You’re working out every day, eating well most of the time, and nothing is changing. So what’s the problem?
Reason 1 – Cheat Meals. Any nutrition plan/approach/system you follow should help you maintain a healthy relationship with food. Finding yourself struggling to adhere to your plan through the week just so you can have a ‘cheat meal’ on the weekend means your plan isn’t going to help you have a healthy, long-term relationship with food.
Any reward-based relationship with food is going to create problems at some point in the future. Telling yourself you worked out today so that means you can have a snickers is a perfect example.
If you work out 3-5 times per week and apply that logic, we’d be consuming extra calories we’re not burning off. This is bad. Rewarding yourself with junk food is only going to make you feel like junk. You won’t lose the weight, and you may actually begin to gain more weight. “I’ve been doing great ALL week so I’m going to binge eat all the delicious, sugary, fatty foods that I love because I deserve it!”
For some people, a cheat day works. They’re able to eat the treats and not let it impact the rest of their week. For some, we eat SO bad all day. This will be guaranteed to blow your hard work to bits. If you’ve been doing “cheat days” for a while, and nothing is changing, maybe it’s time to break up with your Cheat Day and find an approach that doesn’t make you use food as a reward!
Reason 2 – It’s someone else’s fault. If you consume more energy than you output, change is not going to happen. You’re not losing the weight you want to. Then doubt will creep in and, with the best will in the world, you’re not going to blame yourself. You’re going to blame the plan, your coach, the supermarket for positioning chocolate at the till, your job for working you so hard that you didn’t get lunch and so on and so on.
Just like any relationship, it takes time to get serious about it. If you meet a boy/girl and you like them, it’s unlikely that you’ll move in with them that day! You’ll date a little, see each other with increasing regularity before you realise he/she is the one! A new approach to nutrition is no different! It takes approximately 2 months to adopt a new routine and turn it into something you can stick to.
So, if you’ve bought into the approach you’ve chosen, it’s time to put your big boy/girl pants on and start working on making a change.
Reason 3 – You’re winging it. Fail to plan, plan to fail. Keep it simple stupid. You can come up with any number of clever ways to say stuff, but sometimes you just need to get on with it. Just as you get to choose your mood for the day, you get to choose what and how much you eat. Plan ahead, cook in bulk, make leftovers to take to work for lunch.
Don’t leave it until you’re at work, or you’ll be down the dairy getting a pie and chocolate. It’s crap having a protein shake for breakfast, but it’s infinitely better than having nothing, and then going mental with cravings and buying aisle 4. An hour on a Sunday cooking chicken, making kumara mash and stir-frying veggies will go a long way to helping you achieve the success you want. And don’t convince yourself you don’t have time.
There are twenty-four hours to choose from, so pony up and get it done. So, what is the key to losing weight and getting fitter?
Consistency. If you don’t show up, nothing will change. If you expect to eat junk and reward yourself multiple times a week with the same rubbish, nothing will change.
If you only commit to 6 weeks of a nutrition plan or 6 weeks of an exercise program and nothing else, you won’t get very far.
Patience. Nutrition and fitness are your keys to a longer, healthier and more satisfying life. It should be enjoyable, challenging, easy and difficult all at the same time. If you study a new language or learn a new trade, you don’t expect it to happen in 3 weeks. You expect to take years, sometimes decades to become truly proficient. Yeah, sometimes it’s hard, but things worth having take time.
If any of this sounds like you, don’t mull on it because you know what? I have used ALL of those excuses above and done all of those things!
I have learned these things the hard way and I hope that you don’t have to do the same thing.
Work hard, get consistent, and be patient. Cheers! Paul