Eliminate Healthy Eating from Your Vocabulary!
Here at UEFP we have a couple of ground rules that cover some curse words. For one, use of the “F” word is limited to extreme cases. If you’re going to say it, make sure it counts. This means the last few reps of a 20 rep squat or pushing a sled for 40+ meters. The one word client’s are prohibited to use is the “H” word. Oh, I don’t mean H-E-Double Hockey Sticks. No, in the confines of UEFP the “H” word means healthy.
Now wait – you’re thinking a trainer telling his clients not to use the word healthy? What’s the world coming to! Doesn’t that seem counterintuitive? Yes and no. Before I explain the no, let me just cover the fact that healthy eating, healthy diet, living a healthy lifestyle all fall under the same umbrella. Say them in the studio and you’ll be shunned forever (just kidding)!
Here’s the thing about staking a claim for being healthy: it’s too vague. It leaves a lot of space for wiggle room within what you view as healthy. Let’s explore this a little further. Take a look at the following two statements and tell me which one strikes you with a sense of urgency and direction:
I want to start eating healthy to lose weight
I want to lose two inches off my waist in the next three months.
You can see that the second statement strikes fear in the hearts of those that avoid goal setting. When it comes to your fitness the last thing you want to be is vague, and the word healthy doesn’t clear up any misconceptions. If you get stronger in the back squat but your bodyfat goes up, are you more or less healthy before getting stronger? In one case, your bodyfat increased, but the increase in your squat probably leads itself to stronger bones and a (possibly) lesser chance for bone disorders and arthritis. So are you better or worse than when you started?
If you’re still not convinced about how vague healthy is, let’s try to get to the nitty gritty and relate this concept to that of money. Check this out:
Work for me and I’ll pay you a lot of money
If you’re late to our appointment, I’m going to take some money out of your bank account
Would you sign up with that employer right away or would you want some more info? Like how much, when will I get paid, will it be direct deposited, etc. What about the second one? Care for more specifics before you schedule that appointment?
Lastly, saying you want to partake in healthy eating gives you wiggle room. Diet soda instead of regular? Sure, it has zero calories and no sugar, so it’s healthy, right? Gluten free doughnuts are actually healthier than regular doughnuts, so they can’t hurt. These are extreme examples but sometimes when you give an inch you end up taking a mile.
Getting in shape is about specific changes for specific results. Rather than say you want to “get healthy,” say you want to lower your LDL cholesterol from 130 to 110. Now we know what exact measures we can take, like increasing fiber and taking a precise dose of fish oil. Wanting to lose bodyfat means that we may have to add 50-75 grams of protein to your daily intake. See the difference between the two? Lot’s of times, limiting yourself to eating healthy leads to drastic low calorie eating and lots of deprivation. Not only is that not fun it also can lead itself to injury and metabolic damage.
Look, I’m not knocking the desire to live a better lifestyle. In fact, I’m trying to support it. But I’m saying that running around the “get healthy” wagon limits your potential for success. And if there’s anything UEFP is about, it’s showing people that what they thought were their limits really weren’t even close to what they can actually achieve.