Summer is already here! If you missed the New Year’s Resolution exercise-and-diet-like-a-madman period, “now” is the time to shed fat, tone up, cut up, cut down, lean out, or fill out before hitting up the beach this season. Ready, set, go.
But here’s the real question: Do you really want to GET in shape just for summer? Or would you rather BE in shape for life?
Before you answer, here are some quick statistics.
• 95% of diets fail. Most individuals who diet and are able to lose some weight will regain their weight (and then some, in many cases) within 1-5 years.
• 35% of individuals who diet on occasion eventually progress to disordered eating habits and 25% will actually end up with an eating disorder.
• Each year, US consumers alone spend $33 billion on weight loss products such as fad diets and supplements. In 2011, the obesity industry (which sells exercise and diet weight loss programs, weight loss drugs and supplements, and bariatric surgeries) was estimated to top $315 billion.
To sum all that up, we who resolve to quickly lose weight and hop on a weight loss diet or exercise program will likely not lose weight or will quickly regain any weight we lose. We often then go on another weight loss program. And another. And another. This cycle puts us at a higher likelihood of developing disordered eating or an eating disorder, not to mention how many negative side effects can occur with rapid weight loss. In this yo-yo process, we are supporting an industry that is already thriving off our misery.
Now back to the original question. Do you want to get in shape for a short term goal, or would you rather make changes that keep you in shape long term?
“I want to be super hot, fit, and healthy for the rest of my life.” Awesome. Me too.
I’ve got two words for you: lifestyle change.
There are too many factors to list in this article for you to decide if your exercise or diet program is producing results. Assuming that one or both are, the next most important consideration is – can you see yourself on this diet/exercise program next month? In six months? In a year? In ten years?
Can you go without eating carbs every day for the rest of your life? Will you be able to do Crossfit WOD’s forever? (These are just examples; you don’t have to cut carbs or do Crossfit to get in shape.)
If YES – you are now on the path to health, fitness, and/or hot beach bod for the rest of forever.
If NO – you need to find something else. Find a sustainable, result-producing diet and exercise program that you ENJOY. Can I promise that you’ll be hot/healthy/fit by the time you hit up the beach? No, I can’t. But you’ll be slowly headed that direction and you will be able to ENJOY the process.