Most Common Mistakes - Being Inconsistent
If there’s ONE thing that you absolutely need to get the best results possible, it’s consistency.
It’s all well and good following an extreme program for 2 weeks and seeing some rapid results, but if you can’t sustain that work rate or nutrition plan, you’ll soon see any results you got start to unravel.
Training 6 times a week and dropping 1,500 calories a day will get you rapid fat loss, but it’ll also mess with your body and make you feel like shit.
After a couple of weeks of this (or maybe before), you’ll feel tired, exhausted even. You might pick up some injuries or niggles. You’ll probably start to look as bad as you feel and your mood will be intolerable.
It’s not sustainable.
Results are quick but short-lived because you’ll soon either choose to stop training because it’s just too hard, or you HAVE to stop training because you simply can’t sustain it.
You’ll also likely have a major blowout with your diet and eat all the things you’ve been avoiding… in vast quantities.
Think about the quick pre-holiday diets people go on to “look good” for holiday - they’ve normally gained back ALL of the weight they lost, maybe even more, by the time they get back from holiday.
The key is to find a level that you can sustain right now (it may well change in the future, but we can only work with now).
If, realistically, you can and will get to the gym twice a week, then do that. There’s absolutely no point trying to get there 4 times a week if you’re going to end up taking a week or two off every month because it’s too much.
One step forward, two steps back will get you nowhere.
Start with your 2 workouts a week and do it consistently.
If, after a couple of months you haven’t missed any workouts, and you have the time and inclination, add in a 3rd.
Repeat this process to build up the number of workouts you want to be doing each week, bearing in mind that 3-5 is plenty for most people, and often 5+ is too much for normal human beings because it doesn’t leave enough time for recovery between workouts.
The same goes for diet.
If you try and drop 1,500 calories a day, you won’t last long before it all comes undone.
Start with a small reduction from your maintenance calories - maybe 200-300 calories a day.
See how you go with this, and if you can stick to it for a few weeks without too much trouble (again, bear in mind that if you’re in a calorie deficit, you are likely to get a bit hungry from time to time) you’re on the right track. Only then can you consider further reductions, but they likely won’t be necessary.
If your progress is on track, then there’s no need to go any more extreme.
A modest calorie deficit, along with a sustainable, regular exercise program will combine to bring about respectable weight loss.
The key is to only do things you’re at least 90% sure you can maintain indefinitely.
If you have a nutrition plan or workout program that you think “I can do that for a while” - it’s too much right now.
You need to be sure you can do it not just for a while, but forever.
This is how you become consistent, and that is how you get RESULTS.
You’re better off starting with what you think is too little - and sticking with it - than doing too much and stopping after 3 weeks.
When you set your goals, break them down into actions rather than end results (i.e. if weight loss is your goal, some of the “actions” you need to take are workout “X” times per week… Eat “X” number of calories per day).
Then rather than tracking your results, which are almost always slower than we’d like, you can focus on tracking your actions.
Did you complete all of your training sessions this week?
Did you hit your calorie target every day this week? (Including weekends!)
If you can check these off week in, week out, you’re making progress towards your end result.
You may not see the changes as they’re happening, but as long as your actions are appropriate to your goals, then making sure you complete your “action” goals will ensure you reach your result goals.
In short, don’t try to do too much or go too extreme, because sooner or later, you’ll stop and start to backslide.
For long-term results, you need a long-term approach, and the only long-term approach is one that is sustainable.
Consistency with the basics trumps all other methods and fads. Always.
So find a level for training and nutrition that you’re able to maintain, and maintain it.