and your instagram is full of pictures of your ass in yoga pants with inspirational quotes. You start to panic when the sleeve of your shirt aren’t tight around your biceps. You freak about about every calorie, organic, goo, this or that.
“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.” - Bruce Lee
Oblivious approach (not recommended at all): You don’t really know or have read much about nutrition. You have fast food because its on the way home and you don’t want to cook. You haven’t touched a vegetable in…you don’t remember the last time you’ve touched a vegetable. The majority of what you eat comes from a box or a can or needs to be microwaved and the seal peeled off the top to be eaten. The first thing on the ingredients list of the thing you’re about to eat is Maltodextrin or Modified Corn Starch or who knows what. You touched a dumbbell or barbell in…you don’t remember the last time you’ve touched a dumbbell or barbell. You do a few sit ups one day because you had a moment of inspiration to get in shape, then you’re exhausted and get back to watching netflix. Monday is pizza day, Tuedsay is burgers and fries, Wednesday is fried chicken, Thursday is "Chinese food", Friday is TGI Fridays, Saturday is more fast food and Sundays are Ice Cream Sundays. All week long you’ve had frozen microwavable lunches. You are out of breath walking up the stairs so you take an elevator to get up to the 2nd floor. You don’t want park your car far away and have to walk an extra 30 seconds, so you sit in your car and stalk whoever looks like they parked the closest. You eat laying down. You eat laying down with a bag of chips on your chest. A sugary caramel iced coffee drink for breakfast, a slice of pizza for lunch, chips for a snack and then you’ve having dinner with your boo boo at some 5 star Yelp reviewed place Downtown.
“To spend time is to pass it in a specified manner. To waste time is to expend it thoughtlessly or carelessly. We all have time to either spend or waste and it is our decision what to do with it. But once passed, it is gone forever.” - Bruce Lee
Its a wrap: I will and always will recommend a balanced approach to everything in life. Once you become too rigid or stuck in your ways, you start to miss out on a lot of things and shift the balance of your life. This makes you unhappy and is non sustainable.
Have a cup of coffee and smile!