Let’s talk about this idea of a “balanced” lifestyle when it comes purely to what you’re feeding your body. One of the first subjects we discuss during our consultations is client’s goals; 9 times out of 10 they want to lose weight. We start by simplifying the process and teaching them a good base, healthy habits and behaviours. They learn what a typical day should look like if they want to reach their weight loss goal.
One main factor when trying to lose weight is being in a calorie deficit, so what happens if they are in a calorie deficit all week then come the weekend they throw caution to the wind?
Eg if they are on 1600 calories daily, but on Friday, Saturday and Sunday you are consuming 2300 calories? Your calorie deficit has gone out the window significantly hindering all the hard work you did throughout the week. You have now taken yourself out of weight loss mode, and put yourself into maintenance mode.
Now, this is an overly simplified perspective, and everyone’s body, activity level, genetics, etc is different, but this fact remains… in order to lose weight, you must be in a caloric deficit as mentioned previously. You have to be eating fewer calories than what you are taking in, and the more consistent you are with the days you’re in caloric deficit, the better progress you’re going to see.
There is no “one size fits all” mentality when it comes to losing weight. There is nothing that says you have to lose a pound/week, two pounds/week, two pounds/month, but whatever you choose, adjust your expectations for your progress. The bigger your goal is, the more strict you’re going to have to be with your diet.
One of the reasons we see people quit, is due to the fact that their lifestyle and their expectations are not matching up. You can’t be going AWOL at the weekends (even if your weeks are perfect) and expect to make big changes quickly. This is reality some sacrifices need to be made.
We see this with some clients, they go from not being active and eating junk, to working with us consistently twice or three times a week, only half implementing the nutrition advice we give, live how they have been living on the weekends, and then are disappointed that their results aren’t better.
The brutal honest truth is, just because you’re doing things a little better than you used to, doesn’t mean you’re going to see great progress. You just are not going to. Half-hearted effort will only give you half results! The fact is that it takes a lot of consistent hard work, and it requires you to sacrifice happy hours with your colleagues, buffets, eating out three times a weeks etc.
We don’t expect out clients to live like hermits and we always apply the 90/10 rule. A cheat meal doesn’t mean it’s a cheat day! A bad weekend can ruin a whole good week. Especially in the beginning when you are losing weight, it requires you to make more sacrifices, and as you get closer to where you want to be, that’s when you can switch more into a maintenance mode.
If you’re unwilling to make temporary sacrifices towards achieving your goals within your time frame, that’s totally fine. It’s up to you to pick your pace, but you have to adjust your standards and expectations for your overall rate of progress.
So set yourself up for success! Determine what is realistic based upon where you’re at. If the goal is just to get stronger and you don’t care what the scale says then your lifestyle can be a little more flexible. But if you’re currently in a place where your health is suffering and you’re in a “do or die” situation, you HAVE to make the decision to go hard towards your weight loss goals and figure out the necessary sacrifices to make it happen.