Information overload leads dieters astray

In the information age, it’s easy to get confused with all the diet and fitness information available. In my experience, I see people wasting efforts focusing on things that have little to do with weight loss and not working hard enough on the things that matter most.

To help put things in perspective, let me use a little analogy. Let’s say your car is not running right and sounds like it may need some serious engine work. You decide to surf the net looking for possible solutions. You discover better fuels, lubricants and filters to improve the car’s performance.

Immediately, you go to the auto parts store to purchase the suggested items and while you are there you also get air freshener, AmorAll and car wax. You replace all the lubricants, fill up on high-quality gas, and detail your car. To your surprise, when you crank the car it spits and sputters just like it always has. Although your car looks like new, the issue is still not resolved and you are out more money.

This is how people often approach weight loss. They forget the real issue and get distracted by, what I call, “fluff”. They start off searching for the solution to their problem and get sidetracked with tips and tricks to enhance performance – not fix the problem. Even when they need a pro, they still try to figure it out on their own, nickel and diming themselves to death with quick fix gimmicks and shortcuts that don’t deliver.

For example, a woman asked me about the importance of flaxseed oil in her diet, when she needed to focus on reducing calories first. Although taking supplements is helpful, they don’t resolve the weight issue.

Another example is the person starting a new fitness plan who dives into websites searching for the magical exercise. Many people are under the impression they can exercise the fat away, but that rarely works. Instead, they just spend a lot of energy doing a million crunches trying to lose their belly fat when all the get is rock hard abs hidden under a their spare tire.

Another distraction is all the cool fitness gadgets. Pedometers, for instance, may help you feel better about your activity but that’s about it. Again, this may enhance your workout, but a pedometer doesn’t help you lose weight.

You can dress cool, have all the fancy toys, eat healthy, and take supplements – and still be overweight. The focus must be on calories in vs. calories out. I know that doesn’t sound near as fun as shiny new fitness toy but it’s the truth. Keep your eye on what matters most and don’t let the fluff lead you astray.

About Bonnie Pfiester

Fitness Columnist and Lifestyle Coach, Resident Trainer for Designer Whey, Fitness Advisor for FitStudio, powered by Sears, FitFluential Ambassador and Owner of Max Fitness Club, home of BCx Boot Camp in Vero Beach, Florida.

Posted on February 13, 2011, in Diet & Nutrition Tips and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Agreed with it being about Calories in and out. But for a lot of people, that is hard to grasp as it would require a major mindset change. I do think it is important to exercise consistently and pay attention to the type of foods you are putting into your body.

    Thanks for the post!

  2. I know it’s hard…counting calories can be overwhelming at first, but I’ve seen too many people “watch” what they eat and workout for years without little results because they never worked on the mindset. I think all of successes start in our mind first. I think many of us are willing to work harder, but Americans’ struggle is with self-control …money, food, things, etc. Believe me! I’m stillllll learning! 🙂

    Keep me up to date with your progress. I’m still working kinks out of my new blog before I “officially” launch it so it should change and look prettier, etc. Thanks for writing!!

    • Yup, it is true, I had tried to lose the weight a few years back but never really considered what it would take and the actions I would have to take long term. This time around, thankfully, I’ve changed my mindset before I went to work on the problem. It really is a mentality issue. And believe me I still have plenty to learn and work on 🙂

      Will do! To get updates for my blog all you have to do is go to my site, and put your email in under the posts by email widget on the side!

      I look forward to seeing your official blog and keeping up with your posts!

  3. Great article! I never believed any of the exercise infomercials that claim you can shake your way to bigger biceps and what not. I’m a big believer of eating right and exercising in a traditional way (cardio and weights).

  4. SO true Jonathan! I hate seeing people fall for all that stuff. All they do is suck people’s money and let them down. Thanks for sharing!!

    TestingTrueChange – keep up the great work!! Looks like you are totally on the right path now! yay!! 🙂

  5. There is one company which provides the pedometers called MOVbands.With this MOVBands you can count your daily steps, heart beat rate, running speed etc. They also provides some Maths Learning DVDs for children & Toddlers, It helps them to become more active

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