How Pie and Running Your Mouth are Ruining Your Fitness Results
Still fat? You might be eating all of the pie.
(CC BY-SA 2.0)
Many of us have fitness goals. Some are completely achievable and others a little pie in the sky.
Why you aren’t Meeting your Objective
- Refer to picture of pie
- Lack of motivation/never actually getting off the couch (I’ll start tomorrow is your mantra)
- You won’t stop talking about it
I recently read a blog post featuring a scientific study that goes in-depth into #3. The study asked 163 individuals to write down a goal; half of the participants announced the goal, the other half remained mum. They were then given 45 minutes to complete the task and the results were highly interesting.
The group that did not share their objective worked the full 45 minutes and, at the end of the work period, they felt there was much to still be done. In contrast, the group that shared their intentions worked for about 30 minutes and felt they had made great strides toward their goal.
This sense of success is false; they did not mystically outperform those who kept quiet, their brains just let them think they did. By announcing our ambitions, we trick our brain into thinking we’ve completed a step toward achieving that goal leading us to put forth less effort and get less done. In short, we become a blerch.
Maybe the reason you aren’t losing weight or building more muscle is because you told someone, or several someones, you were going to (assuming you are not, in fact, eating all of the pie).
Many of us share our fitness goals in the hopes that our family and friends will keep us on track, but let’s be honest—when was the last time family and friends actually forced you to stick to a fitness routine? Unless they are going to the gym and grocery store with you AND have very similar goals, odds are you will get a lot of this:
- One beer won’t hurt (watch that one beer turn into 8 beers, a keg stand, and a hangover in the morning)
- You’ve been working out so much; you deserve a treat! (You are not a dog, do not reward yourself with food for good behavior)
- We never go out anymore! (Everything in moderation…but when was the last time you witnessed anything in moderation at the club?)
Don’t Tell Everyone About your Fitness Goals
So stop telling people you are going to work out more, lose weight, or go Paleo. At best, they will support you but your brain will sabotage you, at worst they’ll suddenly turn into fitness experts and tell you everything you are doing wrong ever (and your brain will still sabotage you).
Besides, you don’t need to tell people about your fitness goals to interact with highly annoying tools; they have those at the gym already. In all seriousness, sometimes it is best to keep your head down, work hard, and wait for people to ask if you’ve lost weight or built muscle. Your brain will reward you and this time it won’t sabotage you before you even got off the couch.