Friday, January 15, 2010

The Marshmallow Test

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People will often feel inclined to explain to you why the numerous constraints in their lives have prevented them to achieve the their goal.

They have so much else going on in their lives. A job, a girlfriend, social events to attend. Time-consuming hobbies. A car that needs fixing or some other project of critical importance. Those are the reasons why they're out of shape or have attained only mediocre results.

For them, the idea of losing body fat or attaining muscle is about time. The notion that you have to spend hours in the gym and meticulously plan your diet every day is accepted as a truism. They think that if they could just find enough time, they'd easily get a physique comparable to a front-cover fitness model. But life gets in the way.

When a conversation reaches that point, and in my experience it often does, I try to terminate the discussion or switch to another topic. I have a very low tolerance for such drivel.

Some of my most successful clients are very busy people. They get in excellent shape, despite managing a business, family and many other obligations. In fact, I'm convinced that having too much free time is counterproductive. Surely it would be logical to assume that unlimited time for cardio, training and cooking would equal better results and make fat loss a walk in the park? Not so. How can this paradox be explained?

The Marshmallow Test

In the early 1970s, a psychologist named Walter Mischel conducted an experiment involving four-year-olds. He placed each child in a room, where they sat down at a table. In front of them, a marshmallow. Mischel then made each child an offer. He could eat the marshmallow right away or wait for a few more minutes and receive another one. Almost everyone decided to wait. Mischel then left the room for twenty minutes.

While a few of the four-year-olds were able to resist the temptation for up to fifteen minutes, many lasted less than one minute. Others just ate the marshmallow as soon as Mischel left the room.

This was a test of self-control. If the child wanted to achieve the goal of receiving another marshmallow, then he needed to temporarily ignore his feelings and delay gratification for a few more minutes. What this study showed was that some children at the early age of four were much better at this than others.

What I found interesting are the strategies the successful children employed in order to endure the experiment. They kept themselves distracted. Covered their eyes, played with their hands or just entered a trance-like state where it seemed they were lost in their thoughts. Their attention was elsewhere.

The failed strategy of the unsuccessful children was the complete opposite of that; in essence, they fixated on the marshmallow almost as if attempting to stare it down, actively fighting the temptation.

How does this translate to the various strategies used by the fitness crowd?

When some people are dieting, they are DIETING. They treat it like a full-time job and they're in the gym every day, sometimes twice a day. Their spartan diet is meticulously planned and carefully dispensed throughout the day. They are the ones that fixate on the marshmallow.

Others take a more balanced approach. Diet and training is part of their life, but it blends in beautifully. They are the ones that tries to forget about the marshmallow. It's background noise to them.

I'll give you a concrete example to show you what I mean. Some people schedule a weekly cheat day, which usually involves a day on the weekend when they can eat what they want. In practical terms, this often means that they pig out and end up on the couch in a torpor-like state. This day becomes the high point of their week. They restrict calories severely throughout the week in order to allow themselves the cheat day. Their training typically includes hours of cardio. On Thursday they start planning their shopping list for Saturday and on Friday they lie sleepless in giddy anticipation of the forthcoming food fest. They are fixating on the marshmallow, making it the center of the world.

I could give you a similar example when it comes to training. The overly enthusiastic young guy embarking on a 6-day-split that ends up overtraining and sick or hurt. He too was fixating on the marshmallow.

The solution then is to stay distracted.

You shouldn't buy into the myth of what it takes to achieve your goals. Don't get me wrong, it takes dedication. Sweat, yes. But that needs to be maintained as a regular, long-term commitment. And that's impossible to do if you're constantly thinking about it. It needs to be part of your daily routine, but it needs to blend in. Again, background noise and balanced. Or else you won't last.

If you're too fixated on the marshmallow, you'll eat it sooner or later. In this context it means you'll screw up your diet and/or training, burn out and lose all motivation. The more physical and mental energy you invest in your training and diet, the more likely you are to fail.

