…is consistency.

Whether you are purely dieting, or utilizing an ongoing regiment of fitness, or a combination of the both, the most important thing to keep in mind is that it takes consistency to see change.  There are a large assortment of diets out there, and just as many customized workouts.  While some do work better than others, the bottom line is that ANY training (both in the gym and in the kitchen) will only show results if given time with steady and repeatable activity.

Here is a conversation that has taken place too many times:

“What I’m doing isn’t working.”
“Well, how long have you been doing it?”
“Three months.”
“Yeah, that is a pretty fair amount of time.  No results?”
“No.”
“This is the diet plan here?  And this is your workout regiment?”
“Yes.”
“Walk me through a regular week for you.  Do you follow this?”
“For the most part.  Granted I’ll have a cheat day every 3 days or so because I just get frustrated sometimes.  And, I do skip a workout every week or so.  But that’s all, really.  Otherwise I’m on the money.”
“That’s not on the money.  That’s nowhere near on the money.  Think of it like reaching a milestone.  How long will it take you to get there if you take two steps forward and one step back?”

If you find a nutrition plan or a fitness regiment that you want to try, it’s extremely important that you actually DO try, without cheating the system, for at least a few weeks.  Ideally two months.  The truth is that our bodies only create change through consistent impact.  If your diet involves a caloric deficit of some kind, it takes a prolonged period of time with consistency for your body to understand how to process this appropriately and start burning fat.  Taking a break every few days is like constantly pushing the restart button on that process.

Here’s another conversation that has taken place too many times:

“I’m changing my diet.”
“Why?”
“It’s been two weeks and I think it’s time for a change.”

You risk radically altering your metabolism negatively, or other side effects, by not giving a new change in your system time to actually illicit change.  Avoid changing your diet and routine in such a short amount of period IF you are looking for an ongoing lifestyle change.

Adapting your body to illicit change takes time, but more than that it takes consistency.  Always make sure that if you are trying a new diet, or a new fitness regiment, and you have little to no experience doing so, that you seek counsel from a certified fitness trainer.