What it actually takes to lose fat, get healthy, and change your body, part one

This should not be a surprise, but there is no perfect person.

However, when many of us start thinking about a health plan, weight loss program, or other lifestyle change, we start with the expectation that we will need to be perfect at it in order to achieve success.

In reality, how could anyone be perfect. We all have stress, feelings, previous habits, a job or school or kids or a pet, and days when we just feel like crap.

If perfection is required, then most of us might as well not even bother.

What if changing your body isn’t a pass/fail scenario?

What if almost any effort, no matter how imperfect, could result in real, measurable progress?

Turns out, that it’s not just a nice idea, it’s fact. Changing your body does not require 100% consistency.

The folks over at Precision Nutrition (PN) have the data to prove it, based on information from their coaching program and the clients they served. So over 12 months, 1000 clients, and nearly 1 million data points, they determined the following surprise facts…

First, know that they work with their clients on improving their habits over the course of a year. Habits are daily health practices—such as eating lean protein at each meal or consuming 5 servings of fruits and vegetables. These habits accumulate, and by the end of the year, their clients are incorporating about 25 in total. Their clients are also regularly report their body measurements and answer progress surveys, where they share other important stuff, like how they’re feeling.

So, how consistent do you have to be in order to make “good progress”?

Surprise #1: Just putting in some effort, no matter how small, changes things.

When people complete their habits and workouts less than half the time, they lost weight anyway.

PN clients who were less than 50% consistent—but stayed in the program for the full year—ended up losing between 5-6% of their total body weight.

Five-six percent loss of body weight might not sound like much, but you can see the average weight loss for both men and women was 11 pounds. That’s sustained weight loss—something that stays with you, and something you can build on.

And these people did it by kinda-sorta practicing some small healthy habits, not following rigid meal plans or extreme diets that eliminate entire food groups.

These people also got healthier. That’s because research shows that a 5-6% decrease in body weight can lead to:

  • better cardiovascular health
  • decreased cancer and diabetes risk
  • better sleep (with less apnea)
  • better mood
  • less inflammation
  • better immunity

But what does less-than-half consistency look like?

Let’s say you are a person who eats a lot of fast food and packaged snacks. What if your new goal is to eat more whole foods. If you eat four times a day (three meals, one snack), that would equate to eating 28 times a week. If just 12 of those were made of fresh, minimally processed foods, you’d be about 40% consistent. If that sounds intimidating, look at it this way, you would be swapping out ONE fast food lunch for a green salad with some lean protein every day, and having a piece of fruit for a snack most days. Nothing else would change.

Maybe you need exercise instead of food changes. If doing something active every day is 100% consistent, then 40% effort would be about 2.8 activities a week. So, two workouts and two long walks a week.

But these are just examples. Your goals will be relative to your starting point.

Is this already sounding interesting? Click HERE to schedule a consult and get started with us at NIKA Athletics in Deland, FL.

I’ll share another surprise with you soon.

In health, Diane

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