Health & Fitness Is Not A 12 Week Program

Written by Tom Venuto

Continued from page 1

What causes people to burn so brightly with enthusiasm and motivation and then burn out just as quickly? Why do so many people succeed brilliantly inrepparttar short term but fail 95 out of 100 times inrepparttar 139699 long term? Why do so many people reach their fitness goals but struggle to maintain them?

The answer is simple: Health and fitness is for life, not for "12 weeks."

You can avoidrepparttar 139700 on and off, yo-yo cycle of fitness ups and downs. You can get in great shape and stay in great shape. You can even get in shape and keep getting in better and better shape year after year, but it's going to take a very different philosophy than most people subscribe to. The seven tips below will guide you.

These guidelines are quite contrary torepparttar 139701 quick fix philosophies prevailing inrepparttar 139702 weight loss and fitness world today. Applying them will take patience, discipline and dedication. But remember,repparttar 139703 only thing worse than getting no results is getting great results and losing them.

1) Don’t “go on” diets.

When you “go on” a diet,repparttar 139704 underlying assumption is that at some point you have to “go off” it. This isn’t just semantics, it’srepparttar 139705 primary reason most diets fail. By definition, a “diet” is a temporary and often drastic change in your eating behaviors and/or a severe restriction of calories or food, which is ultimately, not maintainable. If you reach your goal,repparttar 139706 diet is officially “over” and then you "go off" (returning torepparttar 139707 way you used to eat). Health and fitness is not temporary; it’s not a “diet.” It’s something you do every day of your life. Unless you approach nutrition from a “habits” and “lifestyle” perspective, you’re doomed fromrepparttar 139708 start.

2) Eatrepparttar 139709 same foods all year round.

Permanent fat loss is best achieved by eating mostlyrepparttar 139710 same types of foods all year round. Naturally, you should include a wide variety of healthy foods so you getrepparttar 139711 full spectrum of nutrients you need, but there should be consistency, month in, month out. When you want to lose fat, there’s no dramatic change necessary - you don’t need to eat totally different foods - it’s a simple matter of eating less of those same healthy foods and exercising more.

3) Have a plan for easing into maintenance.

Let’s face it – sometimes a nutrition program needs to be more strict than usual. For example, peaking for a bodybuilding or fitness contest requires an extremely strict regimen that’s different thanrepparttar 139712 rest ofrepparttar 139713 year. As a rule,repparttar 139714 stricter your nutrition program,repparttar 139715 more time you must allow for a slow, disciplined transition into maintenance. Failure to plan for a gradual transition will almost always result in bingeing and a very rapid, hard fall "offrepparttar 139716 wagon."

4) Focus on changing daily behaviors and habits one or two at a time.

Rather than making huge, multiple changes all at once, focus on changing one or two habits/behaviors at a time. Most psychologists agree that it takes about 21 days of consistent effort to replace an old bad habit with a new positive one. As you master each habit, and it becomes as ingrained into your daily life as brushing your teeth, then you simply move on torepparttar 139717 next one. That would be at least 17 new habits per year. Can you imaginerepparttar 139718 impact that would have on your health and your life? This approach requires a lot of patience, butrepparttar 139719 results are a lot more permanent than if you try to change everything in one fell swoop. This is alsorepparttar 139720 least intimidating way for a beginner to start making some health-improving lifestyle changes.

5) Make goal setting a lifelong habit.

Goal setting is not a one-time event, it’s a process that never ends. For example, if you have a 12 week goal to lose 6% bodyfat, what are you going to do after you achieve it? Lose even more fat? Gain muscle? Maintain? What's next? On week 13, day 1, if you have no direction and nothing to keep you going, you’ll have nothing to keep you from slipping back into old patterns. Every time you achieve a goal, you must set another one. Having daily and weekly short term goals means that you are literally setting goals continuously and never stopping.

6) Allow a reasonable time frame to reach your goal.

