How to deal with information overload
We are constantly bombarded with an overwhelming amount of information concerning health, fitness and nutrition. Quite often this information is contradictory and inconsistent. You might start out following a certain diet or training program before hearing what you are doing is wrong. You might also hear about newer or more effective techniques to achieve your weight loss goals before later discovering they were scams. Here is how to narrow the wide scope of information available and choose the best program for you.
Never settle for the easy way out
First things first, if it sounds too good to be true – it is. Many weight loss scammers just want to make a quick buck by preying on your hopes, desires and wishes to lose weight. The way to recognize such frauds is when you are promised maximum results, with little, or zero effort. Scams enchant you with pills, creams, potions, extreme diets, or new technology or machines that will make you thin. People nowadays are busy, have limited time, or simply do not want to put in the effort that is required to achieve their goals, so instead resort to alternative methods.
Sustainable fat loss is not quick or easy and should happen slowly and gradually over time. It all boils down to good nutrition, exercising regularly and a dose of patience and persistence. Do not look for quick fixes. You are far better off investing your time, money and energy into what has never failed to work; exercising and eating adequate portions of healthy food to create a negative energy balance. Choose a program that promotes gradual stages of fat loss and not a magic bullet to make you thin.
Real world example of a scam
One recent example of a scam is Reebok’s trainers called EasyTone. Endorsed by celebrities, these trainers have a curved sole that was said to cause instability in your daily movement, meant to make you rebalance your steps and strengthen muscle activation toning up your legs and buttocks areas. This would seem credible, given that celebrities claim it works, and Reebok had a so-called study proving effectiveness, which strangely was never published.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) analyzed the credibility of the trainers, discovering them to be misleading, and giving inaccurate promises. The ASA discovered that the sample size of female subjects used by the EasyTone study was only a handful, and inapplicable to the general public as a whole. However, though the ASA did find increased muscle activity from the trainers, it was not enough to burn fat and tone up your body the way the Reebok advertisement had claimed it would. The ASA eventually banned the advertisement, saying it must change the way it appears to consumers. If you really want to tone your legs, you would be better off doing weekly strength training and cardio than wearing the EasyTone trainers.
Only give importance to useful information
Another way to overcome information overload is to learn to recognize useless information and disregard it if it can’t be applied. In order to be classified as useful information, it must be informative and serve a purpose. It if has no purpose, and is information just for the sake of information – get rid of it. Do not keep emails, articles, web-links or anything because you believe knowledge is power. If this information has nothing valuable that can be implemented, it will only confuse and mislead you. There is no point in having information if you do not do anything with it. As Johann Van Goethe claimed, it is not enough to simply just know, we must apply.
Follow a realistic program that suits your lifestyle
Another common fault is having too many goals and trying to do too many things in one go. You may fit in endless hours of cardio and weight training, trying out many different methodologies that you heard were successful and effective. What happens at the end? You collapse.
Many people may not successfully follow a program because it is not realistic, or too difficult to implement and incorporate into their lifestyle. The trick is to choose something realistic that you know will work for your lifestyle and that you can stick to, and not to combine different diets and exercise programs, jumping around and trying different things in one go.
Choose one program and stick to it
Finally, do not be too confused by contradicting information.You are far better off sticking to what you are already doing and seeing if it works, than switching and trying something else. It would be hard to know if something would actually work for you if you constantly keep switching to something else and don’t give enough time for the results to kick in.
How to overcome information overload
Firstly, set yourself one realistic goal that you believe you can achieve. Choose an exercise and nutrition program that works for you and your lifestyle, promoting a slow and steady rate of fat loss. Keep following your program for the next three months, disregarding other claims or methodologies other than the one you have chosen to follow.
Make a mental note of what worked and what didn’t. Try it out and see for yourself and see if it gets you where you want to be. If not, you would know for a fact that this strategy is not for you, and it would be time to try something else – based on your own personal experience and persistence.
Everyone has different genetics and strategies that work for different people, so what may work for you may not work for someone else. Always remain positive and patient, and remember putting in a great amount of effort will bring about great results. Keep trying out different techniques until you get to where you want to be, and do not let yourself be victimized by contradicting, misleading information.