Today I'm aiming to describe what I believe are the TWO ‘must-haves’ when it comes to a fitness program. Meaning that without these bases covered, you’ll find it easy to quit. Self-deception will be rife each day. You’ll go weeks without training then suddenly feel guilty.
Let’s jump in:
If your workout is scheduled with your coach or training partner at 6pm on a Thursday, you will stop whatever you’re doing at that time and go to the gym to start training. Compare that to a ‘wishy-washy’ scheduling method of “ooh, I’ll try to go to the gym 3x this week."
What’s worse than not going to the gym? Staying at work for 1-2 extra hours and getting home even more stressed, even less motivated. You won’t be present for your family in that state of mind. Your family deserves you to be at your best. Somewhat counterintuitively then: Finishing work on time and going to the gym when you are supposed to be there actually gives you MORE time with your family. More time to chill out. Better work:life balance. You will feel proud of yourself. That leads to a few other improvements in your life as I’m sure you can imagine.
Get your schedule sorted. Get some accountability with a coach or training partner that expects you to be where you said you’d be.
This is a game changer. But it’s quite simple, right?
2) A PRACTICAL DIET
Ever tried a diet that when you look back, seems silly? I have. The warrior diet (2 meals a day. Starving hungry). Keto diet (very difficult to do when travelling without taking ten buckets of double cream with you). Corned beef and tuna diet (dry!).
Now, these are not necessarily silly diets. In many cases they are scientifically verified to work well for fat loss (apart from the corned beef/tuna thing…).
But they were silly FOR ME.
If you try to stick to a diet that does not work in a practical sense within your day to day life. It will not stick longer than 2 weeks. You’re smarter than you think. You’ll see the futility of your efforts and the short term nature of the nutrition plan, then quit. To be honest I think that’s fair enough. Don’t beat yourself up about it. You’ve proven that method did not work. Now go and find a plan that does work.
Ignore plans that work for other people, they have different time commitments, fitness levels, taste buds, body fat percentage, ability to cook and on and on. There are a ridiculous amount of variables. Don’t go there.
So, onto the real question, how do you find a plan that will make you healthier? And how will you know that you will stick to it?
Again, we must look back to the schedule - the ‘to-do’ list. What are you going to eat today? How big will the portion be? What time are you going to eat it?
Slowly, over a period of MONTHS (not days) start to reduce your portion sizes.
You can then eat whatever you like, providing you put it into the plan and are conscious of your behaviour. You already know that lettuce is healthier than pizza, I’m not here to insult your intelligence, but I am here to remind you that tracking your calories (how much you are eating) is the defining factor of success when it comes to a healthy diet (measured by fat loss and muscle gain).
If you try to stick to an impractical diet, you won’t find it practical! You WILL eat too much. If you eat too much you won’t lose weight.
Stop thinking of diet ‘plans’ because that leads to failure, confusion and quitting. Start to be critical. Rip plans apart. Put them back together again in a way that suits you. Think: “will that work for me?” Decide: "That won’t work when I travel to London once a fortnight etc. so I won’t waste my time trying it.” Come up with solutions: “Instead of me having 3 meals and 2 snacks like that plan says, could I combine the snacks and just have 4 meals - two before 1pm, two after 1pm? Hmm, yes that may work. Let’s try it for a week and see.”
Structure & a practical diet.
That’s how you’re going to go for a long term healthy lifestyle.
Ignore these principles and you’ll really struggle. Perhaps you already are.
Hope this helps!
Raw Strength Gym, Warrington
PS - We are currently running 6 week trials, for free.
My team and I can help get you started on a coached program, within a group of people just like you (similar age and fitness level), in our private gym with no egos or meatheads. Just focused training, simple nutrition, and tracked results.
Book a consultation with me using this link:
We’ll spend 30 mins going through your motivation/pain, your vision for the future, and see how our programs can improve your life.