Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Enough is enough

No meaning to the photo....I just like it
More Less or Enough?

How about re calibrating our attitude towards diet and exercise to one which is focused on the idea of enough?

So often in both diet and exercise we find ourselves at an extreme.  More and more of this and less and less of that.  What would happen if we shifted to a focus on sufficiency? Instead of trying to achieve less or more how about aiming for enough? Relax a little. Instead of pushing at the limits live in the middle for a while. 

What do I mean?

Try to use the word enough a little more.  

Eat less and move more?  No eat enough and move enough. 

Get more sleep?  Get enough (to wake up rested)

Eat more protein? No eat enough (to repair and grow)

Eat fewer carbs? No eat enough carbs (to fuel your activity)

Eat less fat. No eat enough fat (to keep healthy hormone production)

You get the idea

Get less stress. No get enough( hormesis)

Train on the premise of sufficiency

Exercise harder?  No just do enough... but not too much. 

Move from less or more to enough. .  

Enough stress. Enough intensity. 

Do more?  No do enough and then back off. 

More is better? No enough is enough. 


Anonymous said...

So refreshing to see this post.

For those of us who are lucky enough to be in a good spot with diet, sleep, fitness and so on on there is something a little pathological about most of the health literature in that you always have to push yourself, increase the reps, increase the weight, go totally paleo, monitor yourself more even during your sleep for goodness sake. But, little airtime is given to just being happy where you are at and maintaining status quo or as I read your post, figuring out what is 'enough'.

FeelGoodEating said...


The written word and the spoken word will never be the same. Our very ears, our emotions, our eyes, brain etc etc are all in it together and when we communicate with each other, in the presence of each other, our communication with one another makes better sense.
As much as I love your post and I agree with you, I'm afraid the nature of online has become "fixed".
A response sample could likely be:
" good post, but what's enough for some isn't enough for others" "So I suggest blah blah blah ad nauseum. We get dragged in, in amazement of others "not getting it", we waste energy and our time.
Perhaps we should start using the internet much more to connect with like mined people close to us, so we can talk about some of our hobbies face to face. HA! maybe that's it. The internet connected us, now we have to leave it behind in certain ways to keep evolving.

Sorry for the ramble...you got me going a bit :-)

Trust you're happy and work is well.

Unknown said...

I am a lurker on your blog, having read it for a long while now. I have a LOT of weight to lose (about 230lbs) and have taken this exact approach to weight loss this time around. I've gone extremely slowly building up from a 31 minute mile to a 24 minute mile. It took three months to do that. That's ok because I haven't gotten injured. Every other time previously I would be injured within two months of starting a new exercise program because either I, or my trainer, pushed me too hard, too fast.

This approach is fantastic. I appreciate the last three or so posts you have written about it. Everything else is written to IMPROVE IMPROVE IMPROVE GO! GO! GO! so I love reading your posts which reinforce the strategy I'm taking this time.

Chris said...

@T.Lewis I am glad that this is helpful. As I get older the more I realise that things like being free of injury, healthy and happy are the key goals. Just take it easy....be patient, but persistent. Keep going. Form the habit of exercising, moving and eating. Ease up on stress about any of it.

Chris said...

Thanks Marc. I know you understand.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Chris. You nailed it. Enough. Just enough. I needed this reminder, as it is SOOOOO easy to be influenced by the urge to improve that is all around us. Can't we just accept we are okay?

I have been jogging, taking long walks/hikes and working out (yoga, push-ups, etc) for over 35 years now. Over 25 years ago, I lost and have kept of over 50 lbs, with just a few (very few) lbs fluctuation over the years. My diet is pretty balanced, cooking is from scratch, no extremes in high or low fat/carbs. So...I think I can say 'I got it' regarding health practices. Maybe I can finally take a deep breath and just relax.

The one diet I really need to go on it health/fitness blogs. ;-) Except Conditioning Research...your work has evolved so much and is now a great sanity check for me.

Thanks for continuing to post your thoughts, Chris. All the best.


Chris said...


Thanks for your comment. You sound like you are on the right lines.

Chris said...


Thanks for your comment. You sound like you are on the right lines.

Emily @ My Little Lasik said...

Many thanks! This post seems to have done the trick!

Doug McGuff, MD said...


Ironically, the only way to push forward is to obey the law of "enough".

In BBS I make a big deal out of health being an appropriate balance of the anabolic and catabolic state. You can argue that health can take a back seat for the sake of performance...but....something that can't go on forever...won't.

To much of this crap is driven by survivorship bias(see my current blog post), with the survivors thinking they have a superior work ethic as compared to the rest of us. This is crap.

If you want to be the best you can be, you must learn how to say...enough!

Unknown said...

HIT is a great choice, no doubt, but recently autoregulation style caught my attention. It's less efficient, but can be safe, effective and also make you focus on practice, not performance. Example would be 5x a week bodyweight multiple set training not to failure. You"d just achieve subjective RPE of 8-9 and call it a day, no charts, no written progress. One needs more time for this, on the other side there is no battle with weights. "Just show up." At the moment I stay with HIT but who knows?

Helga said...

Thank you, Chris! It's about time someone came right out and said this! More-is-always-better is very much a First World mind-set.

Chris said...

Thanks Helga