So you've caught the "Fitness Bug."
Maybe it was that Facebook photo youuntagged yourself from or your favorite pair of jeans that magically shrunk in the dryer...
All you know is that you need to lose weight as fast as humanly possible.
And you don't care what it takes either.
If it requires going on a juice fast and climbing endless flights of artificial stairs on the Stair Master, so be it.
More Intensity = More Results... right?
When weight loss motivation is high, it can be tempting to jump into some crazy regimen prescribing 2 hours of cardio six days a week and a diet designed for a squirrel.
We want to find the perfect program for losing weight.
Unfortunately, this perfect program doesn't exist.
But here's the good news: You don't have to be perfect to lose weight. In fact, I think that it's in your best interest to NOT be perfect!
Now, before you click off thinking, "Carter must be off his meds again...", hear me out.
Here are a few reasons to support why I think trying to be perfect is a mistake...
Reason #1 - There is Value in Failing
"What? How can failing ever be a good thing??"
Think of it this way...failing is a great way to learn how not to do something.
If you never fail, you'll never learn how to succeed.
Sure, you could read someone's weight loss testimonial giving praise for a particular exercise or nutrition program...
But what does that really give you?
Everyone is different. What works great for one person may be terrible for another.
If someone tells you that their approach is right for YOU before even trying it, I want you to slap them in the face (just don't get beat up).
The only way to figure out if something is right for you is through trial and error. You need to find a program for your individual goals.
I don't claim to have the best beginner's fitness plan for everyone...
But I do think it's the better than most :).
(Please don't hit me)
There is a great quote by Thomas Edison that fits this idea perfectly. He was asked why he continued to attempt to create the light bulb after so many failures, and he responded:
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
Reason #2 - There is More to Life
If your goal is to be perfect in your approach, then expect for other aspects of your life to suffer.
For example, if you are trying to hit your nutrition and calorie goals with 100% accuracy, then good luck trying to go out to eat with friends and family on the weekends.
Sure, you could hide away in your kitchen and measure every single piece of food to the exact gram.
Heck, you may even lose weight slightly faster too...
But I don't think anyone would consider total isolation just to lose a few extra pounds as an ideal scenario.
On the other hand, if you are always going out and overeating, you probably won't be able to lose any significant amount of weight.
My solution to this problem is to use the rule of 80/20 (or 90/10)
The 80/20 rule basically means that 80% of the time you're on point with your diet and exercise routine and 20% of the time you can be more relax.
Note: just because you can be "relaxed" 20% of the time doesn't mean you should go out and eat and drink whatever you want.
One night of binge eating 6,000 calories could offset your progress for an entire week!
The reason I like the 80/20 rule is for the security and comfort it provides. It's O.K. to eat an extra slice of cake or pizza on occasion, just don't make it a daily habit ;).
Another Note: If you're serious about getting your results as quickly as possible, then you might want to use a more strict rule such as 90/10.
What's important is that you always allow for the occasional indulgence when you feel you need it.
Reason #3 - Perfection is Impossible Anyways
No one in history has every been perfect.
Even Michael Jordan (arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time) screwed up thousands of times in his career
"I've missed more than 9000 shots. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
You might as well forget about trying to be perfect and focus on what really matter - Being Consistent.
If you screw up one night, pick back up where you left off the next day.
If you miss a workout, forget it ever happened.
Don't be perfect. Be Consistent.
Trying to be perfect is a lost cause.
Have some fun, be consistent, and I guarantee losing weight will be more enjoyable.
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