$100 Billion US Dollars.
That’s how much the fitness industry is worth at the moment.
The average person has dieted more than 10 times and spent hundreds (or thousands) or dollars on gym memberships, on supplement, shakes and weight loss pills.
And yet research shows that 95% of people will put weight on after they lose it. Our collective weight has gone up and up and the fitness industry has done nothing to stop it.
It’s clear that the fitness industry is by far the worst investment ever to be made. And it’s making a select few filthy rich, while its clients are left struggling over and over again, not getting the results they want.
After watching the fitness industry for more than a decade it has occurred to me that this industry is set up to give people temporary fixes designed to get someone a little bit of results, only to find that they put the weight back on and end up in a worse situation than they started.
So here’s 7 reasons why the fitness industry is keeping people fat:
- Focusing Too Much On Calories
We’ve all heard the personal trainers out there bang on about calories, about how you need a deficit to lose weight. And while this is technically true, it kinda misses the point.
You see, calories are important yes, but what personal trainers never consider is the fact that different foods have different effects on our hunger levels, on energy levels, on cravings and the metabolism.
If you eat the wrong calories then you’ll be hungry all the time, your energy levels will drop massively, you’ll crave foods all day long and your metabolism will slow down, cancelling out all of your efforts.
The right kind of calories and you simply aren’t hungry, cravings diminish, energy levels remain high and the metabolism doesn’t slow.
They proved this in a study at Laval University; one group was told to count calories and another to eat so their bodies naturally wanted less calories.
At the end of the study both groups lost the same amount of weight, but they had a COMPLETELY different experience.
The calorie counting group: “Had to continually fight off their hunger and would spend the night dreaming of food”.
The other group “reduced their intake voluntarily and were always in good spirits”
You see, calories are important, but ultimately it’s HOW someone gets into a calorie deficit that’s the most important thing. Calories matter but the type of calories is most important for long term results.
- The Fitness Industry Completely Ignores Differences In The Metabolism
We all have that friend who can eat whatever she likes and never gain an ounce, and yet there are others that pretty much have to just look at a piece of chocolate and they gain a dress size.
As a personal trainer why this is and they’re say something like “Oh she just has a faster metabolism”. But what does that even mean? And is it possible to alter the metabolism so that the body helps someone to lose the weight?
A personal trainer will look at your blankly if you ask these questions. Then they’ll go off on an irrelevant tangent about how the metabolism is irrelevant and it’s all about calories in vs out and that you need a deficit to lose weight. The reason they go off on this tangent is because:
- Personal Trainers Aren’t Taught About The Root Cause of Weight Gain
Now reading this article you might get the feeling that I’m knocking personal trainers. I’m not, trainers are always great people who want the best for their clients. But the fact of the matter is that they simply aren’t taught enough about what the root cause of weight is.
And without understanding WHY someone gains weight more than someone else means they can’t give someone advice on how to fix the ROOT cause of weight issues.
And if they can’t do that, then all of their advice will simply be a short term fix. Something that will get you results for a short period of time and then fail you long term.
The fact is that the vast majority of people who lose weight end up gaining it all back and then some. There are a few reasons for this but the biggest reason is that when people lose weight the wrong way, they lose fat AND muscle, and when they put the weight back on, they gain mostly fat.
So even if they don’t gain more weight after a failed diet, they still end up with more fat than before. Not helpful.
So what is the root cause of weight gain?
- The Brain Regulates Body Weight And Wants Us At A Specific Weight
Notice that whenever you quit on a diet you end up at more or less the same weight as before? It doesn’t matter if you’ve lost 5 or 50 kgs (10 or 100 lbs), you still bounce back to pretty much the same weight.
Ever noticed that everyone has a weight they’re “stuck” at? Everyone has a weight they have no difficulty maintaining, but any lower than this specific weight and it gets way harder.
Well, all of this is because the brain regulates body weight and it wants to keep you at the weight you’re at right now. This weight we’re “stuck” at, is called a body weight set point. And this is the reason that some people can eat what they like and never gain an ounce, whereas others have to be SO careful about what they eat and yet still struggle with weight.
