When some people begin to start losing weight, many times they are hyper focused on their diet. They want to achieve ‘x’ weight by ‘y’ date. The same thing goes for training. You may become hyper focused on achieving ‘x’ look by ‘y’ date or achieving a strength goal by a certain date. The biggest problem here is that you aren’t focusing on the important thing which is the process by which you will achieve your goal.
You may know someone who has replaced a meal with a shake in order to lose weight. Or they may carry prepared meals in a Tupperware everywhere with them. They deny themselves the foods they love and enjoy during the week. This often leads to binge eating on the weekend and an empty cupboard. Better yet, think about your favorite instagram fitness model’s training regimen. They crush a session Monday, and then are then too sore to train again til Friday.
Consistency Equals Success
The fact is, it has been proven many times that a lack of adherence and consistency are THE biggest hindrances to success. When people focus on the end goal rather than the process they are using to achieve their goal, they are less likely to be adherent, consistent, or accurate. Enjoying the task at hand, and ensuring it takes lifestyle and environmental factors into consideration, yields better results than focusing purely on the end goal – even when using ‘optimal’ methods to achieve it.
You may have a particular training or physique goal to reach, but doing some ‘optimal’ program that you hate means you aren’t going to get optimal results from it anyway. In the same way, you may have the ”BEST” diet that makes you lose 5 pounds a week – and this might sound great in theory – but you aren’t going to stick to it very long if it denies you of certain foods you like.
If you have a long term goal whether it is related to performance/training or weight/health and you are ready to make that change – then following a program in which you have great consistency and adherence to is ideal. You should do something that you enjoy. Manage your expectations and make sure what you want to accomplish is achievable, and take into consideration environmental and lifestyle factors.
Adherence and consistency are the primary determinants to success. If doing ‘non-optimal’ things like enjoying a meal out with friends, or fitting ice cream into your calorie intake twice a week, makes you stick to your diet in which produces weight loss – that is amazing!
On the opposite spectrum, if you have a goal of being healthier, and being more physically active – you don’t have to use a barbell or do any specific movement, or class to get “great” results. Weight training is always an amazing idea due to the great things we know it does for our health, but you can find whatever you like in the gym, and do what you like! It all depends on the individual and their goals. With diet as with training, the most important thing is finding a way to to increase consistency and adherence to the program you choose.