To start: STOP LOOKING AT INSTAGRAM AND COMPARING YOURSELF TO WHOEVER IT IS THAT YOU FOLLOW!
These influencers and models are not doing you any justice if all that you do is use them as a unit of measurement. It took me years to realize how important it is to stay in your own lane.
A couple rules-of-thumb
There are two things to understand, and really let these sink in:
First: There is not a single soul on the planet that has the same lifestyle as another. Just because you share some of the same interests, go to the same gym or eat the same food as the guy or girl you’re comparing yourself to, that does not mean that you will get the same results they are getting.
Second: There is no perfect person or lifestyle or set of habits. We all endure stress, have obligations and responsibilities that have seniority over our time and how we spend it – however, it doesn’t require perfection to be in good health and achieve that beach body you’re busting your ass for.
KISS: Keep it simple, sister.
For a program to be successful, to lose weight, and change your life… start with the basics:
Your habits around health need to be re-evaluated.
I’m not suggesting you cut sugar entirely or stop eating out. Subtle changes can be made over time to ensure that the weight that you DO lose stays off. Daily check-ins are required to remain on track. By starting with slow changes you will notice that the habits are much easier to implement long-term.
Some starter habits include:
- Eating lean protein at each meal
- 3 servings of veg / 2 servings of fruit per day
- Eating to only 80% Full
- Being 50% consistent
Here’s what that ACTUALLY looks like:
For example, if you eat 4x per day, that’s 28x per week; the four meals could be a combination of 3 meals plus a snack, or 2 meals plus 2 moderate snacks.
Now consider this: if you are 60% consistent – which will lead to weight loss – just watch: that means that 12 out of the 28 meals are consistent with your health plan.
Up your game….slowly
When it comes to meeting your 3 servings of veg and 2 servings of fruit per day: you come to 35 total consumed fruit/veg. 60% consistency means 21 servings per week, which still improves your current standing.
Each week, or each month, depending on how you set your goals, if you can increase the rate of consistency by 5%, over time you will lose weight using healthy habits that you’ve created for yourself, meaning that you’ll be able to maintain the weight much easier.
Don’t try to be perfect
The recipe for success is in the details! For the most progress, you want to remain 50% to 80% consistent. Trying for 100% consistency means you’re more likely to deviate due to psychological frustration (ie: sick of eating the same healthy stuff and just wanting to reward your dopamine receptors with a nice kick of “HEY HOW YA DOIN’!”).
This is a snapshot of what 50% to 80% looks like, if you’re eating 28 meals a week:
- to 23 healthy meals per week
- 5 to 14 ‘cheat meals per week
And, if you really want to push yourself to change, you can be within the 80%-89% range, which could lead up to over 15lbs lost in a year; again, this is SUSTAINABLE weight-loss that can be built upon:
- 22 to 23 meals that are consistent
- 5-6 meals that are outside of your plan
The juice is definitely worth the squeeze! If you’re capable of having this much integrity with yourself, and can implement these habits and be consistent; over time you will come to establish your foundation of weight loss and weight management. This can enhance your life in a variety of ways:
- Better cardiovascular health
- Decreased cancer/diabetes risk
- Better sleep
- Better mood
- Less inflammation
- Better immunity
- Improved sex drive
It’s like golf…
In the end of the day, the only person you really have to compete with – or compare yourself with – is the person you were yesterday. This is the best possible habit you could develop; try to become the best version of yourself, every single day.
Alternately: to start establishing healthy habits, join @FitInFounder in her 90-day #healthyhabitsmovement challenge! By starting off your day right, you stand a better chance of hitting your daily health goals.
Wes Van Hart is a personal trainer, nutritionist (and far more), located in Toronto. Wes is an advocate for constantly improving both physical and mental health, and as such, he is dedicated to advancing his knowledge base, certifications and ability to help his clients, no matter how that looks.
Wes was the very first FitIn affiliate, and is a regular contributor to the FitIn blog.