I’m sure we’ve all heard at some point that in order to be successful in our health and fitness goals that we have to make it a lifestyle. This is most definitely true and is a lot easier said than done. Although there is no one path that will lead you to living the fit life, here are a few things to help guide you along your journey.
1. Don’t give yourself a strict schedule.
This may seem counterintuitive but if you tell yourself, I have to be at the gym Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7am for one hour, chances are you will spiral and just miss workouts if other things come up. Instead, give yourself a general goal and start small. Maybe start by getting in 2-3 workouts each week. You can easily add more days once this becomes a habit.
When starting out, you will make mistakes and your workout schedule will not be perfect every week. By giving yourself a little leeway, you allow yourself to fit in workouts around your life rather than trying to plan your life around your workouts.
2. Prepare ahead of time.
Planning ahead of time will make getting to the gym and eating well so much easier. Maybe pack up your gym clothes the night before. If you train after work, take your gym clothes with you. This way everything is ready to go in the morning and you won’t be stopping at home first to change and be tempted by your comfy couch.
Cooking in bulk on the weekend will make it easier to make better food choices. By having food prepped and ready to go, you won’t be tempted to eat out. If you can afford it, I highly recommend meal prep services. The food is tasty, you don’t have to cook it, and it’s delivered right to you.
3. Tell everyone you know.
There are a couple reasons for this. The most obvious one is that when you tell everyone around you that you are working out and eating better, those people will help hold you accountable. You might find that they will ask you how it’s going or they may comment that you look fitter.
The second reason is that when you start talking to others more about your diet and your workouts, it helps to integrate it more into your lifestyle. I will not shut up about macros, reverse dieting, calisthenics, and heavy lifting to anyone who will listen. This because I am truly passionate about these things and they are such an integral part of my everyday life. When you talk the talk, you start to walk the walk.
4. Find a diet that you can stick to.
I love food, as I’m sure we all do. This is why it’s important to find a diet that you see yourself sticking to long term. By long term I mean years not 12 weeks. If you are following a specific diet to lose weight short term but can’t see yourself following that diet for 12 months, then stop doing it and find something that works.
It doesn’t matter if it’s high carb, keto, paleo, whatever, as long as it works for you. I follow a flexible dieting approach and I have been doing that for the past four years because it works for me. It allows me to eat the foods I enjoy, enhances performance in the gym, and gives me a physique I am proud of. Shameless plug: If you are interested in this type of approach and would like coaching, I’m here for you.
5. Don’t give up just because you fell off the wagon.
Maybe things were going to great for awhile and then you have a couple of weeks where you don’t make it to the gym at all and your diet has been all over the place. You may may feel discouraged and it’s during times like these that it is easy to give up and slip back into old habits. Do not do this!
It’s moments like these that separate the ‘fitness people’ from your average gym goers. It doesn’t matter who you are but everyone has times, even fitness professional such as myself, where the gym and diet becomes less of a priority or life just gets in the way. The difference is ‘fitness people’ don’t stress (well maybe they do a little) and get back on track when they can.
You want to keep a general consistency over a long period of time, that’s what gets results and that’s what makes it a lifestyle. If you mess a up for a couple of weeks out of a span of several years, it’s really not a big deal.