Consistency vs Short Term
To me there’s one tell tale sign of a successful athlete- their dedication in November. In November most beach holidays are finished for at least the next 6 months, physique and bodybuilding competitions are finished, thick coats are worn, nights are darker earlier and most people are winding down for December. If I have an athlete adhering to their nutrition and training plan 80% or more in November, I know they’re going to kill it. These are the people that will consistently hit their goals and ultimately get where they want to be, whereas others will disappear for 5 months and return in April/May with the aim of losing 10kg of fat and gaining 5kg of muscle all before summer. Unfortunately for these people, the client who trained all last summer, into November and into the new year will now have the results they want and it’s all down to consistency. Unfortunately the health and fitness industry is flooded with crash diets and exercise programmes lasting anywhere from as little as 4 weeks, both of which promise substantial results within that time. What most of the ‘one-off’ deals forget to tell you is that long term consistency trumps all regardless of what you and they may deem a quick success. At the very best they will give you a very small insight as to how to eat and train effectively and sustainably, and at worst it could cause you to gain further body fat and leave you very little room to progress. It has been suggested that crash diets can cause an increase of fat cells if the individual engages in a higher calorie diet soon after a phase of dieting. It’s explained well in this diagram pulled from Layne Norton’s ‘The Complete Contest Prep Guide’.
This is a great representative of what happens after someone does a crash or spontaneous diet, and the worst thing is that a lot of ‘health’ companies benefit from this process as they see much more financial gain from returning custom than new. They will lose some weight quickly, a lot of which is lean body mass and water, they then stop the extreme diet as their body increases insulin sensitivity, and then eat calorie dense meals. This very likely equals fat gain and is a very poor choice of dieting unless you have guidance. In fact in his ebook ‘The Minicut Manual’, Dr. Mike Israetel actually lists weight gain as one of the main reasons to do a minicut. This is based on the lowering of total daily energy expenditure as an effect of a minicut to then illicit an easier calorie surplus.
Plan smart and eat smart.