In our ultra-advanced world, we tend to value the next big thing. The next gadget, the next piece of tech, the next new trend, the next new diet. And, while there’s nothing wrong with being excited about new advanced gadgets (like, say, the new iPhone and all of its constantly updated capabilities) … there is also significant value in appreciating simplicity.
What do I mean by “simplicity”? Well, we can basically apply this concept to anything, but here I’m going to focus on it from a fitness and nutrition point of view.
In short, going back to the basics and simplicity when it comes to our health and fitness tends to create positive – and most importantly, lasting – results.
Let me explain.
Why Keep Things Simple?
1. Simplicity Equals Sustainability
Here is a common example: let’s say you want to improve your health, drop a little excess weight, and start improving your physique. As you start looking for where to start, you’re likely going to immediately be presented with an impossible amount of information. In regards to diet, you’ll be bombarded with why you should go low carb, why you should go keto, why you should go vegan, why you should only eat grapefruits for a month, why you should avoid kale, and so on.
And that is just the diet.
When it comes to workout regimes, you’ll be presented with why you should only be doing HIIT workouts, why long cardio sessions are bad, why you should buy the latest complicated machine for $10k to finally get real results, why you need a trainer, etc …
At the end of this, you probably have conflicting emotions and feel a sense of overwhelm. You might decide to follow a popular trend because others have achieved success on it … only to find out that it’s a bit difficult to stick to in your daily life.
So you give up. Because the factors involved in all of these new, trendy things are usually complicated. (Notice I said usually: some are beneficial and revolutionary, and I’m not discounting them!)
Compare this with a more simple approach: eat whole foods, from nature, making sure to avoid as much as possible processed foods in boxes with artificial flavors, added sugars, or ingredients. Just stick to fresh foods, preferably organic, and focus on buying quality meats and eggs. Eat as nature intended.
Combine this with the movements we’ve been doing since the beginning of time: squats, pushups, jumping, climbing, lunges, presses, etc … Add some weight. Use asymmetrical weights, like kettlebells, because they mimic asymmetrical weight we would have handled in nature (logs, rocks, etc …).
One is a confusing mix of complicated diets and regimes, the other is a path that revolves around the basics. One stops you from getting started, while the other lets you get started where you are, and doesn’t require special supplements or equipment.
The bottom line? Simple equals sustainable. Overwhelm and complication often lead to quitting. Simplicity makes it easier to integrate into your life as a part of your life, not a complicated source of stress.
2. Simplicity Promotes A “Zen” Mindset
Have you ever walked into an extremely cluttered room? How did you feel?
Additionally, have you ever cleared out a cluttered room and immediately felt … better?
This is because clutter, in any medium, is a type of disorganized complication. There are so many variables (things) in the room, or the process, that it acts as a static in our mind.
Whereas, conversely, openness and space (simplicity) promote clarity and relaxation.
The same factors come into play when we talk about a diet and fitness regime: if it’s a complicated mix of things that require intense, expensive equipment and supplements, or if the diet is complicated and unsustainable, you’re likely going to feel a sense of anxiety while engaging with it. Anxiety isn’t good for your health over the long run, and the excess stress can even impact your performance and results.
3. Simplicity Builds Your Foundation
I like to think of things this way: you can take all of the super foods and super herbs in the world … but if you’re deficient in basic macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals, no type of expensive antioxidants in the world are going to help you.
Foundation should come before addition. Think of yourself as a house: you want to build your foundational support slab before you add any complicated design on top, otherwise the entire thing will fall apart. The same concept comes into play with diet and nutrition: you have to have the basics mastered. You have to be eating quality food that covers your basic vitamin and mineral needs. You have to be doing the simple, heavy lifts (squats, lunges, presses, etc …) and bodyweight movements before you worry about adding in the trendy movements with advanced techniques and equipment.
This is your foundation, and if you build it strong, you can build anything.
The Bottom Line
• Simple equals sustainable
• Eat and move as nature intended
• Complication crowds, simplicity clarifies
• Simplicity allows you to build your foundation