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Coach's Corner: Dear Coach...

Coach's Corner: Dear Coach...

Question: Dear Coach, what are the most common mistakes you see clients make that may be holding them back from achieving their body transformation and health & fitness goals?

Answer: This is a great question and a very common one. It's not so much mistakes that individuals make. Rather, it's one's mindset that may be holding them back from achieving the goals that they desire. One of the biggest keys to success, no matter what the goal, is the following; we must change the belief in order to change the result. Let's take a look at a few examples.


The Diet Mentality
When an individual adopts the "diet mentality”, this is, by far, one of the biggest self-limiters. The diet mentality drives individuals to do just that, diet. Diets don't work. They never have and they never will. Now, let's first establish what we mean by "working." Losing weight quickly and then regaining some, all or even more of the weight lost, is not success and therefore this is not working. This is pretty much the definition of every diet; lose weight quickly, regain it all back even quicker. When we talk about success, we are talking about achieving meaningful and sustainable results for a lifetime. So, when individuals have the diet mentality, their focus tends to be on the following:

·         low-calorie
·         low/no carbohydrate
·         workout more and eat less
·         calorie restriction

With the diet mentality, individuals are not willing to delay gratification (The ability to delay gratification), rather, they want and expect results, yesterday. This is not realistic and this mindset sets individuals up for failure. Traci Mann, PhD, who conducts research at the University of Minnesota’s Health and Eating Lab, refers to this fast, diet-induced, weight loss as the honeymoon stage. The early, honeymoon stage seems great; but it’s going to get a lot harder soon. According to Mann, "people are too uptight about their weight and they handle this uptightness in a foolish way that does not work (and that would be dieting)." Always keep in mind what a DIET is; it's a, Disaster Imminent Every Time®!

If this is the mindset and belief of an individual, they are going to continue to fight an uphill battle. And this is a perfect example of the need to change the belief in order to change the result. When individuals choose to drop the diet mentality, big things start to happen. They start to focus on the following:

·         fueling frequency
·         fueling timing
·         carbohydrate-protein-fat balance at every meal and snack
·         working out smarter
·         eating right

You can quickly see how this mindset and belief structure is drastically different from the diet mentality. So, it's not so much that the diet mentality is a mistake. Rather, it's simply a belief and mindset that individuals need to change, that is of course, if they are looking to achieve meaningful and sustainable results for lifetime.

I will just work out more
Here is another mindset that can derail one's goals that they set for themselves. It's very common for individuals to have a, calories in versus calories out, mindset. But as I talked about in my 3-DVD set, Rx Nutrition, "if it were as easy as calories in versus calories out, it would be that easy." All too often, when individuals do not eat right, overeat and/or binge eat, they have the mindset and belief that they will just work out more/harder the next day in order to burn off the extra calories that they consumed. And I get it, on the surface, this seems to be a pretty easy mathematical equation, right? But, this cannot be further from reality. If it was all about working out more/harder, endurance athletes would not be overweight and obese. Endurance athletes are a great example of how simply, working out more, is not the key to body transformation success. Take individuals that run marathons, 26.2 miles. And individuals that compete in Ironman triathlon events, 2.4 mile swim-112 mile bike-26.2 mile run. As you can imagine, these individuals spend part-time job like hours, each week, preparing for these events. These individuals will run multiple 16, 18, 20+ mile runs. They will complete many 100+ mile bike rides. You would think that with this high volume of training, these individuals would be super lean and superlight. But, not so much; it's very common for the average endurance athlete today to be overweight, if not even obese (Weight Gain During High-Volume Training?). Point being is this; high-volume workouts are not the key to body transformation success. When an individual starts to grasp this concept, and change their mindset and change their belief, they start to find a whole new level of success. When their focus starts to revolve around fueling the body right and working out smarter, they quickly see changes start to occur with their physique. They start to shift their focus from "I need to burn more calories to lose weight", to a mindset of, "I am going to fuel my body right and work out smart in order to transform my body."

It has to be the Gluten!
This reminds me of the classic Michael Jordan commercials, ‘Money, it’s gotta be the shoes!’ In this diet-focused culture, it can be very common for individuals to gravitate towards popular food fads and diets. And as a result, individuals may start to think that gluten is the reason they are not achieving the body transformation results they desire. First off, let's just establish this; we are not referring to individuals with celiac disease that, of course, need to avoid gluten. In this somewhat gluten-free obsessed culture that has been established, we don't need to look much further than Stefano Guandalini, MD, president of the North American Society for the Study of Celiac Disease. Dr. Stefano says, “Someone who needs to be on a gluten-free diet and is closely monitored can benefit tremendously from it. But for everyone else, embracing this diet makes no sense.”  Dr. Stefano Guandalini goes on to say, "one very real danger of following a gluten-free diet is eating too much fat and too little fiber."  So, this is another belief and mindset that individuals must let go of, if they are looking to achieve meaningful and sustainable results for a lifetime. Here's a great example. I was speaking with a prospective client a few years ago, and it was just after the new year. And during our conversation she said, "Rick, there's something you need to know. I am gluten intolerant." So I went on to ask her more about this. And she said, "I just know that I'm gluten intolerant." And I responded by saying, please tell me how you know this. And she responded, "well, I really, really overate over the holidays. From Thanksgiving through Christmas and even into the new year, I ate a lot of food. And virtually every meal I overate. I felt absolutely miserable during this time. So, I knew it had to be the gluten making me feel this miserable." Whoa, whoa, whoa; pump the brakes! It's the gluten, really? That's why you felt miserable? It was not all of the cookies, the cakes, the high-fat foods, the alcohol; it was not that? It was simply the gluten? Long story short, within a few days of us working together, she quickly realized that she had absolutely no issues whatsoever with gluten. She was a great implementer and she was a great student and she was by-the-book. She fueled exactly as prescribed and within days, she felt amazingly better… And yes, there was plenty of gluten in her meals and snacks.

I encourage each individual to pull up a chair, place it in front of the mirror and take a seat. Have a nice conversation with that individual staring back at you. Find out what limiting thoughts and/or beliefs may be holding you back from success. Write these down and let's attack these limiting thoughts and beliefs, head on. Because once we start to change the beliefs, we can start to change the results.