And that's why some of the busiest people are the most successful ones when it comes to reaching their physique goals. They have other things to think about.

Guidelines and attitudes to live by

* Spend too much time focusing on your goal and you will end up sabotaging yourself. This may not hold much ground in other areas of life where, in order to be successful, focus and time investment is of critical importance; such as building a business, managing a large corporation or becoming a highly-competitive elite athlete. But it's definitely one that applies to diet and strength training for the average Joe. Stay distracted. Have hobbies. Have a life. If diet and training become the sole focus of your daily routine, the road to your goals will feel like a very long road indeed.

* Commitment and dedication dispensed over a longer time period is superior to more focused efforts. The latter has a higher rate of failure and greater chance of backfiring on you and is why people fall off the wagon. This is my personal experience, but it's also backed up by studies. A good example of this are the numerous reformed health enthusiasts that pop up after New Year's Eve. They go at it hard for a few weeks, but are often back into their old patterns of sporadic training and a sub par diet by February. Another example is the rebound that many competitors experience after contest dieting. Avoid this with a balanced approach without extremes.

* Most people will not benefit from more than four training sessions per week when attempting to gain muscle mass.

* The great majority shouldn't be in the gym more than three times per week when cutting. You don't need the gym for cardio. Go outside.

* Use checkpoints to help you focus on long-term and not short-term progress

* Never attempt to train yourself into a caloric deficit. Don't spend hours on the treadmill. Diet comes first, cardio second. The dumbest fat loss strategy ever devised is used by people that wake up early in the morning before going to work to do cardio and follow that up with "recovery shake." Congratulations, you just wasted two hours of your life. Cardio is good for cardiovascular health, but most people use cardio as a fat loss tool - and force themselves through regimens that aren't very conducive to their daily routine (or mental sanity). Next time, skip the shake and the cardio. Sleep two hours longer, but skip breakfast and fast until lunch time. This way you can create the same caloric deficit with the added bonus of feeling more rested and having saved more time. You'll be much better off.

* Intermittent fasting is an easy way to create a calorie deficit. Your "cardio" is to stay productive during the fast and work. If you don't have a job, work on projects that are important to you. Learn. Read books. Write. Don't sit around and brood about your diet or what you have in the fridge.

Final note: I first learned about the marshmallow test in
How We Decide
by Jonah Lehrer. A good read if you're interested in human behavior and psychology. It's interesting to note that the marshmallow test predicted future success in many other areas of life. When a follow-up study on each child was done twenty years later, it was found that children who waited longer also had better academic success and less behavioral problems than the ones who ate the treat sooner.

63 comments:

Wilmar said...

great analogy, martin.

nonetheless, i think it's hard not to fixate on diet and exercise if you made it your new year's resolution. i guess it's trying to find the level of dedication and self-control necessary without being compulsive and self-defeating about it that will determine success.

and LOL about the cardio and recovery shake.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting indeed. Not just guidelines into a diet, but also in life in general.

Anonymous said...

A very good article. Not just relevant guidelines approaching a diet but in general life.

Nancy said...

Excellent post, Martin. I agree wholeheartedly. Regardless of the specific goal, it is infinitely easier to succeed when one has a reasonably busy schedule. WRT to fat loss, sitting around obsessing about food will ultimately lead to an ill-conceived binge. WRT to muscle gain, having too free much time to spend at the gym tends to result in overtraining.

Keep up the great work.

-Jon

Jacob Gudiol said...

Great post Martin!

sound money man said...

Excellent work Martin. People tend to assume that great success in any field involves Herculean Labor when it is more likely to be a combination of shrewd analysis and the cultivation of "good habits".

Anonymous said...

Truly great post. I've been thinking along the very same lines myself.

Nelli said...

Amen to that! Spot on!

Tan Yew Wei said...

Nice post. It's great to see more attention being paid to the behavioural aspects of achieving a great physique. Hope to hear from you more.

For now, http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/joachim_de_posada_says_don_t_eat_the_marshmallow_yet.html

should be a nice addition to the post. =)

justinno said...

