• Sat. Dec 9th, 2023

Health Fitness Nutrition

Come One, Xome All To Health Fitness Nutrition

The messy middle – Winnipeg Free Press

When it comes to fitness and nutrition, extremes are very marketable — but they aren’t helpful for the average person.

Have you ever noticed that social-media media platforms are full of popular lifestyle accounts that rely on dogmatic thinking, black-and-white statements and outlandish practices? When it comes to attracting likes and followers, it seems that the more extreme you are, the better.

My problem with these accounts is that they rarely help people. Instead of using their platforms to meet people where they are and help them with their goals, their owners try to convince people that they are absolutely right. And there is no room for questions or debate. These folks will use anecdotal evidence to support their viewpoints and products. Or they will cherry-pick data from studies that support their claims and conveniently ignore anything that raises questions. This kind of thing is rampant in the wellness, fitness and diet industries, and it confuses people who are looking for guidance and support.

Check out some of these inflammatory statements, which are very common on social media: “You can only consume meat; vegetables will kill you,” “Cut out all dairy because you weren’t meant to eat it,” “Sugar is worse than cocaine,” “If you watch what you eat, you’re on the road to an eating disorder.” Or how about these two: “No pain, no gain” and “This style of training is the only way to get the body you want.”

All this can be confusing and overwhelming for someone who just wants to make some healthy changes. Where do you even begin? For some, it’s so frustrating that they give up before they even get started.

My advice?

Seek out experts who promote small-but-important course corrections, not extreme, all-at-once measures. You are unique. That fact doesn’t match up with one-size-fits-all approaches, harsh elimination diets, or generic templates for eating or training. Extreme measures just aren’t sustainable for 99 per cent of people. They might work for a brief period but they won’t provide a long-term solution.

To make real progress, you will need to work at changing habits and managing some setbacks. Let’s be real — you’re going to slide backward every so often, and that’s OK. If you have a sustainable plan, you’ll be prepared for a few obstacles and they won’t bother you. But if you’re taking extreme measures, any setback seems like the end of the world.

A steady, balanced approach to health improvement will almost certainly require a slower journey. That’s not as sexy as grandiose claims, guarantees, transformations and “incredible results in just 14 days.” But it works. So ignore snake oil, magic powders and secret schemes. If something doesn’t seem like a good fit for you, it probably isn’t. Just focus on being a little better than yesterday as you work toward your health and nutrition goals.

Gradual, incremental positive change over a period of years doesn’t go viral. But it’s actually the key to a healthy lifestyle. “The messy middle” is a great place to start your journey toward better health.


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