Sunday, December 27, 2009

Stay Away From Extremes

While searching the internet for some information for my walking club newsletter earlier today, I found a good blog post about extreme dieting at Dan does not post often, but the few posts he makes are informative.

In September Dan commented about extreme dieting. His attitudes are very similar to mine, so I thought I would share some highlights with you.

Stay away from the Extremes in Diet and Exercise
... of all the comments I receive, those that leave comments in support of low-carb eating are the most mean-spirited. I never have understood why the people who leave these comments seem to want to start a fight over why their way of eating is the best way to eat. Then it dawned on me - with all the extreme ideas in fitness, low-carb eating is just one of them. 

My feeling is ... extreme fitness concepts never work. Sure, they may bring quick results, but I've never seen lasting results. Why is that? I think it's because extreme concepts are not easy to live by. It's easy to pump yourself up for a few months of following an extreme dieting and workout plan, but the majority of us will start to fizzle out. That's not necessarily a bad thing. If the body is overtrained, it's defense mechanism is to fizzle out before serious damage results. Same with the other extreme fitness and diet approaches. The mind and body have a hard time staying in an extreme state, and as a result, you start to lose accountability and drive to continue.

My conclusions ... just stay consistent and balanced. Instead of working out until you pass out, try consistently performing moderate-level workouts your body and mind can handle. Instead of trying to eat no carbs, no fat, or no sugar, make smarter choices in what you do eat and try for a balanced approach instead of an extreme approach. Not only is a balanced approach a more natural way of living, it will also lead to a mind and body that is more consistent and accountable, and it will help prevent you from stressing out so much about trying to live on the extreme side of some concept in diet and exercise. I'm sure I'll still get heated comments/feedback from the extreme wellness individuals, but oh well.
Though I know there are tons of health and fitness people who agree with me, sometimes it's just nice for me to share their exact words. [NOTE: The first two ellipses are my edits. The last was part of the original text.]


Nyle said...

I agree!!! Consistency rules, the moment you do anything to the extreme you push the balance. When I did bodybuilding the diet was extreme and couldn't be maintained for long. I know not everyone follows the cut up diets but it left me weak and feeble.

I have found even with race walking that there are extremists that feel you MUST walk 100km a week (ok if you are an ultra marathon walker) but for a track walker/half marathon walker that is just way too much. But walking to a consistent pace is much better. So to is the diet. Consistent. Be careful how much fat/carbs/protein you eat - but dont "limit" your self. It all comes back to sensible eating really.

Cindi said...

Isn't it scary what people will do to lose weight? Wrestlers are probably the worst since they always want to be one weight-class lighter.