There are plenty of nutrition and fitness programs out there that work. Results can happen if you’re manipulating what you eat and how you move. There’s no question about it.
So why do so many women fail to see results from their nutrition and training programs?
As a trainer and nutrition coach, the biggest barrier to success I see is not the program itself. The #1 reason most women are not getting results is COMPLIANCE. Compliance is simply following a rule or order, and in the fitness and nutrition world, this means actually sticking to whatever plan you're following.
Any trainer, instructor, or coach worth their salt would agree:
Consistency is the top priority for achieving long-term, sustainable body change.
How do you stick to your plan - aka compliance - with the consistency required to create lasting change? The three keys I'm about to share with you should spur some self-examination. Be honest with yourself and call it like you see it: if you’re not getting the results you want, or if you’re just sick and tired of eating chicken and broccoli - we've got you covered.
KEY #1: SATISFACTION
The first question to ask yourself is, “Am I satisfied?”
If you hate what you’re eating and hate how you’re moving, you won’t stick with it - at least not for very long.
If you’re counting every macro you put in your mouth and the thought of eating another bite of steamed broccoli makes your stomach turn, you may not truly be satisfied with your plan.
Does the food taste great? Does it give you joy when you eat? In Fat Loss Cooking School, we teach clients how to use “buffer foods” to enhance the flavor of meals. We teach you how to "hack" recipes to increase satisfaction. We teach how to cook rather than give you a meal plan of foods you don’t actually like.
We actually want you to (wait for it) ENJOY your food. We are - after all - Fat Loss Foodies, and being a foodie means we just. love. food. Period!
Why does satisfaction matter? Because it eliminates the need for willpower.
If you’re truly satisfied, you won’t have to mentally strong-arm yourself in the break room to stay out of the free donuts. You won’t have to guilt yourself into throwing away your kids’ leftovers. Wouldn’t it be great to feel so happy with your meals that you never “fall off the wagon”? The answer is finding true satisfaction in how you eat.
The same applies for your workouts. If you really hate lifting weights on the gym floor with all the bros in cutoff t-shirts, maybe a group fitness class like BODYPUMP® is a better fit for you. If you love lifting heavy, but aren’t sure about programming, maybe a CrossFit coach can help you do that. If you love cardio but can’t deal with the complicated choreography of a dance class, maybe jump on a bike and see if you like that better.
Your workout plan is no exception to the satisfaction rule: if you hate how you’re moving, you won't do it. Find something you love! Consistency is the key to results from your training, so move in a way that brings you joy and you’ll be way more likely to stick with it.
KEY #2 SUSTAINABILITY
Ask yourself, "Is your plan sustainable?"
If your current plan requires you to pack every single meal into colored containers you take with you everywhere, it probably isn’t sustainable because at some point, life IS going to happen. If you’re turning down invites to go out to eat with friends because of the fear you can’t weigh the food, again - probably a flashing red light: NOT sustainable.
If your nutrition plan gives you anxiety about “missing a meal” in MyFitness Pal, or triggers real guilt about an indulgence like a glass of wine or a piece of cake at a party, let me just ask you straight up: do you think that's a heathy mindset?
If compliance is the key, sustainability needs to be a top priority.
Hey - if you can bring your measuring cups and food scales with you and weigh every bite, or if you’re cool with missing family functions because the food choices give you heartburn (from anxiety, not the hotdogs) then carry on. You’re good to go. #DoYou
But here at Fat Loss Foodies, we believe life is meant to be lived and experienced. We don’t think smart, busy, goal-oriented women should have actual anxiety about eating out because we think your mental energy should be on kicking ass and chasing your dreams.
Now, let's talk about your training plan because here’s some tough love:
If your approach is to exercise more, and you’re tackling 1, 2, and 3 classes or workouts a day while also trying to eat less, you’re going to burn out - best case. Worst case, you're headed for metabolic damage and overtraining syndrome. A smart training plan does not include teaching 10+ classes a week, and then subbing 4 more on top of that.
If you're using an aggressive training plan to maintain your physique, what happens when you get an injury? (That's a matter of WHEN, not IF, by the way. Your body will break at some point. Overuse injuries are a real problem - but that’s a different blog post.)
You only have one body. Smashing it to pieces with a crazy-aggressive program for some short-term goal is not a viable option, and frankly, you deserve better.
A healthy, sustainable exercise plan will have rest days built in. It will have a balance of strength, cardio, and flexibility training. This is how athletes train. Athletes have seasons. They cycle their diets and training. They eat, train, and rest in a way that optimizes longevity and performance, not calories burned on some tracking device.
Take an honest look at your schedule: can you maintain your current course of action for years into the future? Is it working for you?
KEY #3: ACCOUNTABILITY
This one might be my favorite.
You are a product of the people you surround yourself with.
If you want true compliance to achieve your goals, you need your tribe around you.
You need your "ride or die" chicks who give you high-fives for hitting new PR’s in the gym.
You need strong women who will support you in your goals and call you out when you make stupid choices (ahem - see above crazy scenarios like tracking every bite of food and destroying your body through over-exercising).
You need women who GET you.
Otherwise you’ll make the uphill battle of lifestyle change even harder and hear a steady stream of unsupportive comments from coworkers, friends and family who are NOT on board with your healthy new groove.
“You’re being too good. Here have some cake.” (You've heard this before, RIGHT?!)
Here’s the kicker: their negative comments have nothing to do with you. Their comments about your food, your exercise, and your lifestyle are about THEM - not you. In many cases, they are projecting their own conflicts and insecurities onto you.
Don’t let this drag you down. It is par for the course and we've ALL been there. Counteract the Negative Nancys in your life by choosing to be around women who are kicking ass, following dreams, and hitting goals. Find women who are positive and uplifting and WANT you to succeed too. Be around people who are genuinely happy for your success, not jealous of it. This is the magic of accountability.
Find your girl-tribe and keep your head in the game.
These Three Keys - Satisfaction, Sustainability, and Accountability - are the foundation of the FLF mindset.
We want you to find joy in what you do. We want you to make long-term, lifelong habits that transform your body, your mind, and your soul. We want you to have people in your life who help you get where you want to be. We want to help you find the best version of you and be her, bravely.
Above all else, we believe in you and we KNOW you can do this. If you're looking to level up your life and need a Tribe of strong women who has your back, join us in the Fat Loss Foodies Online Tribe. It's open for enrollment from now until June 1!