When I first decided I was going to change my life, get fit, put on muscle instead of fat, and get fitter, one of the first things I did was go out and buy supplements. I must have spent around $150 in the supplement store on my first time in there. I thought I needed it all to have any chance of transforming my body and losing weight. I bought protein, fish oil, BCAAs, creatine, a pre-workout shake, and a fat stripper.
The supplement industry is booming. Much of the advertisements and literature for fitness supplements suggest it will burn fat, get you ripped, and help you put on muscle all at once. With major fitness magazines filled with advertorials, it is often difficult to separate fact from fiction.
A lot of “advice” is just advertising dressed up. Most of the mainstream fitness magazines are owned by supplement companies anyway.
SUPPLEMENT COMPANIES HIDE THE TRUTH ABOUT HAVING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
THE SUPPLEMENT MYTH
In reality, everything you need to get in shape is already located between your ears. Most people know how to lose weight. They know if they consume more calories than they burn they will gain weight. They know that if they lift weights repetitively they will put on muscle.
We buy supplements for an easy fix to our weight issues, but there are no easy fixes. Get the basics right and you will lose weight. It is that easy.
We know how to eat clean, but very few people actually manage to do it effectively. Cut out sugary sweets, cake, crisps, fast food, chocolate, white bread, ice cream, sugary soft drinks, and alcohol for a month and you’ll see how easy it is, even without gym training.
Forget expensive supplements, spend your money on fresh vegetables and ensure you are getting at least one serving with every meal. Get high-quality proteins and add them to each meal and you have already got everything you need to lose weight from your diet.
Instead of splurging on supplements which all profess to decrease recovery time, listen to your body. It isn’t rocket science. If your body is tired, you will know about it. I personally have one day off a week. But when you are starting out, you should not be working out to that extent.
Experts recommend that you only workout three times a week for the first three months, at least. Your body will change fast if you workout properly and workout hard, and you will need the rest.
Once you have been training a while, you may be fine to just have active rest days, and not require a whole day of rest for recovery. Everyone is different and we all need to listen to what our body tells us.
Rather than buy pre-workout shakes, get enough sleep. Sleep is essential for losing weight. Our body rebuilds and recovers while we sleep. If you are exercising in the day, it is the rest you get at night that puts your body into the state where it will release fat stores. Save all the pennies you save from workout shakes designed to give you energy and invest it in a good mattress. I guarantee your workouts will be better for it.
Too many people see supplements as a magical fix. But they are just that, supplements. Put the work in, eat clean, and get enough rest, and you can use supplements for their purpose, to supplement.