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Are Society’s Expectations Hindering Fat Loss Progress?

By 14th February 2017Exercise, Nutrition

Are society’s expectations of you hindering your fat loss progress? You might not know it, but society has high expectations of you. And you’re probably doing your very best to live up to them.

Society expects you to do now, think later…
In modern day society highly calorific foods are omnipresent (that means everywhere). Nutritional choices are based on short term gratification rather than long term consequences. I’ll say it again, nutritional choices are based on short term gratification rather than long term consequences! In other words, you want that chocolate cake now because it’ll make you feel good in the moment. Who cares if it’ll contribute to you gaining 10lbs down the line. Factor in the issue of drastically reduced daily activity levels and it’s a disaster waiting to happen. It’s easy to see why the obesity epidemic is on a rapid rise globally.

Society expects you to overindulge….
A night at the movies? It’s ok to get an extra large popcorn with a large coke. A birthday dinner to attend? Go for it! Have a starter, a main, a pudding and selection of the bars finest cocktails. Did you know the average Brit consumes over 7000kcal on Christmas Day? Why? Because that’s what society expects you to do. Sometimes these overindulgences are conscious behaviours. Sometimes they’re not. Now before I come under fire for being a “boring-ass-socially-silent-fitness-professional” (I’m seriously not, I live my life just as much as everyone else), I’m not saying you can’t have these odd occasions. It might just be worth asking yourself do you really need to go for it every time?

Are society's expectations of you hindering your fat loss progress?

Society expects fitness models to look like fitness models…
This may or may not be news to you, but 90% of the people you aspire to look like don’t actually look like that 90% of the time. Yes that’s right! The fitness magazine cover model with shredded abs and striated shoulders doesn’t always look like that. He or she would have trained hard for that particular day. Touched up with a bit of photoshop and expertly placed lighting and you’ve got a very unrealistic expectation of how the perfect physique should look all year round.

I’ll let you into a little trade secret. Many of the top fitness celebrities/athletes we see on social media post pictures of themselves once, twice (or more) a day looking in superb conditioning. What you don’t see is that all of those photos were taken on one day. Numerous outfits and locations would have been chosen and then they just drip feed the images out. This creates the illusion they look like that every day. You’ll notice I said 90%. As I’m sure there are individuals out there that don’t waiver too far from their top condition. They’re just few and far between.

Can you notice a theme? Society expectations encourage poor choices, overeating and offer us unrealistic aspirations. All of which are essentially slowing fat loss progress and setting you up to fail. That is of course if you let society dictate how you behave.

So what’s the solution? It’s a tricky one.

The first step is to understand all of the above and become more conscious to how they effect you and your behaviours.

What’s interesting is I train a lawyer from the city and he reckons society’s expectations are slowly swaying. Throughout his career, a lunch or dinner with clients has been part and parcel of the job. Five years ago it would have been mandatory to order a large three course meal. You would order based how you felt that particular day. And if you didn’t have alcohol you would of been given a very funny look by the clients. It’s what society expects a meal out entertaining clients to be! These days however, you can order a salad. Pass on the pudding. Go alcohol free and no one really bats an eyelid. So maybe he’s right. Maybe society’s expectations are swaying. I just wouldn’t count on it yet.

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