Great post. I read it earlier today and happened to be reflecting on it just now (a few hours later). It occurred to me that a key part of what enables you to succeed in "staying distracted" or not focusing too much on your diet or exercise is that you have to get over a hump of being somewhat focused/obsessed with diet/exercise. Getting over the hump means finding the right balance in the behaviors you want to integrate. Most of us will be overzealous in the beginning and burn out. The ones who ultimately succeed are able to go from being overzealous to finding a balance -- and that balance usually comes from doing something long enough that it just becomes part of who you are.

It took me a long time to get over the hump. What would happen is I would resolve to get healthy, exercise and eat right for about 3 or 4 months (quite zealously) and then ram into the hump, fall off the wagon, and get fat and unhealthy for a year or two. Rinse/repeat.

I think I finally got over the hump over the past two years. It took about a year of consistent effort -- sometimes overzealous and sometimes getting close to burning out. The key was recognizing the burnout point and backing off a bit -- purposefully.

Now, I'm steadily working towards my goal. I'm not there yet, but I feel confident that I'll get there eventually because slow and steady will rule the day.

Apologies for the mixed metaphors.

Jon Fernandes said...

awesome

Ethan said...

Why are you against morning cardio and shake? You mentioned the benefits of fasted training, and I would imagine morning cardio falls under that category.

fitto 13 said...

Exceptional article Martin.

Most people need to read this.

Keep it up!

SolidMastery said...

Thanks Martin,
Making the unconscious competence conscious.

I have unwittingly been a practitioner of a lot of the effective BodyRock science-supported advice that I have received recently. This write-up is no exception.

Success without trying! Eastern wisdom in action.

Your take on the marshmallow test is great. HOW the kids managed to stave of temptation is just as important as that test being a psychological indicator of how well the kids will fare in life.

Pikku said...

Another great post Martin. Between this post and the checkpoints, theres alot of good info for me to start applying

Sarah said...

Awesome post, Martin!

Johnny at The Lean Saloon said...

As long as fitness professionals proclaim that exercise and diet must be top priority in people's lives, there will continue to be 1) people who won't even try because they now believe they don't have the time or resource (which is often truly the case for busy people), or 2) people who will suffer myopic burnout.

It's a much more responsible message to tell people that exercise and diet DO NOT have to consume people's lives, and should not take precedent or priority over family, work and, living.

Great post, Martin.

Anonymous said...

Right on. I lift 3 times a week for 45 minutes. That's 45 minutes total. 15 minutes each day. I'm actually thinking of taking two days off between lifting days instead of one to see what happens. Maybe I'll write a book - not until Martin writes his though!

Hugo said...

Great post! This is exactly what I have been thinking about a lot. I had a lot of spare time lately, and it didn't do any good to my diet, I got too focused and had more cravings. Keeping myself busy (studying and more) makes time go by way faster: diet follows along and training is a nice break during the day. Just how I like it, a relaxt/flexible approach together with intermittent fasting: my key to success :)

Thanks for putting it into words.. I always like the confirmation :)

p.s.(maybe this is way the holidays are hard to stick to a diet, because of all the time you have to cheat)

Martin Berkhan said...

Thanks, guys. Glad everyone liked the article.

Tan,

Thanks for the link. TED is a great site. Check out Sapolsky, D. Gilbert and Etcoff if you haven't already.

Justinno,

I know what you mean by getting over the hump. Took me longer than you. Problem is some people never do it.

Ethan,

I'm against stressing to work and cutting your sleep cycle short due to the obsessiveness with morning cardio that I see in some people. They then undo whatever caloric deficit created with the cardio with a high-calorie recovery shake. I don't think you saw my point. It was an example of irrational and time-inefficient behavior, not me making an argument against morning cardio in the right context.

Anonymous said...

"They are fixating on the marshmallow, making it the center of the world."

This was so true of me 7 years ago.

Probably still is to some extent present day but for training. I enjoy it too much.

