The Challenge of Weight-Loss Challenges
We all can be more fit, wouldn’t you agree? Fitness – at home or at one of the Denver gyms downtown – can lead to a happier and healthier life. A pleasant by-product of a solid exercise regimen and healthy eating is healthy weight-loss.
To be clear, weight loss is actually not synonymous with fitness, it is a result. And, it is subjective (some people might actually need to gain weight to become more fit). Losing weight and getting in shape can actually be mutually exclusive, and contradictory, depending on your intentions.
Take, for example, the phenomenon of the “weight loss challenge.” In fact, Google that term and see what comes up. It’s a nearly-endless list of programs and apps designed to help you shed pounds in a short period of time. Some of these are accompanied by a diet regimen, others are accompanied by supplements while others hammer the point home that you’re probably eating too much. Overall, many of these “challenges” are just yo-yo diets that negatively impact your body more than you might think.
Weight-Loss Starts at the Gym and in the kitchen.
Let me be cynical for a second: losing weight is not a fitness regimen. It’s part of becoming healthier through hard work and discipline. To shed pounds abnormally and then declare yourself fit, however, is exactly what these programs want. They all disclaim that you should continue to eat healthy and exercise to maintain the positive results of their weight loss challenge, but we’re all aware of how well the majority of us keeps weight off. That’s why the dieting industry is lucrative; they know we’re all repeat customers when we shouldn’t even have to take a weight-loss challenge to begin with.
Weight-loss challenges and diet regimens are likely well-intended. We all want to look great, and admittedly, some diets and lifestyles have withstood the test of time. But, you’ll notice that those lifestyles also heavily incorporate fitness and exercise into their eating programs. That’s why they’re successful; they don’t prey on the public’s vanity and impatience to need to lose 10 pounds in a month. They offer no short cuts and, in fact, glamorize the work you need to put in.
Health and fitness are not quick-fix items. People don’t quit drinking for 30 days, declare themselves cleansed and then immediately go celebrate with Bloody Marys. Oh wait, they do. There was no change there; you just gave your liver a month off. (And you probably didn’t even realize how good you felt, either. Why do you think Denver area gyms downtown and across the Front Range ramp up their marketing after New Year’s?)
The same goes with participating in a weight-loss challenge. You’ll lose 10 pounds in 30 days, but you’ll likely find them again without much effort, unless you take a holistic, long-term approach to health, wellness and fitness. The best Denver gyms downtown will want to focus on challenging you, fitness-wise.
Next month, let’s look at a challenge we all can get behind: fitness-based challenges. Instead of trying to lose 10 pounds, how about trying to double the number of push-ups you can do in a month? How about increasing your cardio output? These are challenges worth accepting.