It’s happened again. You gave up on another workout plan. You’ve gone through at least half a dozen and haven’t stuck to one. You vowed that this time would different, that you would push yourself and see this through to the end. You did the research, found the perfect program, and finally got your mind right.
But at the first bump on the road, you’re right back where you started — looking for the next plan.
You’re so frustrated that you want to give up on getting fit all together. You know you need to make a permanent change, but you can’t seem to find something that works.
I’ve been in your shoes and I know what you’re struggling with. Sometimes, it seems impossible to stick to a workout program and a diet plan, so how can you finally make it work?
Here are 5 tips in choosing the right exercise program for you.
1See better results from fewer workouts
Working out less to get better results? That doesn’t make sense, or does it?
Working out fewer times per week will make it much easier to stick to a routine. Instead of working out 5 or 6 days per week, try 3 or 4 days per week.
Most fitness plans call for 5 to 6 workouts per week which aren’t sustainable for most people. You’ll get burned out at some point and skip a workout or two. You might even miss out 5.
Avoid skipping workouts because that’s what usually causes you to break your routine and give up on a plan. Fitting 3 to 4 weekly workouts into your schedule is much more manageable than 6.
Working out 2 fewer days per week gives you 2 extra day to rest and recover. This increased recovery time will help you to achieve better results.
It’s because you can give your all to each workout.
It’s difficult to give everything you have to each workout when you know you have to do it again tomorrow. But since you’ll have a rest day between your workout days, you won’t have to worry about tomorrow’s workout because you don’t have to.
2Ditch dieting to eat foods you like
You wouldn’t believe how many fitness plans I’ve tried that recommended eating plain chicken, brown rice, and broccoli. And it worked a grand total of 0 times.
I never had success with a nutrition plan until I gave up on eating plain foods that I hated and started to eat healthy foods that I enjoyed. The key to sticking to a nutrition plan is to find foods that are both healthy and enjoyable to eat. Don’t force yourself to eat foods that you hate because you’ll never last with that approach.
If you deprive yourself of foods you like and only eat foods you hate, it won’t be long before you give up and go on a binge. You may lose a few pounds on a two-week diet, but you’ll put that back on plus more most of the time.
Diets are not sustainable. The term ‘diet’ implies that you will eat a certain way for a while and then go back to your old eating habits.
What you eat is the most important factor in losing weight, so it must be sustainable. That said, you’re better off eating foods you like even if they’re not 100% healthy.
Eating a mixture of about 80% healthy and 20% unhealthy foods will produce great results over time. As long as you are consuming fewer calories than you burn, you will still lose fat.
3Stop holding yourself back by putting a time limit on your results
Most fitness plans are time-based. Some are 8 weeks while others require 12 weeks. If you can’t stick to a program, this is likely the reason why.
You see the time period, 8 weeks or whatever it is, and think “How am I gonna do this for 8 weeks?” You’re already defeated before you even start.
These time-based plans are also holding you back because of your expectations. You believe that if you follow the plan, do all the workouts and stick around till the end, you’ll look like the people in the testimonials at the end.
Unfortunately, this is unrealistic for most people. Not everyone is starting at the same point, so not everyone will get the same results.
It doesn’t make sense that someone who is 50 pounds overweight and someone else who is 10 pounds overweight will look the same after completing the 8-week program. They may both lose 10 pounds, but the second person still has 40 pounds to lose while the first is at their ideal weight.
Time-based fitness plans are not necessarily bad, but you must temper your expectations. You may need to complete the program 2 or 3 times before you see the desired results.
This is because real weight loss takes consistent effort over time and you cannot rush it.
4Get better short-term results from a long-term approach
Have you ever seen someone who lost a ton of weight seemingly overnight and when you see them again a few months later, they put it all back on? What about those crazy celebrity transformations when an actor gets super ripped for a role but just months later is almost unrecognizable when seen on the street?
Both these situations happen because the focus was on short-term results. Everyone wants to see quick changes in their body but focusing on the short term will never get you the lasting results you want.
The funny thing about this is that when you properly focus on long-term results, you can get some amazing short-term results.
I tried a ton of those 21- and 30-day programs and never lost a pound. I rarely ever made it through the second week, to be honest. But when I finally shifted my approach and focused on the long-term results, I got the best short-term results of my life.
When I found the right long-term plan with no set time-frame, I lost 17 pounds in 3 months. Everything finally clicked and because I was doing things the right way, the weight just started melting off.
Stay away from the short-term, quick fix plans. There is no quick fix that will help you lose 30 pounds and keep the weight off. You can only do this with consistent effort over time.
5Turn your past failures into your future success
There’s obviously a reason why you’re giving up on plan after plan and not achieving the results that you want. For you to finally reach your goal, you need to turn your past failure into success.
Few people are successful at anything on their first try. Succeeding at something basically means you kept failing at it until you figured out what worked.
Take riding a bike for example. No one learns how to ride a bike without falling off once or twice. But you learn from those failures and you don’t give up until you succeed.
You must use this same strategy for getting fit. Identify why you keep failing and make the necessary changes that will lead to your success.
Learn from your mistakes and don’t make them again
If you can’t stick to the workout plan, then you need to change it up. Find something less taxing that you can keep up with.
If you can’t eat what the plan is telling you to eat, scrap it and find your own way to eat healthy without sacrificing the foods you like.
Getting into great shape is difficult, but we make it more difficult on ourselves by not learning from our mistakes. From now on, pay attention to why you aren’t succeeding and turn your losses into wins.
There’s no worse feeling than looking for a new fitness plan because you gave up on the one you were following.
This constant jumping from plan to plan with no results is frustrating and defeating.
But if you change your approach to finding a fitness plan, you can find one that will work for you.
Sustainability is the key to consistency and consistency is the key to progress.
Imagine yourself after month, two months, 6 months, or even a year of maintaining a fitness routine. Think of the jaw-dropping results you will have achieved. And trust me, once you see the results, you’ll be hooked.
Better yet, think of the life-changing habits you will have created. These habits will also be life-long because they’ll be sustainable.
You’ll feel amazing about how you’ve finally overcome your greatest obstacle. You’ll also start to love the way you look which will give you more confidence than you’ve ever had.
You have the knowledge. Now, you need to go find your perfect approach and execute it to the best of your ability. The body you’ve always dreamed of is waiting but you must go out and work for it.
See Also: 19 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise
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Author: Gino Rosati
Fitness blogger who teaches people who struggle with fat loss how to get their best results. Check out his free email series: 7-Day Beginner’s Guide to Fitness for Life-Changing Results.