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With so many different opinions or methods of exercising and eating it's no wonder people are so confused about what to actually do. In my opinion there is one answer to that question and it is the same answer that can be applied to most fitness related, and that is "It depends". There is no one specific way of doing things for everybody. Lots of people rely on "scientific research" to endorse their way as the correct way. Some food for thought on that , if you trace some studies back to who funded them, you will find there was only ever going to be one conclusion to the study, which no doubt endorsed the funders chosen product in some way. So be careful what research you hang your hat on. To fully endorse a particular way of doing things runs the risk of causing a more negative outcome than a positive one in the long run, as you go forward with blinkers on and can pass some potentially beneficial ways of thinking. So I'm going to recommend some training advice that isn't going to cause confusion, it can be used by everyone, is clear and you can monitor the progress yourself, "listening to your body"!
As a fitness professional I hold an obligation to give my clients the best advice I see fit and what may be relevant/applicable to them. This is why I come across as blunt when somebody who I just met asks me "what shall I do in the gym or what shall I eat". Well how long is a piece of string? My usual answer is keep a diary, the core of listening to your body! Note down how you feel after eating particular foods and how your body and mind react after eating them. Ok, so you just had a bowl of cereal for breakfast and your hungry in an hour, or you missed your morning coffee and your energy totally plummets shortly after. These are all signs that something isn't working for you in your current routine. Even with the help of a competent fitness professional you still need to monitor yourself, otherwise you will just be using very broad guidelines supposedly applicable to everybody. Ive seen some guidelines tell you not to eat fat or to reduce your calories to a silly amount without knowing absolutely anything about you. Don't stop at food though, look at what your doing in the gym. Why are you doing the exercise your doing? How do you feel after doing it? Because in this huge sea of different opinions and multiple products/brands being flogged, you simply must go by what you need as an individual not what the newest craze is or what somebody with an aesthetically impressive body is promoting.
Yes there are most certainly guidelines to follow nutritionally and physically but to truly achieve lasting results you must listen to your body and be held accountable for your actions. It's not an easy task to keep a detailed diary on food and mood but how much do you value your health? Once you have done your monitoring it's time to either educate yourself or find somebody who knows what they are doing in order to use the data you have collected. If you cannot afford a professional then read some well recognised books, you have the minefield called the internet at your disposal. To simply give up and say it's too confusing or you don't have the time is just giving up. When you look at how most people approach other tasks in life compared to their own health, for example when we have car troubles we attempt to fix it ourselves or wait until it completely breaks down then call a mechanic. Compare this also to learning to drive when we start with the "correct way" of driving via the driving instructor only to then fall into bad habits once we are not being monitored. So looking at this in two ways we either seek help when its all gone wrong or seek help when we have to? Don't wait for health problems to find you. Because the difference then will be you will not have to make time for your health, your health will make time for you.
Dont be led astray with quick fixes and fancy methods, listen to your body and make the appropriate steps from there, whether thats educating yourself or finding a competent professional to help you make relevant changes before your forced to.
Jamie Farrell is a Yazoomer community Premium advertiser. Check out details of his personal training and fitness company here