Managing expectations is an important part of achieving goals. When it comes to body composition; being realistic with these and being “process orientated” is known through research to be a better strategy over rigidity and a dichotomous way of thinking.
Diet culture has led us to believe that dropping several kilos each week is a sustainable rate of fat loss. Yet very few know the physiology around how that happens and what would actually be required for it to happen.
To lose 1kg a week of adipose tissue would require a 1000 calorie deficit each and every day for a week or a total of 7000 calories cumulatively. Your body employs many mechanisms in order to achieve what we call homeostasis and avoid this negative energy balance. To be fighting these mechanisms every day is not without its cons. Imagine a resistance band and how much stretch is in it. The question becomes how long can you sustain it?
We currently live in a world where instant gratification is not only something we demand but expect. We want it and we want it yesterday. When it comes to nutrition you can’t Amazon Prime it. There is no magic diet plan. There never will be. It requires a level of effort and investment to look internally at the alteration of habits and behaviours some just simply aren’t willing to do.
To know your values and your beliefs are an important part when setting expectations. What do you identify with and the chances are you will align your habits and behaviours along with it.
The art of coaching is to set expectations. What does your current lifestyle dictate and where can we make changes?
Be in it for the long run.
When discussing nutrition many things are evident from a psychological perspective. It doesn’t take long to realise that a factor in people's inability to be consistent with nutrition comes down to a lack of self confidence. They think they need a new “plan” or “diet” when they had a perfectly good one to start with. They keep comparing their nutrition to others and imitating them instead of focussing on themselves. It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing.
Taking a step back to take authority or seek guidance from a coach who will help facilitate this is a step towards long term weight management. You aren’t missing out on anything special. There are no “superfoods”.
Your diet is also a reflection of your self worth. Which brings us back to our core values and beliefs. If you don’t value yourself enough, think that you are worth the time and investment in prioritising your nutrition. Chances are you wont find long term success with changing your nutrition.
More often than not people find they have a barrier around getting below a certain weight or when coming close to achieving their goal end up sabotaging it.
To understand this process is to consider the fear around change and our identities.
A lot of us hold onto what they feel they are known for. e.g The friend that always gets a round of beers in. The one who always brings donuts to the office meetings. We enjoy a sense of belonging and to hold our actions against that and to change can be difficult.
What type of person will you be when you reach that goal? Will it change your relationships or the way you’re viewed by others. Often this can be enough for us to start moving the goalposts and take us back to the safety of being comfortable and a sense of familiarity.
Ask yourself, are you willing to set aside what other people think to achieve something you want? How much of your self worth and confidence comes from external validation? Are you willing to change?