Imagine these two scenarios where you receive some money.

1. You win £50 with a lottery ticket you’d forgot you’d bought

2. A number of thousand pounds appears in your bank account on pay day

Which is more exciting?

Number 1 I should imagine?

Even though it’s a much lower benefit to you.

How we feel about things isn’t just dictated by the reward they bring us.

It’s the reward versus expectation.

Things you have little to no expectation about that turn out good usually have a much bigger impact on us than other stuff that was of greater benefit, but was completely expected.

Imagine you only get paid half on pay day.

Still way more than 50 quid.

But when benefit is lower than expectation, we no likey!

And this is often what trips up our health and fitness related efforts.

We haven’t lost weight after a few days or weeks of “eating better” and we’re disappointed.

A workout reminds us that we’re less fit and / or strong than we used to be and / or we thought we were………

It’s tempting to be put off.

The benefit is less than was expected.

If this is the case, we have two variables to play with;

1. The benefit

2. The expectation of the benefit

Now we’re all for the first one.

Getting better return on investment for efforts.

Doing the biggest bang for you buck stuff.

Relatively quick progress that we can be enthused by and get buy in to.


It’s often the second option we’ll benefit the most from adjusting.

Not a lowering of standards as we might tell ourselves.

But getting clear on what processes will lead to what benefits.

And how much and how quickly.

The following things might not cause us to lose weight (and annoy us when that happens);

– Regular exercise

– Cutting our carbs (or other food groups)

– Stopping snacking and / or drinking

– Changing what we eat to stuff we don’t like having

– Counting points or having different coloured days

– “Eating healthily”

They might, but only if we create an average calorie deficit.

If we get clear on what that deficit looks like and the size of it we’ve created than we can be confident of the results it brings.

Not frustrated by their lack.

If, without really thinking about it, we expect a handful of workouts to, essentially give us a beach body, then we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment.

Especially if what we’re doing would get minimal results, at best, after any number of workouts.

If we do a workout with the expectation that it’ll make us feel a little bit better immediately and will (if done correctly) lead to some physical changes over time…………..

Then we can be motivated by receiving the benefit we expected every single time!

Much of our frustration in life is unmet expectations.

Benefit vs. expected benefit is part of this.

If you’re not getting the results you want from what you’re doing, then a re-evaluation of what you’re doing (and we can help with that – here, with a £50 discount while I’m away: -) and your expectations of what that will bring about might help set you up for more success.

Much love,

Jon ‘Undesirable to undeniable’ Hall


RISE in Macclesfield was established in 2012 and specialise in Group Personal Training weight loss programmes for those that don’t like the gym and find diets boring and restrictive!

Jon Hall
Jon Hall

When not helping people to transform their lives and bodies, Jon can usually be found either playing with his kids or taxi-ing them around. If you'd like to find out more about what we do at RISE then enter your details in the box to the right or bottom of this page or at - this is the same way every single one of the hundreds who've described this as "one of the best decisions I've ever made" took their first step.