Anonymous said...

Great article Martin.

It wasn't until about three years ago that i got over my analism and started having a more relaxed attitude towards training/dieting and life in general. I realized that it was just like Ed Wood said it: "It's all about the big picture."

However, i'm not sure if i totally get your take on "free meals" (or did you mean "free days"?, or whatever people like to call them). I my case i found that a big part of helping me become less obsessive and enjoying life more probably had some to do with allowing myself these "free meals". I'll give you an example:

I go on with my diet on weekdays (nothing extreme, just pretty high protein, enough cals) and then on saturday and/or sunday i allow myself to enjoy a good dinner, candy, a couple of beers or whatever with a few good friends. I see these days as some kind of "checkpoint", as you call them. Not checkpoint as in goal setting vs achievement and that crap, but checkpoint as in to remind myself that life is good. Don't obsess about it. Enjoy it. These "free meals" don't even have to be about food. You could call them "mental free meals" if you'd like. The point is to allow yourself to do whatever you'd like to do and not feel guilty about it.

Ever since i "allowed" myself to enjoy the good things in life i've maintained my weight and sanity and kept progressing. So what i'm trying to get at is this: i think a lot of these marshmallow people could benefit from allowing themselves "mental free meals". I don't mean going bananas in the kitchen. I mean, and i can't stress this enough, people need to remind themselves to enjoy life.

My two cents.

/Göran

Tom said...

Epic post, bro.

Best thing I've read in a long time.

Anonymous said...

The morning cardio comment ruins the whole article. Espescially since it's a proven fact that earlier workouts can improve metabolism for the rest of the and increase energy.

Also when someone finds a routine that works for them nothing is wrong with that whether they fixate or it's in the back of their mind. As long as the process is maintained it shouldn't matter.

Equating adults to the mind of a 4 year is also asinine for the simple fact that, while most of their brain is developed certain areas such as compulsion control haven't been completely defined yet.

Also not focusing on your goals is great if one never wishes to achieve them. Very narrow minded overall.

Martin Berkhan said...

'Espescially since it's a proven fact that earlier workouts can improve metabolism for the rest of the and increase energy.'

You're referring to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption which is negligible - even when doing high intensity interval training. Most people get up and do steady state cardio. Even with HIIT, EPOC results in very few extra calories being burnt; I've posted about this on the blog before and included a theorectical calculation based on the available studies. Search for it.

But you're missing the key point of my example and I won't bother explaining it to you either.

'As long as the process is maintained it shouldn't matter'

Yup, most definitely missing the point.

'Equating adults to the mind of a 4 year is also asinine for the simple fact that, while most of their brain is developed certain areas such as compulsion control haven't been completely defined yet.'

No, since the 4-year olds that didn't have strong impulse control in the marshmallow test showed the exact same tendencies in the follow-up study.

'Also not focusing on your goals is great if one never wishes to achieve them. Very narrow minded overall.'

Let me guess. You just started training and think you're the shit. You got it all figured out. I suggest you read the article in another few years and get back to us then, if you haven't fallen off the wagon that is. The way you interpreted the article shows that you don't know what the hell you're talking about.

Martin Berkhan said...

Göran,

Cheat days = free days. Some people take free days to extremes and lose all sense of self-control. Nothing wrong with free meals per your example. Big difference vs cheat days where people stock up on shitloads of junk and eat themselves into oblivion morning to evening.

Ethan said...

Thanks for your reply. I understand what you meant now.

Jon Fernandes said...

"Let me guess. You just started training and think you're the shit. You got it all figured out. I suggest you read the article in another few years and get back to us then, if you haven't fallen off the wagon that is. The way you interpreted the article shows that you don't know what the hell you're talking about."

Statement of the day.

It's really retarded how people like that talk a lot of shit without thinking.

Cid said...

@ MB

that's some serious pwnage

@ Ethan

ultrafail

Manveet said...

Wow Martin this is like some life coaching type shit right here. I like it. Starting to sound like Ross Enamait (another blog I enjoy).

