75% of Americans say they eat healthy. Yet 70% of Americans are overweight.
Clearly there’s a disconnect somewhere.
It’s not your fault. You’re just doing what you’ve been told is healthy. Some of it was probably bad information. But even great advice can be terribly wrong for the right person.
Let me tell you why that is, and how to find what works for you.
A Female Dog(ma)
What’s the best way to lose weight? What’s the best exercise to get in shape? What’s the healthiest diet?
I’m sure you’ve asked questions like these. I know I have.
There are lots of people selling (figuratively and literally) their own brand of healthy, and too many of them believe their way is the RIGHT way.
I’ve tried a lot of things. Bodybuilding, distance running, P90X, crossfit, powerlifting, gluten free, IIFYM, countless supplements, a gallon of milk a day to bulk up, super low carb to lose fat, etc., etc., etc.
Some approaches gave me good results… most didn’t.
The methods that didn’t work weren’t necessarily bad (some were). They just were bad for me.
What healthy looks like for you will be different from everyone else. But it’s important to figure out your version of healthy, otherwise you won’t achieve it.
To do that, there are several factors to consider.
Some people’s differences are obvious; If you’re a busy parent wanting to lose a few pounds, trying to follow a professional bodybuilder’s plan is not the best idea.
Other differences are more difficult to recognize.
Let’s say there are two women who both want to cut body fat. They do the same exercise and meal plan. They get the same results, but only one is happy when she looks in the mirror.
They both are cutting fat, but Woman A is happy just getting skinny. Woman B is sad because she lost her curvy figure.
By following a different plan, Woman B could lose fat but increase muscle, maintaining a more curve-a-licious body.
Before letting someone convince you their way is the right way, ask yourself, “Is this program designed with my particular goals in mind?” If you’re not sure, it’s probably not.
Your Physical State
There are a multitude of considerations here, but I’ll touch on just a few.
Whatever exercise you do, it should be designed to work around any injuries, or even to help strengthen those areas (with a doctor’s consent/guidance).
If someone tells you to follow a plan with a lot of high impact exercise (i.e. running, jumping, etc.), but you have knee problems, not only will this not help, you’re setting yourself up for more injury.
If you’re very overweight, an advanced diet is a bad idea.
If you’re extremely out of shape, high intensity exercise is not a good starting point.
If you’ve struggled with an eating disorder, you need a strategy that won’t reinforce a negative relationship with food.
I could go on and on, but the point is, if you have a health issue, there are a million and one reasons why a plan that is good for someone else might be dangerous for you.
Talk to your doctor about starting any plan, and make sure no one tries to get you to do something outside of your doctor’s recommendations.
Everyone’s body processes foods differently.
Some people respond better to more fats in their diet, while other bodies prefer more carbs. So a diet that works well for someone else might not be right for you, based simply on your biology.
If a family member does better without gluten, that doesn’t mean you will, too. Or just because your friend tolerates dairy doesn’t mean you should eat it if it bothers you.
It’s the same with exercise. Your body may respond differently than mine on things like high or low reps, heavy or light weights, or recovery time.
Some things you have to play around with until you figure it out. Stick with one plan for a few months so you can be sure.
Remember, if you’re not getting the same great results as someone else, it’s not because you’re a miserable failure. You’re an individual with your own set of needs.
If you skimmed over everything else, don’t skim over this — it’s the one you’re most likely to shrug off without realizing its profound impact.
It’s easy to feel “weak” or “lame” because you can’t fit a particular workout into your schedule.
You might not understand why you can’t force yourself to eat certain healthy foods you don’t care for. Or you wish you could become the type of personality that loves going to the gym.
You also might not be able to afford access to a big gym or certain equipment, and feel like you’re wasting your time doing something else.
There’s no reason why these personal characteristics shouldn’t come into play when deciding how to be healthy. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about yourself for not doing what works for them. You need to find your own thing.
All of these things matter. Because they are central to what make you you. And you matter.
What Works For You
It’s easy to see why people tout their personal version of healthy as being the best. Once you find what works for you, you’ll be excited about it and want to share it!
We can help you skip a lot of the guesswork and get straight to the good part. The part where you lose 20 pounds, or where you start seeing muscle definition in your arms, or where you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and think, “Who is that sexy beast?”
Whatever YOUR goals are, get in touch with us and we can steer you in the direction of what will work for you.