Master the Basics First

Have you seen the Pixar movie, “Up?”

If you have, you probably remember the cute scene with Doug, the talking dog, who gets distracted by a squirrel.

Like Doug, it’s so easy to get sidetracked by a shiny new object dangling nearby.  There are thousands of fitness products and diets to help you achieve your goals.  Choosing one and sticking with it is hard when you see someone else getting results from a different program.

The mind games start and you suddenly feel like you must change your course and head toward the diet or challenge that your friend did.  Shiny new object syndrome.  (I’m sure it’s a thing!)

The problem with program hopping is that you never master the basics.  You have no idea of what to eat after the program ends or what exercises are appropriate for you if you’re not doing some sort of 14-day program.

One of my clients recently asked me if I had heard of a certain 14-day challenge.  I hadn’t…because there are too many to keep track of…so I looked up the details.

It turns out this particular program advises you to eat using the carb cycling method.  There is nothing wrong with carb cycling.  The drawback though is it’s an advanced way of eating and really not sustainable day in and day out.  Figure competitors use it in prep for competition.  Good for them; yet not so great for the average Joe or Jane.

How do you eat when the 14- or 21-day Fix is over?  Do you immediately order a pizza?  I would.  Can we please master the basics first?

Eating Basics

You know the basics of healthy eating.  You do!  You’re just not following them consistently.

  • Eat less overall
  • Eat slowly and pay attention to fullness cues
  • Minimize fat intake
  • Eat more protein
  • Eat healthy carbohydrates, i.e, whole grains
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables (these are healthy carbs as well)
  • Allow yourself to live and have that pizza or ice cream or whatever your treat is in moderation

 

The list goes on.  You’ve heard it all before.  Now time to do it on a daily basis.

I get it.  You want to lose weight rapidly.  Short duration programs can do that, but then you’re left saying “what next?”  The more extreme the program rules are, the less sustainable the plan is.

Consistently practicing the basics will get you results if you stay the course.  It’s just a longer road.

Exercise Basics

I believe this is where the true challenge lies for the average person wanting to get in shape and lose weight.

Case in point:  when I was doing an assessment on one of my clients, I decided to test her glute and hamstring function.  She said, “I have really strong legs.”  Great!  But when I tested them, they failed.  Meaning they could not resist my manual pressure.  Her muscles were neurologically weak.  So I put together a corrective exercise plan for her to get those muscles back online.

And that’s the thing……without muscle testing, you really have no idea what’s functioning and what isn’t.  This is the part of exercising that you’re missing.  The basics.  The foundation to build upon.

Your shiny new object syndrome is leading you away from the basics and towards the inappropriate exercises on YouTube.

Step 1 in any exercise program should be to figure what muscles are overactive and which muscles are underactive.  If the brain is not talking to your muscles effectively, then you won’t get stronger.  You could be risking injury.

So visit the NeuroKinetic Therapy website and find a specialist near you to test and optimize your muscular function.  A few weeks dedicated to corrective exercise and you’ll be well on your way to really being in shape!  Lay the groundwork first and then you can ramp up the intensity.

Summary

We are in this for the long haul.  We have to follow the basics for the rest of our lives.  It’s time to focus.

It’s time to put blinders on and dial in on just one of the basics listed above.  Do you know how much fat you’re eating per day?  If not, start there.  Pick one and master it!

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