How to be consistent with your health and weight loss goals… this is one of the most common topics of discussion with my online coaching clients. We’ve all been at a point in our health/weight loss journey where we’re in the groove.
You’re working out regularly and eating well. Then along comes a big food holiday (Christmas, for example) or you go on vacation or you experience a huge emotional crisis.
All thoughts of being healthy go out the window. You slowly lose all the progress you’ve made and you’re back at square one.
When this topic came up during a call with an online weight loss client, I immediately understood her frustration. Consistency is an area many people struggle with when they’re changing their eating and exercise habits.
Having worked with many different clients over the years as a personal trainer, online nutrition and mindset coach, these are six steps I advise my clients to follow. When you’re struggling or wondering how to be consistent with your fitness goals when life becomes unpredictable and busy, these steps can help you too.
1. Know Your Goal and Your Reason Why
When it comes to achieving your goals you need to be clear on what you want and why it’s important to you.
Sure, knowing your goal weight can be helpful. But it’s also important to think about the type of person you want to be and the kind of habits you want to have. Seeing yourself as the type of person who takes care of themself and lives a healthy lifestyle may be the game changer your fitness journey needs.
It’s not just about setting a goal. Your goals must evolve out of your values. They have to be a part of your habits. So, think about your core values and identify what they are. Is taking care of your health something you value? Perhaps setting a great example for your kids is really important to you. Is living a long and active life or being the best version of yourself valuable to you?
Whatever your core values are, let your goals align with them. Make them a part of your daily habits. When you do that, it gets easier to make choices that are in line with your aspirations.
Also, remember why you are doing this.
What’s driving you to achieve your goals? Are you trying to improve your health, boost your confidence, or feel better about yourself generally? Whatever your reasons may be, focus on them. Keep them at the forefront of your mind. Let them be your motivation to stay on track.
Visual reminders can also be incredibly helpful. Consider creating a vision board with images related to your goals that inspire you. You could also just write your goals down and put them where you can see them often. These visual cues can serve as reminders of what you’re working towards.
2. Have a Simple Daily Plan
Sometimes the solution to staying consistent with your health and weight loss journey is as simple as having a plan. Take a couple of minutes to jot down a plan for your meals based on what you’ll be doing that day. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just something simple to guide you.
This step can help you stay on track with your health goals, especially on those days when you’re short on time or mental energy. And to make things even easier, have easy healthy food options readily available to pick from.
Whatever you choose to eat, practise mindful eating. Eat slowly. Savor each bite. Pay attention to how you feel. Stop when you feel satisfied, knowing that nothing is off-limits. You can eat whatever you want, whenever you choose. There’s no rush.
Look for opportunities throughout your day to walk and exercise. You could even turn it into a game. For example, challenge yourself by parking at the farthest spot in the lot and see how long it takes you to walk to the store. Remember, every little bit counts!
3. Make It Doable (Not Perfect)
When life gets busy, it’s common for healthy habits like meal prep, going for a walk, or working out to go flying out the window. This is usually because we’ve convinced ourselves that if we can’t do our healthy habits perfectly, we might as well not do them at all. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
Healthy habits don’t have to be a chore. They don’t always have to be done perfectly. You can break them down into small bits to make them always doable and even fun. You could walk around while you’re talking on the phone. Maybe while you’re meal prepping, you could be dancing at the same time. Try taking the stairs instead of the lift. You could go outside and spend a few minutes in nature.
Remember, you don’t have to hit all 10,000 steps each and every day. Do what you can realistically do during your busy days. The same goes for your gym workouts. Congratulate yourself for even making it to the gym when you have so much going on.
Even the shortest amount of time working out gets you closer to your fitness goal. So, if all you can squeeze in is a 15-minute home workout, like many of my online clients, you’ll still see great results.
To make the most out of the short time you’ve got, limit your workout to two of the best bodyweight exercises you can do – squats and push-ups. Do a set of 10 squats or push-ups whenever you have a spare 40 seconds in your day. Try to do 3 sets of each exercise throughout the day. That’s less than 10 minutes of exercise.
If you find that doing push-ups on the floor is hard, you can do them by putting your hands on the kitchen counter, dining room table, desk, or the arm of your couch.
You can also check out my podcast epi, How to Make Food Planning Easier, for ideas on how to enjoy healthy food or how to make meal planning easier.
4. Practise Self-Compassion
Changing habits we’ve had for most of our lives is not easy. So, it’s perfectly normal to slip back into your old unhealthy habits. Life sometimes gets in the way. Don’t judge yourself for it.
Instead, address them.
Many of us rely on scales as the main way to measure our progress. It’s what many of us use to determine whether we’ve had a successful week or month. But there are so many other important things we can look at to measure how far we’ve come.
A stall or gain on the scales is only a bit of data that suggests there might be something you need to change or work on to keep moving forward. Sometimes, it can be wrong. You could be gaining muscle, while still losing fat.
If you haven’t seen the progress you want over the last few weeks or months, ask yourself ‘why’ without any self-criticism or judgment. Are there any habits or thought patterns you need to work on? Is there a doable action step you can take today to jumpstart your progress back up?
Compassion is key in your fitness journey. Show yourself kindness and understanding. Look for things you’re doing well. Encourage yourself to get back on track, if you’ve gone off.
This approach is far more likely to lead to success than criticizing and mentally beating yourself up.
5. Choose a Helpful Perspective
Have you considered taking the pressure off your health and weight loss goals? Making healthy choices doesn’t have to be a chore or a difficult task. It can be as simple as choosing to take care of yourself.
When you make healthy choices, you’re choosing to feel good, both physically and mentally. You’re choosing long-term health, happiness, energy, confidence, and pride over the temporary pleasure of unhealthy choices.
Your healthy choices will never be perfect, and that’s okay. Remind yourself of the benefits you’ll gain from making those choices. You’ll gain strength, improve your fitness, or learn a new skill. All these small choices add up and make a difference.
Change your perspective from it’s hard, takes too much effort, or won’t make a difference. Instead think of it as taking care of yourself, nourishing your body, getting physical exercise, and getting good sleep.
It feels good to make healthy choices for yourself. Watch how your change in perspective creates progress.
6. Practise Your Goal Mindset on the Way to Your Goals
Most people have a goal to lose weight so they can feel better, happier, and more confident, and ultimately stop being mean to themselves. But it’s important to work on our thoughts and mindset along the way as we progress on our fitness journey. We shouldn’t wait until we’ve reached our goals to start the inner work.
If you’re used to being critical of yourself, you’ll still be that way even after you’ve reached your ideal weight. So, support yourself, congratulate yourself, be your own best coach, and dress in clothes that make you feel great now. Don’t put it off until later. Don’t postpone your happiness.
This encouragement won’t make you stop trying. It will, however, make you feel better. It’ll make you want to take better care of yourself. The best thing about life is that you can always grow, learn, and improve.
Every time you do something positive for yourself, you feel great. Because you’re taking care of yourself.
Consistency, not perfection, is key in your health and weight loss journey. You don’t need to be perfect or nail every step of your plan all the time. But little things add up. Even if you feel like you’ve veered off track, remember that as soon as you make the next great choice, you’re right back on track again.
If you need some extra motivation to stay consistent in your fitness journey, please check out my podcast episode on this topic.
How to be consistent with your health and weight loss goals – a few more ideas
You can also get more information, ideas, and personalised help with your fitness goals by checking out my Instagram page, @hayleyplummerpt, or sending me an email, email@example.com.
Find out more about Online Weight Loss Coaching here: