Consistency Over Perfection

by Dr. Jen Case

When you begin a new diet or training plan, the desire for perfection is common. You are excited about this new endeavor and want to do everything correctly. Unfortunately, attempting perfection when making multiple changes to ingrained behaviors can be difficult and overwhelming. Resulting in frustration and ultimately abandoning the new diet or training plan. Rather than focusing on every single aspect of the new plan, choose two or three factors and focus on consistently doing them.

For example, say you have decided to begin a weight loss diet. The ultimate goal is weight loss. To achieve this goal, you need to develop new eating behaviors. Rather than focusing on all macronutrients in every single meal, the exact timing of each meal, the calories in all food consumed, etc. Focus on big-picture items that will have the greatest impact. When it comes to weight loss, your caloric intake is the primary factor.

When you first begin your new diet plan, you can focus solely on not exceeding your recommended calories for the day. Focus on just this goal for a few weeks. Once you feel comfortable, you can then begin to focus on specific macronutrients. It may be too overwhelming to focus on all three (fats, carbohydrates, and protein) while still trying to stay below your calorie allotment. You can start with carbohydrates. Focus on hitting your recommended carbohydrates and calories for each day. After a few weeks, when that has become easier to attain, add in protein. Continue this process of gradually adding in more and more variables until you are able to easily focus on all six parts of the diet priority pyramid.

This process of gradually working towards perfection can take a good amount of time. However, since you were consistent with each of the small changes you made along the way, you should be seeing gradual changes in your weight and body composition. Also, since you took your time making those changes, they have become new behaviors that you are much more likely to stick to once your weight loss or body composition goal is achieved. This is important, in order to maintain your new physique, you will need to maintain most of the eating habits that helped you achieve your desired body composition.


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