Why food shouldn’t be your prime concern to lose weight

Being in the fitness industry now for over a decade I can confidently say that the large majority of people that I talk to would like to be at least a little leaner.

 

This is the result of so many different things including (but not limited to): how we are educated around health and wellness, the medical  system (not health) we have, the conflicting interests of ‘health’ and supplement companies, the time pressures we face in the 21st century and mainstream media to name a few.  

 

This epidemic of our populations being overweight may be contributed to by the above but then on an individual level it seems to always come back to the notion that what we are eating is the problem and is making us overweight and unhappy.   

 

Although I am not here to say that what we eat does not in fact have a physical and psychological effect on our bodies – I am here more to say that there’s a deeper rooted problem than just eating too much.  

 

Our problem isn’t food..

 

What we need to understand is that our beliefs affect our thoughts, which affect our emotions, which affect our actions.   

 

You can think of eating as the end of the chain – our actions.  This means our eating is affected by our emotions, which are affected by our thoughts, which are affected by our beliefs.

 

So if we go back one level to our emotions it becomes clear that what we eat (the actions we take) is affected by how we feel.  I’m sure you can connect to this notion.  Perhaps when you are feeling down you reach for something that makes you feel happy (quick serotonin hit).    On this level we should be looking at all the parts of who we are.  

 

We all spend a large amount of time working so it makes sense that if we are not happy with our work our emotions will lead us to eating not aligned with how we would like.   

 

This is the same with our relationships – intimate and not.  If these aren’t in order and making your life better than it is likely you won’t be eating well.  

It’s not just about food..

This also brings me to the point that although everything that affects our emotions are going to affect our actions, I believe that this lack – be it connection, fulfilment, alignment or any other disconnect with your life is actually going to play just as big a role in your overall health as the food itself anyway.   

 

If we want to go right back to the root problem (always a good idea) instead of just dealing with the superficial band aid of ‘eating better’ we come up against our beliefs.  Who am I? What am I worthy of? What is my place in the world?  

 

These existential questions that place us in the world are largely answered by our child selves.   The problem is they are often not updated to help us as adults.  

 

 A good place to start is to bring awareness to how you are feeling when you reach for the food.   Is it a void that you are trying to fill? Is it boredom? Sadness? Even happiness we celebrate with food and drink in our culture.   

 

Once you start getting some awareness then look for some patterns and look at the areas of your life that you could be more satisfied with and start taking some small steps to head towards a more positive place in these areas.  

 

We all know that the salad is probably better for us than the burger and chips so let’s work towards understanding ourselves on a deeper level.   

 

If this article resonates with you please share it to anyone that you think it may help.   We want to help more people feel their best in a sustainable manner.

 

Written by Luke Sharp, Owner of The Wild Movement.

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Does variety lead to greater results for you?

Most gyms will advertise how their sessions are ‘always different’ or  have ‘variety every day’. The rationalisation is to ‘keep the body guessing’. This concept can work in the short term, especially if your training level is very low, but what will work better for everyone in the long term is following a system.   The system in strength training is called periodization. This really just means organising and planning your training ahead of time.

 

This system will allow us to be systematic in nature to ensure we are forcing the body to adapt to more work over time. The only way to do this is to keep many of the variables the same (such as exercise selection) and increase one prescription variable such as load, volume, range of movement or density.   If we change everything to call it ‘keeping the body guessing’ we lose the approach of building one layer upon the next.   The biggest key element to you being in the best shape of your life is being the strongest you have been relative to your body weight. If you increase your 5 rep max squat or your 5 rep max dip to the highest it’s been at a consistent body weight you can almost guarantee you are in the best shape of your life. There is no chance to do this without some level of progressive overload.

If you are training by yourself – a training journal should be a staple

Following some planning to get ongoing results doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing for months on end.   Psychological factors are also important to take into account.   We use 4 week blocks which we find is a happy medium for those that are less comfortable with change and those that tend to get bored.   Four weeks allows us to learn the movement and feel it out in week 1 and then build upon it for three more weeks. The next block will then change all the assistant exercises and often change the main exercise slightly – say from a back squat to a front squat.   Each 2 blocks (8 weeks) we retest all our main movements to get objective feedback on what we are doing. 90% of the time our members see themselves get stronger. The outcome? More empowerment and more buy in.   This just breeds long term success.

 

If you want to know more about our system of training (not just exercising) then please send us a message or email.   You may think ‘I’m not ready for this training’ but I guarantee we can scale it to you so you can progress safely over time.

 

Happy lifting,

 

Luke

 

 

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The Diet Mistake when returning to exercise!

When we are coming back to exercise there are many similar things that we do as humans. The problem is some of these are big mistakes.   Reading this for the next 3 minutes will ensure you don’t fall into the trap of making this mistake and then falling off the bandwagon again.

 

The mistake we are talking about here is that of jumping on a very restricted diet.   We tend to do this because in our heads ‘discipline’ of training goes with ‘discipline’ of eating well.

 

The reasons this is a big mistake is because of the following:

 

  • When we are coming back to exercise we most likely haven’t been eating our best and have been sedentary. All of a sudden you are adding in training and you will automatically make smarter choices to support this. It is true that what you eat will affect your results but in the initial stages we just want to keep things simple and not stress ourselves when we will still be getting some results without going all out on the diet front.

