Three Keys to Compliance
There are hundreds of nutrition and fitness programs that work. If you’re manipulating what you eat and how you move, you can get results - there’s no question about it!
So why do so many women fail to see results from their nutrition and training programs?
It’s not due to a lack of information. We have more access to more information - especially on fitness and nutrition - than ever before.
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. They just can’t stick with their program long enough to see results.
Compliance is simply following a rule or order, and in the fitness and nutrition world, this means adhering to the 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?
It has almost nothing to do with willpower.
The three keys I'm about to share with you will spur some self-examination. I’m asking you three questions in this post. 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 - it’s time for a change and we've got you covered.
KEY #1: SATISFACTION
The first question to ask yourself is, “Am I satisfied with my meals and exercise?”
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.
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 cut-off 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 Personal Trainer or 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 stationary 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’re more likely to stick with it.
KEY #2 SUSTAINABILITY
Ask yourself, "Is my plan sustainable? Can I see myself doing this for the rest of my life?"
If your current plan requires packing every single meal into containers to haul around with you in a cooler, 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 - that’s a flashing red light: this is NOT sustainable.
A nutrition plan that 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. Do you.
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 2-3 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
Take a look around at your social circle and ask yourself, “Do I have people who support and encourage me to live a healthier life?”
This one might be my favorite. :)
You are a product of the people you surround yourself with.
If you want to achieve your goals, you need your tribe:
Your "ride or die" chicks who give you high-fives for hitting new PR’s in the gym.
Friends who’d rather meet you for a walking coffee date or a class at the gym than get wasted with you at happy hour.
An honest girlfriend or sister who will call you out when you make stupid choices (see above: crazy scenarios like tracking every bite of food and destroying your body through over-exercising).
You need women who GET YOU and want the BEST for 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 their dreams, and hitting their 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 tribe and you’ll find it so much easier to 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.