It's important to set deadlines for your fitness and weight loss goals. It's also important to set ambitious goals, but you must allow a reasonable time frame for achieving them. Time pressure is oftenrepparttar 139721 motivating force that helps people get inrepparttar 139722 best shape of their lives. But whenrepparttar 139723 deadline is unrealistic for a particular goal (like 30 pounds in 30 days), then crash dieting or other extreme measures are often taken to get there beforerepparttar 139724 bell. The more rapidly you lose weight,repparttar 139725 more likely you are to lose muscle andrepparttar 139726 fasterrepparttar 139727 weight will come right back on afterwards. Start sooner. Don't wait until mid-May to think about looking good for summer.

7) Extend your time perspective.

Successful people in every field always share one common character trait: Long term time perspective. Some ofrepparttar 139728 most successful Japanese technology and manufacturing companies have 100 year and even 250-year business plans. If you want to be successful in maintaining high levels of fitness, you must set long term goals: One year, Ten years, Even fifty years! You also must considerrepparttar 139729 long term consequences of using any "radical" diet, training method or ergogenic aid. The people who had it but lost it are usuallyrepparttar 139730 ones who failed to think long term or acknowledge future consequences. It's easy for a 21 year old to live only for today, and it may even seem ridiculous to set 25 year goals, but consider this: I've never met a 40 or 50 year old who didn't care about his or her health and appearance, but I have met 40 or 50 year olds who regretted not caring 25 years ago.

Tom Venuto is a certified personal trainer, natural bodybuilder and author of the #1 best selling diet e-book, "Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle. You can get info on Tom's e-book at: To get Tom's free monthly e-zine, visit

Before and After Photos in the Fitness Magazines

Written by Brian D. Johnston

Continued from page 1

But it is to these unhealthy extremes that one sometimes experiences in order to make a dramatic difference in a contest that allows only 12 weeks. After all, 12 weeks is not a long time, particularly for advanced trainees more so than novices. Forrepparttar advanced, there is not much muscle to gain and to produce good before and after photos requires extreme loss of fat - besides slouching, frowning, and no pump or tan inrepparttar 139491 before photos.

Unfortunately, many people (particularly novices) who are unaware ofrepparttar 139492 benefits and application of long-term planning will burn out on such an endeavor, perhaps quitting exercise all together. After a 12-week stint of near overtraining (if they haven’t done so byrepparttar 139493 contest’s end and if not understanding how to train), they conclude they cannot tolerate another 12-weeks of further self-inflicted torture, let alone another three years.

Not everyone entering these contests understand that it is a short-term solution... to see how farrepparttar 139494 body can be pushed as quickly as possible. After that point, training must take on a more cyclic structure. This means maintaining most of what was accomplished duringrepparttar 139495 physique transformation followed by ‘easier’ off-season training and peaking infrequently thereafter. Fat loss may continue afterrepparttar 139496 contest, or prior to another peak, but 100% mental effort and extreme demands may only account for 8-12 weeks total throughoutrepparttar 139497 year once reaching an advanced stage. Training throughoutrepparttar 139498 remainder ofrepparttar 139499 year can still be tough, yet tolerable and never as demanding.

I don’t believe most beginner trainees realizerepparttar 139500 importance of cycling or what needs to be done after a physique transformation challenge. Most magazines don’t talk about it, nor do bodybuilding books. They present general ideas and expect you to lift happily ever after. It is for this reason that physique transformation contests and magazines as a whole produce greater failure than success in. The thoughts of maintaining or bettering one’s physique after 12-weeks of grueling effort is enough to shatter anyone’s motivation. Believing that you must continue training in a similar manner (something to which we have all fallen victim) isrepparttar 139501 best guarantee to exercise termination.

Interestingly, can you imaginerepparttar 139502 loss in profits that supplement manufacturers (magazine owners) are encountering due to frustration of their readers andrepparttar 139503 thousands dropping out of exercise - or perhaps no longer purchasing that magazine andrepparttar 139504 supplements it endorses. If sound training information were provided, particularly long-term application, there would be more successes and supplement purchases from advanced trainees. Rather, supplement companies are hoping and expecting a new generation of customers to make up for those recently lost – short-term solutions for a quick buck.

Brian D. Johnston is the Director of Education and President of the I.A.R.T. fitness certification and education institute. He has written over 12 books and is a contributor author to the Merck Medical Manual. An international lecturer, Mr. Johnston wears many hats in the fitness and health industries, and can be reached at Visit his site at for more free articles.

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