Willpower is something each of us has either a lot of or none of. While some are sprinkled in between the two. Over my 15 years as a personal trainer, I have found that everyone wants the best for themselves. Not many people show up and throw down a few hundred bucks each month only to be a failure at what they are paying for.
Then why do some people lose the fat and weight they expect to where others gain muscles as they want to? It comes down to willpower. Willpower is like working out some days requires more effort than others and some days are just not going to be homers.
Think of your willpower as a muscle. The more you exercise it, the weaker it becomes until exhaustion takes place. Ever wonder why you usually blow your diet at night? It is more than likely from the exhaustion of this muscle from making all the decisions you do daily.
In all the cool kid articles I read about human psychology they say us humans make roughly 10,000 decisions a day. I know in my head this is 100% facts. I am usually always jumping from cloud to cloud in my head every day. By the end of the day after coaching clients, working clients out, training myself, tending to my personal life, and myself I am exhausted at night. I can also tell you with 100% certainty that if I do not plan my meal out ahead of time I will be more prone to failure by grabbing something that I think will make me feel better.
Enter – The subtle art of planning.
Setting the stage for success is crucial to leveraging will power for greater results following your fat loss or muscle gaining plan. If you continually put yourself in a position to lose you will more than likely lose. For example, I have found clients who build their diets out for the week usually get better results than those who try to eat on the fly every day. Sure scanning food is great and you should be counting your macros as well, but from what I have seen it leads to a slippery slope over time. One thing you could try is to plan half your meals and scan the other half of your meals. This might give you some boundaries with freedoms that make dieting not so drab.
Setting your week ahead enhances success and adherence to your plan dramatically. This shows up in the approach a client takes to their weekends. As a coach, I can tell you where 80% of my clients’ struggle is on the weekends. By the end of the week, they are exhausted and have usually eaten all the food in their house. Rather than hitting a grocery store on Friday night after work, they hit the local Mexican joint for margaritas with chips and queso dip. A hack you might consider is using a grocery delivery service. Order your food on Thursday night and have it delivered as you arriving home Friday with a quick dinner meal already planned ahead.
Often clients will let off the gas and feel the deserve a free meal of some sort. This usually turns into a few meals from what experience has taught me. Some do it simply out of exhaustion, but mostly it is because they feel they earned it. If you start a diet plan to lose weight and by day 3 are already wondering where your cheat meal is you will more than likely fail. That is the yo-yo dieting effect in play by so many men and women who seek me out for help. They will restrict really well during the week. They will nail every workout, take every supplement, and eat every meal they should, but by Friday night they are prone to missteps if they are not careful.
Some hunker down and keep themselves busy to avoid falling off the plan. While others might enjoy some untracked food liberties while being mindful of what they are eating. The rest will usually just eat what they want and quietly tell themselves they already messed up so just enjoy some food until you start back on your plan Monday.
One way I coach my clients through this is fat loss does not know what day of the week it is only if it needs to be burned or stay put. Therefore there is no better day than the day you mess up your meal plan to get right back to it with a good meal.
In my experience, those who are successful with a diet program get over their deviance from the plan quickly and get right back to eating well. Some mess ups are going to happen because life just happens, but 90% compliance all the time goes further in weight loss and fat loss than 100% some of the time.
Remember this a journey and just life it has parts they are great and others not so great. Learn to love the process and work on winning each day not some arbitrary time frame but at the moment each day. Most of all though remember to always fail forward.
These are some insights from my coach’s lens on those who are successful in transforming their health and fitness and those who are not. Now get to planning your wins today!
About Jeff Black
Jeff is a nationally recognized health and fitness coach, public speaker, podcast host for The Excellence Cartel, owner of Iron House Strength & Conditioning, bodybuilder, and Osteogenesis Imperfecta Advocate. He is also a roundtable expert on IntenseMuscle.com.
Today, Jeff works collectively with some of the top coaches in the health and fitness space presenting to other coaches and individuals on health and fitness. He has a passion for leadership and serving others to help them be their own hero. He is recognized for his results, but above all else, the passion he has for the coach’s heart he holds dear.