It was our co-founder Eric Chowles‘ 28th birthday and after spending some time reflecting, he put together this list of 28 thoughts around health and fitness.
This was originally posted on Sleekgeek Facebook Group and can be found here.
1) There’s no such thing as the best diet. You need to find the approach that provides enough of the benefit that you want in a way that is as sustainable as possible for your messy lifestyle.
2) Any workout can make you tired. That’s OK if you just want to move around a bit and burn some calories. But a good workout will make you better.
3) Calories and energy balance is really important. I know there’s a lot of misinformation out there, but if you want to lose weight then you need to be in a calorie deficit. With that said, most people don’t need to actually count calories. They just need to find useful strategies that help them roughly achieve that calorie deficit in the easiest and most sustainable manner.
4) The best ab exercise is 3 sets of stop eating so much. If you’re overeating and retaining or gaining fat, then no amount of crunches and ab rollouts will reveal your abs.
5) Carbs aren’t evil. Neither is fat, nor protein. We can go around and around vilifying each of these macronutrients every couple of decades but it won’t change the truth. Most people do best with eating a moderate amount of all 3 macronutrients from good quality sources and then adjusting for personal preference as well as activity levels.
6) People have built great bodies and gotten impressive results with a variety of different methods. Weightlifting, running, cross-fit, martial arts, sports, etc. But the thing that they have in common is they work hard consistently for a long period of time. There are no short cuts.
7) Food isn’t good or bad. You aren’t a good person for eating a carrot and a bad person for eating a doughnut. Similarly, one doughnut doesn’t make you unhealthy, just like how one carrot doesn’t make you healthy. Rather, see if you can look at
8) Don’t be so “all-or-nothing” about things. You don’t need to be perfect to make progress. In fact, most people who chase perfection usually end up with less rather than more. Generally, the most successful people are the ones who have also failed and learned the most.
9) Don’t let your own self-consciousness stop you from going to the gym. You can’t let ANYONE stop you from living a healthy and happy life.
10) Detoxes and juice cleanse suck (and can be really dangerous).
11) Your sleep and stress are probably the two things that you can put in 20% effort to improve and get 80% of the results from. When you’re tired and stressed, you tend to be more hungry and prone to cravings. When you’re stressed and tired, you tend to be less likely to do any physical activity. Regular exercise helps regular your appetite and blood sugar levels, while likewise, good nutrition helps fuel your desire to exercise. Fix your sleep and stress.
12) Your purpose in this world is not to diet and lose fat. Your life does not need to revolve around it. Rather, let your health and fitness be a means to a greater end. It should make your life better, not worse.
13) Are you fully committed to your goals or not? Those who aren’t will let just about any excuse get in the way of them going to the gym. Those who are will always find a way, even if it means working around injuries, rain, holidays, lack of sleep, and just about anything else.
14) Supplements are supplements. They don’t replace a healthy diet, active lifestyle, proper stress management, or adequate sleep.
15) Eat more veggies if you want to be healthy. It’s the one thing that almost every single diet and expert out there agrees upon unless you have a very specific diagnosed medical condition.
16) The debate doesn’t matter, only the end result. Whether you skipped the gym or ate an unhealthy meal, it doesn’t matter if you have a valid reason or a B.S. excuse – the end result and consequences are the same. Find a way.
17) Meal plans suck for most people. You’re either “on” it or “off” it. There’s very little in-between or support for afterwards. Rather, work on building healthy habits that you can scale up or down depending on how life is going. Exercise is a habit – whether 10 mins or 60 mins. Eating veggies is a habit – whether 1 carrot or 5 servings of multicoloured veg.
18) You get to vote for the kind of person you want to be with every action you take, every single day.
19) “Normal” is subjective. For some people, it’s completely normal to stay out late, eat junk food, drink copious amounts of alcohol, and smoke a pack a day. That’s OK, no judgement. But it doesn’t have to be normal for you. You get to decide your own standards for living this only life you get.
20) The term “beer belly” is pretty self-explanatory. Alcohol, especially high-calorie drinks like beer, make it a lot harder to lose weight.
21) The lean people who never feel deprived are the ones who know how to cook. Learning to cook well is a true life-hack.
22) Walking is an underrated form of exercise. If you’re doing 6-7 workouts per week, great! But if you aren’t doing much walking in between all of that, you’re missing out on a LOT of benefits.
23) Health and fitness is a life-long endeavour where you always have your eyes on the horizon. Except you must remember that the horizon is an imaginary line that you can never reach. As you progress you may pass milestones and landmarks, but that horizon is forever elusive and the distance will seemingly stay the same. If you aren’t careful you will forget that, and start to become frustrated, burned out, and disillusioned with your goals. This is when you need to look back behind you to see how far you have come.
24) Don’t reward yourself with food. Reward yourself with things that make you stronger and better so that you can take on even bigger challenges and earn even bigger rewards.
25) At Sleekgeek, you get out what you put in. Why are some people so visibly successful in the community? Because they are so visible in the community. Community benefits those the most who benefit the community.
I’ve run out of time… So it looks like we’re going to have to be satisfied with 25 rather than 28 points.
26) OK, wait, so let’s make point number 26: Something is better than nothing. Imagine if I decided since I can’t get to 28 points I might as well not post this. That would be absurd right? Why do we do this with our health and fitness then?