If you tend to stop and start when it comes to weight loss, you’ll know how this can derail your progress and even send you backwards.
The truth is that the best results come with consistency. This doesn’t mean getting it right all the time. Rather it means working on making progress every day, even if you stuff up and make mistakes.
So how do you ensure that you keep putting in consistent effort so you can have consistent weight loss?
Set a goal
Setting a goal is vital if you want to keep progressing and not stagnate. Unless you have something to work for, you’ll always find a reason or excuse not to get to your training sessions, go for your walk, or do your weekly food prep. However, your goal needs to be SMART — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound — and it needs to mean something to you. Click here for a recap on how to set SMART weight loss goals.
Do less to achieve more
When trying to lose weight, many people try to do too much to speed up their results. Whether it’s getting up early to get their exercise session in, cutting back on food, cutting out complete food groups, counting calories, making exercise sessions more frequent or longer, weighing themselves or giving up alcohol and treat foods completely. The truth is that this approach will only cause your stress levels to sky-rocket, which will impede your weight loss. You’ll also end up burning out, or sustaining an injury, meaning you won’t be able to do anything, and your efforts will come to a complete standstill.
However, focusing on one thing at a time and making consistent progress — even if it’s small is the way to keep progressing. It’s far better to do smaller things more regularly, than doing too much and becoming overwhelmed and giving up. Because consistency trumps intensity every time.
This is particularly the case for exercise. Training twice a week, consistently over a year, will yield far better results, than training 7 times a week for a month, on and off. Remember, going too hard, too soon will cause burn out or injury, which means you’ll end up being inconsistent with your exercise in the long-run.
Recover from your workouts
Consistency with your exercise is only possible with adequate recovery between your sessions. If you fail to recover, you’ll either miss your next session due to being too tired, or you’ll train poorly, thereby putting yourself at risk of injury. On the flip side, recovering well means that you’ll get the best out of your sessions, be able to complete them to the best of your ability, and you’ll fast-track your results.
Pre- and post-workout nutrition
Recovery begins with the correct pre- and post-workout meals. Fuelling your body with the correct nutrition before and after your workout will help you focus during your session, and will help your body recover so it can perform well at your next training session.
Continue to fuel your body
Refuelling your body doesn’t finish with your post-workout meal. Every meal you eat is another opportunity to refuel and build muscle, and to prepare you for your next workout. By choosing nutritious foods, you’ll find that you’ll train better and recover better.
Sleep is also an important part of your recovery and will also help with your overall weight loss. Aim to get at least 7 hours sleep each night, to ensure your body is well-rested, stress levels are low, and energy levels are high. When you get enough sleep, you’ll be more motivated and consistent with your efforts.
Forget being perfect
A lot of people think that they have to be perfect in order to lose weight. What they usually mean is not missing an exercise session, and not eating ‘bad food’. But you don’t need to get everything right in order to lose weight. For example, if you’ve been consistently eating four unhealthy meals a day, then turning just one of those into a nutritious meal will make a big difference to your weight loss.
On the flip side, don’t beat yourself up for slipping up or having a binge. If it happens, let your coach know so together you can work out what triggered it, and how you can avoid it happening in the future. The worst thing you can do is to pretend it didn’t happen, and then letting one bad day turn into a bad week, and a bad week turn into a bad month.
Don’t restrict foods
While we’re on the subject of food, it’s important that you don’t restrict foods. Restricting foods is the quickest way to emotional eating and bingeing. The more you restrict your food, the more likely you are to binge. And what usually happens then is that you’ll restrict food even more in an effort to make up for the binge.
The best way to stay consistent with weight loss is to allow yourself to enjoy your favourite foods from time to time. Make sure they are a planned part of your week, and choose quality food over cheap junk food. Remember, no food should be off limits. Just be sure to enjoy your treat foods every now and then, instead of every day.
