There are no quick fixes, diets, or workout trends when it comes to health and fitness. You need to commit to three things to get fit and healthy: don’t overeat, eat and drink real shit 80% of the time, and do something almost every day of the week.
Commitment Number 1: Don’t Over Consume Calories
The body’s use of fuel on a macro level is actually pretty simple: calories in versus calories out. Consume too many calories and you will gain weight. Consume a deficit of calories and you will lose weight. Equal the amount you burn off and weight will remain steady. We can complicate this slightly because not eating enough leads to issues as well with hormone imbalances and poor metabolism often not allowing people to lose weight. If you are trying to lose weight, you want to be at a deficit, but maintaining a slight decrease below what your body needs on a daily basis will provide the best, long term results. Don’t overcomplicate this: consume what your body needs and not more.
Commitment Number 2: Consume real things 80% of the time, splurge 20% of the time
The vast majority of the time, you should be consuming real shit: veggies, nuts, seeds, fruits, and meat. Are you vegan or vegetarian? You should do the exact same thing minus the meat and animal products. 80% of the time you should be having real stuff, that came from the ground or roamed on the ground. What do you do with the other 20%? Whatever you want. Junk food, pizza, alcohol, deserts, etc. all fall into this category. Don’t forget about Commitment Number 1 though, and still keep these things to moderation and within your caloric needs.
Commitment Number 3: Do something almost every day.
This one tends to scare people when I first tell them, but yes, you should be doing some sort of activity almost every day. My definition of activity is pretty lax though. Activity to me is anything active that is out of your normal life. Obviously, a CrossFit class, Personal Training session, or cycling class is activity and that would be yours for the day. Yoga sessions, pilaites, etc. are also included. But, I also count a long walk on the beach, hike with the family, or even a short ab session in between commercials while watch TV at home. A 5-minute hotel workout on vacation is activity as is a second lap around the block while walking your dog if you typically only do one. Intentional activity for your health is what we are looking for here.
Now why “almost every day”? I say almost everyday because some days get away from us. Some days we have to travel all day, work non-stop, or just simply feel like being lazy. If we do activity almost every day, we will tend to have this intentional movement 7 days a week some weeks, 6 days a week others, and rarely 5 days a week. That is a perfect schedule to become fitter and healthier.
Health doesn’t have to be that complex. It’s not about the best diet, the best workout, or the best trainer. It’s about committing to 3 simple things: eat good stuff, not too much of it, and do something active almost every day.
Sean Spire is the Head Coach of ASL. He was a competitive swimmer who discovered CrossFit and Ironman Triathlons. He has his BS in Exercise Science from Florida State University.