“Dan, how are you always lean?”

always lean

So a question I’ve had asked a few times is “Dan you are always lean.  You must be super disciplined?  Or do you just have really good genetics?”

Well first off, yeah I’ve been fairly lean for the past few years now, but I do go through different “levels of leanness”.  I fluctuate from having visible but blurry abs, to having defined abs and pumped muscles, to being completely shredded with veins popping everywhere, to being very ripped but having smaller muscles.  So the point is that I don’t stay at extremely low body fat levels permanently.  And I don’t always look very muscular at all, depending on what kind of training I’ve been doing.

And secondly, no I don’t consider myself to be super disciplined, or to have really good genetics or a very fast metabolism.   Really it all comes down to habit and lifestyle.

I have lived the “fitness lifestyle” for a lot longer than many people.  So it takes little conscious thought or effort for me to eat high protein food, eat lots of vegetables, opt for lower calorie choices, and to be mindful of my portion sizes and food intake.  I don’t always count my calories, because I don’t always have to unless I’m trying to get my body fat really low.  And I do still have treats sometimes, as long as I keep my food intake “clean” most of the time.

Now for someone else who is new to “healthy eating”.  Like they’ve only recently learned the difference between a protein and a carb.  Or they’ve only recently got into practice of checking food labels.  This will obviously be a lot harder for them at first.  They’re new to it.  They need practice.  So with me, I’m lucky that I have been doing this for so long that it is just naturally what I do!

The same goes for my activity levels and exercising habits.  I am fortunate that I have always competed in high level sports since I was a child, so working out regularly is second nature to me.  So again, I just already have the in-built habit of exercising – it’s what I do!
Even though currently, like many of us these days, I work a sedentary job and I’m at the computer for a lot of the day.  I still make sure that I continue to workout regularly.  And I get my activity levels up through little things.  Like standing instead of sitting, walking or cycling instead of driving.  Or even just taking regular breaks from the computer to move around and stretch.

So the purpose of this post isn’t to say how wonderful and awesome I am.  Really what I am saying, is that I am NOT special.  I don’t do anything outrageously difficult that anyone else can’t do.  Yes, it is easier for me to stay lean, but not because of genetics.  It’s because I’ve simply had more practice doing it than most other people have.

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