One of the biggest problems people face is a lack of consistency. It’s one thing to be consistent for a few days with eating right and getting to the gym.
But what happens when life gets busy, your routine gets thrown off, or you struggle to fight off food cravings?
Do you succumb to the temptations or do you navigate around them?
In today’s article, I’m going to talk about ways to help you beat the cravings, stay more consistent, and ultimately improve your results overall.
Everything Starts With Your Mindset
To accomplish fat loss or anything in life really, you need to have your own purpose.
Your own ‘why’.
Why do you want to achieve XYZ? What will achieving this goal do for you personally and how will it make you feel?
These are all important questions to consider.
The reason being, if you don’t have a strong ‘why‘ you’re likely going to fail.
Unfortunately, that’s the truth of it.
Your ‘why’ should be something you want so bad that it drives you every single day until you accomplish it.
Find your ‘why’ by asking yourself the questions above. It all starts there.
A lot of people believe diet perfection is required for fat loss. Luckily for us, it’s not. If it was we’d all be screwed.
Consistency is more about doing enough of the ‘right’ things over a long period of time. The right things being hitting your calorie and protein targets time and time again. The right things don’t necessarily mean eating clean or avoiding certain foods.
It’s about playing the long game and nailing the foundational aspects over time.
So the next time you think you’ve cheated on your diet by having a cookie, don’t stress out. You’ll probably be fine once you learn to have a system in place.
Which leads me to…
Having a System
You can remove most of the diet stress and problems with consistency by having a nutritional system in place. What this means first and foremost is that you understand the basics of nutrition and how each component plays a role in your fat loss success.
You need to know how calories affect your weight, and that to lose weight and body fat you have to eat less than you burn. Whenever I begin with a new online coaching client, I always stress the importance of getting the right amount of calories for their goal.
One of the things we talk about is the aspect of being flexible. Having some flexibility of your diet is a good thing, and will likely help you stay more consistent for longer periods of time.
This means you don’t have to panic if you are going out to dinner.
You don’t have to worry that your diet is ruined because you had a few scoops of ice cream.
And you certainly aren’t doomed if you get tempted easily and have a food you think might be ‘bad’ or off limits.
If you understand the role of calories and how they affect your success, then you’ll take away a lot of the stress associated with diet temptations and the feeling of not being consistent.
Your system is your base or foundation to work from. If you have a solid understanding of the foundation, then you can regulate and adjust for different scenarios.
Food Temptations and Fat Loss
I think we all get tempted to eat something from time to time that we may see as fattening, unhealthy or not part of our diet. This is where having your system in place comes in handy because that food you would normally say is off limits might be able to work its way into your diet.
Now, we still have to keep our total calories in mind, but if you’re armed with the knowledge of how many calories you need then you might be able to enjoy some treats every now and then without damaging your progress.
Want to have that cookie later on? Ok, no problem. Make sure you hit your protein total for the day and simply save yourself 300-400 calories to work that into your diet.
Food temptations are ok. It means you’re human. Try to think of your diet as a scale. On one side you have all the foods you think are good, and on the other, you have the ‘bad, unhealthy, tempting delicious treats’. If you simply fill most of your diet with the stuff you think is good while saving a little bit of room for the tasty stuff some of the time, you’ll remove the guilt associated with enjoying those foods.
3 Tips for Better Nutrition Consistency
Whether you struggle daily or weekly to eat consistently for your goals, give these 3 tips below a try to help you improve your diet and make things much simpler.
#1 Always have food prepped
This one is huge. Even if you aren’t a world-class chef, there’s no reason not to have some good food options in your fridge and pantry at all times. This is one of the best tips I can give you especially if you’re someone that struggles a lot with sticking to your diet. Winging things on the go is all well and good, but I’d leave that to people who have experience dieting and such. I don’t think it’s the best option if you’re new to dieting, or if you struggle to be consistent. Having some of your favorite proteins, veggies, and carbs cooked and on hand can make things a lot easier.
#2 Understand Nutrition Labels and Macros
If you understand the basic gist of macronutrients and how to read nutrition labels, you’ll be just fine. Rather than looking at foods as good vs. bad, look at them as numbers. Food A contains 500 calories per serving while food B contains 150 calories per serving. You must be able to decide which food will get you closer to your goal. I wrote a post on macros HERE, so be sure to check that out.
#3 Make sure your goal is really important to you
This one is huge and probably the most important.
Don’t just pick a goal because other people tell you to. Go for your goal because it’s important to you. The crazier (in a good way) you are about achieving your goal, the more likelihood of success you’ll have. Sure they’ll be ups and downs, but I guarantee you’ll have better success going for something you truly want instead of picking a goal that you’re kinda wishy-washy about.
Putting This Into Action
Remember, diet consistency is something we all struggle with. Even us fit pros. If you establish good habits and understand the system, you’ll have much more freedom with your diet.
So before you call it quits because you think you deviated from your meal plan, keep in mind that nutrition works as a whole and a single meal or food won’t sabotage your progress.
Before I go I’d like to give you an action tip. For the next week, yes, all 7 days, I want you to keep a written food log of everything you eat and drink. Use an app like My Fitness Pal to track your intake and at the end of the week, figure out how close you are to your calorie goals.
This will help you see how many calories you’re actually consuming and then from there, you can decide if you need to cut back a little, adjust food sources, or simply be more mindful of your intake.
Do it. It’ll help.