Why “It Depends” Is the Answer to 99% of Fitness and Nutrition Questions

 

We love simple quick answers. We love simple quick fixes. We love definite, simple, quick answers that give big quick fixes. You know what we have been taught to hate?

Consistency, hard work, waiting, and a dynamic approach to all things.

Well, I’m here to tell you that this is exactly what gets the best, maintainable results.

Of course, this isn’t what sells though. That’s why magazines, TV shows, and endless websites and diet programs tell you things that are sexy, click bait, and sell.

  • 5 Foods That WILL Make You Fat
  • You Must do 150 Minutes of Cardio Per Week to Lose Fat
  • You Must Squat, Bench and Deadlift to Get Strong
  • You Shouldn’t Eat Carbs After 3PM
  • 10 Exercises That WILL Destroy Your Joints

All of these titles, or topics SHOULD be answered with, “well, it depends”.

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When it comes to the human body, everyone is so incredibly different, that one size fits all recommendations and plans won’t necessarily work for everyone.

Imagine you come down with a terrible virus, or a nasty infection. Your ideal result is to be cured and back to 100%. Would you base your plan of attack off of a magazine article, or a 30-minute TV show segment? Doubtful.

You would seek out an expert, who would put together the BEST plan for YOU, based off of your individual needs and your current condition – to get you the BEST results.

So why do so many people listen to diet and exercise advice to get their desired results from anyone with an Instagram account, a six-pack, or a non-personalized approach to their health? ***I’m not saying there aren’t good programs and plans out there, as there are many, however there also is a lot of fluff, tricks and gimmicks, that fail to address the real issues, or answer the “it depends” questions.

A true professional will work with you as an individual, and come up with a plan for your nutrition and exercise needs, and this plan should always be evolving.

So back to “it depends”.

Does eating after 6pm make you fat?

It depends. Does eating after 6PM put you into a caloric surplus? Then yes, this will increase your body mass. Are you still maintaining a caloric deficit by the end of the day? Then no, this won’t make you gain weight.

Do I need to do cardio everyday?

It depends. What else do you do for training? What are your goals? What is your diet like? How healthy is your heart? Are you looking to get better at running, or improve running performance? Then yes, cardio will help with that. Are you just looking to lose some fat, and look better? Then maybe you don’t NEED cardio, maybe you can adjust your diet, or your training methods… it all depends 🙂

Do I need to bench, squat and deadlift to get strong?

It depends. Do you want to be a power lifter? Then yes, you will need to get better at those lifts. Do you have limitations, just want to get sexy or have no clue what a deadlift is? Then no, you don’t need to deadlift to get a strong lower body and back. It ALL depends…

Will eating ice cream and cookies make me fat?

It depends. Will this put you into a caloric surplus day after day? Then yes, your weight will go up. Do you plan these treats into your otherwise balanced, and adult lifestyle choices and maintain a maintenance or caloric deficit? Then nope, enjoy that ice cream cone.

I think you get it, IT ALL DEPENDS.

So what about that other 1%, where it doesn’t depend?

Whatever you choose as your goal, or your desired result, these things MUST be present:

Hard work – you need to put in the work to get the results. This means you are in it for the long haul, and you remind yourself of this when the days and times come when you don’t want to go to the gym, or you just want to pound a gallon of ice cream. Now, all this stuff is normal too. It happens. You are a human being, and these things come up. It’s how to bounce back, how you adjust, and how you move forward that aligns with a hard work mentality.

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Consistency – I get it, quick fixes and 7 day weight loss challenges can get you motivated and jump start your plan. But then what? It’s all about consistency, and giving things time to take effect. The only way to truly measure consistency is to track what we can. Intake, workouts, steps taken, eating patterns/habits, etc. You don’t NEED to track everything, but if you are truly chasing a specific result, it helps tremendously as we can only manage what we can measure and adjust accordingly (credit to my friends at Relentless Dietetics).

Fun – honestly, you have to find the enjoyment in what you do. This is where a professional comes in handy. Your neighbor might be doing some crazy diet that works for them, but sounds like hell on earth to you. Do you think that you will stick to that diet, and get results that your neighbor is getting? Unlikely. A professional nutrition coach, trainer, or whoever you choose to work with should be able to create an approach to training and nutrition that is the most feasible and least miserable to YOU. It won’t ALWAYS be fun, but it doesn’t have to ALWAYS be miserable – just has to be worth it.

 

While most fitness and nutrition questions can honestly be answered with “it depends”, the truth is – this doesn’t sell products or seats, and often coincides with a very close minded, and lazy approach to the complexity that is the human body.

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What always will prevail however, no matter what you choose to do, is hard work, consistency and a little bit of fun getting there.

 

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Stay healthy my friends,