 

  • Whenever we restrict ourselves our inner child self is suffocated and wants exactly what we cant have.   If we are on a very restrictive diet we not only crave what we ‘can’t’ have but when we give in to the urge we also make ourselves feel guilty.   These feelings of guilt will often cause us to a) feel crappy and ‘try even harder’ next time.   Or b) decide it’s too hard and go to the other extreme of the diet we are on and ultimately fall off the training bandwagon.

 

What we suggest you do to ensure you don’t fall for this mistake is:

 

  • Focus on adding things into your eating rather than ‘taking out’.   For example focus on getting more quality water in and more greens in rather than saying you’re not allowed chocolate.   This will help smooth out the extreme thought process of ‘I’ve screwed up now as I just had a piece of chocolate, so there’s no point carrying on with the diet’.

 

  • Keep it simple.   Don’t try and be a diet saint when your current habits are a long way away from ideal. Just start with small changes and wait until they are habits before moving on.

 

 

We hope this short blog has helped you in some way. Please share it with others or tag someone you know that can benefit from this!

If you have any questions for what we do at The Wild Movement feel free to email us HERE.

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Don’t make this Killer Mistake when returning to training!

One of the hardest things is coming back to training after a long lay off.   It is great you are coming back but the majority of people make this one Killer Mistake.  If you make this mistake you are really setting yourself up for failure as you will be bound to fall off the bandwagon again.   If you take this advice on however it can really set you up for long term success with your health.

So you are about to get back into training.  At this point you are probably super motivated! You want to be fit and strong again YESTERDAY! So what do you do?   Charge full steam ahead and make this BIG mistake! The mistake I’m talking about here is going from Zero to Hero!   I liken this to signing up and trying to run a marathon with no running training at all.   You wouldn’t do it.  You would call someone stupid for doing it.   So why are you trying to train hard so often when your base you’re working from is working, stressing, running around after kids and being sedentary?

The reason this approach of zero to hero is a mistake is for the following reasons:

  • Your body is adapted to being sedentary so you actually don’t need a big stimulis to start changing your body positively.  Do the minimum effective dosage and focus on recovery and overall health habits.
  • Training hard 5-6 x per week is very taxing on the body and you set yourself up for the chance of injuries.  Training 5-6x per week is great if your body is adapted to it but we recommend you build up and keep yourself in the game.
  • Mentally you are setting yourself up to fail.   If you had the goal of training 3 x per week and accomplished it you will feel great and be encouraged to keep going.  If on the other hand, you are aiming for 6 x and you ‘only’ accomplish 3 x you will most likely beat yourself up and feel like you failed.  This will make it much more likely that you will fall off the bandwagon of training and be stuck again.

A couple of solutions that we suggest our members start with to ensure consistency and longevity (the key to health).  

  • Start training 2-3 x per week strength
  • Walk or do incidental exercise on the other days that are just part of your life (walk to the bus)
  • Focus on sleep hygiene and one habit with your eating to improve it towards your ideal

Once these all become habits and you are successful at them (normally one month or more) look at the next step to keep working towards your ideal self.

 

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Learnings from Mass and Strength Holiday

Last week a client and myself completed Strength and Mass Holiday. This is a program designed by famous German Strength Coach Wolfgang Unsoeld. The goal of the program is for the trainee to put on weight and strength quickly. The program is 10 sessions across five days. It is not for the faint hearted. If you need to put on some kilos of muscle and increase strength though then this could be your answer however.

I have completed intensive blocks of lifting before similar to this but this is the most comprehensively I have followed the nutrition protocol (as did my client) with a given program. The nutrition protocol is more food than most people are used to eating.

We started Monday morning as the plan suggested and finished Friday afternoon. The sessions were maximum of 60 minutes but with a lot of volume, especially considering all sets had long eccentrics to increase time under tension of the muscle.

Most days we both felt good, with the only exception Wednesday. During the second session I felt completely flogged and wasn’t too sure how I would bounce back for the next morning let alone get through the session on hand.

LEARNING

• Doing something that questions your mental and physical strength sometimes is a good thing. When you do it with another person it’s an even better experience.
• When you have a decent training age squats don’t tax you nearly as much as deadlifts. We did 58 sets pretty heavy sets across the week and there was very little muscle soreness from them.
• Eating enough for people that want to put on muscle aggressively should be just as hard as training. Eating 7 eggs or a bowl of rissoles at 430am was tough – but part of the process.
• When you are strength training effectively and progressively there is such a massive adaptation that the body wants to go through. If you don’t feed it there will be no positive effect.
• Being on a clock and aiming to keep our sessions under the hour meant more focused training and less time fluffing.

OUR RESULTS

We kept our data very simple. We both weighed in Monday Morning pre training and weighed in again 7 days later at the same time. My client’s weight started at 80.1kg and finished at 81.9kg. My weight started at 95.8kg and finished at 97.7kg. We both gained close to 2kg. Unfortunately we did not complete any skinfolds or scans to get a more accurate picture of fat versus lean mass. I will definitely do this next time. We are both very happy with the result on the scales and I know I definitely feel just as lean if not leaner than before.

From here I plan to go back to moderate volume and intensity training over the next month or so with my lifting and capitalise on some good strength gains. I will be opening up a few spots in the future to complete the program at The Wild Movement for motivated individuals. Keep an eye out for this.

Thanks for reading and I would love to hear any questions you have or you can check out the Ebook from Wolfgang Here.

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