I think we can all agree that the biggest motivator is seeing progress. Watching our bodies change as a result of the hard work we put in is incredibly satisfying. You feel strong, capable of anything, and empowered.
But what happens when you come to a plateau? What happens when you step on the scale and your weight has gone up? What happens when you’ve been doing all the same things, but you aren’t making the same progress? We get discouraged. We lose motivation. We give up.
This is why it’s important to start slow.
The slower the progress, the more likely it is to be sustainable. The best way to start your fitness journey is to begin making small healthy changes one at a time, allowing yourself to adapt to your new way of life. If you jump in 100% and drastically change your lifestyle, it’s not going to be enjoyable and it’s not going to be sustainable for you. Doing a complete 180 will result in quick progress, but it will also be sure to lead to diminishing returns and a loss of motivation.
For example, if you go from eating 2,000 calories a day to 1,200 calories a day, your body will quickly respond and you’ll see great results in your first couple weeks. However, as you continue on, your body will adapt to this change and the results will diminish. You will continually need to eat less and less to see the same results. You will get sick of living in a constant state of hunger. You will get discouraged and you won’t be able to keep up this sort of lifestyle. Likewise, if you go from not stepping foot in the gym to working out 7 days a week, it will not be enjoyable for you and you will most likely damage your body.
We all want a quick fix and instant change, but that is just not how the human body works. Start slow. If you want to get fit for good, you need to strive for slow, continual progress. You need to allow time for yourself to adapt both mentally and physically. Health and fitness is not a diet, it is not temporary, it is not a fad. Health and fitness is a lifestyle.