Fitspo Psycho Vs. Social Psycho

johnBy Matt Ham. When it comes to nutrition it is so very important to have a well-rounded and balanced approach. Unless you’ve come to us saying you want to get up on a stage, or compete professionally, chances are that you’re looking to be as lean and strong as possible while maintaining the lifestyle that you enjoy.

During my 10+ years in the fitness industry I’ve seen a lot of fads and gimmicks when it comes to nutrition prescription. My pursuit for knowledge in this area is never-ending, and this is because our understanding of the human body is always evolving. I draw upon the work of experts in this area such as Dr John Berardi, Brian St Pierre, and Brad Schoenfeld and apply my own experiences with clients in order to create a ‘realistic’ approach to nutrition and eliminate the ‘fatalistic’ approach.

As such, we use a scale system which highlights the two extremes: Fitspo Psycho and Social Psycho.

The Fitspo Psycho’s practice extreme discipline and are more often than not body builders or figure competitors, models and the like. For most of us, this lifestyle is impractical and therefore un-achievable. For those who can achieve this, do so because it is either their job, or they actually take enjoyment out of the constant discipline that’s needed.

Then there is the other side of coin – the Social Psychos, these guys usually have very poor health, they eat out a lot and tend to drink socially more than your average. They may be training, but are only doing so to maintain status quo. We see more of these than the prior…

While both have their issues, they also have some advantages – The Fitspo Pyschos are extremely healthy and have a fantastic physique, whereas the Social Psycho have a fantastic personal life, lots of events and maintain friendships better.

What we seek to find is a balance. As such we ask you ‘are you happy with where you are physically and mentally?’. If you are then we just need to make sure what you are ingesting is matching what you are expending.

If you are not, then we want to reduce your intake and maximise your output. However, it isn’t always this easy. There are a variety of factors that play a role in fat loss. It’s all about where we fit on the scale and adjusting it according to your body type, lineage, lifestyle, exercise routines, injuries, physiological parameters, emotional states and timing. The same can be said for weight gain, common sense dictates that we just ingest more than we have output but there are always other factors that play a role in specific goals such as this.

Accountability

In the past year I have made nutrition workshops available to all of our clients at no charge. During these sessions we would cover a variety of strategies to tackle our ongoing battle of eating well. Attendance at the workshop has been fairly inconsistent – we’re seeing that the guys who do come have usually have heard it all before, but are just looking for accountability.

“Accountability” – fancy that. During our sessions I am always chatting to you all about nutrition. There is no shortage of knowledge and advice there – most of you know exactly what you need to do and if that was all you needed, there would be no need for a workshop. Therein lies the problem. We all know what to do, but we have no one to make us accountable. I have resisted going down the path of charging for nutritional advice because I have seen the model used by a variety of dollar-snatching pseudo-experts and to be honest, it really grinds my gears. Nutrition should form part of the whole picture when seeking out instruction from your coach, not an ‘add-on’. But it doesn’t seem to hit home for many.

One thing I have witnessed first-hand is that if you are paying for something, you’ll be more inclined to turn up. I am debited weekly for my daughter’s swimming lessons regardless if she is there or not, so we make sure we get her to those lessons rain, hail or shine because we are financially obligated (oh yeah and to teach her to swim…).

As such, we are introducing personal nutrition workshops that will take place fortnightly by appointment.

During our personal workshops we will run through all the factors that may be standing in the way of you achieving where you want to be and at the same time making you accountable to actually completing the strategies that get you there. These strategies aren’t always crazy and extremely hard to attain, we realise who we are and the life we are in, so the goals are usually very realistic and attainable. Once we consistently achieve these strategies it becomes the norm and our nutritional work starts to complement our exercise activity and then the body will react positively as a result. Which only can mean a happier, healthier you.

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