Belief shouldn’t be part of why something works (unless it’s curing cancer)

On Jul 14, 2010 In Tags: , ,

There are a lot of things you should believe in: the resilience of the human spirit, your own resolve to achieve what you want to get out of life, and perhaps that we will be able to sort ourselves out ultimately without destroying ourselves in the process as a species.

But supplements, diets and workout programs shouldn’t be things that require your belief.

You don’t believe in your car. You know it works because when you turn the ignition, shift out of park and push the gas pedal, it moves. It doesn’t require your belief to make it move. You don’t believe in ducks. They walk like ducks. They quack like ducks. They look like ducks. They’re ducks. Whether you believe ducks exist is mostly irrelevant (except in some realms of philosophy).

Likewise, supplements, diets and workout programs either work or they don’t. And if they do, they should work in predictable ways–for everyone (barring some weird genetic variant issue like how codeine doesn’t always work for everyone.) And if they don’t, you should abandon them with reckless‚Ķabandon.

The equation for success probably looks something like this:

Results = Consistency + Effort + Program + Nutrition +/- Supplements

It shouldn’t look like this:

Results = Belief + Effort + Consistency

If you haven’t got good quality, unbiased proof that any of the components to getting results work, then you’re depending on belief to carry you through. Don’t get me wrong, belief is a strong force. It’s what keeps people taking certain supplements despite not making progress. It’s what keeps people on certain diets or workout programs even though they stopped making progress weeks or months ago (if they did at all). Mostly, this stems from not measuring progress. If you catch yourself saying, “I believe that X works,” X had better be something esoteric like energy healing. “I believe fasted cardio works,” isn’t esoteric enough that it should rely on your faith for it to work.

Faith is for God (if you believe in God). Belief is for ghosts. Neither should be components of your fitness/body image strategy.

What are you putting faith in?

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