Jason said...

Great blog you have here. Very inspirational. I have a site as well which I hope will be a top resource for those looking for the motivation they need in order to lose weight. There are very little sites like ours out there.

I'd like to exchange links with you. Please let me know if this is possible under the "Best Weight Loss Websites" page. Until then, keep up the good work.

Jason
4Weight2Lose.com

Raidho said...

Hi Martin, great post! I can really relate to this, making the marschmallow (diet/exercise) the center of my world and suffering through a transformation. Nowdays I don't try so hard, and live a much more balanced life, much thanks to IF. ALthough I was overzealous in the beginning with IF aswell, I'm over the hump someone else mentioned earlier. Two questions: I'm having problems with a shoulder and have just started applying Dieselcrews shoulder-rehab protocol. It's really not that intense and I was wondering if you think that I could combine it with my fasted morning cardio. That way I would get it done and be done with it. Otherwise I'd have to do it after breaking the fast in the evening, and knowing myself, I don't think I would get it done.

Second, a bit stupid question. During my fast today I cut my finger, and I instantly sucked on it, licking off the blood. As far as I know, blood contains calories (blood-protein), right. Would this be considered breaking the fast? Or does the "energy" lost due to bleeding, negates the "energy" gained from ingesting the blood? Plus/minus zero I mean. Not that I really care, I'll still lick the blood if I cut myself in the future, just curious.

Martin Berkhan said...

Raidho,

'I'm having problems with a shoulder and have just started applying Dieselcrews shoulder-rehab protocol. It's really not that intense and I was wondering if you think that I could combine it with my fasted morning cardio.'

Yes.

'As far as I know, blood contains calories (blood-protein), right. Would this be considered breaking the fast?'

No.

Eric said...

I wanted to leave a link to an article Charles Poliquin wrote which I believe is very relevant to this post. Poliquin says accomplishing goals is all about what you love. Ex: You either love the marshmallow or you love having washboard abs more.

http://www.charlespoliquin.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article.aspx?ID=161

Anonymous said...

Eric, i don't mean to be rude nor is my intention to speak for Martin. But that link... it's complete bullcrap. It's the complete opposite of the point Martin was trying to get across.

The part where Poliquin says:

"When people comment on your results and say things like “Wow you have a lot disciple” answer “No, I just make loving choices for myself".

I think that part made me die a litte bit inside. By the time i'm reading #6 i'm weeping.

/Göran

Gittit said...

Thanks for an EXCELLENT post - hit the nail right on the head.

Martin, if you have any strategies you use to help your clients get into this mindset, I would love to hear about them.

Tina said...

Yeah, my interpretation of Martin's marshmallow post is also opposite that of the Poloquin philosophy. It's not about deprivation and sheer willpower (and the ensuing holier than though crapfest), it's about making your life such that you can live it and still succeed in making your goals WITHOUT getting wrapped around the axle.

I had no idea I could do both (have a life, eat out, and succeed at making physique goals) at the same time before I worked with Martin. It has been illuminating. Not that it means that I'll be ripshizzled all year like MB, but I won't have to diet like I used to for meets, and that is a very, very good thing.

Martin Berkhan said...

Gittit,

glad you liked the article. Such strategies might be topics for future posts/the book, but until then they'll remain one of my trade secrets. It's nothing fancy. Some behavioral tricks. However, allowing some degree of flexibility with the macros and meals pertaining to each individual's diet certainly goes a long way in making sure clients stay on track. "Some degree" are key words, since too much freedom can have the opposite effect.

Martin Berkhan said...

Thanks, Tina. I appreciate your comment.

Eddy said...

Great post, so true.

My personal experience reflects it all.
I was really, and I mean it, into cycling until 18yo, and I understood too late I was simply not doing it right.

Too much training, not enough eating (49 kg), too much focus (much more than the morning jog), too much avoiding real life.

