There Is No Short Cut to Fitness

We are inundated with seductive ‘get fit quick’ plans: Five Minute a Day workouts, ultra low carb diets, super high protein diets, intermittent fasting, and a plethora of themed boot camps. They all promise a lot, some provide immediate gratifying results, and yet, in the long haul, few deliver any lasting results. In fact, in their last gasp they might even lead in the wrong direction—toward fat regain and then some.  Though the vast majority of these plans fail as your final solution, they are not without merit. In truth most fast fitness plans do offer a piece of the fitness puzzle and have something of value to teach you.

What “Get Fit Quick” Plans Can Teach You

1. Fitness doesn’t have to take a lot of time. It just needs to be consistent. Most people aren’t ready for the demands of high intensity interval training—HIIT.

2. It’s easy to eat excess simple carbohydrates. Carbohydrates aren’t bad when they are consumed in a natural, unrefined form and in small portions.

3. It’s important to get enough protein at regular intervals. Overdoing protein is stressful to the body. Eating a few ounces of high quality protein at each meal balanced with healthy fats and carbohydrates will keep your blood sugar steady and maintain your muscle mass.

4. Fasts and cleanses can provide a much needed—and deeply yearned for—reset. They are best used occasionally to detoxify and provide course corrections that steer toward healthier eating. Using intermittent fasting as an ongoing weight loss program is an entirely different matter. Akin to any plan that relies on will power and deprivation, it’s simply hard, though not impossible, to maintain in the long run.

5. You can’t solve a lifetime of habits in a two week boot camp. You can however use boot camp type programs as they are intended, as a springboard to a healthier lifestyle. When a lifestyle over a temporary program model is adopted the work of creating sustainable change begins.

6. There are NO short cuts to real fitness. However, there are wise paths. These non-trendy, common sense paths address what’s really needed to lose weight and create wellness: moderate eating, balanced fitness, stress management, restful sleep, etc. Wise paths extend beyond relying on the limits of will power to include practices that encourage and support healthy, long term change. Holistic body, mind, spirit practices like yoga not only help you get fit but give you the tools to transform healthy intentions into sustainable habits.

The only short cut to fitness is letting go of the idea that one exists. When you do that you will no longer be easily seduced by programs that lead in the wrong direction and need to be repeated. Instead, you will be ready to attain health with one life-long plan, a holistic lifestyle.

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