Today’s post isn’t really going to be anything new, but it’s one of those subjects that people need, apparently, constant reminding of when we’re talking about successful fat loss.
What am I talking about? Any guesses?
I’m hoping it’s obvious.
I’m talking about dietary adherence; that is basic compliance to your nutritional plan. This is and always will be the KEY to long-term, successful fat loss. I don’t care how hard you train, I don’t care how many metabolic workouts you do, or how much cardio you do, if you can’t nail your diet week in and week out, you’re short changing yourself of results. You’re working hard in the gym for sub-optimal, or in some cases, no, results.
Want great results? Stick to your diet, consistently. Week in and week out. One meal at a time. A simple thing to remember – extraordinary results requires extraordinary efforts.
There’s little that annoys me more as a diet coach than someone who whines and complains about lacklustre results … and then says, something like, “My diet is pretty good, I’m making better choices. Just a few cheats.” Or maybe the person is telling me that they’re bang on with their diet, except for the little nibbles and small extras here and there. What? That’s not bang on in my book. That’s extra. I don’t care how small it is, when ‘small’ is repeated often, it’s no longer small.
Oh you’re hungry? So what? What do you expect? You’re dieting and eating in a caloric deficit. Do you expect to be full? Your hunger level is not an indication of the need for more food. The sooner you ACCEPT this reality, the better off you’ll be. Hungry? No surprise there. You’re starving? No, you’re actually not starving.
Everything counts, big cheats, little cheats, additional this or that, nibbles, it all adds up. Now, hey, that’s all perfectly fine, it’s your choice. But that quote I posted the other day comes up here – choose the behaviour, choose the consequences. It’s fine to fall short of optimal compliance … if you’re willing to accept the results of those choices. If you’re not? Then stop cheating, nibbling or whatever it is that you’re doing that’s off plan. Great results are on the other side waiting for you.
Instant gratification – the mindset of a child isn’t it? The need to satisfy a WANT (not a need), NOW, NOW, NOW. Now, we’ve ALL been there at one point or another; no one is perfect. But when this is a regular occurrence? Well, you forfeit the right to complain and even more so, question why you’re not getting the results you think you should be. How can we assess the effectiveness of any given strategy when it’s not even being given an opportunity to do anything? Delay it and hold off until your scheduled free meal. That food you want now will still be there in three days, don’t worry.
Now, don’t misunderstand me; I’m not saying this is easy. Check out my three-part It’s Simple, But It’s Not Easy article series on the main site for more on that. Clearly it’s not that easy, otherwise no one would have issues and we’d all be ripped year round.
But, fat loss is simple once you realize how hard it is. Then you know how much effort, responsibility, planning, creativity, intensity, discipline, thought and control the process is going to take. It is not easy. It is not going to happen from sub-optimal efforts. Only once you accept that will you succeed. This takes work. You have to be willing to put that work in – and by work I mean diet hard!
We often talk about the 90% rule – meaning that you have to be on plan 90% of the time. Well, what if you’re 90% and the results aren’t there? Then perhaps you’re one of those people for whom that’s simply not good enough. I know for me, for example, 90% doesn’t cut it. Until you can week in and week out hit 100%, to truly test things out and see if the extra effort makes the difference for you, then you can’t complain about results. Plans only work to the degree they’re adhered to.
Consider setting process goals instead of just outcome goals. A process goal is “I will follow my diet 100% of the time this week’. And then if you meet your process goals, your outcome goals (i.e. progress) will take care of themselves.
Fat loss is a battle – you versus your body. The key to winning is dietary compliance. Unless you enter the battle field with that strategy in place, you might as well wave the white flag before you even start.
Each person’s success is their responsibility.