My fortune was to stop competing and focussing on other things. It took me almost a year to get out of my burnout: imagine the binging and the following total inability to stay "light"(70 kg). Training then (just cardio,running 10km/day even at -40°C) was just inflicting myselfpain and compensating the binges.

Since more or less 2 years I'm fortunately find my way. I think it's not a coincidence I find my girlfriend too.
I've always been interested in strenght training and strenght feats but I started practicing since 1 y 1/2 (I'm now 64 kg / 166 cm / +- 10% BF), but I totally avoided programming, since few months, deciding now to go for a 3X/week, squat-press-pullup-dips scheme Rippetoe style.

I totally agree with your points about getting busy doing other things and nonetheless putting it in a long-term perspective.

My "routine"

Train 3x/week
Eat 3x/day
Don't think (too much)

Please excuse the ramble.

AngieLittle said...

I just wanted to say that it's a great article and I am living proof of this concept.

I lost my job at the beginning of last year and I thought I would dedicate myself to losing the extra baggage as I had free time (idiot line of thinking lol) but I couldn't manage to stick to it for even a week.

Then, around October I pulled myself out of the stupid funk I was in and was able to start making an income working from home. I completly lost focus in terms of diet and guess what? I lost more weight in one month than I did in two years without even thinking about what I was eating.

I didn't lose this much weight even when I was going to the gym six days per week and counting every last carb that went into my mouth. I have no idea how much I lost because I refuse to weigh and get back into the stupid cycle. The only thing I want to change now is to add some training back into my days because I just feel I have gotten to the point where nothing more will budge without it. Plus I just need the movement lol

Anyway, sorry for the long comment but my whole point is that I lost a ton of weight because I wasn't thinking about it and I did it while eating stuff that would have had me in complete guilt mode when I was "dieting".

Martin Berkhan said...

Angie,

That's a great example of what I wanted to convey with the article. Thanks.

London Muscle Bodybuilding Supplements said...

Great Article,

Picked it up scouting the web for Ideas for my own blog section of my online store.

chris said...

very very wise. I was moved when i read this blog post. Tremendous stuff.

Anonymous said...

"Commitment and dedication dispensed over a longer time period is superior to more focused efforts. The latter has a higher rate of failure and greater chance of backfiring on you and is why people fall off the wagon."

that's weird, i personally have had the exact opposite experience. when i try to take the slow and steady approach i get frustrated and give up with the slow progress. i tend to do much better when i go balls to the wall for a really short period of time and revolve everything around the diet, and then get back to living a more "normal" life after ive reached my current goal. i guess im just weird like that

Anonymous said...

Perhaps there's a 3rd type of kid, one that would eat the marshmallow instantly, without blinking an eye, and not care for a second marshmallow.

I suggest trying it all, live for the moment and avoid postponing gratification for another day (that may never come), while at the same time realize, in the case of the marshmallow for example, that a taste is all you really need!

Andrew K. said...

This is hands down the most important article I have ever read when it came to a lifestyle based around diet and training.

I believe almost everyone should read it if they are active in any sort of weight loss/maintenance/bulk.

TG said...

personally I've found this to be true with some things and less with others.
I tried to work HIIT into my workout schedule and I suffered from this BIG time. I was doing it every other day, and pretty much any time I wasn't doing it I was brooding over the fact that it was coming up again. Every time I would have to get myself psyched up to do it and I would procrastinate etc and finally do it. But it was like I was always putting pressure on myself about it and eventually (like I knew would happen in the back of my mind) I just let it get the best of me and stopped doing it altogether. I found that when I stopped doing it there would then be days where I DID feel like doing it... I do still want to work it into my routine regularly but I just need to find a way to do it where I don't put so much pressure on myself.

With my diet though, I do feel like 'fixating' on it has been way more successful for me than just trying to have it be in the background. I still weight what I eat, count calories, track my weight/bf and other 'checkpoints' (almost on a daily basis, although some I do only every 8 weeks like you mentioned in another article).

