How Fitness Short Cuts Hurt Your Health

December 27, 2021
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January 2 is International Shortcut Day!

Maybe you set some New Years resolutions on January 1. The next day, you were ecstatic to discover that you could achieve them all EASILY AND FAST in the next 30 days! Woohoo—what will you do with the rest of your year??!

Of course, I’m referring to the get-lean-quick shakes, the crash diets, and the zero-money-down gym sign-up programs that prey on people looking for easy.

There ARE shortcuts to fitness. But there are also a lot of lies out there.

Let’s look at a few examples of past fitness trends (and the stuff you’re probably being pitched on your Facebook feed today).

Weight Loss Shakes

Is it sustainable? Can you stay on these diet of shakes forever? No. Are you really going to do this for the next 40 years?

Most of those Facebook shakes use a combination of appetite suppressants, caffeine and a mild laxative to keep you full and alert. But your body quickly downgrades its energy expenditure to match, and when you go off the shakes, you quickly gain weight.  In the long run, weight-loss shakes won't help.  For the most part, the only people sharing their huge weight loss from diets or shakes on Facebook are the people who make a commission by signing you up.

The Keto Diet / Paleo Diet / XYZ Diet

Is it sustainable?  People have been using ketosis and intermittent fasting and high-fat diets since before recorded time. And if you’re trying to beat a sugar addiction, a short ketogenic period might actually help.

Long term, kicking sugar is a very positive thing. But rapid weight loss, binge dieting, or any unsustainable practice will always have a long term negative effect. You have a life long relationship with food. One-night stands with diets will always come back to haunt you.

The real question is, “Can I sustain this for the rest of my life?” And the answer to ALL “diets” is “no.”  Instead, look for a program that is not super restrictive and will help you make long term changes.

Joining A Gym

Is it sustainable?  You can join a gym and keep going for 40 years. We believe in the power of having a coach, but even a $9.95 access-only gym will benefit you long term (if you show up).

Weight training has a compounding effect. You get stronger, more muscle improves your metabolism, and you get better … UNLESS you’re sticking to the same old 3-sets-of-8-reps program you did last month. You need constant variety or your body will adapt and become more efficient at the work you are asking it to do.  Without variety you will likely have diminishing returns.

Discount gyms will see a huge influx of new members until March 13 (the average date most new gym-goers give up and quit, EXCEPT in coaching gyms like ours.)   And you can’t really “fill” a discount gym, because their business model is based on members who never show up. Take that in for a second.  Those gyms and banking on their calculations that most people won't show up.  We’re the opposite, so we have a membership cap.  And if you don’t show up, we check in with you to see how we can help :-).

Joining a Coaching Gym or Personal Trainer or Nutritionist

Is it sustainable?  I’ve been doing CrossFit for 10 years, and I’m still excited about it!  If you know me, you know my normal attention span lol.   Are there injuries? Yes—the same amount as a normal gym, far fewer than hockey or soccer. But, as a coach and gym owner, I have seen CrossFit fix or mitigate a lot of chronic problems, help people lose weight, get off medication and improve mental health. 

What can you expect over the long term? When a gym works 1:1 with its members to measure progress and set goals, the effects compound, and you don’t waste your time doing stuff that doesn’t work.  

You’re going to get hit with lots of Facebook/IG?Google ads this week. If you feel like you’re being sold, don’t buy. And if a new super-secret fitness method sounds too good to be true, don’t start it: You’ll probably be moving backward.

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