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How to Stay Consistent with Diet and Exercise

by Marissa on March 2, 2018

How to stay consistent with Diet and Exercise | Marissa Vicario | stretching in printed leggings

It’s March and while you had good intentions with diet and exercise at the beginning of this year, now is the time when things start to slip. A missed workout here, a few too many Happy Hour drinks there and no sooner, old habits start to creep back in. Whenever I give a talk or Q&A, I’m often asked about how to stay consistent with diet and exercise. If the goals you set are starting to slip away, try a few of these hacks to get back on track fast. 

One // The key word is “consistent”, not “perfect”. Don’t let one bad or missed day throw you off track. Every day is a new day to start again. 

Two // You can start small or scale back. If you’re starting from zero, make small changes that build on each other over time. Likewise, if you bit off more than you can chew and overcommitted, it’s ok to scale back and start a little smaller. 

Three // Keep track of your progress and record small wins. Keep a workout diary and/or food journal or use an app that tracks how often you exercise. With food, writing down what you eat can keep you accountable for your choices. 

Four // Set boundaries. Determine the rules that make sense for you. For example, no alcohol on weekdays, Friday is pizza night or Sundays are rest days from the gym. That way, you can set clear boundaries or guidelines for staying consistent with your goals while building in some flexibility or time off. 

Five // Set goals that are realistic and achievable. A goal is meant to stretch or challenge you but it shouldn’t be such a reach that it’s unachievable. Determine what feels like a reach to you. If you consistently hit your goals, you can always uplevel. That’s the point anyway!

Six // Have a reward system for reaching milestones. Appoint milestones on the way to larger goals and reward yourself when you hit them. Keep the rewards non-food related like new workout clothes, a new kitchen appliance, a massage or something else that feels special or valuable to you. 

Seven // Choose what you actually like. When it comes to exercise, do what you enjoy so it’s not another item on your “to-do” list. What I mean is, if yoga bores you, for example, try something else. You’ll be more likely to want to go consistently. With food and meal prep, make it fun by inviting friends over or putting on your favorite music and zoning out or getting creative with your food prep. 

Eight // Schedule it. Choosing specific times for exercise and meal prep is key. Use your calendar to schedule it in as an appointment which you’ll feel more committed to. If you can exercise and meal prep at the same times on certain days of the week it will become habitual. 

Nine // Get it done early. If you know you’re the type of person who puts things off, sneak in a workout earlier in the day before you have time to think about it or prioritize other things in its place. 

Ten // Get a coach or an accountability partner. A lot of people think that hiring a coach is a sign of weakness, but it’s actually the opposite. Recognizing that you need support to create habits and stay accountable is smart. It frees you up to actually do the work and an expert can spend time checking in, keeping you accountable, challenging you and troubleshooting when necessary. It’s like having a second brain!

You don’t have to struggle with being consistent with diet and exercise. Be gentle with yourself and take small steps toward a larger goal instead of letting the big goal overwhelm you. 

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