The All Blacks are one of professional sports most successful ever sides. Since the inception of the international rugby world rankings they have held top spot over 80% of the time including an uninterrupted spell of five successive years. They were the first international team to reach 400 wins and are currently strong favorites to become the only side to retain the Webb Ellis trophy. What makes this tale of dominance even more remarkable is that New Zealand is a sparsely populated country with fewer than five million inhabitants frequently competing against (and beating) nations with much greater population densities at their disposal.
So how do they do it?
Like with any great recipe the key to their success lies in synergy. Great coaching, natural physical power, high skill levels, excellent tactical awareness, superb systems for developing talent and a strong cultural tie to the game all combine to produce a sum greater than its component parts.
Synergy = the interaction or cooperation of two or more organisations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects
Successful sports teams are an obvious example of synergy at work. Much closer to home the power of synergy can also be harnessed by those of us looking to lose weight.
When they go on the pitch the All Blacks simply need to score more points than the opposition. When looking to lose weight a person simply needs to expend more energy than they consume. However in both scenarios there are more effective and less effective ways of getting from A to B.
It is easier to win a rugby match when all 15 players weigh in with a significant contribution versus relying on a single match winning performance. Likewise it is easier to lose weight when we combine a varied exercise regime with good nutrition and healthy living versus relying on dieting alone. More factors pulling in our favour leads to better results.
Whole Foods - Eating nutritious whole foods provides more nutrition for fewer calories and helps restore our body’s natural mechanisms of satiety and fullness which are completely corrupted by processed foods full of refined sugars, flours, fats and flavors. This double whammy makes it far easier to strike the right energy balance for sustainable weight loss, oftentimes without any conscious effort at all.
Regular Movement - The more physically active we make ourselves on a day to day basis the easier we will find it to lose weight. This should be a no-brainer! Body-aesthetics aside leading a physically active lifestyle is an important precursor to excellent health and longevity.
High Intensity Exercise - By positively stressing our body with intermittent bouts of high intensity exercise such as resistance training, circuits and sprints we can preserve valuable muscle tissue, rev up our metabolic rate and prioritise fat loss over weight loss.
Restful Sleep - This is the glue which holds the rest of the weight loss puzzle together. Good sleep helps combat stress, curbs hunger cravings, enhances exercise recovery and increases the likelihood we will stick to our positive exercise and nutrition habits.
Energy Balance - Whilst our metabolism is a complex and dynamic system we cannot escape the laws of thermodynamics which dictate that to lose weight the volume of energy we expend must exceed the volume of energy we consume, otherwise known as negative energy balance. Doing all of the above makes it much more likely we will succeed in this department.
Perfect weight loss synergy.