Tom, the personal trainer who founded Waite Training in Leeds has many tips to help you get started on working for your fitness goals.
When my clients ask me about the best diet or the best training plan to achieve their fitness goals, they tend to receive an unexpected answer. The best diet and fitness plan is the one you can stick to consistently, every day until your goal is achieved.
Consistency is an aspect that's very rarely mentioned by fitness celebs, and it is also one of the most difficult elements of any diet or any training plan. Everyone wants the perfect training session or the optimal macro split for torching fat. It's much less glamourous and
sexy to try to show you the importance of doing the basics well day in and day out. So, here 5 reasons I recommend people to focus on consistency for long-term fitness success.
Reason #1. It's the only thing that matters long-term
There is no optimal diet, just one that you can stick to get results consistently enough. There is no superior training plan, only one that is challenging enough to be exciting and not so hard that you can't complete. In other words, consistency is king in every aspect of losing weight, getting lean and toning up.
Working to an average nutrition plan, where your calories are consistently in a deficit will get you the weight loss results you want. Working out in the gym with a basic training plan, maybe one that doesn't have any free weights or one that doesn't have any additional work will get you results if you are consistent at turning up. Your recovery and mobility work doesn't require the flexibility of a master yoga instructor, just consistently doing the mobility work and sticking with reasonable bedtimes.
You rarely hear about this side of the fitness industry because there's nothing to sell you with consistency. It's the only thing that matters, but it can't be packaged up as a supplement or a programme, so people don't talk about it. Whatever choices you make to get the body you want - if you can be consistent with executing your plan, you will get there.
Reason #2. Progress-Focused Approach
One of the mistakes people make when trying to lose weight and tone up is that they focus on the outcome instead of the process. For dieting the result could be something like what the bathroom scales says or the dress size you wear. The process would be logging your food intake every day and checking it against your recommended macros.
For training, the outcome could be looking toned in a swimming costume on holiday or hitting that weight lifting PB at the gym. However, the process would be showing up for workouts every time, focusing on the execution of the exercises and putting in all the effort you can.
For mobility and recovery work, the outcome could be the ability to touch your toes and get 9 hours of sleep a night. The processes would be performing your mobility drills every day and sticking to a bedtime routine.
What you do every day is always inside your control. The outcomes are still outside of your control. However, the results are a by-product of consistently performing your daily tasks, no matter what. This is an empowering idea. Instead of giving up your control over your life, you take absolute control over the things that you can.
Reason #3. Consistency Builds Habits
When you are focused on progress and the daily tasks you need to master, falling off the track for one meal or even a day doesn't feel so daunting. You don't have to worry about the results to get back on track, need to ensure that the next meal is on the plan, that you show up for the next training session and go to bed in time, back in line with your processes.
The tasks and processes you keep up consistently for a period will become habits and habits will become part of your routine. This means that after a while you won't even have to think about what you have to do next to stick to your fitness plan, it will become natural.
Reason #4. It'll Help You Understand Your Body
If weight loss is the goal, it might be an exciting experiment to weigh-in at the same time every morning consistently. Most women experience weight fluctuations of around 3-5lbs from one day to the next. This might be due to the weight of food in your stomach, eating later than usual the night before, eating more salt or processed food than usual, hormonal fluctuations.
Suppose you only weigh yourself once a week. In that case, a jump on the scale or even no movement at all can feel discouraging and potentially start you on a downward spiral of going off-plan. If you weigh yourself consistently every morning, you'll see all the daily fluctuations in your body weight and help you realise that the number on the scale is not the only way to measure your progress.
Reason #5. You Will Practice Patience
Finally, it's worth mentioning that an essential part of weight loss and toning up is the ability to be patient. It takes a lot of will power to be patient while you're waiting for your hard work to pay off. When your focus is not on the outcome, however, but on the small wins and progress steps you take every day, you won't have time and capacity to be impatient. Then one day, you'll realise how far consistency could take you.
Being 90% consistent all of the time is more effective in the long run than being 100% perfect for a few days, and then stopping once you realise you can't sustain it. Consistently good is better than occasionally great every time. If you're struggling with staying consistent with your weight loss efforts, feel free to get in touch for a commitment-free strategy call.