I’m sure we all feel like that from time to time.
Not only that, but fighting overwhelm is a huge deal. It’s very easy for your to do list to get absolutely astronomical. The problem with this is that every time you add something to your “to do” list, you basically add stress, because your mind doesn’t forget about it until that task is completed.
This is called the “Zeigarnik Effect” (more on this another time)
We typically get overwhelmed when we’re focusing too much on minutia, or things that really don’t contribute in a big way to the goal that you’re trying to accomplish.
In diet and fitness, typically the minutia revolves around things like:
Putting a huge focus on these adds a ton of unrest and even feelings of being out of control…
… to the point where you just feel like the goal just can’t be accomplished at all, or you’re not “as good” as someone else is.
The fact is, for most goals, there are maybe 3 primary drivers TOPS that control or affect your progress in a BIG way.
The big issue is that the primary drivers are never really SEXY solutions. So you don’t hear them talked about very much, because there’s no sizzle to the steak.
So all you read about really is the “frosting”, and so you only FOCUS on the frosting – when what you REALLY need is the CAKE.
As an example, when constructing your body (no matter the goal) the 3 primary drivers are:
(I’ll walk through the Rule of 3 for systems another time)
Everything else you read about is a SUBSET of these primary drivers.
Types of workouts are a subset of work loads
Types of foods eaten are a subset of calorie loads
Lack of sleep, recovery times, and even “chemical enhancement” fall under (internal) stress loads
What this means is that of the 2, one dominates, the other assists. Calorie load does not assist types of foods, types of foods assist calorie loads. Work load does not assist types of workouts, types of workouts assist work loads.
Lets look at these 2, and put some examples on them.
In this example, lets pick on “high protein” diets. When you read a site or piece of advice about high protein diets, typically, the author will make it seem that eating high protein is all you need to do.
However, with a quick mental exercise, we can see that this is not the case. Case in point, can you eat low protein and lose body fat (and spare muscle) under a low calorie load.
The answer here is YES.
However, on the flip side, if you ate 6000 calories per day taking in almost all protein, would you lose body fat? Of course not. (you can try it if you want, I guarantee it’s not pleasant).
Workouts are the same. Can you grow doing any workout as long as the loading parameters are in line? YEP.
(In this case, we’re just talking raw mass)
Can you grow using a “special workout” if the loading parameters are NOT sufficient? Again, a fat no.
Start with your primary drivers first, then sprinkle in your subsets. If you’re dieting, understand your calorie loads THEN figure out how you want to eat. If you’re planning on lifting, make sure you understand that the workout guides the growth, it doesn’t cause the growth. The loading parameters do that.
Once you start asking these types of questions, a lot of things become clear on what you REALLY need to focus on.
So, if you’re out of town and forced to eat fast food, you don’t fret even if it’s not your “program”. You know that you just need to control the input to keep on track.
Same thing with workouts, if you forget your workout plan (leave your phone at home, etc) and have to “wing it”, just put together a workout that makes sense to you and load it up appropriately (don’t go through the motions). Heck, maybe you even play it “safe” and just go with one of the Big 3 and THAT’s it.
Understanding what your primary drivers are in reference to your goals simply saves you a ton of stress and headaches.
Because there simply just isn’t enough time in the day to get it all in and be HAPPY with the life you’re living at the same time.
On the flip