The “naturally” slim person has a low body weight set point. The “naturally” overweight person has a high body weight set point. Both people have their brain’s fighting to stay where they are. And without doing anything about the set point, the overweight person’s brain’s will continue to fight to keep them overweight.
The brain regulates body weight in a very similar way that it regulates our heart rate, our body temperature and our blood pressure. You’ve never had to regulate your body temperature right? The brain’s regulation of our weight is just as behind the scenes.
The way the brain keeps us at our current weight is by increasing and decreasing our metabolism, hunger levels, energy levels and cravings.
This is why when someone diets they experience hunger, cravings, tiredness and a slowed metabolism. All of these are measures the brain uses to push us back up to our set point.
I’ve read the textbook of one of the most prominent personal trainer courses and you know how many times they mention the body weight set point?
And this is a very big reason why trainers aren’t equipped to help people get results long term.
- The Fitness Industry Blames People For Their Issues: “Lazy & Low Self-Control”
So when you fundamentally misunderstand why people gain weight, you also fundamentally misunderstand the people who ask for your help. Unfortunately I’ve been witness to more than a few people in the fitness industry and how they talk about their clients.
It’s incredibly common for fitness people to look down on people who struggle with their weight, they blame them for their issues and they assume these people are just fat, lazy and have low self-control. In their mind, it’s all about calories, so if anyone suffers from weight issues then they’re just gluttons and they need to eat less. Completely ignoring the fact that the brain keeps people at the weight they’re at right now and it puts them through hell the entire time they’re trying to get results.
- They Oversimplify Their Advice And Ignore Important Factors
Unfortunately obesity isn’t as simple as calories in vs out. It’s a combination of complex factors that all have important roles in keeping people overweight. Here’s a brief list of other factors that are important to address to long term results:
- The circadian rhythm (body clock): the body clock controls our hormones including the ones that keep us feeling full. Studies show that those who do shift-work are far more likely to struggle with weight than the general public and the reason is the body clock. This is also the reason why some people find intermittent fasting to be effective, it normalises hunger hormones making it easier to slim down.
- Our habits: over our lives we’ve trained our subconscious to do things one way, to eat the same way, to exercise the same amount and to deal with emotional/stressful situations the same. These habits can reinforce weight issues and get in the way of changing our habits to get in shape. Without addressing habits sustainable results become much less likely.
- Our social circle: Subconscious factors like our social circle play a really important role as well. A research study showed that if your friend gains weight then you are 46% more likely to gain weight as well. I’m not saying to ditch friends but it’s important to realise that we are influenced by them and our environment.
- The brain: as I pointed out before, the brain wants everyone at a specific weight. And without understanding how different nutrients effect the set point, it’s impossible to get results long term.
- Our mindset: most people have a good idea of how to get results, but at the end of the day they can’t actually get themselves to go through with it. This is where mindset comes into play, it can either help or hinder results.
These are just a few of the factors that are neglected when it comes to getting long term results. Which is why people need a solution that fixes all of these to have the biggest chance of succeeding.
The unfortunate reality is that it takes just 1 of these factors to keep someone from keeping the weight off.
- They Focus Too Much On Carbs And Macros
I hate being one of those people who bang on about calories but at the end of the day carb, protein and fat calories all count towards our weight. What this means is that it’s not necessary to lower carbs to lower weight. Almost all of my clients come to me having tried some form of low carb and they get amazing results still even when I increase their carb intake.
At the end of the day there’s nothing wrong with carbs, it’s the TYPE of carbs that matter most.
The reason keto works is because it severely limits the amount of foods that someone would otherwise binge on. Make a list of your favourite foods for me, how many of those are against the rules for keto? Chances are a lot.
Keto foods are also very high in protein which fills people up more.
If you do low carb and you get sustainable results without stalling then that’s awesome, keep doing it! But if you stall on keto, if you find it too restrictive and suffer from mood/energy issues, then rest assured it’s entirely possible to get amazing weight loss results by eating carbs.
So that is 7 reasons why I believe the fitness industry is keeping you fat.