Your Single Biggest Obstacle to Getting Fit
This is probably the most important thing I’ve ever posted, so stick with me while I rant about meal plans and reveal the single biggest obstacle standing between you and that ideal version of yourself.
Yesterday I shared The 5 Biggest Obstacles to Sticking With Your Fitness Resolutions but I saved the biggest obstacle for last.
So what is THE biggest, THE hardest, THE number one obstacle to achieving all of your fitness and fat loss goals?
What’s standing in the way of having the health and body of your dreams?
I mean, what good is starting a new exercise routine or “diet” if you can’t stick with it in the long run?
And don’t get me started on meal plans. Sure they may be ok in the short-term, helping you understand what a healthy meal looks like, but who wants to (or can) stick with a specific meal plan for the rest of their lives?
Not me. And I don’t think you’d want to either.
Yeah, meal plans pretty much suck.
As a coach for over 20 years, I’ve learned this the hard way.
Meal plans and diets aren’t useful or sustainable for the vast majority of clients.
And that’s the key isn’t it?
Making it part of your every day life and not having to think twice about those healthy habits, habits that will ensure you stay fit and healthy without the yo-yo dieting or start again-stop again cycle of going to weight watchers or starting an exercise routine.
Sticking to it.
Too often my clients (and many friends and family) felt as if they’re either “on” or “off” their diet or meal plan. The black and white nature of a meal plan suggests that people have to eat perfectly at each meal (to match what’s listed in the plan) — or they’ve failed.
It’s psychologically unpalatable and unsustainable.
Even more, meal plans are too inflexible (translation: unrealistic).
They don’t work with the reality of people’s busy lives. Work meetings, children’s programs, meals out, dogs that need walking, cars that break down, family members that get ill, etc. Meal plans take none of these into account.
Finally, meal plans assume people already have the skills to follow them.
But that’s simply not true. Most people who aren’t eating healthy today don’t have the basics down.
Without skills like:
- planning grocery shopping
- choosing the right items from the store
- storing and preparing food correctly
- eating slowly and mindfully
- tuning into hunger and appetite cues
- avoiding problem foods
- choosing better options at restaurants…
…following a meal plan becomes hopeless.
You might as well ask someone who’s only strong enough to bench press 135 pounds to do 405 pounds. No matter how badly they want to, they don’t have the skills or capacity.
But these aren’t just intellectual objections. In my experience, only an extremely small percentage of people can actually follow a meal plan for more than a few weeks.
In the end, meal plans have such limited utility that it’s been years since I’ve recommended a specific meal plan.
If you don’t offer meal plans, what do you offer?
Instead of meal plans, I’ve switched to something called habit-based (or practice-based) coaching (and with the help of the experts over at Precision Nutrition, it’s now easier than ever).
Habit-based coaching is rooted in the best practices of change psychology. In other words, it’s built on the latest science of what actually helps people develop new skills and make change in their lives.
So, instead of giving people a menu that looks like this:
Meal 1 (6:30am): 3 eggs, ½ cup oatmeal, 1 banana
Meal 2 (9:30am): protein shake
Meal 3 (12:30pm): turkey breast sandwich and small salad
I give them a series of 2-week habits — which are both solid and flexible — to help them build the skills necessary to make better nutrition and lifestyle choices today (and for life).
To support these habits, I also offer relevant lessons and assignments.
Taking into account things like a client’s unique schedule, priorities, belief system, food preferences, food tolerances, and more, I help them build their own “Owner’s Manual”.
In the end, rather than telling people what to eat for breakfast and when to eat it, I help them build the skills (and daily habits) required to eat well, every day, no matter what life throws at them.
I also help them discover what’s right for them, in the context of their own unique lives. That’s why this program’s results are so sustainable.
Can you explain habit-based coaching a little more?
I believe that people can only reliably get to their goals when they do two things:
- Break down the thing they want to do (goal) into specific aptitudes (skills).
- Build those aptitudes (skills) through strategic daily habits (practices).
The formula pretty much looks like this:
- Practice daily to build skills.
- Build skills to achieve goals.
Growth and development comes through daily practices and supporting experiences.
Here’s an example of how this works:
Goal: Eat better consistently
Let’s say you want to lose weight. You know that to lose weight you’ll need to eat better consistently. That’s your real goal: Eat better consistently.
But you don’t have all the skills to do it just yet. So you have to break it down into…
Skill: Hunger and appetite awareness
Which skills are required to eat better consistently? Hunger/appetite awareness is the most important initial skill for making progress.
But that’s not quite a concrete thing you can do. So you have to break it down into…
Practices: Eat slowly and stop eating when satisfied
I use two daily practices to build the skill of hunger and appetite awareness.
- Practice 1: Eat slowly.
- Practice 2: Eat until satisfied, not stuffed.
This takes a month – two weeks for clients to learn, practice, and repeat each habit. At the end of a month, clients have two very important habits that they can now use for the rest of their lives. They’ve learned it by doing it.
Not surprisingly, clients usually lose weight during this time. Because, of course, they’re learning to eat a bit less and adjust their intake according to body signals.
Even better, they’ve built two new habits that they can use for the rest of their lives, no matter what else happens.
How exactly is this achieved?
Instead of in person coaching, I utilize a software package (The ProCoach) that’s helps Precision Nutrition certified coaches like myself deliver weekly habits (like the two above), supported by daily lessons and assignments, to help you not only eat better now — but also build the skills necessary to eat better for life.
