Planning your workouts thoroughly and eating right is crucial to any program aimed at achieving actual results and get your fitness goals.
Whether you need to lose weight, tone your muscles or just keep fit, there’s one thing you need to know. Any program will fail if you don’t put in: Motivation, Commitment and Consistency.
These are three essential points to start your journey, carry it on over time and reach your goals. Yes, the results you are looking for are not falling from the sky, but they’ll be the result of your hard work and your new lifestyle.
Start your journey with the intention of making it. Once you’ve started, don’t give up at the first difficulties, the path will be long and the final result will be proportional to the efforts.
Physical activity is a cornerstone of a healthy life, and a lot of scientific research highlights the positive effects that working out has on our body, but also on our mind. Yet, many people are sedentary, don’t do any physical activity or don’t do it regularly and therefore they fail to obtain the desired results.
But working out is not enough … in addition to training, if you want a quality body you need to eat quality food! Eating right will give your body the necessary nutrients to optimize workouts, recover better and improve your body composition.
Through a healthy and active lifestyle by integrating training, healthy nutrition and proper restorative rest you can achieve optimal health both physically and mentally. So let’s focus on the three points that can be really useful for consolidating your new lifestyle and achieving a psycho-physical balance.
If you’re here you probably had an inspiration, that spark that made you want to take matters into your own hands and improve your fitness level. Now that inspiration can become the motivation to take the first step …
From motivation to action
Motivation is the engine of our actions, the inner drive that leads us to achieve certain goals.
The motivational drive comes into play when the body loses its state of balance due to a need that arises. So if, for example, you don’t feel fit, this situation will lead you to take action to achieve your need to lose weight, tone your muscles or feel healthy and full of energy.
However, is it possible that your motivation start wavering? how to keep the flame alive?
It is important to do what you like! You need to find the physical activity that suits you and makes you feel good while you do it. For example, we found DDP Yoga because we were looking for a low impact program to train flexibility, strength and cardio but that at the same time was fun and you don’t need to take yourself too seriously. We found DDPY and it was perfect for us and it became our lifestyle.
Establish your “why”. The reason you started your journey and write it down somewhere. Every time you have a setback go to your “why”; this will help you get back on track. For example it could be “I want to stay fit because I want to have the energy to play with my kids” this will be the spark to revive your motivation.
Motivational quotes and videos can be usefull as well, like the famous Motivational Mondays. About this, read this article on the DDP Yoga blog.
If you are a “social” type and you are enrolled in a fitness group (like the DDPYoga Facebook Group) you can share your moments of doubt and despair and you will see that the community will be ready to give you the right push to start again. Don’t forget to share your success too, you can inspire other to own their lives too.
Not a social type? Well, you can still have a friend, a colleague, a family member or an instructor to share your journey and support you in your good and bad moments.
“The greatest motivation always comes from within”Michael Johnson
Oh yes, you have to do the work … The effort you put into it will determine your results.
Work on creating healthy habits both on the training part and on the nutrition. Set yourself the goal of committing yourself every day to implementing strategies that lead you towards your goals. This doesn’t mean that you have to train every day (although it can be done), but it does mean that every day you will have to be focused on where you want to go and practice good habits.
Good habits … How to create them? Start with small gestures that added one to the other will bring their fruits. You can create rituals such as a morning routine to set your day in the best possible way and start on the right foot. You can get up earlier to do your workout or to prepare a healthier breakfast or simply to not start running straight away. Remember that stress can also be one of the reasons why you feel like you’re doing everything right, but the results don’t come …
If you’re not an early riser though, don’t force it! Give it a try, start by setting the alarm back by even just 5 minutes at a time, but if you see that it doesn’t work, change! You can also schedule your training sessions at lunchtime, after work or lighter workouts in the evening before going to bed.
For nutrition, the commitment is to eat healthy, unprocessed foods and then cook your meals with the rawest ingredients possible. Cooking each meal might seem like a huge time-consuming task, but there are various tricks like the “meal plan and meal prep” (plan your week and prepare food in advance). In order not to fall into temptation, physically remove all those unhealthy foods from your pantry (processed, packaged, full of sugars, etc.).
“Positive thinking alone is not enough to change your life. You need to have strategies, step-by-step projects to change your way of thinking, feeling and what you do every single day of your life. “Tony Robbins
Consistency is very powerful. The organism responds to the stimulus if the stimulus is constant over time. Doing physical activity occasionally or eating healthy one in every two meal will end up wasting all our efforts. A stimulus must therefore be associated with a behavior that will lead to a reward.
What does consistency mean? It certainly means engaging regularly in physical activity, but also a certain regularity in the type of signals you send to your body. It all starts with a single action, which must be deliberate, precise and maintained over time. Organize the stimuli on a regular basis both by timing and by type.
How to stay consistent? By training self-discipline. How many times in your life have you decided something, you go all in, you reach the first results, and then … you gave up? It’s happened to everyone! Diets, gym workouts, university studies, projects in general.
If you start with a concentrated effort, you are more likely to give up, because it represents an unpleasant activity and in the long run you start looking for excuses not to do it. Skip once, twice, promise yourself that next week you will start again and bye bye training session, balanced nutrition and spon.
Humility and consistency are very strong roots to prepare you for the next gradual increase. It is essential to set small goals that gradually increase in difficulty and time. For example, if you start from scratch you can start with walking for 10 minutes every day and eliminate one processed food by replacing it with something healthier, then the following week you increase the walk to 15 minutes and remove one more food and so on … continue with this process until you achieve the desired goal. That should be to get with common sense to a HEALTHY but tasty diet, and a moderate physical exercise.
Obviously, in addition to discipline, common sense and balance are needed. Using common sense is essential because remember that perfection does not exist so a good rule of thumb is 80/20. 80% of the time you eat clean, follow your workout plan and do everything well, 20% of the time you take it easy, relax and eat whatever you want. 80-20 … not 20-80 …
So we’ve seen the drive, the good behavior and what’s missing? The reward … Remember to stop and celebrate your success. Reward yourself for the small goals you have achieved, otherwise you’ll miss out by continuing to set one goal after another without even realizing what you have achieved.
“No matter what activity or practice we are pursuing, there isn’t anything that isn’t made easier through constant familiarity and training.”Dalai Lama
But what if you fall off the fitness wagon? Is it all lost? No, it’s okay! Get back up. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, all that matters is how many times you get up. If you haven’t gone by the book with your diet or skipped a few workouts, don’t beat yourself up. You only fall when you stop trying, so don’t stop.
You only fail when you finally quit. If you never give up, then you never really fail because you’re constantly working.DDP