We’ve never lived in a time with more freely available information. With a few taps on your keyboard, you can pull up information about anything you want. For you, that could mean the best food to eat to lose weight, or the best resistance training program to build muscle. Most people have a firm understanding of what healthy and unhealthy food looks like. We all know that the key to having the body we want is a combination of eating just the right amount of nutritious food and getting the right amount of daily exercise.
So why can’t people achieve the body they really want?
If this is you, you’re not alone. This is a common struggle for most people, including those who actually work in the health and fitness industry. It doesn’t matter if you’re a personal trainer, dietician or exercise scientist, those unwanted kilos don’t discriminate just because you may have intimate knowledge of how the body works.
There are a number of reasons why you may not be losing the weight you want, despite your best efforts. These include:
- Not training hard enough or often enough, or training sporadically.
- Not eating the right foods often enough, or consistently enough.
- Following the wrong advice, i.e. bad information.
Most people have tried to exercise and eat healthily in the past without much success. They’ve tried various kinds of training styles from High-Intensity Interval Training, to gym-based resistance training, to hitting the pavement at six o’clock in the morning for a 5km jog. And they’ve tried various diet strategies such as high fat low carb, Paleo and meal replacement shakes. Yet still they can’t achieve the sustained weight loss goals they desire.
Given all of this knowledge that we have at our fingertips, and our desire to have the body we want, why can’t we reach our body shape goals?
The missing link to your weight loss success
The best exercise and diet plan ever created won’t do you any good if you’re not consistently staying on track. If every second meal is fast food takeaway, and you spend two out of every three days on your backside, chances are you’re not going to reach your goals.
Sometimes life gets in the way, and it’s only human to feel overwhelmed occasionally. It’s understandable to feel as though you don’t have enough hours in the day to prepare a delicious healthy meal or make it to the gym after work. Maybe you’ve got a high-pressure job that requires you to work long hours, or you’ve got kids to look after before and after work. It can be hard sometimes, there is no denying it, and staying consistent in your efforts can feel almost impossible.
But the reality is there are only a few exceptional circumstances where you are incapable of getting the exercise and healthy food you need to achieve the body you want. And the missing link to achieving that goal is accountability.
Finding someone to share your plans and goals with who will keep you on track and provide honest feedback has the potential to transform your body. Once you make the commitment to report your plan, efforts and progress to someone else, it’s amazing how you can suddenly find the time to workout or make a healthy dinner.
When you have accountability from someone who you respect and don’t want to disappoint, finding motivation becomes irrelevant. Motivation comes and goes, and can be just as much of a hindrance as a positive force in our lives. But the constant presence of someone to be accountable to is far more powerful.
Accountability is the best strategy you can employ to ensure consistency in your exercise and healthy eating efforts.
Ways to inject accountability into your health and fitness plans
Strategy One: Ask someone you know to hold you accountable
The success of this strategy is clearly dependent on the person you choose. If you choose someone who you just couldn’t possibly disappoint, and who will give you honest and constructive feedback, then there’s a good chance of success.
If you choose someone who doesn’t have the strong will needed to ensure you maintain your focus, or who doesn’t have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. For example, if Nanna is the person holding you accountable, and she gives you a piece of chocolate cake as a reward for going to the gym, it’s probably not going to end well for you.
Strategy Two: Set up a contest with your friends
This strategy has a good chance of success because of its competitive nature. Get a group of friends together who have the same goals and set up a friendly ‘bet’ amongst yourselves. Challenge the group to see who can do the most gym sessions or eat the most home prepared meals for the month, and have a prize up for grabs. Perhaps the winner gets his or her garden tended to by the others in the group, or has their meal and drinks paid for at their favourite restaurant. Repeat the process month after month, offering different prizes each time.
Just remember, if you focus on the process, the result will always take care of itself. So the focus of the friendly competition should always be on the process (i.e. getting to the gym, eating healthy food), and not the end result (i.e. losing the most amount of weight).
Strategy Three: Get a good coach
This strategy works because it is the coach’s job to keep you accountable.
If you find yourself struggling to get to the gym because you think you don’t have time, or you lack motivation, hire a personal trainer. They can put together a program for you, and make sure you maximise your efforts in the gym.
They also have a tendency to keep you committed. If you’ve made an appointment with your personal trainer, it can feel easier just to go instead of go to the effort of cancelling. If you decide not to go, you either have to call him or her to cancel the appointment (which can feel like failure) or just not turn up at all (which is just plain rude). Either way, you’re more likely to go even if you don’t feel like it because of accountability, than if you’re relying on motivation and hope to get you there.
Likewise, if you’re struggling with your eating habits, it might be time to find a good nutrition coach. There are plenty of excellent nutritionists and dieticians who specialise in helping people achieve their weight loss goals, or you could join the ProCoach nutrition program. ProCoach is:
• A habit-based behaviour change approach to nutrition coaching, as opposed to a diet plan approach (which have been proven to not work in the long term).
• Part change psychology, part online technology delivery system, part real life coach.
• A series of once-daily emails with lessons to complete (i.e. videos to watch/articles to read/questions to answer – takes around 10 mins per day) and a habit to practice (i.e. eat slowly, have a lean protein source with every meal, eat until full and not stuffed, etc.). At the end of the day, you check-in (press ‘yes’ or ‘no’ within the email or client dashboard) to say if you’ve practised your habit for the day (i.e. accountability).
• Daily habit practice for two week periods, before a new habit to practice is introduced.
• An online dashboard where clients can see their progress over time.
• A tool to collate and display data by way of periodical measurements (scale and body girth with a tape measure) and photos. Surveys are conducted every two months to measure subjective topics like “how are you feeling”, “are you getting better sleep”, and “do you think the program is working for you.”
• A 12-month program (although people can pull out whenever they want) designed with a very specific and deliberate change arc so clients are equipped with tools to sustain lifelong body recomposition change (rather than dramatic 12-week weight loss followed by the inevitable weight gain).
• A communication tool between coach and client via a messaging system within the online dashboard.
• A slow and steady process to ensure change is made for the long term.
Watch this video to get a clearer understanding of exactly what ProCoach is and how it can help you. If you still have questions after watching the video, head to our FAQ page for more information.
Take away points
Make a commitment to the process. If you really want to lose weight, make sure you do everything you can to be successful. Put your goals and desires towards the top of your list of priorities. Remember, being consistent with a good plan is far better than being inconsistent with a great plan.
Be accountable to someone. Nothing will keep you more committed to the process than the thought of having to check in regularly with someone you respect. Maybe that’s one person you know and care for, a group of friends who can support each other, or a hired professional to do their job and guide you to where you want to go. The world’s best athletes, musicians and business professionals all have coaches to help them achieve their extraordinary goals, so why shouldn’t you?
If you’re ready to get started on your journey to look, feel and move better, head to the Pricing Options, choose the one that’s best for you, and let’s get started today. You’re future self will thank you.