The Cost of Getting Lean… Is it Really Worth The Tradoff?

Six-pack abs. Tight butts. Lean, vibrant, flawless health. That’s the image the fitness industry is selling. But have you ever wondered what it costs to achieve that “look”? What you have to do more of? What you really have to give up?

Make no mistake, there are real trade-offs as you attempt to lose fat and improve your health. Let’s talk about what they are. So you can consider how to get the body you want while living the life you enjoy.

Two common misperceptions:

Myth #1: With just a few small, easy, hopefully imperceptible changes to one’s diet and exercise routine, you too can have shredded abs, big biceps, and tight glutes, just like a magazine cover model.

Myth #2: “Getting into shape” or “losing weight” involves painful, intolerable sacrifice, restriction, and deprivation. Of course, neither of these are true.

Reality #1: The process that helps you lose “the first 10 pounds” isn’t the same one that’ll help you lose “the last 10 pounds”. Indeed, it usually takes a lot more work as you get leaner.

Reality #2: If you do aspire to “fitness model” or “elite athlete” lean, you might be surprised. Images are photoshopped for effect. Bodybuilders only look like that for competition. And achieving that look comes at a high cost; one most people aren’t willing to pay.

Reality #3: However, if you’re okay not being on the next magazine cover and aspire to be “lean and healthy” even small adjustments can — over time — add up to noticeable improvements. Sometimes these improvements can change, perhaps even save, lives.

Do more of this (and less of that)
With that said, we’re about to share something a lot of people in fitness and health don’t want you to see. It’s a chart outlining what it really takes to lose body fat, improve your health, move from one fitness category to the next. Some fitness people think you’re too afraid. Or too weak. Or that you won’t buy their products and services if they’re honest with you. We think otherwise. We think it’s necessary to weigh the pros and cons so that you can make informed decisions about your body and your life.

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By Ryan Andrews & Brian St. Pierre