Making your meals interesting will also help you stay on track with your weight loss. Try foods you’ve never had before, or cook a new recipe. Add herbs and spices to your foods to give them more flavour. Try new cuisines, tastes or textures. Even changing your setting (e.g. eating outside instead of inside) will keep you excited about your food choices, and less likely to go looking for something more ‘exciting’ in the form of junk food.
Celebrate your success
Of course, when you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll be tempted to measure success by the number on the scales. However, success isn’t just based on how much you weigh. By celebrating other wins (e.g. changing a habit, mastering a new skill, sleeping better, etc.) you’ll be more motivated to stay the course. Find out why celebrating invisible success is so important.
Choose the right support group
Losing weight isn’t always easy, so it’s important that you choose to hang out with people who are going to support you, not sabotage you. Your support group should help you celebrate your success, encourage your efforts and make you accountable. This means they shouldn’t enable you by telling you what you want to hear, but what you need to hear. The right support group is imperative if you want to stay consistent with weight loss.
Many people who try to lose weight end up sabotaging themselves. If you’ve ever self-sabotaged your weight loss, you’ll know how frustrating it is, and how confusing it can be. After all, why would you want to sabotage your success? However, when you understand that self-sabotage comes from your habits, you’ll begin to understand how to stop. Be sure to read our blog on how to stop the weight loss sabotage, to find out more.
Tracking data will also help you stay consistent with your weight loss efforts. In a nutshell, data is information that you record that reveals where you are, what you struggle with, why you struggle with it, and helps give clarity to the solutions that will help get you out of your current situation.
But there is even more power found in your data if you’re working with a coach, because this data will help your coach identify habits that you struggle with, so they can develop an action plan which will help you keep progressing.
Address your habits
Following on from tracking data, you’ll need to work on your habits. Most people focus on diet and exercise when they want to lose weight. However, this is only 3% of what contributes to weight loss. The other 97% is your habits — your thoughts, beliefs and behaviours. These are the things that have led you to become overweight in the first place. If you fail to address these, you’ll continually go in circles — losing weight and then gaining it back. However, once you start working on changing these, you’ll begin to develop new habits that will support a healthy lifestyle and permanent weight loss.
When working on your habits, give your focus to the one that will give you the biggest bang for your buck. For example, you may struggle to get to your training sessions, do your weekly food prep, get enough sleep, and have time to relax, because you give your time and energy to others first. However, learning to say ‘no’ and prioritising yourself will lead to the biggest change, because it will mean you have time to do all the things you need to do, in order to lose weight.
Improve your self-awareness.
To be consistent with your weight loss, you need to increase your self-awareness. This means understanding and questioning how your choices, habits and behaviours are responsible for your current situation and outcome.
Increasing your self-awareness will require consistent effort, but it’s well worth it. To find out more, make sure you read our blog that will explain more detail about self-awareness, and how you can go about increasing yours.
Developing a structure will help you stay consistent. By having set times to do things (e.g. time for training, time for food prep, time for work, time to relax), you’ll be able to find time for all the things you need to do to lose weight, as well as have time to spend with your family and do the things you love. It will also mean that you won’t end up frittering your time away, only to panic when you seem to run out of time.
Similarly, having a structured training program is also important. Every time you train, you should know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, rather than making it up as you go along.
Finally, the glue that will hold all of this together and keep you consistent is accountability. Asking a coach to help you, and taking full responsibility for your progress is being accountable. Accountability is so important to your success, that it’s a key aspect of our Diet Antidote Transformation System (DATSTM Program) The Not-Diet-diet for people who are sick of diets and want more than a good body.
When you make yourself accountable to someone, you increase your chances of success to 95%. This is because it will help you to consistently move forward, ensuring you don’t get stuck, go around in circles, or go backwards.
Increase your consistency
If you’ve been struggling to lose weight because you’ve been unable to be consistent with your efforts, we can help you! We develop personalised, structured programs for all of our clients that are designed to keep them consistent, so they can lose weight and successfully keep it off.