Consistently applying some simple nutrition guidelines and following a practical strength training program that easily fits into your schedule will produce better results than attempting to follow even the most perfect diet and workout regimen.
And I’m going to prove it in this article.
Consistency trumps perfection.
To prove this point I’m going to share a story about my friend, who I’ll refer to as Amanda.
Amanda has tried numerous popular diets and workout programs over the years. She’d begin them with fierce determination and proclaim, “This time I’m going to be successful.”
So she started the latest rigid, restrictive diet and “hardcore” workout regimen, and after a couple of weeks she had already achieved some great results. Her pants were already looser and she dropped several pounds.
Things were going well!
But, in addition to the results she’d achieved, along with it came lower energy levels, and performing the marathon workouts after a long day of work became increasingly difficult. She’d force herself to work out almost every day because she was determined to follow the program. As a result, her performance decreased, she hated the workouts, and was always drained after finishing them.
In addition, she was combining this workout program with the latest “Get Skinny” diet that revolved around restriction and “forbidden foods”.
She followed all of the rules, even at family dinners. While everyone else was enjoying fresh, homemade lasagna, she picked at the naked spinach salad and didn’t even flinch when it was time for dessert. She was on a mission to achieve her health and fitness goals, and she’s not going to be tempted by hot, fresh, gooey brownies.
Her hard work was paying off! Sure, she had to perform long, grueling workouts most days per week and she had to really adjust her eating habits and avoid several foods, and making meals for her family was becoming increasingly difficult, but she was getting results.
She knew this time would be different.
Then, reality hits…
A few weeks in to the regimen, Amanda had a horrible day at work. Her computer crashed, her boss gave her some advanced deadlines to meet, and to top it off, she had to work late.
Amanda finally made it home a couple hours later than usual, utterly exhausted. She just wanted to enjoy a hot meal, take a soothing shower, and collapse into bed.
But, today was a workout day according to her fitness plan she was following — a 60 minute workout followed by cardio.
She debated whether or not to do the workout, but out of sheer frustration and exhaustion she decided to skip it. This was the first time over the past few weeks that Amanda didn’t “perfectly” follow her diet and fitness regimen.
After a long, soothing shower she entered the kitchen to prepare a meal. She opened the fridge intending to grab the foods she’s “allowed to eat” on her diet, but she was spent. Cooking was the last thing she wanted to do.
She couldn’t help but notice the container that was filled with a beautiful piece of that homemade lasagna she declined at last night’s family dinner. Even though she turned it down, her mom insisted she take a piece home in case she wanted it later.
“I shouldn’t eat that because I’m not allowed to eat pasta on my diet,” she uttered.
“But, I don’t feel like cooking, and I skipped my scheduled workout so I’ve already screwed up today and gone off the plan. I knew I wouldn’t be able to stick to this because I never can.” With the lasagna container in hand she slammed the fridge door out of frustration.
Half an hour later Amanda was sitting on the couch with the now empty lasagna container in her lap, pondering the last half of the day.
“I’ve worked so hard,” she thought. “I’ve done every workout and turned down delicious meals multiple times per week, and I’m constantly exhausted. This is just becoming too much. I thought things would be different this time, but once again I’m following a program that I know I won’t be able to stick to for very long. I’ve failed yet again.”
It’s time for a REAL change
But then it hits, Amanda. She all of a sudden remembers reading an article that proclaimed dieting is not necessary, and that grueling workouts aren’t mandatory for building a great body either. It was something along the lines of 5 Problems with Rapid Fat Loss and Quick Fixes, and What to do Instead.
Frantically she flipped on her tablet and found the article.
After rereading it she devoured the information covered in the Train to Be Awesome Tutorial, and for the first time in a long time, she breathed a sigh of relief.
“Maybe it can be that simple. Perhaps I can get the results I want without a crazy diet or revolving my life around a crazy workout schedule. One thing is for sure; this sounds easier than anything else I’ve done before.”
And that’s when Amanda’s journey took a turn for the better.
- She stopped dieting.
- She stopped relying on the bathroom scale to tell her if she was being successful.
- She no longer had “forbidden” foods.
- She stopped chasing fatigue with every single workout she performed.
- She started eating a wide variety of delicious foods.
- She let her workout performance and how her clothes fit be the indicators of her success.
- She ate her favorite not-so-healthy foods when she truly craved them, and enjoyed them guilt free.
- She focused on getting a little stronger and doing a little better with each workout, and she left the gym feeling more energized than when she came in.
Admittedly Amanda was very skeptical at first with her new regimen. The first week of “no more dieting” and focusing on improving her performance with three total body workouts per week just didn’t seem like enough work. Not to mention, she didn’t feel deprived because she wasn’t on a diet, she had much more energy than usual, and she was actually enjoying and looking forward to her workouts because she couldn’t wait to get stronger.
Fast forward eight weeks later…
Amanda is not only continuing with this new Train to Be Awesome journey she began, but she’s loving it.
Her clothes are fitting looser, she’s getting stronger, she’s noticing some new muscles she hadn’t seen in a long time, and she’s enjoying the foods she eats.
“Wow, for the first time I’m confident I’m actually going to maintain the awesome results I’ve already achieved. This is definitely something I’ll be able to do long-term!” she exclaimed as she zipped up her new pair of jeans.
Amanda is now a firm believer that consistency with a simple plan is significantly more effective (and certainly enjoyable) than trying to follow a rigid, stressful diet and exercise regimen. Consistency with some Sane and Simple Basics will provide far greater results, less stress, and lead to sustainable lifestyle habits compared to striving for perfection with an unrealistic and rigid regimen.
It’s no longer about searching for the “next big thing.” Amanda has discovered a fun, sustainable, diet-free, lifestyle approach that has allowed her to discover and be proud of what her body can do for the first time. As a result, she’s building a body she loves.
Amanda’s a believer. What about you?
One Simple Question
In light of Amanda’s experience, it’s time to ask YOU a question.
When it comes to improving your health and building the physique you want, what option would you choose?
A) Quicker, more noticeable results that come from a lot of stress, sacrifice, and deprivation from a rigid diet and exhausting workout regimen that you most likely won’t maintain long-term. Oh, and knowing the chances are very good that you’ll regain any weight you lost, with interest, once you stop following the program.
B) Some-what slower, but steady, results that you can achieve without unnecessary stress, strict dieting with “forbidden foods”, you can actually enjoy the process, and you can maintain the results long-term.
It’s my sincerest hope you opt for B. Sure, it’s not as sexy as “fast, drastic results,” but what you do achieve will be maintainable long-term.
For long-term success, it’s time to change our perspective and ask “Can I do this, and will I want to do this, long-term?” instead of asking, “How fast can I get results”?
Opting for simple, practical, enjoyable, and sustainable lifestyle habits will allow us to build the bodies we want, that we can maintain. That’s something “quick fix” methods just can’t do.