The Key to Weight Loss Success
Written by: Coach Evan
The Key to Weight Loss Success… is a clickbait title and this article is actually about The Key to Success with a Nutrition Program.
Ask people what the most difficult thing about staying on track with a nutrition program is and you will hear many different responses. “The weekdays are easy, but the weekends are tough”, or “training days are good, rest days’ suck”, or “When I’m on my own it’s fine but when I go out or eat with friends and/or family that’s when I seem to fall off,” are examples that I hear often. These might sound different but they all boil down to one similar characteristic: consistency. Following your plan religiously and unwaveringly is the hardest part of a nutrition program. The key is to prepare for obstacles and to be malleable when unforeseen circumstances pop up.
There are only a few true reasons why you can’t stick to a plan:
1) An emergency comes up, real or exaggerated, and there is no other option but to abandon your plan and eat unhealthy, or don’t eat at all. Neither option is ideal. Real emergencies are circumstances where it’s more important for you to deal with the emergency than focus on your nutrition plan. An exaggerated emergency might be that you’re out of food and you’re tired and it’s been a long day and it’s kinda late so the easiest thing is pizza and beer. Sorta sounds like the first…
2) You consciously choose not to, aka someone asks you to go get pizza and beer and you say screw it, let’s go.
3) You haven’t figured out a way around whatever obstacle is stopping you.
4) You don’t realize there is an obstacle in the first place.
There are so many ways to get around obstacles, and I’ll mention a few in a moment, but if you are following a nutrition program you also should recognize that situations like this are challenges and you will meet them in your journey all the time. You need to be ready to make changes depending on how well you can cope with these challenges.
Here is a conversation I have repeatedly with clients:
Me: How are things going?
Client: Well, I like to go out to eat with friends and family, and I also like to have a drink, and it’s hard to not go over on my macros.
Me: Absolutely it’s hard. You should consider cooking at home that way you can hit your macros spot on.
Client: Well, I’m really busy and I just don’t have time to cook or meal prep.
This is a perfect example of not realizing there is an obstacle in the first place: habits that are holding you back. Finding the time to meal prep is a topic for another article called, “it’s easier than you think,” but if you aren’t willing to sacrifice eating out then you aren’t ready for a nutrition program. And I even think it’s ok to eat out once a week…
Let’s talk about how to prepare for roadblocks; how to be ready for unideal situations.
A) One of the easiest ways to prepare is to meal prep.
Make your food for the week, package it up, and be ready to go. Commit to eating it, even when other options come up. Even when your family wants hamburgers, even when your friends want to go out for a drink. You don’t even have to meal prep if you take advantage of Bite Meals or some other catering service and create a special order tailored to your nutrition plan. The point is be ready and stick to your plan.
B) When your friends offer to go out, you can go, have a good time, but you don’t need a beer with dinner, and you don’t need the burrito as big as your head.
It may not be fun. Maybe you have to order the salad and then eat something at home that better fits your plan to make it work. This is about commitment and sacrifice, not everything will be perfect or easy.
C) Being overly prepared is important. These situations shouldn’t throw a wrench in the works. It might sound like a lot of work and planning but this is a lifestyle change we’re talking about; this is a life-long dream for some people. You better be ready to plan and work hard.
What if your power goes out and you can’t cook? Know the healthy restaurants and grocery stores in your area so you can go to them when you’re in a bind.
What if you work later than you planned and all of the healthy stores and restaurants are closed? Keep a healthy already-made-meal in the fridge at home just in case.
D) Create a support system with your coach, friends, and family.
Don’t be afraid to utilize that support system, that’s what they are there for. Ask for their advice, ask them to help you plan, ask them to help you get through a moment of weakness when all you want is a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.
You can get a perfect set of macros and write out your meals and snacks and shakes and fit them perfectly to your program but if you aren’t prepared for the curveballs life throws at you then you can throw that plan away. You can’t lose 15lbs just because you want to, you have to seriously commit and be ready to work. Whether you’re in the middle of a nutrition program or thinking about starting one, you need to be ready to make a big commitment and be ready for sacrifice.
On a lighter note, what was the charge when NaCl was arrested?