We all know that sustaining results is not easy and that we have to develop the right habits over a long period of time and be consistent. But its easier said then done. In this blog I will cover what I believe to be the 4 key principles for sustaining results.
1. Stop looking for quick fixes
Don’t expect too much too quickly as it will only end in disappointment. Detox diets, fat burning pills, abs in 20 days etc. All these things can be very enticing, but are not long term sustainable options.
First of all, your liver and kidneys do the job of detoxing your body. Drinking shakes and restricting calories too much is not going to detox your body. What is going to “detox” your body is exercising regularly and eating lots of fruit, vegetables and protein. There are no foods that detox your body and there are no studies supporting it.
The term detox is used as a sales pitch. I admit, it is very enticing to clean your body and get rid of all the toxins in your blood. Its all blather, so don’t buy into it.
Fat burning pills
Stay clear of fat burning pills and any products that advertise burning up to 5-8 pounds in a week. Alarm bells should be ringing instantly. Fat burning pills are just pills high in caffeine and other things that the body doesn’t need. Why not just drink coffee?
The idea is that it increases your heart rate, and thus burns more calories through the day. You’re not going to take fat burning pills for the rest of your life. And if you haven’t changed your diet and habits, whats going to happen when you stop? If you constantly look for that quick option you will find yourself going around in circles. Look for a diet that suits you and your eating habits. Intermittent fasting, ketogenic, atkins, high carb low fat. There are so many to choose from and they all work. Just don’t restrict your calories too much just reduce portion sizes.
2. Change your habits
I’m not talking about a whole lifestyle change overnight. That would be great, but for most its impossible. You get the all or nothing type people but its very rare.
It doesn’t have to be a big change. It could be something as simple as drinking more water, tracking your calorie intake, waking up earlier and having breakfast, not eating late at night, prepping your meals, going for more walks. The list goes on, but don’t give yourself to much to do. You might have a lot of work stress and or other lifestyle factors. Its a lot to take in. Choose a couple of things to work on and keep doing them until it becomes a habit.
Its just like riding a bike, practice makes perfect. Change your bad habits over time and you will find maintaining results a lot easier.
3. Enjoy what you are doing
I mean this is kind of an obvious one. If you hate your diet your not going to stick to it. If you don’t enjoy the exercise your doing your not going to do it. Eventually it will come to an end. If you ask anyone who is into their fitness and health, they’ll tell you that they don’t do it because they have to, they do it because they enjoy it.
Eat what you love
Find things you love eating and find exercises you enjoy doing. If you are competitive, find someone to compete with and achieve your goals. With diet, I tend to get my clients to make a list of healthy foods they love to eat and I get them eating these foods daily. Every so often we switch foods up so they stay motivated to stick to their diet and they don’t get bored.
Do something different in the gym
Try circuit training, weight training, powerlifting, HIIT training, bodyweight training, crossfit etc. Just whatever you do, don’t stay on that treadmill for 40-60 minutes or any cardio machine for that matter, unless your goal is to do an endurance event.
All the time I have to say to people that they don’t need to do long boring durations of cardio to see the best results. You will get better results through a combination of cardio and strength training. Weight training will preserve muscle mass and help to maintain and increase your metabolism. Its very easy to reach plateaus when doing constant cardio sessions. A lot of time, when people do these long durations of cardio they tend to be in a huge calorie deficit, as well. Burning to many calories off can result in loss of muscle mass, which will decrease your metabolism in the long term. Eventually, your body will adapt by decreasing the amount of calories it burns (adaptive thermogenesis).
4. Have realistic expectations
So many people want to look like the person they see on Instagram and don’t set achievable time frames for their goals. I can tell you that you will never look like the person you look up to and that’s not being horrible its being truthful. Not only do genetics play a part. Unless you have time to train once or twice a day for two hours 6 days a week and keep track of your macronutrients consistently, do not expect to get sustaining results like that.
Be the best you can be
That’s all that matters. Take in to account how many days a week you can train. Also, track what you’re eating most days and what events you have going on in your life. If you want sustaining results, do not expect to get anything quickly. Going back to my point earlier about quick fixes, its not sustainable.
Most people transform their physiques over years, not weeks. And from personal experience of being skinny and underweight into my late teens, I can tell you, that it didn’t take me weeks to get to my goals.
Drive yourself to sustaining results
Set yourself realistic goals and time frames to achieve them. If you are unsure of how to do that, seek the help from a professional. I always say its better to under expect, than to expect too much. Small daily improvements are the key for long term success.