The most important word in the health industry is consistency. Consistency is the best approach to making effective changes. Consistency is the determining factor that separates short-term results from lifelong improvements. If you want to achieve a fitness goal, you need to take on one strategy at a time and become methodical.
Paralysis by Analysis.
Watch your fat intake. Beware of sugars. Stay away from white flour. Don’t eat at night. Avoid fruit drinks. Drink water. Drink green tea. Don’t drink alcohol. Look at serving sizes. Measure portions. Count the calories. Write this all down. Do this every day. Go!
If you dare to follow all the recommendations floating around the health and fitness industry, you’ll wind up on a couch in an office staring at a ceiling and recounting the last moments before your nervous breakdown. No one should be burdened with a laundry list of rules to follow when eating. Eating is supposed to be a calming and soothing experience that replenishes our bodies and minds. The experience should not be compromised because of radical methods in order to create a change to our health.
Have you ever seen what happens during a 21-day extreme diet? Participants experience a figure transformation. What happens on day 22 and thereafter? Life still continues and the transformation begins to regress to the original shape and figure. Dieting is a great way to mask unbalanced eating habits. Short-term results with little to no education create misperceptions of successful improvements and modification of habits. Health strategies are long-term and are only truly successful when they are unconscious.
90% to Success.
With structured eating habits, the best way to stay compliant is to simply reduce the rules
until a realistic approach is established. Reduce the “rules” governing your eating habits until you find a set of guidelines that you can stick to 90% of the time. Even if it’s just one guideline, you need a 90% compliance to achieve any sustainable changes. Being compliant at such a high rate allows you to integrate that specific guideline into your default decision-making process.
Example of a pledge of compliance:
I will commit to doing _____ all the time.
Every person responds differently to structured eating. Some people enjoy making decisions through nutrition education. Others want the decision process removed from their eating experience and need a very structured program. Regardless of the person or the eating program, consistency is the determining factor in the results.
How to Pick a Fitness Goal (And Achieve It)
Write down ONE goal.
[Example: I want to lose 5 pounds.]
Write down all strategies to reach that goal.
[Example: Exercise 3 times a week, cut back on sugars/grains, increase protein intake, add veggies, etc.]
Pick ONE strategy that you can comply with 90% of the time.
[Example: I will add veggies to every meal.]
Keep adjusting the strategy until it works for you.
[Example: I will eat veggies first in every meal.]
Once that strategy becomes automatic, add another strategy.
[Example: I’ve been eating veggies in each meal for 2 weeks. I will now reduce sugars from all my foods and drinks.]
With all the excess information about health and wellness, it is easy to get distracted and confused. Ignore everyone around you and everything you read. Stay focused on your one task and master it.
Give one method your full attention, and you will excel at the biggest issue in health: consistency.
Mike Clancy (B.S., RTS, Pn1) is a well-respected educator in health and fitness communities. As a native Rhode Islander, Mike became one of the most demanded trainers in New York City. His audience grew from his initial entry into the fitness industry in Tampa, FL to his hometown crowd of Providence, RI and eventually into the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. Mike runs his own private training service in NYC. From CEO’s to community leaders to celebrities, his clientele ranges from the affluent Upper East Side members to the edgy downtown crowd of “the city.”