Hey! You want to shed some pounds and don’t really work out right now. Maybe you don’t really know that much about training. But, perhaps you have read a few books or articles on the internet. Maybe you have it all figured out and you are ready!!

Now Captain Figured It Out – All I want from you is get your fanny pack to that gym 8 hours a week and track everything that you do. Oh and 90%ish of what you do must be “functional”, but don’t be overly worry concerned with this aspect – just make sure you get those 8 hours.

Odin – The WeightLifting All Father only knows what this guy’s log would look like. I am guessing it would have a lot of kettlebell, dumbbell, and barbell work that he saw other people doing from the side mirror.

Professionals in the Fitness World would see this and lose their shit.

No exercise selection. No rest intervals. Not even a shred of reps, sets, or science. Not a tinge of individualization or evaluation. This person was never asked what they liked or didn’t like or if they have some injury or condition we should be aware of. Why would we do that, when we can “Just Do It!”

This is laughable, but for some reason when this same strategy is used in the Nutrition World with things like “Flexible Dieting” protocols no one really questions it.

Yes, if I tell someone who doesn’t exercise to go to a gym 8 hours a week they will probably get results. Then if I begin tweaking up what they do if they don’t get results, things will probably get better. But why wouldn’t we start from a better place. A proper evaluation and assessment? Some good ol fashion learning and the trying out of new things and the mastering old ones?

Left to their own devices people will just end up doing what they naturally gravitate towards or what everyone else is doing (myself – included).

In the Nutrition World, that generally means pizza and in the Exercise World it probably means bench press and bicep curls for dudes, and the elliptical and some weird glute machine for 25 reps for women (I don’t really know I haven’t been to a globo gym in years, maybe everyone loves front squats now)

Do you really want to be that guy or gal in the nutrition world? The one dishing out macros without any type of individualization about what, when, or how, or food selection or preparation? Do you want to be the one who doesn’t understand or respect micronutrients? The one who doesn’t know how to go through a thorough evaluation? Or do you want to be the professional who says, “You know what, if you want to eat a whole pack of Krispy creams Betty Lou – go for it! Just make sure you hit your protein and get 35 grams of fiber!”

*This post will cause backlash because I didn’t hold any punches and people feel strongly in this ideology. It has worked for them. It has worked for them in helping others and it can and is probably being done very well. Yes, if your solitary goal is physique or weight loss, tracking calories and macros militantly will work. Period. Researchers have found this to be true time and again. Yet, they are also starting to find out that if you don’t change the animal’s lifestyle and the quality of the food that this animal consumes, it will face guard set point more vehemently. Well, congratulations you may have just hooked someone to myfitnesspal and possibly your big brother services for life. Also, the bystander effect is the real deal. What gets measured gets managed, and weighing and measuring is really important so people can actually see how much they are eating. BUT, it is not the start or the end of the line. It is a tool that needs to be used surgically and individually.

**Humans are fairly amazing at regulating their body weight long-term even in the current obesogenic environment, so cognitively highjacking this is probably not necessary in most humans, especially if you have never been overweight. However, it is likely a necessity if you are competing in a sport like body building, and may be advantageous to most athletes in the short term so they can see how much they actually need to eat.

“The data would suggest that on average man eats 13.8 MJ more energy than he expended over the course of the year (that’s an average 9 kcals a day)…On a daily basis, this difference between intake and expenditure averages only 38 kJ – approximately equal to the cost of walking 150 meters (492 feet).”

-Speakman et al. 2011

Now, the biggest reason for weight regain is the loss of dietary adherence. I have found anecdotally that if I can change people’s lives and environment they earn the right to be less and less rigid over time, especially if their goal is just maintenance, however most will benefit from some kind of food diary and consistent check in process. Honestly, just having to show up to train with a coach is sometimes all that is needed.

***I respect your opinion, but am not going to get in a debate on the internet about this subject. The answer is likely all context dependent anyways.