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A reader said something in a recent comment section that I thought is worth making a post from.
I think half of the problem with failed weight loss and diminishing health comes from the l0ss of perspective in the method.
The belief that becoming lean and healthy requires an extravagant method can be compared to the belief that building a campfire requires rocket fuel.
It’s flawed perspectives.
The comment by the reader assumes two flaws in perspective:
- I eat “very little” because I “chose to not exercise hardly at all.”
- “collegiate/professional athletes have it right [for weight loss or being lean].”
I’ll begin with his second flaw.
Because it’s obvious that this blog is about weight loss and being lean, I can only assume that this reader purports that losing weight and being lean can be better achieved by the method used by “collegiate/professional athletes.”
If the rest of us average people — with real jobs, real families, real social lives, and real community involvement — must train physically like collegiate or professional athletes in order to lose weight, be lean, and get healthy, then we’re utterly doomed.
The comment by this reader is based on the insular mentality of the average North American whose worldview is based on his/her own age, lifestyle, and belief. Maybe this circumscribed view of weight loss and health has contributed to the obesity problem in North America.
Forget the fact that citizens of other countries enjoy a lifetime of leanness and fewer modern diseases yet hardly exercise past intermural sports in high school… we must train with the intense modalities and the strict schedules of collegiate and professional athletes, because they “get it right.”
This flawed perspective can be seen in personal training across America and probably around the world. Clients are coerced into engaging in ridiculous regimens of powerlifting, Olympic-style weightlifting, HIIT, plyometrics, agility drills, “black-box” training, and balance training (a fad whose party should have dispersed years ago), when all they mostly want is to be healthy, feel better, and to look good naked.
Instead we turn them into NFL linebackers with our “functional training program.”
I’m not oppose to those exercise methodologies, and in fact have used all of them. But they’re not the better way to becoming lean and healthy.
The fact is, collegiate and professional athletes “got it right” for increasing performance, but it’s irrespective of weight loss or body composition. Their primary goal is improving performance on the field, not weight loss.
Anyone who had experience with the modern strength and conditi0ning regimen of a collegiate or professional athlete knows that the intensity and volume are unrealistic and unsustainable for the average man and woman in the real world. To believe that the method to losing weight and being lean is the same as that used by collegiate and professional athletes is to lose perspective in methodology.
As for the reader’s first flaw in logic, I certainly don’t eat “so little.” I’m not certain by what reference he compares my caloric intake, but I have a feeling it’s to the average caloric intake of an athlete on a two-a-day practice or a dense in-season competition schedule… or to the caloric intake of the average overweight North American.
The fact is, the normal person’s basal metabolic rate is not as high as most people think — 1600 for someone my weight (150 lbs.). Add a little more to that basal amount to account for physical activities (including high-intensity/large volume) and you still have an overall amount that’s lower than the average North American intake. (NHANES reported that the average male between the age of 20 and 40 consumes close to 3,000 daily.)
So, because I’m not a collegiate or professional athlete on an intense training schedule, the reader’s perspective that I eat “so little” is flawed.
And I don’t know how much time this reader has in his life to exercise, but 2 to 3 times a week of structured exercise and being physically active for the rest of the week is realistic and adequate for me. Perhaps if I have a full-scholarship or $8M contract, then I’d dedicate a much larger portion of my day to training for that 3% performance improvement. But alas, I’ve graduated from college and I’m not in the NFL.
I’m a real person living in the real world with a real job and a real family, and I don’t care to obsess about exercise, nor do I find overeating all that great.