My main mission, on this blog, is to help you become a real life video game character. A large part of that quest is a physical overhaul of your body. Most of the people that come to this blog haven’t put together a workout or diet plan before, or been on one of any kind. Some haven’t even touched a weight set or stepped foot in a gym. Very often, when you’re building up to that first excursion into wellness, you tend to collect as much information as you can before taking that first step.
Research is awesome, and I always support learning about things before taking the leap, however too much information can cause “analysis paralysis.” The fact is, nutrition and fitness can seem overwhelmingly complex if you haven’t been “in it” before, and a lot of fitness and nutrition “experts” thrive on that feeling of complexity. I’m here to inoculate you against their “snake oil” techniques, just like we did with the “anti-chemical” movement on Monday.
Healthy Living is Simple
Now, notice I didn’t say easy. Easy is something else entirely, and it’s dependent entirely upon your methods, and your mindset. In fact, methods and mindset are usually what we talk about here! However, those methods are there to provide you a method of dealing with a few simple guidelines for healthy living, and they are…
To gain weight, eat more calories than you burn. To lose weight, burn more calories than you eat.
Yes, there’s finer points to be made about the quality of those calories, where they come from, and in what proportions. However, the essence of losing weight is to burn more calories than you eat. If you do not do this, you will not lose weight. The essence of gaining weight is to eat more calories than you burn. If you do not do this, you will not gain weight. Period. Your body cannot create something from nothing.
Work out for at least half an hour, three to five times a week.
I don’t care if it’s all cardio, all strength, or even just going for a walk. Be physically active for at least half an hour, three to five times a week. Yes, there are finer points to be made here about type of exercises for desired results, but the fact is, as long as you’re active for half an hour, three to five times a week, you’re already on the road to success.
Establish a regular sleep schedule, and get at least seven hours of it every night.
Yes, parents of newborns you get a bit of slack here. People with genuine sleep conditions, I feel you, I’ve got insomnia AND apnea. That said, this is a huge, important thing to do. Sleep is important, and you probably aren’t getting enough. Having a regular schedule is also important, make it happen.
Everything in moderation.
Here’s the deal. I love beer. I love video games. I love food. But if I get too much of any of these things, it will be bad for me. Moderation is the key. Too much of anything (even good things) is unhealthy.
We could belabor various points endlessly. Obviously just following these bare bones guidelines isn’t going to get you a fitness-model quality body. But, you will be trim, you will be healthy, and you will be fit. You’ll be on the road to a longer, happier, more fulfilled life. You’ll also be at a fantastic starting point for any of the workout programs featured here on the site!
Next time someone tries to sell you some crazy “cleanse,” or put on some fat-reducing “wrap,” tell them you don’t need that crap, because these guidelines right here are the real key to controlling your weight, training your body, and living a healthy, happy life.
Now, like I said, things being simple does not make them easy. Sometimes I drink too much beer, play too many video games, eat too much food, or skip a workout. It happens. Building the mental fortitude to stick with your guidelines, and crafting a plan to help make it easier is a much broader topic than the scope of just this post (hint: check out The Care and Feeding…) That said, don’t let yourself be overcome by details, over-analysis, or anything else but these simple guidelines, especially if you’re just starting out.
I realize this is a shorter post than usual, but I feel like sticking more in here would be defeating the point. Remember, living healthy is not necessarily easy, but it is SIMPLE. Don’t let complexity hold you back. As always, live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome.
Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace