January 1 is International Shortcut Day! Jan 1st is all about New Year’s Resolutions. And let’s be honest, most of us have goals that revolve around working out and putting down the treats. Also, on January 1st, you’ll be thrilled to discover that you could achieve them all EASILY AND FAST in the next 30 days with an AWESOME fitness shortcut! Woohoo–what will you do with the rest of your year??! Of course, I’m referring to the get-lean-quick shakes, the crash diets, and the zero-money-down gym sign-up programs that prey on people like us. There ARE shortcuts to fitness. But there are also a lot of lies out there. When can a shortcut help us, and when can it hurt us? Here’s a four-question test that I took from Seth Godin’s blog: Is it repeatable? Can I keep doing this for a long time, or is it a crash diet? Is it non-harmful? What are the downstream effects on my health? Is it addictive (in a good way)? Am I going to want to show up every day because I’m having FUN? Will it improve over time? Will I be able to prove to myself that I’m progressing, without depending on the scale? Let’s take a few examples of past fitness trends (and the stuff you’re probably being pitched in your Facebook feed already) and hold them up to our four filters of shortcut validity: Weight Loss Shakes Is it repeatable? Can you stay on this diet of shakes forever? No. Are you really going to do this for the next 40 years? Probably not. Is it non-harmful? Actually, they’re very harmful.  Most protein or weight-loss shakes use sweeteners, usually a corn derivative or a chemical. On one hand, you’re brought closer to insulin resistance (diabetes). On the other, you’re ingesting a laboratory experiment.  Most fat-loss shakes also use a combination of appetite suppressants, caffeine and a mild laxative to keep you full and alert. But your body quickly downgrades its energy expenditure to match, and when you go “off” the shakes, you quickly gain weight–and it’s all fat. Your body has evolved over time to stay alive. It’s not going to be tricked to losing all of it’s fat stores by a fat-loss shake. Longterm, weight loss shakes make you fatter and sicker. Is it addictive? Will it improve over time? Well, you’ll probably start to hate taking protein shakes instead of eating real food. And every shake you drink is less effective than the one before (see above). You’re getting smaller by starving out your metabolism. The only people sharing their huge weight loss from diets or shakes on Facebook are the people who make a commission by signing you up on Facebook. The Keto Diet / Paleo Diet / XYZ Diet Is it repeatable? Can I keep doing this for a long time, or is it a crash diet? People have been using ketosis and intermittent fasting and high-fat diets since before recorded time. And if you’re trying to beat a sugar addiction, a short ketogenic period might actually help.
But the real question is, “Can I sustain this for the rest of my life?” and the answer to ALL “diets” is “no.” It can’t be a diet, it has to be a lifestyle that you WANT to pursue.
If you stop eating grains, your body will lose the ability to process grains.
If you stop eating carbs, you’ll become less resistant to insulin in the short-term…but your body will learn, and become better at gluconeogenesis (breaking down your muscle tissue to trigger insulin response).
And if you eat in a different way than everyone around you, they’ll pull you into their habits. Is it non-harmful? What are the downstream effects on my health? Long-term, kicking sugar is a very positive thing. But rapid weight loss, binge dieting, or any unsustainable practice will always have a rebound effect. You have a relationship with food. One-night stands with diets will always come back to haunt you. Will it improve over time? You might get better at eating paleo. But you might also become neurotic about food. There’s a reason people with eating disorders jump from diet to diet: they love the feeling of control, and diets give them a clear “good and bad” line. Unfortunately, that’s not sustainable in life, and everyone knows the term “yo-yo dieting” by now. Is the best thing for your health a hardcore 30 day cleanse if you’re going to reward yourself with a 2 month free for all? There’s value in buckling down, but it all comes back to your mindset. Think about the long game, not the 10 pounds you want to lose this month. Weight-loss should be a by-product of a healthy diet, it shouldn’t be the only supporting structure of a healthy diet. If you’re part of a group and dieting together, you’ll definitely have more success. You eat like the people you spend most of your time around. If everyone eats a ketogenic diet, you’ll do better at sticking to the ketogenic diet. SHOULD you stick to it? Maybe. See above. If you have questions about nutrition (member or not) schedule a Free No Snack Intro with one of our coaches. We’re not going to try and sell you into anything you don’t want or need. We legitimately want to help. Joining A Gym Is it repeatable? Can I keep doing this for a long time? Yes. You can join a gym and keep going for 40 years. We think you should do coached fitness, but even a $9.95 access-only gym will benefit you long-term (if you show up.) Is it non-harmful? What are the downstream effects on my health? Yes. There probably are no negative effects. Very few people get injured in the gym. When they occur, injuries are usually overuse problems (you bench press every Monday and do leg extensions every Friday) and don’t occur for a few years.Is it addictive? Will it improve over time? Yes. Training with weights has a compounding effect. You get stronger, your muscles improve your metabolism, and you get better…UNLESS you’re sticking to the same old 3-sets-of-8-reps program you did last month. Your body will eventually stop yielding adaptation to this. You don’t need to “confuse” your body (it doesn’t have a consciousness). But you do need constant variety. That’s where we come in. But in general, running becomes more fun the longer you run; weight lifting becomes more fun the longer you lift; and CrossFit gets even more exciting over time. Can it survive the crowd? Does it have to be a secret? Yes. Discount gyms will see a huge influx of new members until March 13 (the average date most new gym-goers give up and quit, except in coaching gyms like CrossFit Mountain Island.) And you can’t really “fill” a discount gym, because their business model is based on members who never show up. We’re the opposite, so we have a membership cap. And we pay attention if you’re not here. We notice. Joining a Gym for group classes, or Personal Training, or finding a Nutritionist. Is it repeatable? Can I keep doing this for a long time? Yes. I’ve been doing CrossFit for 7 years, and I still love it. Are there injuries? Yes–the same amount as a normal gym, far fewer than football or soccer. But CrossFit has also fixed my chronic problems (including problems I didn’t even know I had). And I’m always eager to go. Is it helpful? What are the downstream effects on my health? Yes. When a gym works 1:1 with its members to measure progress and set goals, the effects compound, and you don’t waste your time doing stuff that doesn’t work. Is it addictive? Will it improve over time? Yes. When an objective source measures your results, they can point to what’s working and help you focus more. Can it survive the crowd? Does it have to be a secret? No. Coaching businesses are anti-crowd; because of the 1:1 relationships involved, coaching businesses can’t take 1,000 clients. But maybe that’s okay. You’re going to get pitched this week. If you feel like you’re being sold, don’t buy. And if a new super secret fitness method isn’t sustainable, don’t start it: you’ll probably be moving backward. Do you have questions? Do you want some clarity on what’s best for you? Book a free intro so we can come up with YOUR best shortcut.

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