When you think of mistakes in weight loss, a lot of things probably come to mind. Maybe you think of eating too many carbs or, doing the wrong exercises and not incorporating enough cardio. Today we are talking about the four most common ways people mess up when trying to lose weight. And no, it’s not for any of those reasons.
Four Most Common Ways People Mess Up When Trying to Lose Weight
It All Comes Down to Consistency
The four most common ways that people mess up when trying to lose weight all come down to a lack of consistency.
There are four different ways that this lack of consistency can happen. It’s easy to miss our own lack of consistency. I’ve seen people routinely fall victim to each of these four things, and they can’t see it because they are in it. My hope is that by sharing these four things, I can help you bridge the gap and help you see how or where you tend to mess up.
#1. Daily Consistency
What does this mean? It means following through from when you wake up in the morning until you go to sleep that night.
The whole concept of daily consistency means doing enough to get results. It means sticking to the goals that you laid out for yourself that day. In my Inner Circle coaching program, we lay this out and clearly define it. However, I know there are a lot of people out there who are doing different diets or approaches to weight loss, so I can’t say exactly what consistency looks like for you.
It’s up to you to determine what your daily consistency looks like. Now, let me tell you how often this goes wrong for people. In a nutshell, the day starts off great and then maybe gradually slides off a cliff somewhere between 3 and 6 pm.
We can rock a great breakfast, get in a workout, and maybe take our vitamins. Then we go to lunch and still have the willpower to make a great decision. We’re crushing this whole weight loss thing.
Then, BOOM, 3 pm hits, we’re stressed from work or the kids, and we’re hungry. We start craving stuff. But it’s not time to eat yet. Or is it? Should you have a snack? Are snacks bad? Or are they good? But we decide to stay disciplined and just wait until dinner. The stress gradually increases and the willpower gradually decreases.
We were good all day and then ate a bunch of crap before dinner. So what happens? We say screw it and have three more glasses of wine and don’t even try to eat dinner. We’ll start fresh tomorrow. Or maybe on Monday.
If this sounds like you, you’re not alone! Others may be thinking, that’s not how my day goes at all. That’s great that you can crush it all day long, but can you crush it all week long?
#2. Weekly Consistency
Weekly consistency means following through and doing enough to get results over a full seven days. Some of you can make it from 6 am to 3 pm and then you mess up. That’s your pattern.
Others can make it from Monday until Friday afternoon. I call this the 4/3 diet. You crush it for four days, and then you’re off the map for three days. Monday through Friday you crush your food and exercise, but when the weekend’s here, you’ve got plans with friends and family, and you’re ready to blow off the stress and steam from work. And your willpower is starting to run really low because you’ve been white-knuckling it through the past four days.
Even though it might not have been a totally conscious thought, you knew the weekend was coming. In the back of your mind you thought, I’ll let my hair down a little bit and enjoy myself.
But enjoying yourself gradually slides into two and a half days of not paying attention to your weight loss goals at all.
The good parts are amplified and the not-so-good is minimized, which is a really sneaky way of being dishonest with ourselves that just leaves us feeling discouraged and powerless. This lack of weekly consistency can be harder than the lack of daily consistency. But if you push back and you try to take an outside viewpoint on your life, then you might begin to see how this is your pattern.
#3. Monthly Consistency
This my friends is where the real results start to come through when you follow through and execute your daily and weekly goals over the course of four weeks. Then, you really start to see and feel your body change. One day of consistency might make you feel better, and one week will certainly make you feel better, but probably won’t change your body a whole lot. Stringing one month of consistency together will start to produce some results and move you in a positive direction. The problem is, it can be really dang hard to do, and it can be even harder to see when you don’t do it.
Maybe you crush it on a daily basis and don’t do the 4/3 weekly diet. You rock it all week long and stay consistent, but after four weeks, you don’t really see any significant results. Now to be clear, this could be due to a lot of different things. But we’re discussing consistency, and a lack of consistency is often the biggest thing standing between a person and the results they want. So what does a lack of monthly consistency look like?
It’s really a supersized version of the first two.
There’s a good chance your brain conveniently left out a third week though. That third week is when that thing happened at work. Then one of the kids got sick after you and then you missed half a week of workouts.
Not seeing monthly consistency is often just a matter of not seeing how we might lack daily or weekly consistency along the way. We might start the month off really strong for a week or even two weeks, and then end the month really strong. However, there’s stuff scattered in there that’s really inconsistent compared to what our plan was.
The problem is we don’t see it, which can be good and bad. It’s good because it keeps you from beating yourself up and going totally all-or-nothing. But it’s bad because you get really disappointed that you haven’t seen any significant results.
And the truth is you just haven’t done enough over the course of those four weeks to convince your body to change. If your body hasn’t changed, you haven’t done enough to change it. And that lack of consistency that sneaks in here and there over the course of a month can often be the culprit.
#4 Yearly Consistency
The final category is yearly consistency.
Those who fall into this category have gotten results and seen a significant change in their body and health, but eventually, they lost those results. They truly rocked daily, weekly, and monthly consistency long enough to see substantial results. But somewhere along the way, they stopped doing enough to keep those results. Typically, it’s not a drop-off, it’s a gradual slide. A little less consistent with exercise, a few more snacks or treats here or there. Before they know it, they’re doing the 4/3 diet.
When someone fully embraces and ingrains a healthy diet and lifestyle, it becomes part of what they do, even part of who they are. But over time, if it’s not intentionally maintained, then things start to slip.
Let me be clear, nothing in the health, fitness, or weight loss world is just set it and forget it. That’s not how it works. We must have yearly consistency. We must do enough over the course of our lives to maintain the type of health and body that we want.
So where are you on the spectrum? Which type of consistency do you struggle with, regardless of which category you find yourself in? Don’t get too excited, and don’t get too discouraged. We’re all somewhere on this journey and we’ve all got something to learn and some work to do if we want to get results.
But if we want results, we have to be consistent. If you want to truly change your body, then you must have all four types of consistency. You must routinely do things whether you feel like it or not.
4 Most Common Ways People Mess Up When Trying to Lose Weight
- Daily consistency
- Weekly consistency
- Monthly consistency
- Yearly Consistency
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by this, remember, you aren’t starting with yearly or even monthly consistency. You’re building to that. Start by learning how to be consistent for a day on a daily basis. Then start to examine your week and begin to build up two-week consistency. Once that’s established, start to look at monthly. As you do this, be sure to practice your tremendous self-honesty. Without that, everything falls apart.
Tune in to my podcast to learn unexpected (and fun) ways to trim down, like this counterintuitive weight loss solution. If you still struggle with stress eating and find yourself asking “what is emotional eating?” over and over, feel free to email me, and we can discuss what might be the best option for you.
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