I don't spend a LOT of time on it, since I do have a helpful app on my phone that makes it easy to track all those things in one place, and already has most of the foods I eat in the database. But I DO find that doing these things is a motivator for me. I like being able to track all these things and see my progress etc. I've been doing it for a while and I haven't really gotten the feeling that I'm going to get burned out on it or anything like that. I think when I reach my goals I won't need to do this stuff as much and it can become more just the background of life like you said, but for now it has definitely helped.

Jonathan said...

That marshmallow story hits close to home.

When I was in kindergarten, the teacher gave us candy if we behaved during nap time. Rather than eating it right away, I put mine a secret stash in my cubby so that I'd have candy available later when I was in the mood for it. I had quite a stash by the end of the year!

I was also a really skinny little kid. :)

Anonymous said...

Folks get to emotional with diet and training,keep it simple and brief.
Youll stick to it longer it will be come engrained,its not to be On and off the train but too see that its a a perm long change ,walk the path that leads to your final end .

Spend months finding what works( martin has kindly done this if you care to read) then make it fit in your life in the most easy manner you can repeat until goal is reached.

Too much time is spent what if this what if that,closing in on 1year fasted paleo when i have hit this then ill review and reasses ,until you have truly given it a shot why speculate get stuck i

Anonymous said...

While I agree with most points made throughout this article, it doesnt apply to each and everyone. Personally, I have been training for more than 6 months and gained a good 10 lbs of lbm during that time, while both learning good form and getting myself into compound lifts. I have done by being more than just a little focused about it. Some people would actually call me obsessed. To them I would reply: "obssesed is a word used by the lazy tod describe the dedicated".

To each their own. Making training the central focus of my life (before school, etc.) has worked for me, and I still get to have good grades, go out with friends, date, etc.

Jon said...

Dear Martin,

Thank you for such a brilliant website!

I have a question regarding what you talk about in the 'recovery shake' paragraph. I would like to ask you if you think I am waisting my time in the gym. I do a circuit training workout (from Men's Health called The Spartacus Workout). I do this fasted and have porridge made with water, fruit (banana or berries) and a couple of boiled eggs with that as my first meal (pwo meal). I'm concerned now, after reading your article, that I'm wasting my time at the gym when I go home and eat such a high carb food source as oat porridge.

Thank you!

Iam LaserMan said...

Is there an email address where Martin Berkhan can be reached? I have some questions. I naturaly don't eat all day which is bad and would like to utilize this for getting back in shape and cutting down.

Anonymous said...

Martin that is perhaps the most interesting and personally relevant blog post I have read in months.Loved the comment re early morning cardio and the recovery shake!!

Anonymous said...

The marshmallow test is often between those who are hungry and suffering from cravings all the time, and those who feel fine on IF/dieting. Sometimes its physiological, not just psychological.

Anonymous said...

You know what? I fucking hate work. I don't WANT to work. I have no goddamn interest in being "productive" and I'm not going to do it and you can stuff it.

Adrian K said...

Very sound advice that I have always given to my friends, but sadly rarely taken on board. People seem to prefer on short term concentrated efforts that are unsustainable.

The condemnation of training into a calorie deficit rings a bell with a few people I know.

Peter @ big transformation said...

Just read this. And I've realised that I'm the one focusing on the marshmallow. That's probably why I've been finding it so hard. I need to find other things to aim towards, while treating the fat loss as "background noise". Oh and, great post btw

Anonymous said...

If fitness was all about not doing things then being busy wouldn't get in your way but sleep is a big part it and that's what you lose out on when you don't have time.

Anonymous said...

great article!

Anonymous said...

exactly what i needed to read today. i've been obsessing about my diet/fitness/exercise and it's made me a paranoid mess. need to relax and just go with the flow.

Anonymous said...

exactly what i needed to read today. i've been obsessing about my diet/fitness/exercise and it's made me a paranoid mess. need to relax and just go with the flow.

review of customized fat loss said...

wow this is a really insightful study, and applies perfectly for weight loss. going to share with my readers this info too. keep up the posts friend!




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