There’s a lot of noise when it comes to the topic of diet and exercise. It’s almost impossible to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of what we’re supposed to be doing to lose weight, gain muscle mass and eat healthfully.
First there was low fat. Remember those Snackwell Devils Food Cake cookies? I thought I had found the holy grail of “diet food”, and was stuffing my face full of them every chance I got. Only to find myself wondering, how it was possible that I was gaining weight.
Come to find out low fat wasn’t the answer. Next was calorie restriction. This one wasn’t as much fun, but it seemed to work. However, after awhile I was pretty sure my head would explode, if I had to once again calculate the calories of the multi ingredient smoothie I just made.
The next thing was high fat and protein. Now we’re talking, avocados…yum, hamburgers without the bun, ok not as yum as with the bun, but I can deal. The best part of this diet is BACON! So I hightailed it to my local market and loaded up on full fat ranch dressing for my protein filled salad, hamburger, steaks and of course, plenty of bacon. Then lo and behold, I started to see the number on the scale go up, up and up. What??? But I’m eating my prescribed bacon, ranch dressing and steak diet. Not to mention a whole avocado a day. How could I possibly be gaining weight? Hmmmm, could it be the thousands upon thousands of calories I was consuming daily, yea probably.
That’s just the diets, what about the fitness fads? Cardio became big when I was in high school. I would spend long sessions, sometimes as much as 90 minutes walking on the treadmill. Yes I said WALKING, I know it’s crazy. Other times I would spend an hour on the recumbent bike, reading a book. If you can read a book while exercising, you really need to up your game.
I tried aerobics classes to get my heart rate soaring, but only managed to look really stupid and uncoordinated. Then suddenly the new thing was forget cardio, lift weights, the heavier the better! This came with the promise that it wouldn’t make us ladies bulky. Hallelujah, no more boring hours on the treadmill, now all I have to do is pump iron and I will have the body I have always dreamed of! NOT! Lifting heavy weights DID make me bulky, contrary to what every fitness magazine purported.
Then came steady state cardio, high intensity cardio, lifting light weights but doing it a million times, Barre to get all those little muscles we always miss, spinning, pole dancing…wait what? Clearly men came up with that one as a form of exercise for women.
So what is the point to this diatribe you ask. The point is, there are a lot of differing ideas, beliefs and techniques. The reason being, we are all different. What works for my body may not work for yours, and what works for you may not work for the next person. There isn’t a magic formula for the “perfect” body.
I have short legs so I don’t lift heavy weights for my lower half because it makes me feel bulky. My best friend has long legs, and could lift a car with them, and still look slim. Annoying and unfair? Yes, but true. I can’t eat a high fat/protein diet because there are too many calories, and my body responds to calorie restriction when I’m trying to lose a few. Again my annoyingly lucky best friend can eat pounds of bacon and hamburger and lose weight no problem.
Figure out what works for you and your body and go with it. Not only should your diet and fitness plan suit your body style and metabolism, it has to suit YOUR lifestyle. Is it something you can do long term? Are you restricting yourself so much that it’s not sustainable? Those are important things to look at when making a change in your wellness plan.
Good luck, and to all you people out there with long legs…I hate you! Just kidding, sort of.
What works for you? Comment below and let us know!