So for the past few weeks, you’ve been eating healthy and even showed up at that obnoxiously loud and smelly gym. However, despite your best efforts, you’ve barely lost weight.
While there may be a buttload of reasons for that, all of them usually fall under 4, as I call them, “diseases.” These 4 “diseases” are real problems preventing you from building a kickass body.
Let’s dig deeper than ‘you’re eating too damn much’ and see other causes of why you’re struggling with your body. Let’s kick off with the first “disease.” That makes sense.
The All Or Nothing Disease
Most people are either ‘on’ the diet or ‘off’ the diet. There is nothing in-between. There can’t be any deviations. They think they have to go all out or it’s not going to work.
They think they have to do an A+ job both nutrition- and exercise-wise. Anything less than ‘perfect’ is considered a failure.
This is especially true for nutrition when you experience the so-called ‘what-the-hell’ effect which goes like this:
“Shoot… I’ve gone over my calorie budget for today. Ah, WHAT-THE-HELL. I’ve already ruined my diet so I might as well go all out and enjoy. I think I hear the ice cream in the freeze calling my name…”
Sohee Lee, an author, and personal trainer, has an analogy for this:
This thinking is akin to finding that you have a flat tire and then stabbing a hole in your other three tires.
By saying “what the hell” you turn a small 500-calorie deviation which means nothing in the grand scheme of things into runaway gluttony that wipes out all the work that you’ve done over the week.
I know you want to be shredded to the bones like… yesterday. Wanting things done fast is human nature. We’re impatient and we hate doing things halfway. But just because you had a Snickers bar doesn’t permit you to eat like an asshole for the rest of the day.
It’s absolutely fine if you had more calories than you planned or missed a workout. Sure, those 500 extra calories mean you won’t be in a calorie deficit by the end of the day but last time I checked a week had 7 days.
Unless it somehow changed and Earth became flat, you still have 6 days to make it happen.
Who says you have to be perfect 100% of the time? 100 percent and 0 are not the only percentages available to you. I’d rather have my clients be 80% perfect 100% of the time.
Understand that one day or one meal of overdosing on Ben & Jerry’s or missing a workout isn’t going to ruin your progress. It will set you back a bit, but it’s not going to undo months of work.
Failure is never fatal. It’s what you do next that matters.
And here’s what you do when you deviate from your diet/training:
- Acknowledge it.
- Get okay with it.
- Get back on track with your next meal or workout.
You don’t have to punish yourself by doing yawn-provoking cardio to ‘burn off’ calories you’ve consumed. You just go right back on track and make your next meal ‘healthy’. Never miss twice.
Remember that you’re always just one meal or workout away from making better choices.
Learn how to end the all-or-nothing mentality with the weekly calorie budget.
The Quick-fix Disease
People with ‘the quick-fix disease’ want to take a pill, go to sleep, and wake up looking like Adele when she had that recent, inspiring transformation.
People with this disease are all about falling for diet pills, the latest trendy diets, meal replacements. They want to find that ‘ONE’ solution to all of their weight loss woes that have taken a lifetime to develop.
As I said, we’re impatient, and we don’t like doing things halfway.
If we’re trying to lose weight, we look for the fastest route possible. ‘Cuz, you know, who wants to lose weight slowly? That’s lame. It’s got to be fast, goddammit. Gimme those shortcuts!
Brian Tracy, a self-development author, once said that our world has two ‘diseases’ holding us back from achieving our goals. One of them being ‘the quick-fix disease.’
And it couldn’t be more true when it comes to losing weight. I mean, try googling ‘lose weight fast.’ What do you get? I get 818 million results that include words such as ‘10 pounds in just one week’ and ‘pills,’ plus ‘drink’ and ‘tablets.”
No one wants to lose weight slowly. Even if a healthy relationship with food or sluggish metabolism is at stake. Who cares? As long it’s fast. No one cares about keeping weight off these days. As long as it’s off a typical lazy human zealot will fall for anything.
The worst part is that people often waste months of their lives on this fruitless cycle of on diet→ off diet→ on diet→ off diet. In the end, they have no results to show for it.
Look at all those ripped people on Instagram. Yea, my rusty six-pack counts too. It took me years and years to attain a physique like this.
I made a shitload of sacrifices to get here. I gave up something of a lower value to me in the present to achieve something of a higher value in the future.
