Last week in Part 1 of our series on why you keep falling flat on your face with your diet we discussed the idea that the basics are the foundation for your future success.
You have to crawl before you walk when it comes to nutrition strategies.
Next we covered the idea that there is no magic bullet, shortcut or hack that allows you to get to your goal quicker. Everyone wants to be an overnight success, no one wants to be a two year overnight success.
Shortcuts and quick fixes end up burning people and rarely allows them to keep their desired results.
This week continuing to discuss why your diet fail we're going to discuss that isolated instances matter much less than your overall nutrition habits. We’re thinking in terms of trends not snapshots when it comes to your success!
We’re also going to look why sustainability should outweigh optimal when it comes to your nutrition approach, and how these mindsets differ.
Isolated instances aren’t going to define your success
I discussed consistency before this point because the more consistent you are with your overall nutrition the less isolated instances truly impact your results.
A single meal won’t make you leaner, just like a single meal won’t make you gain a ton of body fat.
This is assuming that this same single meal slip up isn’t taking place everyday though...
What matters is how your habits add up over the course of weeks, months and years - not a singles meal or indulgences once in a while.
A large problem with the idea of perfectionism in your nutrition is that it fosters the black and white mentality of “on a diet” or “off a diet” with little room in between.
For a lot of people being “ on the diet” is like pressure that adds up, and eventually when the seal breaks and the person goes “off the diet” they binge.
This all or nothing mindset is a hazardous one to adopt because if someone thinks perfection is ruined they tend to believe they may as well give up altogether.
As long as people can get back on track after going off plan, it won’t make or break long term results… but they key is getting back to your regular habits.
Stepping Back To Move forward
If you can’t stay consistent in general and find yourself indulging everyday, or find it difficult to stop eating a specific food once you start you need to decide if you are in the right mindset to tackle fat loss currently.
There’s the possibility that you need address your relationship with food in general before considering fat loss at all.
Otherwise you’re just spinning your wheels but getting nowhere, which is a quick route to frustration,desperation and negative self talk.
Addressing your relationship with food now will make future attempts at fat loss much more successful without beating yourself up over the isolated instances.
Sustainable vs. Optimal
Regularly in nutrition you’ll hear people talking about an optimal diet or how to optimize their nutrition.
I’m all about doing the best that you can, but I think this optimal mindset neglects the more important component... sustainability.
It’s easy to get caught up in what the best nutrition plan is, but if someone can’t stick with those nutrition changes, is it really the best for them ? I don’t believe think so.
I’ve worked with many people who found me after a long history of frustrating and unsuccessful dieting. During our consults they would explain how a certain diet “worked” for them.
I would challenge the idea that a diet worked for them by asking if they were still eating in that manner ? and if they were able to maintain their body weight and physique after losing it ? The answer to both of these was always “No”.
If you aren’t able to maintain the nutrition changes, and gained all the weight back that was lost, that sounds like the opposite of something that worked.
I’m far more interested in the kinds of habits that people can sustain for a long period of time. We all know by now that there is no quick fix or magic bullet when it comes to health and fat loss. Consistency and dedication are required if you want to keep your results.
A lack of understanding that change needs to be sustainable, not extreme is what sends so many people down the continuous diet cycle.
They get short term results but those are short lived and disappear when they return to their usual way of eating.
Having an optimal nutrition plan doesn’t mean much if you can’t maintain it, I encourage people to pick an approach that they can maintain and continue to make steady progress, which leads perfectly into our next point!
BUT you’re going to have to wait until next week to figure out what that next point is...