When reading and documenting ourselves about bodybuilding, fitness or any kind of body shaping process, we often get a feeling, that more is the better. But, is it really true? The more you train, the more strict you with your meals are, the better your result will be? Is that really true?
Of course that answer is not that simple. Theoretically, yes. But, don't get sad and disappointed, because this is only the theoretical answer. We might also say, that if we were some kind of “programmable” robots, with absolutely no social life or duties, no sole and no feelings it would surely be the case. Sadly or not, we are not. We live our lives among other similar beings as us, we have work, we have family, friends, pets, etc. We have seasons, we have hormonal changes and only God knows how many other things. Some of us are women, some of us are men and some have no idea.
So, I do ask the question again: is more the better?
My personal opinion is definitely: No. I am a true believer in the philosophy, that being calm, and having a relaxed mind is the key to achieving any fitness goal. Doing more, solicits a lot of mental power. Doing trainings two times a day, eating always 5-6 meals, preparing meals every single day, calculating macros, skipping family dinners, never drinking sodas or alcohol, never eating a single cookie, is nice to write down. Looks good on paper or typed. But lacks entirely the human factor. Not the Mr. or Mrs. Olympia factor, but the average human factor. People like you and me, who don't make their living necessarily from showing off their body.
We, average, working class dudes, we can still look good, no question about that, but the level of mental focus which we concentrate on body shaping is and can not be as high as for a person who makes money from having a six pack. Some of us, just have nice abs, but actually almost nobody sees it. OK, your boyfriend, girlfriend is happy, summertime you show off on the beach, but otherwise, especially in the cold European countries, most of the year we wear thick clothes. So, the satisfaction of the impact our fit body makes on other people can not serve as the upper level of motivation. Nevertheless, it's not that we are not making any money from looking good, but we only spend money on it. And money making can really be a huge factor. Of course some may say, health is important, too, and I totally agree with it. Especially due to the fact that me = myself have a lot of physiological deficiencies, which I actually keep correcting with regular exercise and proper food. But, sometimes, when actually nothing hurts, you feel good, just don't have the attitude for gym or for chicken breast with rice, it can't really be such a huge motivating factor, that : if I don't go to the gym today, maybe tomorrow my back will hurt” or “if I eat this piece of cookie, my blood sugar will raise, and it will trigger fat “sedimentation”. It even sounds stupid. Who the heck would be motivated by such philosophical theories, in order not to ingest a tasty cookie? I think if not nobody, than few.
But if, you think, that having or preserving the six pack would bring you 5000 dollars, for example, next month, you would be motivated, wouldn't you?
I realized, that having realistic expectations from yourself is the key of maintaining a nice body and a fit lifestyle. Over-torturing yourself with never eating sugar, drinking bitter coffees, never eating a cookie, a pizza or a big piece of meat with french fries is definitely a good idea, not doing it every day, is also a good idea, but thinking that you will never ever do it, “beginning from Monday” is the biggest lie you could tell yourself. Calculate the unknown factor of seasonal, hormonal, social and whatever changes into your life. Just acknowledge the fact, that there is no such thing “as never ever again”. Calculate the mental and physical breaks you are going to make throughout the body shaping process. Actually think of it, that life itself is a body shaping process. Even in the case of you not doing anything, just sitting on the couch, your body will still “work”. It will still change. Chemical reactions are non-stop events in every cell of yours. Nothing remains “unnoticed”. Every bullshit meal, or every calculated, proper meal has an impact. The impacts are not spectacular, thank God, I must add. At least not in case of exceptions. You won't explode of fat from one cookie, but won't get lean and sexy from one salad with chicken breast either. Either of them cause your body to do things that are not noticeable with the naked eye, but be aware of the fact, that nothing enters or leaves your body without an impact.
That is why being “moderate” is very important. And to be moderate means, that you don't fall in one or another trap. Don't “overdo” things. Don't overestimate your capability of focus, your free time, your strength. Like, moderately eating a cookie, from time to time is a natural thing. You can't do anything against the absolute tastiness of the damn cookies. So, accept it, incorporate it in your diet moderately. Ingesting a sweet from time to time, won't end you up in being a hungered monster. Don't push yourself to the limit, so you don't start a civil war against yourself.
Just look at history and politics. People and nations revolt, if they are being exposed to some kind of abuse for a long time. I am not saying that having a low fat, low-carb diet, avoiding sweets is an abuse. Theoretically, it is not. It is actually healthy for you. But again, we have to analyze our situation in the context of our society, not in the context of living alone on a mountain. Who says, that eating the calculated diet doesn't need mental focus, determination, huge amount of motivation, self control and an amount of abstinence is lying and selling false dreams. And false dreams are the triggering factor for false expectations, and false expectations are the mother of big disappointments.
So, avoid the false expectations. Always have dreams, but keep your dreams realistic. Calculate the chocolate as the unchangeable factor of your equation. Don't over-ingest it, but never say never.