Admittedly, I’m probably going to contradict myself a bit today. Just thought I’d throw that out there first thing.
People ask me all the time, “What is the biggest “secret” to getting and staying lean?” Usually you can hear a bit of longing in their voice for the magic bullet that you haven’t told anyone else. That maybe you will let them in on something no one else knows.
I think people are often pretty disappointed in my answer, because it’s not very sexy.
It’s not some great, new supplement, or special workout program. And it’s not an amazing ab exercise that “melts fat” off of your stomach.
Are you ready for it? Here it is:
Disappointed? It’s OK if you are. I understand.
However, I feel that this is the biggest hurdle in peoples way towards living a leaner, more healthy life. Consistency. And I don’t mean sticking with something for several days or even several weeks. How about three or four months? Or even an entire year?
Most people tend to bounce around from program to program, only following one for a few weeks-tops. It’s really no surprise. Every time we go through the check-out line we see magazines that promise the newest, greatest, quickest way to lose weight. So why not pick up the latest issue and give that program a shot right? Because the one you are currently doing promised results in a week and you haven’t seen any.
My vote would be this: Regardless of what a program promises and how quick it promises it, stick with it for a while. Don’t have program ADD. Honestly I feel that it takes me several times of doing an exercise before I really get a feel for it. So if someones only giving an exercise a few tries before moving on to something else, I guarantee they aren’t coming even close to getting the full benefits out of it.
If you want to start a healthy eating plan, start it. Then keep it up…day after day after day. If you’re starting a new training program, follow it for a while (4-6 weeks minimum)…be consistent. Results don’t happen over night regardless of what late-night TV tells us.
I got a phone call from a client around 6:15 this morning. This is a client who has been looking to lose 80-100 pounds. He’s been seeing me for several months now. And although he has seen some weight loss, has had to cinch up his belt a few notches, etc, he’s been a little frustrated that he hasn’t lost more. I’ve been encouraging him to keep consistent. Continue to eat well. Continue to exercise. It will come. In our conversation this morning he told me, “I don’t know what’s happening but I literally feel like weight is falling off my body this week.” (I silently danced like Chad Johnson on the other end of the phone.)
I knew what was going on…consistency.
He stuck with it. He didn’t give up when he didn’t see instant results. He continued to do what he knew he was supposed to do.
And it’s paying off.
(OK, slight contradiction time)
All that being said, there are sometimes where consistency pays off a bit quicker. Several months ago I had a client tell me that he wanted to see what he could do in 4 weeks. What kind of transformation he could take his body through if he did everything I told him, to a “T”. In other words, what kind of dividends consistency would pay in less than a month.
I thought the results were pretty impressive:
Bottom line: both cases are a result of consistency. One client certainly had quicker results, but neither one of them would have seen any gains if they had failed to be consistent. We’re not all the same. Some people seem to make gains quicker than others. But that’s no reason to throw in the towel. Keep doing what you’ve told yourself you’re going to, and the results will come. Change plans all the time, and you just may never see any progress at all.