When it comes to fitness and nutrition, people love to suffer. When we are suffering, it feels like we are doing something productive and we are making progress.
When most people start dieting, where do they start? Restriction. They start cutting out all the foods they enjoy and all the foods that make them feel good. Of course if weight loss is your goal there’s a necessity for self-control, but taking an all-or-nothing approach has only one outcome: failure.
Fasted cardio is a prime example. The (very brief) theory is that when you do cardio in a fasted state, with no food in your stomach, you’ll burn more body fat as an energy source. Sounds perfect, right? Except studies have now proved that there is next to no benefit to performing cardio fasted in comparison to cardio with food in your stomach. If you like to exercise on an empty stomach, crack on buddy! But if you feel week and unmotivated with no food in your system, don’t make yourself suffer unnecessarily.
The same can be said for dieting. Taking calorie cutting to the extreme is thought to be the ‘right’ approach and even worn as a badge of honour. This is suffering for the sake of suffering. Cutting calories too low is the perfect route to throwing in the towel early and will only increase your likelihood of bingeing on foods when you can’t take it any longer.
It’s time to stop the self-inflicted suffering and it’s time to start thinking long-term.
Taking a balanced approach that creates life-long habits may not be as glamorous as fasted morning cardio alongside extreme calorie restriction, but when you look back on your journey to health in a few years time, who cares whether it took you a few extra months than you had planned? Instead of looking back on another failed dieting attempt, you’ll look back and thank yourself for creating healthy habits that paved the way for a long and healthy life.