How to Stop the Internet Gaslighting You into Staying Out Of Shape

“You’re doing it wrong!” apparently…

Chris Davidson



“Doing Squats Like This? Wrong — do it like this…”

“The 3 ‘healthy’ foods you are eating that are KILLING your fat loss.”

“Why your perfect sleep routine isn’t perfect at all.”

“Stop training your arms like this; do THIS instead.”

It’s f-cking relentless, right?

Just when you think you understand how to work out, eat, and live to stay healthy and in shape, some YouTuber or writer tells you you’re dumb and need to do things their way.

But then somebody else can’t BELIEVE you’re doing things that new cleverer way, because, you guessed it…

That new way is ALL WRONG, too, you dumbass. It’s exhausting, and we need it to stop so we can just get fitter, slimmer, healthier, and happier without being bamboozled the whole time about the How and What.

Yes, I Said ‘Bamboozled’


When you’re already not 100% sure what you’re doing is working, it really doesn’t take much to convince us it was wrong all along, and we need to change direction.

But chopping and changing how we eat, train, and live every 2 weeks gets us nowhere.

It also makes it increasingly likely we just stop for a break until we figure out what the Definitely Right Thing To Do is.

And it’s this Stop-Start approach that keeps us out of shape, particularly as we get a little older and have less time and energy to devote to the whole thing anyway.

Now, it would be easy to advise you to just stop scrolling online, but let’s be realistic, that’s not gonna happen. So I want to help you learn from my Flip-Flopping mistakes and give you a few tactics to employ so you can stay on track and stop being constantly… bamboozled.

Manage Your Inputs

Once you have a plan for your workouts, diet, and any healthier habits (sleep, stress, well-being) you want to build, stay tuned into THAT approach.

This means:

  • Unsubscribe from any email lists you’re on that contradict what you’re doing;
  • Scroll past anything telling you the opposite on YouTube or TikTok or wherever (or better still, tell the app you want to see less of that).

Back Yourself (Cos You’re Smart)


Trust yourself to figure out if what you are doing is actually ‘wrong’ by sticking with what you’ve planned for 6 full weeks.

If you come across some other approach that looks better/interesting, by all means bookmark it, come back to it after those six weeks, and THEN decide whether to change based on your results.

For example, I used to alternate between training for strength (3–5 reps on Big Lifts) and muscle (8–12 reps on lots of stuff) because I kept seeing huge guys online tell me to do one or the other.

I ended up neither gaining strength nor muscle.

I stuck with muscle building for long enough to build muscle AND was happy with my strength in the process—now I don’t drink the Big Lifts-Low Reps Kool-Aid, rarely deadlift, and haven’t trained for less than 6 reps per set in a long time.

Use An Echo Chamber (In A Good Way)

Join a community (Facebook groups — mine is here, Reddit, whatever) that is doing things your way.

This will help you keep tuning IN to what you’re doing, make tweaks based on others’ experience, and tune OUT all the other noise.

This helped me when I kept toying with going low carb.

I found a group that was knowledgeable about including carbs without overdoing them, and that helped me stick to a plan that allows me to enjoy bread while staying in control of my weight (I could LIVE on fresh baguette and butter…).

Now, of course, you’ll always get a few zealots in these groups who are taking it all a bit too seriously, but you’re smart — I know you won’t get radicalized and start spamming vegans with abuse ;-)

Consistently Half-Right is… Actually Alright


Here’s the thing: as long as you’re doing things half-right consistently, you’ll make progress.

  • If you’re hitting each muscle group a couple of times a week and going close to failure while eating enough protein, you’ll build muscle regardless of whether you’re doing Full Body Routines, Push/Pull/Legs, or some other fancy program.
  • If you’re eating plenty of protein, fruit, and vegetables while coming out in a calorie deficit each week, you’ll lose fat and retain muscle regardless of whether you’re doing Intermittent Fasting, Carnivore, Vegan, or whatever.
  • If you’re tiring your body out mentally and physically each day, staying away from booze in the evenings and getting to bed at a decent time will help manage your stress levels, improve your sleep quality, and balance your hormones better than any sleep ‘hack’ or supplement.

But please, stop letting random folks online, including me (!), convince you you’re wrong. If you’re already getting things mostly right, just stick with it, and you’ll get there all by yourself.

Over 40, fed up and out of shape — get free access to my Programs Vault (40+ friendly programs for diet, workouts and healthy lifestyle) and you’ll be subscribed to my weekly newsletter too!



Chris Davidson

Coach for busy, out-of-shape Over-40s • Dad of 3 • Irishman • Trainer • Writer • Free Over-40s Fat Loss, Fitness & Lifestyle Programs :