in by Lindsay
I can always tell that it’s time for another nutrition-based blog post when I’ve discussed a certain topic with more than a few different people at our gym. This time, it’s the importance of a consistent and balanced diet, or more specifically, the question of “how do I stick with it?”
It seems that for a lot of people, the thought of adhering to a certain diet seems daunting. They believe that it has to come along with a lot of sacrifices, and a ridiculous amount of time and energy in order to find any kind of success. This just isn’t true.
Be realistic with your goals, and allow yourself enough time to reach them.
Professional or competitive athletes aside, for someone looking to simply shed some unwanted body fat or someone looking to improve their overall performance in the gym, the process is fairly simple and straightforward. It’s about long-term consistency that fits into your lifestyle, NOT about short-term crash diets that cause more harm than good. We need to allow ourselves time to form new, healthy habits and to gradually transition our bodies into [and out of] caloric deficits.
There’s also no reason to put unrealistic pressure on yourself to achieve a physique that’s outside of a healthy norm (unless you fall into the pro or competitive athlete category). You can’t expect to lean out to 4% body fat in 5 weeks and not have it take a toll on all aspects of your life. Be realistic about what will be achievable for you, and what will truly make you happy and successful.
Don’t beat yourself up when a day of eating doesn’t go as planned. Pick yourself up and move forward.
We’re sometimes too quick to give up on ourselves when it comes to our nutrition. A day of over-eating or a weekend of too much “celebrating” is not going to derail all of your progress. As long as it doesn't happen every week, diet breaks can often be helpful. They let us satisfy our cravings and unwind, especially when done in social settings. Of course I’m not saying that eating an entire ice cream cake by yourself can be considered helpful to your goals. I do think it’s a good idea to allow yourself to enjoy a night out with friends or a summer BBQ to help remind us that balance in life is important. Remember that you’re aiming for long-term health, performance and aesthetic goals, and being 100% perfect and on-point all of the time is not realistic.
Recognize the little wins along the way. Real changes don’t happen overnight- or even over 2 weeks. Take the time to reflect on the journey.
Don’t get discouraged when dramatic changes happen slower than you’d like. Body composition changes take time and consistent work. Do yourself a favor and recognize the little wins in your journey, and give yourself credit where credit is due. Maybe you haven’t lost much weight, but your energy levels have been up and your performance in the gym is better than it’s ever been. This is great progress, and a sign that your body is responding to your changes in nutrition, maybe just a bit slower than you’d like. Instead of deciding that your body is stubborn and too slow to adapt, you should realize that progress is happening gradually, and your success is not only defined by the end goal.
If you need help setting some realistic goals for yourself, or you need a little extra guidance, DAC PT can help. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.