Improved performance? Fat loss? More strength?
If you’ve been paying attention, you likely already know that nutrition matters. Your progress will be stalled, delayed, or stopped entirely if you’re not getting your nutrition squared away.
But there’s a really simple relationship that’s often overlooked:
The healthier you are, the easier it is to lose fat or gain strength. If you’re less healthy, those same processes get harder and harder.
“WAIT,” I hear you saying, “does that mean that losing weight isn’t going to make me healthier? My doctor has instructed me to lose weight for the sake of my heart/diabetes/joints/etc.! Was that bad advice?”
No, it wasn’t bad advice, but the relationship between weight and health doesn’t work that way.
What have you tried in the past to lose weight? Odds are you’ve tried some combination of “move more” and “eat less.” Could have been a gym membership and a personal trainer. Or Weight Watchers. Or logging your food. Hitting your macros (poor macros, everyone wants to hit them). And what happened?
Maybe you lost some weight, but not as much as you were hoping. Or you lost some and put it back on. Or you were starving and suffering all the time. Or you got hurt. Or bored. Or you got thown off track by the first holiday you hit, or when something in your life went sideways.
“It’s not fair! I tried SO hard! I suffered with my trainer, I ran every day, and I gave up chips/chocolate/cake/froyo.” Yes, I’ve heard this before. Okay, and yes, I’ve said it before myself. Yep, I’ve gotten that frustrated too.
And I agree, it’s not fair. You’ve seen Instagram celebrities and Facebook stars with ripped abs, shirt-busting arms and/or glutes-for-days, and they’ve promised you quick solutions. “Buy my plan.” “Use this piece of equipment.” “Eat keto.” “Buy this supplement.” And each one has been marketed to YOU, promising YOU the results in the photo. If it were as easy as a pill/supplement/piece of equipment/plan, don’t you think everyone would know about it? Do you really think it’s going to be that easy?
I know you want it to be, but do you believe that?
Honestly, I hope not.
And here’s why. When you set your goal to look a certain way, or to be at a certain weight, you take your focus away from being healthy. And most of the ways that people try to lose weight do not make them healthier, and some may actually harm your health. This makes lasting change, or losing weight and keeping it off nearly impossible.
“But I want to lose weight! I need to lose weight! I’m dying to lose weight!” There’s nothing wrong with that goal; in fact, if it’s the best thing for you, it’s important and you should be moving in that direction.
But here’s the shift: I don’t want you to work to lose weight. I want you to work to maximize your health.
What’s a healthy life look like?
Eat high-quality foods: proteins, fats, carbs. Eat enough to satiate but not so much that you feel full. Drink water, lots of it.
Move daily. Walk. Exercise. Play a game. Learn a new sport, or dance, or go climbing. Lift some heavy stuff. Carry some heavy stuff around. Go fast. Go slow.
Manage your stress
Identify your main stressors, and improve your relationships with them. Sleep deeply, ideally 8 hours a night. Engage with a like-minded community. Build a handful of strong relationships. Schedule quiet-time. Develop mindfulness.