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Mindful or Mindless.... How much thought do you put into your Nutrition?

Mindful or Mindless.... How much thought do you put into your Nutrition?

I came across the concept of Mindful v. Mindless about three years ago. The concept was related to exercise. I'm afraid to admit a lot of the exercise I was prescribing at that time was verging towards mindless. In fact, even I was exercising like that to some extent. When I sat and thought about this, my mind turned to nutrition...

So if the Fitness Industry is a mess what should we do?

What do I see in the future of the fitness industry? I recently devoted a blog to my thoughts on why its such a mess and out of control, it is after all a relatively new industry ,commercial gyms probably only came into being in the 1970`s, Personal Training, as we know it sometime in the late 80s... My point in short was that it has become a sort of cash cow preying on fear and emotion...( for example big box gyms like to exploit this ...my most recent work experience within such an environment had me hawking my services around at about a minimum investment of 5k, selling a minimum package of 50 sessions, this was somewhat painful if, in my professional opinion the client only needed 20 sessions , and after all its the " professional " you are paying for, as such I had to attempt to sell something that the person didn't really need, or indeed want )...yes folks it was all about the money, never about the client.

Needless to say client results ( those who had paid for a trainer), in my opinion were low and trainer turnover was high....it was like a semi successful business model , one side made a load of cash , the other side of the equation ... well, you know what I am saying.

My first observation I guess then across the whole industry is lets see clients as people not as a waking ATM machine, I once heard a training pressuring a client to come back and train again on the same day, yes, really.

Secondly lets put some regulations out there that mean something, anyone can own a franchise small box gym, a training studio, don't get me wrong it gets more opportunity  to people out there in places that weren't previously served , but hey can you imagine running a yoga studio and not having a clue about the discipline , not able to offer basic gym user advice is surely a recipe for disaster.

Yes its about business but really its not is it? Its about health.

It appears that anyone can open up a chain of weight loss clinics and franchise them to anyone who has the cash...there are many of these chains out there, are they any good at taking your cash and giving results...well they are good at one side of that equation too. Can you imagine giving cookie cutter weight loss advice too someone who is desperate ...would you feel guilty if you were selling like this...

Thirdly, I am bored with fad diets and the people who peddle them...book after book, do you know how many times in the last ten years of my career that some one has said to me " what do you think of Atkins, South Beach, Cabbage soup, hi fat , low fat, low carb ...latest book on Oprhey  etc etc" its crazy.. publishers wanting to cash in , fashions are fads eating healthy shouldn't be.

It drives people crazy as they jump on board the next train to " ten less pounds" to fall off at the first station. Ever notice how many people want to lose " ten pounds".... .The whole media , Tv , press, advertising should consider that pumping out health advice for profit isn't really helping.There are some great exceptions ( I like Dr Oz ..but even then he recommended something last year that was sweeping the nation so to speak , I even saw handwitten cards in a local supplement shop proclaiming basically you were going to lose 20lbs and live to a ripe old age if you took his product, emails swept around the net... and then.. nothing).

Everybody wants the scoop , then the next scoop...it fills up TV space. I saw a programme yesterday morning selling a treadmill with a desk built in so you could use your laptop and still use the treadmill, apart from the fact that its dangerous , stupid and  totally unnecessary the show just went right along recommending it, ITS WRONG GUYS. You have a responsibility to the nation to give good, impartial ( not product placed ) advice.

Fourthly, lets start thinking for ourselves, do we need reality TV shows to tell us our nutrition is crap, do we need another diet book to tell us what we are eating is wrong, do we need anymore people telling us to exercise more,eat more vegetables, get more sleep , guys we can do this for ourselves , we don't even need gyms... lets not be dictated to by some early morning chat show host who knows nothing about anything really let alone fitness , lets be mindful on what we are doing.

Just think where did your grandma go for advice on nutrition, she didn't she worked it out for herself.

Good Nutrition : How to achieve optimal results! (Part 1)

Nobody knows how many diet books are in circulation, its in the thousands , people buy them clinging to the hope that some where between the covers all the answers to " weight loss " or indeed " gain" can be found . Its a huge industry , each author tells you to follow this plan, this advice, but if they all held the answer then we would in theory only need one book, they come and go in trends ( just one feature on the Ophray Winfrey Show was enough to sell thousands of copies)....low carb, high fat, south beach, atkins ... but successful body transformation is not as easy as people are lead to believe.As John Berardi put it nicely in his Precision Nutrition manual " how often does merely reading a book cause someone to change the habits of a lifetime' . When you think about it these cooker cutter books obviously cannot work for every ready, its way more personal than that.

He continues to suggest people need action based strategies and that book reading is intact just that, " passive", this is based on the premise that to change body composition is as much about re wiring the brain as it is changing your diet. 

Indeed in her new book " The Weight Loss Prescription " Dr Ali Zentner suggests " lets face it , diets don't work... they are only for a fixed period of time...they offer a beginning a middle and an end" In contrast " lifestyle changes offer a completely different mindset and a way of doing things"

Indeed all diets restrict calories, its a way of making results ( and book sales) possible.

Even if you find the knowledge you want in a book and you know exactly what to do you will not achieve them unless you turn what you know into action. Not doing anything is the biggest hurdle to change! People it appears are good at seeking knowledge but poor at applying it.

 

Dr Berardi suggests 10 tips towards achieving success, at the moment I am being coached through the same system and its pretty powerful. I like these and see this with nearly everybody who is in a body change situation.

Tips

1. "Maybe You don't know"

I like this one the most. Imagine the conversation between a doctor and a patient : " you need to lose weight and exercise more" In reply the patent nods their head "I know I know" The patient has probably heard it may times, but even though they think they know maybe they just don't and use the " I know" as a standard reply as a mental shortcut to shut off the brains. Do you really know something unless you have actually done it ?

 

2. Match behaviour and goals.

Stuff doesn't happen just because we want it too, it only comes to us when we engage in the right behaviours, if the goal is big the behaviour should match the goal.

3. During the course of any change programme there will be peaks and valleys

Stuff comes along that throws you off the path you want to travel on, it happens to everyone, you can't be full on all the time.

4.Start small and slow.

Too much change too quickly can be overwhelming and self defeating, however as with tip 2, if the goals are big small change will result in small not big results

5.Start basic, then individualize to suit your needs

6.If you have specific goals measure them..

This can be done in many ways but at least you know where you are at and how its all going!

7.Measurement and Expectations

Progress can be hard to see on a regular basis, plateau`s can happen frequently, stagnation can occur...if you stick to it change will happen sooner or later , don't be discouraged

8.Dont live and die by numbers.

Dont relate happiness to a number( good or bad ) on the scale..this isn't just about numbers but about health, longevity, energy levels, sleep quality etc..

9. Reasonable progress

Understand reasonable progress, celebrate small daily " wins' and don't get impatient if you aren't loosing 3% body far each month..

10.Maintain your rate of progress

Quick progress cannot be maintained indefinitely ,as you get leaner for example you body will fight to retain fat, around this time you may have to start tweaking what you are doing to get the body to change its response to stimulus.

 

Part 2 where we look at habits will be coming shortly...