Ever tried a super strict diet? What about an insane workout plan? How did it go? I bet the first couple days weren’t that bad, but at some point you said “No thanks” and went right back to old habits, right?
WHY? Well, extremes can be fun to try, but the fact of the matter is they don’t work in the long term. Take a juice ‘cleanse’ for example- why do you think that they are designed to be a few days long? Well, you literally can’t function on just juice for the long term. It’s not fun, it’s not effective, and it can cause serious health problems! So then why do we go for these “quick fixes” when what has been proven to work time and time again is actually the first couple c moderation and consistency?
Extremes appear to be sexy. Why stick to moderate portions of lean proteins, healthy fats, complex carbs and plentiful veggies for EVER when you can just do a quick 7 day “juice detox” whenever your pants start to feel tight?
The reality is- consistency IS sexy. It feels and looks sexy. It feels like healthy digestion, good sleep, and energetic workouts. It looks good naked, and not so bad in clothing either. So if consistency is sexy, effective AND healthy- why is it so hard to achieve?
How do you define consistency? I define consistency in nutrition and fitness as the establishment of healthy habits that you can stick to pretty much every day, FOREVER. For me, that’s a giant glass of water every morning, sunscreen on my face every day, 4-5 workouts a week (even when travelling!), and a minimum of 3-4 servings of fruits and veggies a day. Are there some weeks when I don’t achieve this? Of course! But overall this happens almost every day, of every week, of every year.
So how can you create your OWN consistency?
- Define what is important to you. – If you have kids, maybe that is having the energy to play with them on the weekends. If you are an athlete, maybe it is maintaining a certain body composition or level of strength in order to excel in your sport. Think about this in terms of your WHOLE life- do you want to be leaner, but you love to write on your blog where you rate pizza restaurants? Then maybe what is important to you is finding how to balance your much-loved pizza intake with more veggies and lean proteins throughout the week.
- Create “minimum requirements.”Be realistic! If you currently work 80+ hours a week, lifting weights for 2 hours a day, 4 days a week might not be realistic right now. Start with 30 minutes a day, 3-4 days a week of high intensity functional or CrossFit style training. If you NEVER cook, you could start by preparing your own breakfast every day, not by meal prepping all of your lunches right off the bat!
- Create a supportive environment. Share your goals with the people around you, and work on improving your physical environment. Ask your boyfriend to cook with you on a Friday night instead of going out for burgers, or change gyms so that you can attend the gym that is closest to your home or work instead of paying for the super fancy gym far away that you NEVER go to. Clean out your kitchen so you no longer have cookies or ice cream in the house, and don’t even walk down the cookie aisle at the grocery store. Keep fruits and veggies in a place where you can easily see them.
- Track and evaluate progress. Take note of the days that you reach these requirements- it can be a simple check mark, or a note in your calendar. If you are completing them more often than not, you’re heading in the right direction. Maybe you find that you were too ambitious, and some of these “requirements” are too much for you right now. That is totally fine- go back and reassess. If you find that they are habits that you don’t even need to really think about any more, congratulations!
- Repeat. This is a constant process of change- your life is not static, and your goals won’t be either! It is OK for you to change what consistency looks like for you at different points in your life.
Still unsure about how to put these things in practice?
This is what my nutrition coaching process is ALL about! It sounds simple on paper, but the fact of the matter is that consistency can be one of the most difficult lessons to learn, and it is a lifelong process! Interested in learning how you can put this in place in your life? Contact me to learn about how you become a nutrition coaching client!