Sound a little weird? Maybe too slow?
It did to me at first too. But it grows on you. Most importantly, I love the fact that it’s the only method that really works in the long run, it’s sustainable.
Is this an app or what?
IT’S MORE THAN JUST AN APP. A lot of time and effort was put into making clients’ online experience as smooth and easy as it can be. But this is more than just an app. This is technology + skill-building + real coaching.
It’s more than just information.
Sure, there’s a ton of information out there. That’s the problem.
There’s so much information. It all seems to conflict. It’s not organized. And people don’t know where to start or what to do with it. Trying to change your habits and lifestyle with just “information” is like learning to do your own surgery or fly a plane simply by surfing blogs. Not a great idea.
Why a curriculum?
People almost never change just because they get “information”. After all… we all know smoking is bad, getting lots of sleep is good, and we should all wear our seatbelts, right? So how come everyone isn’t a well-rested, seatbelt-wearing nonsmoker?
It’s more than just habit-based.
If you’ve ever tried a habit-based program or app, you’ve probably quickly gotten stuck with questions:
- Which habits?
- In what order?
- How should you do the habits?
- What if this habit is too hard or easy?
- Why can’t you do four habits at once?
And so on. Habit-based coaching in general is a great start, and it’s a great approach. But it’s not a plan.
ProCoach Offers a Curriculum.
A curriculum is:
A set of strategic, logical lessons and activities that go in a particular order, step by step. A purposeful program, plan, and progression for client learning, engagement, and development. A curriculum gives you:
- Resources for learning
- A “game plan” for action
Like Nike says, just do it.
When it comes to improving health, body composition, or athletic performance, it doesn’t matter what you know or what you say. The only thing that matters is what you do, consistently. I give my clients some information to help them understand what I ask them to do, and why. But mostly, I ask them to do stuff.
See what works. Get real-time feedback. Practice. Only action can create change.
Sure, there are general principles, like eat vegetables, sleep, and exercise are probably good things for most people.
I start with general “best practices” and then individualize. Or more accurately, my clients individualize the program for themselves.
You see, ProCoach helps you take responsibility for yourself — your thoughts, your beliefs, your stories, your environment, and most importantly, your behaviors.
- ProCoach will ask you to write your own Owner’s Manual, or “handling instructions for your body”. (No more “one-size-fits all” programs.)
- ProCoach asks you to observe yourself, test hypotheses gather data, and draw conclusions, just like scientists. (No more blindly “just following the rules”.)
- ProCoach teaches you how to do this, and what to look for. (No more “I don’t know what happened.”)
In the end, don’t think of the curriculum as a set of interchangeable habits and lessons. It’s not that. It’s a skill-building self-discovery tool that was created using state-of-the-art psychological and physiological principles.
Of course, no matter how great the curriculum, it can never eliminate the need for:
- Expert guidance and support.
- Help in working through blocks and setbacks.
- Collaborative problem solving and goal setting.
Ultimately, you’re responsible for your own progress.
So What Do I Get?
You’ll get results, results based on building a sustainable lifestyle.
The curriculum is approximately a year-long program, divided into 2-week habit blocks.
- EVERY DAY you’ll log in to a personal home page (a “Today” page, because it tells you exactly what to do today). You’ll get a short lesson to read and a habit — a small task to do.
- EVERY WEEK you’ll measure and record your progress.
- EVERY 2 WEEKS: you’ll get a new habit to try and practice.
- EVERY MONTH: you’ll get a 30 minute coaching call with me to review your progress and challenges along the way.
Through the habits, lessons, and assignments, I’ll ask you to track your progress, gather data, and reflect on thought exercises. You’ll write your unique and personal “Owner’s Manual” — a collection of information and analysis about your life, body, needs, wants, and real-life-tested experiences. This process helps you:
- Take responsibility for yourself — your thoughts, your beliefs, your story, your environment, and most importantly, your behaviors. (No more coach-blaming or “This diet / workout plan didn’t work for me!”)
- Feel empowered by and invested in the idea that you now have a set of “handling instructions for your body”. (No more “one-size-fits all” programs.)
- Test hypotheses, gather data, and draw conclusions, just like a scientist. (No more blindly “just following the rules”.)
- The Owner’s Manual empowers you to make informed decisions about your own needs, wants, and priorities (instead of me telling you what to think or feel or do).
It’s client-centered coaching at its best. So don’t think of the curriculum as a set of interchangeable habits and lessons. It’s not that. It’s a skill-building self-discovery tool that was built using state-of-the-art psychological principles. And most important of all…
Unfortunately this is an invitation-only program and I only take on a limited number of clients every quarter so I can really focus on getting my clients the results they deserve. But I do want to make sure you get the opportunity to be one of them.
I know this Coaching Program is going to deliver ONLY AMAZING, LIFE-CHANGING RESULTS for you and give you the life, body and confidence you’re looking for.
So if you want to completely transform your mindset, your body and your life, go ahead and apply below and I’ll get back to you after reviewing your application. Remember, there’s only 20 spots available, so don’t delay.
Remember, this online private group coaching program is by invitation only.
If you feel that this program may be a fit for you, please fill out the application below and you’ll hear from me within 48 hours.
Helping you shed the fat, even on your busy schedule,
Fit Coach George, Body Transformation Coach
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer & Precision Nutrition Certified Pn1