Caloric intake is such a fascinating topic to me.
It’s the one variable that never changes, and it’s the fundamental rule that every “diet” on the market must kneel before. Paleo, Keto, Carnivore, Vegetarian – you name it, ALL of them owe any of their success to this rule. Personal trainers inevitably must pay heed to it, and supplement companies try to run from it. All the unethical marketers lie about it. It’s sexier to say you do keto or take this amazing new supplement than to attribute your success to a deficit. But no matter what, caloric intake is key to sustainable fat loss.
And as I adjust my own macro numbers for the coming week, I realized caloric intake is just simple addition or subtraction. It’s taking well-founded formulas, adding your biometrics to them, and playing with the numbers to adjust to your current goal. The interesting thing is, for the most part, you almost always need to subtract to get anywhere in your fitness goals and in your personal life.
The world constantly wants you to buy more stuff, spend more money, and accumulate more things because it benefits the world. We have houses full of things we don’t use anymore, boxes with items we haven’t seen in months or years “incase we one day need them”, and garages or attics laced with cobwebbed junk. There are new shows that demand your attention, movies to pay for, games to play, and new entertainment venues awaiting your cash.
It’s easy to want more, think you need more, or to add more. It’s harder to throw things away or say no to the things you don’t need. But the most successful people tend to narrow their focus in their careers and attention in order to focus on the most important additions to their lives. And the most successful people in fitness and nutrition tend to narrow their focus in order to maximize their fitness success.
Do you need to walk down every aisle in the grocery store? No, you can narrow your focus to the perimeter and add all the real food to your cart and leave the fake, manufactured crap out. Do you need to go out every night to the fast food place? No, narrow your intake to once a week and re-focus on yourself. Find out what you need, and then learn to say no to anything that won’t help you. Just as there is freedom in throwing away old garbage out of your house during “Spring Cleaning”, there is freedom in learning to want only that which will help you get to where you want to be.
When will we as a culture learn that investing in ourselves (health, stress, sleep, fitness, and self-esteem) is just as important as financially investing or paying our bills? People will pay almost a hundred dollars to go to a restaurant or watch a movie, but paying for a gym membership at 30 per month is too much? People will go into debt to buy a new boat, motorcycle, or car, but paying a few hundred for a coach is too much?
Next time someone balks at paying their coach or personal trainer for some type of 12 week lifestyle change, remind them that for a few hundred dollars, they’re essentially paying this person less than 30 a week to help them for 3 months. When is the last time you paid anyone such a small amount to do anything? You can pay 30.00 in one go with an Uber to the restaurant that you’re about to drop a hundred on. I’ve personally paid thousands for fitness and business coaching, and even smaller amounts like “premium” for things like MyFitnessPal because I recognize my worth and pay for things that benefit me. Do you?
Instead of subtracting from yourself, and adding for the benefit of others, get a little selfish and subtract from the world in order to benefit you. Subtract from your caloric intake to get tighter around the waistline. Subtract from the items that bog you down around your house, or the drama in your life that you don’t need. Stop paying for things you don’t need, and use that money to pay for things that will help you instead of hurt you.