Before any of you swingers get worked up, I'm not referring to THOSE vanilla friends. I'm talking about your friends who don't consistently work out or eat healthy.
Vanilla friends like to ask a lot of questions at this time of the year. They want the best weight-training workout; they want the best diet plan to lose 20 pounds in a month; they want to know which supplements to use and how much cardio to do. You're their go-to guy or gal because you're known to be the bigger fish in your small-pond-of-a-friendship group. Vanilla friends will suck you dry for as much information and advice that you will give them. Instead of getting pissed and wasting time that you would otherwise spend looking in the mirror, just give them this list of "advizes" from Skip:
Shoot for consistency, not perfection
No one who is new to training and dieting is going to be able to maintain a perfect plan. Even those who can, there will come a time when they will cave. Most people who are new to training and dieting will be successful for 2-4 weeks. They then skip workouts or go out for dinner and drinks, and they feel they are right back where they started. In short, if you fail, get right back on the plan and move forward. This is the consistency part—consistently getting back on plan after you fall off.
Don't diet; just make better choices
Contrary to what every women's magazine will tell you, there is nothing wrong with being on a diet. Where you go wrong is if you go on a diet that is not sustainable. Most people spend more time trying to figure out which diet to do than they end up spending time DOING the diet. If this is you, forget about a structured diet with X amount of meals at specific times with X amount of macros and calories. Instead, plan to eat 3 or 4 times per day and make the best decisions you can for those meals.
99% of people know damn well that pizza is not going to help them get into better shape. 99% of people know that something deep-fried is not good for them. 99% of people know that if they are more active, they will burn more calories. 99% of people know enough to make healthier decisions that will allow them to progress toward their goals. The other 1%? They are legitimately too stupid to know what is best for them. Let them fend for themselves.
The average vanilla doesn't need the perfect diet, the perfect workout, or the right supplements. They just need to make better decisions and they will progress.
Quit Drinking Calories
I know, I know, you have to drink a protein shake. No, your vanilla friends don't "need" to do this. Why? Vanilla friends think that protein shakes burn calories like a fat burner. If you don't agree, ask them and see what they say. I've dealt with vanilla questions for almost 40 years. Trust me, they really do believe that protein shakes have magical powers. In fact, they probably think you are strong and muscular primarily due to the protein shakes you have drunk (past particle—it's correct) for years. This is, of course, unless your vanilla friends are male and under 25-years old. Any time someone has even slightly more muscle than the average person, the under-25 male demographic absolutely KNOWS you take steroids—lots of them. Don't get me started on the under-25s.
Your vanilla friends believe that apple and orange juice are "good" carbs because they come from fruit. They believe that milk is fine because, "I was raised on milk and it didn't hurt me..." How many times have you been asked which alcoholic drink is "best" while dieting? Though the answer is "none of them," if you drink, you know damn well you have justified it with "in moderation." GTFOH We all know that any alcohol is nothing more than empty calories that do nothing to help anyone reach their goals. Bottom line: do NOT drink calories. Vanilla friend: "But what about V8 juice?" NO. Can I make this any clearer than I already have? It's rhetorical; don't bother answering.
Train All Muscle Groups (Even The Ones You Don't Want To Train)
Vanilla males need to train more than just chest and biceps.
Vanilla females need to train more than just legs, "butt," and abs
Even if your vanilla friends don't want "big" muscles in a specific area, remind them that they won't wake up one day shocked that their muscles are too big. Working ALL muscle groups burns more calories, and I am quite confident that your vanilla friends are at least moderately fat. Otherwise, they wouldn't be vanilla in the first place.
Encourage them to train each muscle group equally as hard, but to do more exercises (more work) on the areas that they want to emphasize.
Even though they are vanilla, they are still your friends. Encourage them, support them, and check in with them to see how they are doing. Yes, most vanillas will fail and quit. However, there might be that one person who sticks with it and gets into great shape or gets healthy because you helped them. This is why it is important to not give them... the wrong "advizes."