There’s been a lot written about the physiological justification behind overfeeding, cheat meals, and cheat days. I want to talk about a different perspective – more specifically the psychological importance of deviating from diet and how it can make or break your success.
If you are the type of person who’s always trying to maintain your diet through countless work dinners, happy hours, weddings, and weekend benders, listen up because this is for you.
As my most astute readers already know, I don’t think that exercise – especially cardio – in and of itself is a very viable solution to weight loss. In fact, I’d go as far as to make the argument that exercise is not necessarily for everyone just starting out with fitness.
Now, I’m probably in disagreement with 99% of the population here (which should tell you something about going against the grain, since I probably get the top 1% of results from sedentary individuals), but I’m not alone.
I’ve written about this before. Cardio is just not a good ROI of your time, because it’s not an effective weight loss therapy. And thankfully, other reputable folk have a similar opinion.
Yet, I’ve also met a non-trivial amount of people in the wild who claim to have lost weight with exercise – mostly cardio – and no explicit dietary intervention. (I can only name one person who claims that she dropped a considerable amount of weight from strength training alone with no dietary intervention.) These stories cannot automatically be disregarded.
Naturally, this got me thinking. Is there a certain cohort out there that successfully loses weight from exercise alone? If so, what’s different about them?
In the three years since starting Fitocracy, I’ve personally interacted with tens of thousands of people attempting to transform themselves.
Many succeeded, but many have failed. For those who failed, it wasn’t for a lack of trying or initial motivation. After all, many did attempt to emulate the same iron willpower and work ethic that they saw in Arnold.
Thankfully I’ve also seen many success stories, many of which are in Arnold’s 1% Challenge group, whose members just last week hit a cumulative one million workouts.