The title of this article might leave you thinking that what I’m about to say will be completely moot. After all, nobody ‘sets out’ to get fat and as such a diatribe convincing you not to try and put on weight would probably be a waste of time.
Except, while very few people actually set out to try and gain weight, it is nevertheless quite common to simply treat weight gain as ‘no big deal’. For most people there will come a time in life when things get on top of them, whether that’s work, relationships, home maintenance, raising a family… and at that point they put health and fitness on the backburner. Now you start crashing out on the couch as soon as you get home, and you find yourself more regularly turning to junk foods like burgers and pizzas because you’re exhausted and you want to ‘comfort eat’.
You know you’re going to gain some weight, but your hope is that you’ll then be able to get back into shape in a couple of months when life quietens down.
The Best Laid Plans…
Only here’s the rub: very rarely does this actually happen. Quickly those months turn to years and those years turn to a decade or two. You then spend a huge portion of your life feeling out of shape and looking far from your best. Not ideal.
Eventually you’ll get to the point where you do have a little more time and energy and you’ll try to get back into shape by doing some exercise and sticking to a slightly better diet. Only even then you will likely find that the pounds don’t just fall off and that the muscle doesn’t just spring back into place. After years of being overweight, you’ll find that everything is against you when you try to get back into shape. You’ll have less energy to work out, your metabolism will be slower, you’ll be weaker, you’ll be more prone to injury and your muscles will have lost their adaptability.
It’s at this point that you end up having to use extremely un-fun diets and sticking to intensive training protocols just to get back into the shape you were once in ‘by default’. If you know anyone who this has happened to, then you’ll know they end up struggling just to get to the level of fitness that once came naturally to them. That’s because their body has changed and now they’re fighting an uphill battle.
The Best Way to Get in Shape
So what’s the best way to get in shape? It’s to avoid getting out of shape in the first place. You are born in shape, and most of us will have been in relatively good health during our teens and early twenties. The key is not to let that slip as you get older. If work is leaving you with not enough time or energy to exercise or to stick to a healthy diet, then it’s the work you need to reconsider, not the health. Health should be the number one priority.