When it comes to fitness, there’s a difference between “training” and “exercising.” Some might exercise just to get their bodies in motion and to feel better mentally and physically. Some will build consistent habits to work out. If you are desiring more than just “moving through the motions,” then I highly recommend you follow these 5 tips that will lead you to actually see and feel results.
1. Stop training without a purpose.
You can “go through the motions” forever and never see results. Instead, find what motivates you and make a connection with that. If you have a difficult time figuring out what motivates you, think about how training will benefit you and your life. Once you find what motivates you, you can start training with a purpose and this can help build a lifelong trainee. Along with a purpose, you must create small and big goals. I advise following SMART goals (smart, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound). Goals that are specific (ie. I will eat a healthy breakfast daily), measurable (ie. I will drink 2 liters of water daily or I will attempt to plank for 1 minute everyday), attainable (ie. a goal that is attainable and most important to you and for YOUR level), realistic (ie. represent progress and you are will to and able to put in the work), and time-bound (ie. ground the goal within a time frame so that you are not aimless) can help you measure progress and stay motivated.
2. Stop rushing the “process.”
If you want to get healthy and look fit for the long-term, then what’s your rush? I tell my clients “enjoy the process and celebrate every small change.” Rushing the process by constantly getting on the scale to check your weight is not the best way to stay motivated. Instead, take progress pictures, celebrate small changes and accomplishments that you see or feel, and share your journey. This will all help you enjoy the process and stay motivated throughout your fitness journey.
3. Be more consistent.
Consistent actions do not require overdoing it and going insane. But consistent actions do require regular repetition to succeed and reach those fitness goals. This is a good reason to have a particular training program or schedule that forces you to make sure you are progressively reaching those goals. Another way to be consistent is to be accountable with a training partner or a coach/trainer.
4. Eat enough food.
When people want to lose weight, it is very common for them to skip meals. Yes, to lose weight, you must create a negative energy balance in the form of calories and activity. But if you are eating very little, you may also deplete energy which will cause you to become inactive. How will you know how much to eat? You can either get your calories and macro-nutrients calculated or you can use the My Plate method of consuming 50% vegetables, 25% protein, 20% starch, and 5% fruit. Either way, make sure you get to know your body and see how it responds to these changes. Stay flexible and adjust your portions based on your hunger, fullness, or other particular fitness goals.
5. Get enough sleep.
Sleep is when our bodies recover and regenerate. If you are training and you are not getting an adequate amount of sleep to match your lifestyle, rest assured that you will not see the results you are looking for. Lack of sleep can actually cause your body to go through catabolism (breakdown of muscle tissue) which takes you further from your goals. Not getting enough sleep can also cause stress on your body which leads to the release of the stress hormone “cortisol,” which has many negative health effects, one being weight gain.