Consistency over Intensity for Weight Loss

Recently I watched a video clip from the Jeff Rogan show on Youtube. He was interviewing Firas Zahabi about working out and success in fitness.

The main takeaway was that focusing on consistency rather than intensity would bring you closer to your goals. This has been true for me in running. I rather run easy every day, than run hard occasionally. The idea is with easier intensity, being in flow, you can do the work more often, thus having more practice. And as a result, my running has improved tremendously!

I love this concept for so many other areas of life. I can see how consistency over intensity has helped me to be successful in blogging. How consistency over intensity has helped me develop meaningful relationships, and get out of debt. But most importantly, how consistency, not intensity can lead to lasting weight loss!

Here’s the clip from Joe Rogan first. Than, I’ll comment on how I believe this translates to nutrition and weight loss.

Every Diet Can Be Effective at Weight Loss

When you start a new diet to lose weight, the only thing between you and that diets success is how long you are willing to do it. If you stop or abandon the plan, it will never bring you results.

The key to staying consistent with your diet program is to find the pleasure in doing the work. Get into a flow that you can stay in for the long term. There must be an element of the plan that you find easy, practical or enjoyable. It can be challenging. It can stretch you, but unless you find some pleasure in the process, you will stop.

This has helped me stick to my weight loss program long enough to see results. My mindset had to change from short spurts of intensity, to deciding to put in the effort for the long term. Consistently. Forever.

Start with one small habit you can do consistently and you will lose weight.

Rather than changing all your bad habits at once, finding one thing you can change, and sticking to that until it becomes effortless and pleasurable.

One small habit to start with in weight loss is to stop snacking to lose weight. This small habit can be effortless when practiced long enough. It doesn’t require you to eliminate foods you love, and it doesn’t cut into social eating. In fact, you enjoy your food more than when you let yourself graze all day.

Contrast eliminating snacks with waking up and deciding to drink more water, cut calories, cut bread, cut dairy, cut sugar, exercise everyday, etc. Getting into flow with so much intensity would be impossible. And therefore, the intense approach to weight loss wouldn’t last.

Ideas for small steps to lose weight with consistency, rather than intensity:

  1. Monitor movement through a step counter and aim 10% more.
  2. Drink 100 ounces of water.
  3. Check in weekly with an accountability partner
  4. Practice portion control by not having seconds at your meals or desserts.
  5. Pause between the stimulus of wanting food, and giving into it.
  6. Eat protein at every meal.
  7. Practice daily intermittent fasting and delay breakfast by 1-2 hours.
  8. Only eat at the kitchen table. Not in the car, not in front of the TV, and not while working on the computer.

When you are in a state of flow, you can keep going with less effort. With the right amount of difficulty. It shouldn’t be so difficult that it causes undo stress. But you also don’t want to get bored with it. You must find the flow in your new habits to make it pleasureable. That way you can stick with it long enough to become a master of the new behavior.

Decide now that the one habit or behavior you will adopt for the LONG term. The more days you practice, the more days you stick with the plan, the more it will become part of your life. At the end of the year, the more days you have with a healthy behavior, the healthier you will be!

At the end of the year, who has more days of healthy eating. OVERALL.

So, what is one healthy habit that you can commit to practicing consistently until it’s pleasureable and effortless?