I stopped killing my brain cells watching TV because, well, because I don’t have a TV. I stopped lounging on the couch and chilling out and instead I head out outside to get my 8,000 to 12,000 steps.
EVERY GODDAMN DAY.
As James Fell observed,
Losing weight fast doesn’t happen except in cases of significant obesity, but everyone —even if they are only a little overweight—really wants it to be possible.
And the weight loss marketers take that desire and warp it, package it up all pretty and ram it down your throat via a massive deluge of advertising/brainwashing that permeates our society via every possible media outlet, often using celebrities, because…
SEX SELLS SLIMNESS.
Stop starting over and over again those restrictive diets (like keto) and exercise protocols that confuse the living fuck out of you.
You just need similar foods, a similar schedule, a sustainable hypocaloric diet (calorie deficit) day in day out so that you can get used to it and build habits. And then, who cares how slow/fast progress is?
Any progress is progress. No matter how slow.
If you go too fast, too fast to build healthy habits and behaviors, there is no friggin’ chance you are going to keep the weight off. No chance.
So stop looking for quick fixes that promise you a ‘perfect’ diet.
The Something-for-Nothing Disease
Ever been to a bookstore? It’s shit nowadays. 80 percent of weight loss books are either ‘lose weight without exercise’ or ‘lose weight without dieting.”
They’re nothing but encyclopedias of quackery which make people want a result or reward without putting any work into it.
And I get this so often. People ask me how to lose weight without dialing in nutrition, get fit body without exercise, and achieve immortality while eating and drinking whatever they want.
They want everything for nothing. Wake the fuck up. It doesn’t happen like that.
I highly recommend reading Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay on compensation. In it, you would find this quote:
Tit for tat, measure for measure, give and it shall be given. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Thou shalt be paid exactly for what thou hast done, no more, no less. Who doth not work shall not eat. No offense goes unchastised. Honest service cannot come to loss. Every virtue is rewarded. Every stroke shall be repaid.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, you can only receive in direct proportion to what you give.
You can’t get the jacked dude’s or toned fitness chick’s body doing that soup-can-for-500-reps crap. You can’t deal with binge eating without doing a clean sweep of your kitchen.
While there are more efficient ways to train and eat to get fit, there is no way around putting hard work. Just like you paid 4 bucks for that Caffe latte today (136-190 calories!), you must pay a fair price for getting in shape.
A fit and healthy body is achieved by doing things that may be uncomfortable at first but eventually become habits.
If you are not willing to do things that develop your character and strengthen your discipline, plug your fingers back into your ears and go get one of those books in the bookstore.
The It’s-Not-My-Fault Disease
I always get a chuckle when someone blames it all on genetics, thyroid, and the obesogenic environment.
People with the ‘it’s-not-my-fault’ disease tend to cast blame and make excuses. They are great at making excuses to justify their lack of action. Nothing is ever their fault.
These are people who never seem to reach any kind of success. How could they? They’re not in control of their results after all…
Take full responsibility. 99.99998% of what happens to you is your responsibility. Own all your results. Better or worse.
As Tom Venuto, personal trainer noted,
If you have a lean, fit body, it wasn’t luck. It wasn’t an accident. You did it. You deserve the credit. If you have an overweight, unfit body, it didn’t happen by chance. It was not an accident.
Now, I’m not dismissing conditions that are out of your control. Hypothyroidism and genetics can make it harder to lose weight. However, don’t confuse ‘difficult’ with ‘impossible.’
I’m sure you think you take responsibility for your body and health. But then I look at how most people act and I see so much finger-pointing, victimhood, blaming, and expecting someone else to solve their problems.
If you’ve ever blamed carbohydrates for not losing weight, you’re not taking 100 percent personal responsibility. Is it carbohydrates’ fault that you never took the time to educate yourself about energy balance?
You alone are responsible for what you put and don’t put in your mouth. No one has forced you to stuff your kitchen with calorie-dense junk that makes calorie control almost impossible.
Remember this: If it was to be, it was up to you.
Nobody intends to become overweight but often (if not always) these 4 ‘diseases’ are the result of a series of small, poor daily choices that eventually turn into habits.
Stop throwing your meal plan and workout routine papers in defeat if you overeat or miss a workout. Stop looking for shortcuts. There ain’t no. Stop wishing for a Greek God-like body without putting in hard work. And stop expecting someone else to solve your problems.
When it comes down to ripped physique, it’s all you, baby. There’s no other way around it.