Fad V Fiction

What’s the difference between an anchor and a fad in fitness?

We generally think we know a fad when we see one. Those slimming pills, crash diets, random exercises that claim to dissolve stomach fat. Some are clearly cons, clearly money making schemes that prey on people’s insecurities.

So where is there a grey area in my opinion? When things that could be deemed fads become anchors.

What’s an anchor? Almost like  a habit, something you do that makes you feel better, like you’re on track. The little positive habits you create that when you add them all together they make you feel good.

For instance if I’m in a good routine I’ll wake up and have hot water with some lemon, sometimes also a homemade juice (water, a banana, some frozen strawberries and a handful of spinach), I’ll take my supplements, then I’ll have a coffee. If I do this I feel like I’ve set myself up for the morning, it gives me time to sit and wake up and leaves me feeling less rushed, that generally leads to a more productive day simply because I’m not chasing my tail. If I can do this morning routine most days a week I start to feel really good, more energetic, more positive. The actions act as an anchor to keep me from sailing away from myself and my goals.

Some of those things could be seen as faddy, but here’s the thing.

I do not believe the lemon in my water magically burns fat. I don’t think the juice has a magic blend of ingredients to make me lose weight. I don’t think any of the supplements I’m taking will stop me gaining weight. But the lemon makes the water taste nice and is a refreshing way to get water in before coffee, same as the pint of water I use to take the supplements and the water in the juice. These habits make me feel good because I’m hydrating when I wake up. The juice means I’m getting one of my five a day in first thing without thinking and the supplements literally supplement my diet for anything I might be lacking through food. The act of doing these things and then taking a moment to sit and drink them first thing provide a moment of calm to start my day, that makes me feel more positive. I could equally substitute these things for anything and have the same result. The anchor is the action of habit and the feeling it creates not the specifics of it.

So some ‘fads’ can be positives within your routine that you do not need to feel bad about doing, the key is knowing why they work for you. Often it’s not because they are the ‘magic’ element, simply that they create routine that helps you reach your goal, as long as you understand that and know that if you miss a cup of hot water and lemon one morning you won’t suddenly gain ten pounds there’s no harm in letting some ‘faddy’ things anchor you throughout the day. Fitness people like to fit habits into boxes, demonise one thing and praise another because it’s easier to help people by keeping things basic but there’s so many shades of grey to most things that it is rarely so simple as to say that’s a fad and bad and that’s ok do that.

Apart from the creams that burn fat. Yeah they’re just fads.