Mike Gorski, RD, CPT - MG FITLIFE
When it comes to exercise and nutrition, this is an all too common problem: Hopping from program to program, diet to diet, and hoping for miraculous results.
If you are truly just looking to mix it up and try new things for fun, or stress relief, or for general fitness, this isn’t the worst thing you could do. However, if you are truly looking for the results that most programs or diets advertise, you need to see them through, and give them TIME.
There are so many fad diets out there that promise amazing results. However, the first thing I always caution my clients with is that to maintain the results you initially get, it must be something you can stick with for the long term. Sure, any diet that restricts calories by cutting out a huge chunk of food (carbs, fat, meat, gluten free, etc.) will get you to lose weight. But can you stick to that diet for the long run?
So what should you do?
1. Pick your goals and find the right program for YOU!
If your goals are to look like an NFL linebacker, you need to train like one and eat like one. If you want to look like a fitness model, you need to train like one and eat like one.
What if you just want to get a little healthier, and lose a few pounds in the process? Find a well balanced program that focuses on strength, cardio, flexibility, or whatever your goals may be – but just stick to it!
2. Find a program you enjoy and track your progress.
You have to enjoy what you do, or you will burn out, get bored, and want to quit pretty quick. This goes for diet as well. The holy grail of workouts and diets will not help you if you don’t enjoy it, and stick to it.
When it comes to tracking progress, this is something a lot of people don’t do enough of. Invest in a $5 notebook, and track everything you do in your workout. This way, you can look back and see if you are progressing. Depending on your abilities, age, and overall goals, there are many ways to progress.
We can’t always go heavier and heavier, especially as we age. But by tracking your actions, such as reps or time, you can still progress.
Same thing goes with diet.
Track your bodyweight (weekly), track your waist circumference, track your body fat %, take weekly progress pictures - anything that matters to you – track it.
If you aren’t seeing a long term change happening, then maybe you need to work on adherence. This could be because you decided to do a crazy crash diet cleanse program that is not sustainable for the long term, or maybe you just didn’t stick to a well rounded program. Whatever it may be, you need to be honest with yourself, and assess what went right, and what went wrong.
3. Stick it out and give it your all.
Once you decide on your goals, and once you find a program that has shown results that match your goals, hit it hard, and with everything you’ve got.
Whether it’s 12 weeks, 6 months, or a full year planned out, you need to keep it up. Just like getting out of shape doesn’t happen overnight, getting the results you want for the long term doesn’t happen overnight.