Fat loss is a complex problem for which the most common answer given is clear, simple and useless
If you've ever been in a position where you've fallen into bad habits, and you've decided to lose weight, get fit and generally sort your health out, you'll understand the feeling of searching for the answer.
You know what I'm talking about; it might be researching a meal prep company, or asking for a diet tip from one of your friends. You're snooping around, looking for the one thing you can do which is going to get it all sorted for you.
Well good news, you can stop your searching because the answer is right above!
Eat well - Move more - Live longer
I challenge that not a single person reading these words looked at the government campaign poster above and thought "Eat well, move more and live longer', oh that's what I've been missing".
It's technically correct but it doesn't help anyone.
Simplification done properly is profound, this advice is useless. To give you some idea of what I'm talking about, here are some factors which affect your food choices:
Access to Food
Ok, you get it.
We know there's more to it from personal experience, yet we continue to yearn for that simple answer but that doesn't change the nature of the problem.
I've been that trainer, I've offered the simple solution. I didn't know it at the time, but it was doomed to fail.
It came from a good place, people needed help and they wanted a simple answer. All trainers feel compelled into giving them the kind of packaging they want. After all they're forking over their hard earned cash for it, the customer is always right.
But it's not that simple.
How many people who signed up for the local summer challenge, use it as a stepping stone to revolutionise their health, and how many will end up back where they started?
So what's my approach now?
A new client made a comment to me the other day about not being allowed to eat chocolate bars, to which I responded by saying that he was allowed to eat as many chocolate bars as he waned to.
I like the idea that nothing's off limits.
As you can expect, he looked at me with a pained look on his face.
Isn't that what a personal trainer should do? Shouldn't they impose boundaries, impose restrictions, give motivation to and discipline their clients?
I don't think so.
By imposing boundaries and restrictions you're encouraging your client to fight back, by 'giving' them motivation and discipline you're further instilling the belief that they cannot motivate and discipline themselves.
What I do for my clients is offer myself as a source of accountability and nutritional knowledge. I have significant experience of changing behaviour and help them work through their own issues. I present options, and explain their respective pros and cons. I advise only when asked.
Your health is a infinitely complex issue, and there is not a soul in this world who is in a better position than you to improve it. The second you stop looking outward for a solution and listen to the advice you're already giving yourself, is the second you'll start taking control and making the progress you want.