On Seeing the Forest for the Trees


"The reality is that just like most things, getting fit and staying fit takes time, patience, and effort."

The health and fitness industry has long been inundated with phoney, one-stop solutions. They make us believe that achieving our goals is as simple as taking a pill, avoiding one type of food, or buying some expensive, goofy-looking exercise contraption. 

We want solutions, and we don’t want to wait for them. As unrealistic as that is, it’s what we all want. However, the reality is that just like most things, getting fit and staying fit takes time, patience, and effort. Those are the three major tenets of achieving any kind of fitness goal. It’s the unglamorous truth that is behind getting results. You have to work for them.

Let’s take the example of someone who wants to lose weight. To lose weight, you really only need to establish one solid lifestyle change: you need to be consuming fewer calories than you’re burning. You want to burn fat? You need to eat less. This is basic physiology. It’s something everyone knows, but it’s often the last thing most people want to do. 

If you can establish that healthy caloric deficit, and stick to it for an appreciable amount of time, you will lose weight. Without doing anything else that one principle applied over time will yield results. 

Now, of course we can always get better results by including a few more lifestyle changes like refining your macronutrient ratios based on your body and goals, implementing a consistent and effective exercise regimen, improving sleep quality, taking certain health and dietary supplements to provide your body with optimal nutrition. 

All of these tips added to that core foundation of the caloric deficit will probably help you to lose that weight. But these are small tips, and applied in a vacuum without that caloric deficit most of them probably won’t go far in helping you achieve that goal. You may become healthier overall, but as long as you’re eating too much, you won’t see the changes you’re looking for. 

This principle goes for gaining weight as well. If you want to gain weight, simply eat in a caloric surplus consistently and patiently (in this case I’d probably also include having a solid exercise program to begin with, just so you’re adding muscle and not just body fat, but you get the point). It’s not glamorous, it’s not particularly fast, but it will work.

I know it seems like a long road. But by embracing the journey and being patient with ourselves, we will achieve our goals. You’ll look back a few months down the road that you’ve made progress, after having applied those basic principles and sticking to them consistently. You might not be all the way there, but you’re a lot further than you would have been had you missed the forest for the trees and focused on the small things before applying and mastering the basics. 



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