Do These Five Things to Reach Your Fitness and Weight Loss Goals
After working with many different clients, I have noticed a number of differences between successful clients who reach their goals, and clients who do not. Here are five things you can do to reach your fitness and weight loss goals.
1. Be Realistic
Unsuccessful clients expect to lose weight quickly, often via an unrealistic plan. When weight loss does not happen quickly, or when the plan is unfeasible, their mindset becomes “next month will be a better month”. They put off making any real or lasting changes.
Successful clients have realistic goals and a realistic plan to reach those goals. They know that slow and steady wins the race. That is to say, a realistic expectation acknowledges that weight took time to gain, and therefore weight will take time to lose. Slow and steady weight loss means that the weight is gone for good.
In addition, a realistic plan acknowledges that success is more about improving daily habits than about the numbers on the scale. Success becomes more about the journey each and every day and less about the end point.
2. Exercise Consistently
Successful clients come to their workout sessions. This may seem obvious, but there is a significant difference between the success of clients who consistently show up, and those who frequently miss their sessions. The same can be said to those who consistently go to the gym versus those who put it off and then never get around to it. You have to show up. Results do not come from saying that “I have a trainer”. Results come from doing the work. Fitness is not rocket science. You do the work, you get stronger and fitter.
3. Eat Consistently
In addition to exercising consistently, successful clients also eat consistently. While this doesn’t mean eating the exact same thing every day, it is a lot easier to “tweak” an eating pattern that is fairly similar from day to day. Eat a similar breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. When eating consistently, it is much easier to make small changes to get results.
In order to establish eating patterns, successful clients track what they eat and when they eat for at least a few weeks. Tracking your food intake keeps you accountable to your trainer and, more importantly, to yourself.
Unsuccessful clients are prone to only track their “good” days. They want to skip their “bad” days. If you want results, you need to be accountable for everything that you eat. After some time, this mindfulness about what you eat becomes more automatic. Are you fueling you body with the nutrients it needs? Have you had enough protein? Have you had enough water? At Vital Active Living, we help coach you to make gradual changes that are effective for the long term.
If emotional eating, stress eating, binge eating or night time eating is a frequent pattern, weight loss is going to be more difficult. Food tracking can identify these patterns, and your trainer can help you develop strategies to deal with these eating tendencies.
4. Stick to the Plan
Together with your trainer, you form an exercise and eating plan for the week. This plan mostly comes from the client, with help from the trainer. Only the client can know how realistic it is for them to fit in some extra workouts according to their schedule. The trainer can assist by providing appropriate strength or interval workouts to complete. Similarly with food, the client knows what their food preferences are, but the trainer can advise and help set nutritional targets, and together they can reach a plan.
Successful clients stick to the plan. Their mantra is #noexcuses, #whateverittakes. They prioritize their fitness goals.
Unsuccessful clients have excuses for why they did not stick to the plan: their dog got sick, they did not sleep well, their work hours changed, they had a bad week, they slept in, they did some “emotional” eating. In some cases, it goes back to not having a realistic plan in the first place. Unsuccessful clients have the idea that they are going to execute an unrealistic plan. Be realistic and then stick to it.
Sometimes life does require us to go off the plan. There are some things that are out of our control. That is when it is important to be flexible with the plan. Successful clients work around injuries. Successful clients find alternative healthy eating options when the planned option falls through. We cannot expect to be perfect all of the time, but getting back on track as soon as possible is key. Unsuccessful clients tend to “write off” the entire month and wait for the next month to try again. Successful clients will get back on track immediately. That is dealing with life.
5. Be Organized
Successful clients are organized. Organized people have realistic time management goals with respect to scheduling exercise, shopping, food preparation, and sleep. Organized clients show up for sessions or reschedule with ample notice. Successful clients make the time to plan their meals, shop for their food and prepare their meals.
Most people agree that if they had healthy food to eat, they would eat healthy food. However, unsuccessful clients do not have healthy food available and so they eat out or on the go.
There are a number of reasons why food preparation works. First, food preparation means that you have the food for all your healthy meals and snacks on hand. Second, food preparation can be done a week at a time, on a weekly basis. This does require effort. However, having a week’s worth of meals planned, bought, and prepared will mean that you have more time to do the other things to help you reach your goals. You will be able to work, exercise, eat, and sleep, with much less stress. For tips on meal planning, see Weekly Meal Planning for Healthy Eating Success . For tips on grocery shopping, see 5 Tips for Healthy, Economical & Stress-Free Grocery Shopping.
Bonus: Be Less Stressed
We all have to deal with stress somehow, but the successful client manages his or her perception of stress in a healthy way.
When stress is a contributing factor to weight gain, then dealing with stress in a healthy way must be part of the solution for weight loss. The successful client will find ways to reduce and deal with stress in healthy ways such as prayer, deep breathing, exercising, being organized, eating properly, getting enough sleep, and talking to a supportive friend.
If you are ready to make lasting fitness and healthy eating changes in your life, contact Vital Active Living for your free consultation at Contact