How to Have – And Sustain Fitness Success
There are all kinds of myths out there about becoming fit and maintaining it for life.
You have to do keto.
You have to do CrossFit.
You have to make exercise and meal prep consume your entire life.
Wrong, wrong and wrong.
A lot of this stems from the society that we’re living in. There is a pill for everything and everyone wants a quick fix to all of their issues. In the case of health and fitness, this is what hurts people the most.
People trying to do too much too fast. People trying to do things the fastest way possible just to look better physically. In reality, fitness and health encompasses so much more than just what you physically look like. (Although, looking good is awesome too) It’s about mental and spiritual health. The health of your relationships. How you view yourself and the world around you.
The fact of the matter is that fitness and health is a journey, not a destination. It is something that must become a part of your identity – who you really are if you truly want to see progress and sustain it for life.
With that being said, here are 4 ways you can have and sustain fitness success!
1. Start Slow – Begin Tracking
Instead of jumping into a fad diet that you won’t be able to stick to for longer than a month, start by building awareness through nutritional tracking. (Find more info about tracking in my free eBook) This can be as simple as downloading an app like MyFitnessPal and just simply logging your food. From there, you can get an idea of how many calories you’re consuming, what the macronutrient (protein, carbohydrates and fat) breakdown is for the day, how much fiber you’re eating etc. From there, you can add in more protein and/or micronutrient dense foods to help you achieve your goals of being more fit and healthy. Check out this video on tracking and you should have a solid base. Obviously, this is super bland and if you want more help on how to individualize your nutrition for your goals and lifestyle, you can click this link and I’d be more than happy to help! The next piece that you can start tracking is your daily steps. Almost everyone has a smart phone or smart watch of some sort that tracks activity. The point isn’t to have the most accurate measure. The point is to have something that is CONSISTENT that will track your movement. Generally speaking, most people who come to me aren’t moving much during their day. Once you have a baseline for how many steps you’re taking every day, make an effort to add a couple thousand steps to that every week. Simply being more aware of the movement you’re doing can lead to more adherence versus throwing yourself into some super intense exercise program or training modality. Once you get to around 10,000 steps/ day consistently, you’re on your way to hitting the US Department of Health and Human Services’ daily recommendation for activity, which is about 30 minutes per day. Just moving more can drastically reduce your all-cause mortality risk, help you to sleep better, reduce anxiety, improve mood and so much more!
2. Emphasize Better Sleep
We’re living in a time where it’s the cool thing to be a part of #teamnosleep and the whole sleep when you’re dead thing. Well, if you’re not sleeping, you just might be cutting years off your life.
Shift workers have increasingly high risks for numerous chronic illnesses including heart disease.This just hints at the importance of how important sleep is to human health. One of the easiest ways you can success with your fitness and health goals is starting to emphasize better quality sleep. This can be a challenge for people who are used to the same sleep disordered patterns: over eating before bed, watching too much tv before bed, having the “busy mind” – “wired and tired” from poor lifestyle habits… these can all be tough to breakthrough. Some super simple things you can implement are:
- Sleeping in a dark cool room
- Going to bed at around the same time daily
- Waking up at around the same time daily
- Having a sleep routine (reading, journaling, drinking something warm/calming etc.)
- Wearing blue light blockers (especially if you’re looking at screens at night)
- Managing stress (meditation, relaxation, eating enough quality food)
3. Add Protein & Veggies to Each Meal
As easy as this sounds, I would venture to say the majority of people reading this aren’t having BOTH protein and veggies at every meal. When it comes to having and maintaining a lean physique, there isn’t anything more crucial than eating enough protein. Protein has the highest thermic effect of food – meaning it requires the most calories to digest. If fat loss is the goal, this plays in your favor tremendously.
A good way to go about this is to use the method of using your hand as a measuring guide for how most of your meals should look.
Using this simple method can really be a game changer in promoting better body composition, as well as improved energy, cognitive function and productivity in your professional life as well. If you’re wondering what each of these sources are, here are some options:
Example Protein Sources:
- Grass-fed beef, pork, bison etc.
- Pasture raised poultry and eggs
- Sustainably farmed or wild fish
- If you can tolerate dairy, grass-fed products (milk, yogurt, cheese etc.)
- Whey Protein without artificial sweeteners/flavors/ingredients
Example Vegetable Sources:
- Brussels Sprouts
*When it comes to veggies, eat all the colors – switch it up because they all have different micronutrient profiles which all aid in health.
Example Carbohydrate Sources:
- White Rice
- White Potatoes
- Gold potatoes
- Sweet potatoes
- Red potatoes
- Whole Grain Pasta
- Lentil Pasta
Example Fat Sources:
- Olives & olive oil (don’t cook with)
- Coconuts & coconut oil (can cook with)
- Grass fed butter
- Nuts (macadamia, pecans, almonds, cashews etc.)
- Seeds (flax, sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, chia etc.)
- Grass fed meats
- Egg yolks
- Ghee butter (AWESOME FOR COOKING VEGGIES)
4. Get a Plan
Alright, if you’ve listened to my podcast or read any of my other blog posts, you know how I feel about hiring a good coach. It can be everything you need to not only reach your goals, but to learn about the principles of making health and fitness fit your lifestyle FOR LIFE.
In fact, The American Society of Training and Development found that people are 65% more likely to succeed in reaching a goal after committing to another person.
The bottom line is that if you want to have success, you need a plan… and one that fits your lifestyle, needs and aligns with what your goals are. It doesn’t have to be hiring a coach…
It can be implementing the things I’ve talked about above, and getting your hands on a good training program (like Strength Basics, which also has built in accountability with the private Facebook group) that has everything laid out for you…
- The program itself
- Phased out with progressive overload
- Video links for all exercises
- Intensity variables and rest times
Doing the simple things from above and having a solid training program to follow can be all you need.
But for the person who wants (and needs) even more individualization and attention, hiring a coach – even if it’s only for 3-6 months can LITERALLY change your life.
Any change you make, however small, if done consistently will produce results. But the key is to be patient, stay the course, realize that things won’t always be perfect and adhere to these small changes. And eventually through all of this, you will have success and fitness will just be part of your lifestyle.