Here’s a repost of a riff I did for my friend and colleague Michael Collins over at MC Newsletters. Go over and take a look at his stuff.
From the 11/3/06 newsletter:
Following the Recipe:
Using Minestrone as the Key to Weight Loss
by Eugene Thong, CSCS
Last Saturday I found myself in the position of wanting to make some delicious food for my wife and me. Specifically, I got the hankering to prepare a dish I’d never made before and had no idea how to make: Minestrone.
Clutching a hastily downloaded recipe from www.foodtv.com in my hand, I went out to the store to get the ingredients I already didn’t have in my pantry, and upon my triumphant return home, prepared the soup, following the recipe pretty much step-by-step.
About 15 minutes later I was enjoying a bowl of passably good minestrone. My wife still prefers the minestrone at the Olive Garden, but that’s another story.
I live a very mundane life (or so it would appear).
So what does a bowl of minestrone have to do with fat loss (aside from it being a poor meal choice for that very purpose)?
As is the case with so many things in life, the process, not the outcome, is the key.
You see, when I wanted to make a bowl of soup, I didn’t get the recipe only to completely ignore the procedure and sort of make things up as I went along. I didn’t toss chunks of top sirloin in there because I felt like it, nor did I stick in a pound of linguini instead of using tubini; I followed the recipe to a T.
I knew that I desired a specific outcome and I followed a plan that would allow me to achieve that outcome.
Again, you ask, what does this have to do with weight loss?
Are you following your weight loss “recipe”? Are you eating things you know you shouldn’t? Are you failing to give your workouts your all, or even skipping them altogether because you’re too busy, or they’re too hard, or, or…
I believe that too many people looking to lose body fat focus too much on the outcome and do not follow the process. In other words, they fail not because their plan was faulty, but because they failed to follow the actual plan. I’ve seen this happen time and time again with some of my own trainees. They ask me why they’re not losing weight and swear that they are doing everything I told them to.
EXCEPT that they didn’t drink enough water that day. Or all weekend. Or last week, either.
EXCEPT they decided to go out on a 5 mile run over the weekend “because they felt fat and wanted to burn a few extra calories.”
EXCEPT they only had 2 meals that day instead of 5. And one of them was sushi for lunch. “Besides, isn’t sushi rice not that bad for you because it doesn’t raise your blood sugar that much?”
Perhaps this is a farcical situation, but it illustrates my point well: Unless you follow a proven plan to a T, it is unreasonable to expect your desired outcome. Look folks, if you are given a plan, do yourselves and your trainers a favor: stick with it, to a T. We understand, no one is perfect – but strive for perfection. The closer you stick to a sound plan, the better and sooner your results will come.
Is there something that you aren’t doing in your fat loss program that you know you should?
Is there something you could do right now to aid in your fat loss (like schedule or execute a workout or drink a glass of water)?
Those of you who are executing everything perfectly, we apologize for this momentary interruption of your day. You may carry on as you were doing.