Quick Fixes

quick fixesIt seems like in today’s world of ‘instant-everything’ people want to see results fast.  No one likes waiting for things anymore.  You have instant coffee, instant pudding, instant feedback, when someone likes the picture you posted on Facebook, you see that in almost real time.  So it’s no surprise that when it comes to fitness, people want instant results.  They want the quick fix.

Common Quick Fixes

There are lots of quick fixes out there.  Products promising you’ll drop dress sizes like crazy or be ripped in just 30 days, working out for 20 minutes 3 times a week.  And they all sound great.  The people in the commercials look good, don’t they?  Unfortunately most of these products really just get people to buy some product that by itself won’t do much.  I would say the most common quick fixes I see are fat burning pills and ab machines.

Diet Pills

Diet pills are extremely common.  Whenever I buy something from GNC it always seems like they’re giving me a free sample of the latest fat burning pill.  That sounds awesome doesn’t it?  Just take these pills and you’ll burn all your fat right off.  That seems easy.  I can see why people buy them.  It’s very alluring.  From what I’ve seen those products really just serve to up your heart rate or suppress your appetite.  That doesn’t sound so great to me.  You’re either endangering your health with chemicals that can be potentially harmful, or you’re just making it so that you’re not hungry and don’t eat.  Doesn’t sound like a recipe for health to me.

Ab Machines

These are by far my favorite.  Just use this contraption for 20 minutes, 3 times a week and you will have ripped abs.  See all the people in the video and how ripped they are?  All they did was strap on this belt which makes your muscles contract 1,000,000 x’s more than a normal crunch.  They do great marketing, I’ll give it to them.  People want a 6-pack.  What most people don’t realize is that no matter how strong your abs are, if you have fat covering them you won’t see them.  Having good abs is all about having a low body fat percentage, which comes from proper nutrition.  So save your money on those ab belts, ab chairs, ab rockers, etc and focus on what you’re eating!

Quick Fixes – Setting Expectations

Since I know most people want to see results, and serious results, fast, I try to help people set appropriate expectations for themselves when they start off.  Because of shows like The Biggest Loser, it’s easy to think that losing 10 lbs a week is totally normal.  I call this the “Biggest Loser Syndrome“.  But what most people don’t fully realize is how drastic they are on that show.  Sure, you see the grueling workouts, but you don’t really see all the extra hours of cardio and other workouts they put in on top of what they do with the trainers.

Instead of losing 10+ lbs a week, a reasonable goal would be more like 1-3 lbs a week.  Anything more probably isn’t healthy in most situations.  It may not seem like a lot, but if you lose 2 lbs a week over the whole course of a program like P90X, that would be 26 lbs which is a big change.

When you think about it, did you put the 30, 40, 50+ lbs on in 2 weeks, a month or even 3 months?  No way!  You probably put that on over at least a year.  So why do you expect to lose it in 1 or 2 months?  Your body just doesn’t work like that.  It’s going to be slow and steady, but when you add up your small successes, you’ll see huge improvements.  Setting proper expectations also helps with motivation.  If you’re expecting to lose 10 lbs a week but only lose 2 you’re not going to be too happy.  But if you set your goal at 2 lbs and hit it consistently, that’s what gives you the drive to continue.

Stay Consistent

Ultimately I think people turn to quick fixes, because they lack the will-power to make healthy choices consistently.  But that’s really what it takes.  Are you going to see drastic results in 1 week?  Most likely not.  But if you can be consistent week in and week out, compare pictures of yourself every month and you’ll be surprised with how far you’ve come.  So don’t get caught up with quick fixes that promise amazing results in no-time.  Stick with what works and don’t lose sight of your goals.

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