So, if it’s all about too much of everything what is the answer?
If we all have too much information and that itself if part of the problem how do we help people get fit, lose weight, live healthier, happier lives?
People do, generally, have a vague idea of what they need to do to lose weight or get fit. I’m not saying everyone understands it all in great detail; many simply won’t understand all the data or even care how many grams of protein they should eat, whether carbs are good or bad and what constitutes good exercise BUT most people have a sense that they need to eat a bit healthier, eat or drink a bit less, move a bit more etc.
So what stops them doing that? If people know the basics why don’t they do it? If there has never been a better time to find out information from the internet, the media, social networking etc. and it has never been easier to track down healthy foods from the vast number of products in any supermarket why isn’t the population slim, fit and healthy? Why is obesity increasing and why do people find it so hard to stick at any “diet” plan that they start?
There can be no doubt that there is a massive amount of influence exerted on consumers of all ages and budgets through the enormous marketing and advertising budgets of the huge multi-national food corporations. You cannot walk down any UK high street without seeing the usual identikit outlets – and they always include several fast food or coffee shops – whose sheer number of stores across the country ensures that they are ubiquitous. This is usually backed by a large marketing presence on the internet, in printed publications as well as local and national advertising on both the TV and radio. Taken as a whole it simply means that everyone – no matter what age or socio-economic level – has a general awareness of what they offer and once you add peer pressure a massive demand is generated.
Unfortunately, almost all of the large scale operations supported by advertising provide foods or drinks that, consumed in any quantity, are at the unhealthy end of the scale; so, if people already have an understanding of that why do they still consume them?
We live in a fast paced 24/7 society these days and over the last 20-30 years we have grown accustomed to having food available to fit in with our working and leisure time; more women work outside the home as well as having families and so is it any wonder that we have looked for solutions that mean less time in the kitchen preparing a meal for the whole family? Is it any wonder that we embraced the idea of microwaved food ready in minutes or “drive thru” meals that we can eat as go about our daily lives?
But where we have saved time in the kitchen we have sacrificed nutrition, quality and an understanding of what exactly is in our food – how many of us can read and really understand the labels on fast food? How many people really know or understand whether the additives in breakfast cereal are a good or bad thing and at what nutritional level does something good turn into something bad?
And if people want convenience food but feel swamped by the mass of information available how does the “fitness industry” provide help, support guidance without simply becoming part of the problem?
If you spend any time looking at fitness products, websites or most media publications you will soon see that they tend to fall into the same basic viewpoints;
- Everything you are doing is wrong – we have the REAL answer
- You can lose weight/get amazing abs/look fantastic etc. with minimal effort
- Take these supplements and that will fix everything
And sure, all of these work to a certain extent and with certain people but they never address the underlying issues that prevent all of us from tackling the issues that surround us. The more time I spend researching, reading, meeting people the more I believe that there is so much more to being “fit” or “healthy” and that the majority of the fitness industry over looks it in the hope of continuing to make the extra money – the very male industry promotes its “we can fix you” attitude with supplements, techno products that tap into everyone’s short-attention span attitude and with its very prescriptive “only we have the answer” opinion.
I want to provide a better way; to understand what clients really want and to be see if I can create a better way to deliver fitness, health, wellbeing etc that moves away from the traditional way of training. In the coming days, weeks and months I will share some of my thoughts and findings – I look forward to receiving your comments and feedback!
Have a wonderful day.