We do group nutrition challenges at Roux. It’s called the “Eat Clean, Live Clean Challenge”.
It has seen a lot of changes and adjustments over the years. Hell, it’s gone through a lot of changes just since I got here. The biggest way it has changed in the last year and some change has been that we take a habit stacking approach instead of what most Challengers considered to be an all or nothing approach.
Previously, when the challenge started, you got your guidelines and tools for success. You became a part of a challenge group for support and got a buddy for accountability. Everyday you were asked to do things like eat minimally processed foods, sleep for 7 hours, and be on track to move your body “x” number of times that week.
At the end of the day you would go into an app and check off whether you were compliant with all of those things or not. If you ate well and exercised, but didn’t sleep for 7 hours, then you would say you didn’t do everything yesterday. As coaches, we just wanted to see that people were checking in, but many people felt like the day was a wash if they missed one thing and oftentimes stopped checking in at all.
What happened at the end was one of two things. Either people stuck to the plan to a T and rebounded after and celebrated the end of the challenge with a weekend of binge eating or a lot of people had trouble doing everything and got discouraged so they just stopped checking in altogether.
And we noticed.
So we changed the way we approached it and switched it to more of a habit-based challenge. And not just that, but habit-stacking. Every week you were given a new habit to focus on. The following week you would get your new habit, while continuing to work on the one from the previous week. By the end of the challenge, you had a ton of knowledge and had been making slow changes. What we saw was that these people didn’t always have the staggering results that we had seen in previous challenges, but the new habits were sticking.
We also found that by rewarding people every week for checking in on the app 80% of the time, it led to long-lasting results. Notice I didn’t say that they were 80% compliant, but just that they were actively checking in. It meant that even on the days that they weren’t perfect, they were becoming more and more aware of their actions and choices when it came to nutrition and wellness.
So often we get stuck in an “all or nothing” mentality. I have to actively check myself with this a lot. And that way of approaching things can be utterly joyless.
When we get into this state of mind, we generally don’t enjoy the process. And when we don’t enjoy the process, we tend to backslide once our goals have been met because reaching our goals felt like work. And when the little things feel like work, we don’t want to do them for the long haul.
Precision Nutrition ( Emily, Claire, Rene, and myself are certified through them) recently sent a blog that gives you some data to think about. They measured and analyzed data from 1,000 clients over the course of a year and noticed some things. Check this out:
“Just putting in some effort—no matter how small—changes things.
What happens when people do their habits and workouts less than half of the time?
You might assume their efforts are a total waste.
You’d be wrong.
People lost weight anyway.
Clients who are less than 50% consistent—but stay in the program for the full year—wind up losing between 5-6% of their total body weight.”
To put that into perspective, 5-6% percent equated to 11 pounds of SUSTAINED weightloss on average. There’s also this:
“Even super-dramatic changes don’t require 100% consistency.
Of course, if you’re after big changes, you’ll have to be more consistent, and make more tradeoffs or adjustments to your lifestyle.
But even so, you still don’t have to be perfect.
Our data show that being 80%-89% consistent with your nutrition and lifestyle habits can result in significant—and, more importantly, sustained—losses in body weight and waist size.”
Guess what that means…
You just have to try.
You just have to make an effort MOST of the time. And doesn’t that sounds so much better than putting expectations on yourself that you aren’t going to meet?
I’m not saying that you can’t be perfect, that you don’t have the discipline to cross all of your t’s and dot all of your i’s… But do you want to be perfect? Doesn’t it sound easier to just be more conscious of your choices and make most things a little bit better than to deprive yourself?
And more importantly, doesn’t that sound more fun?
Whether you are just starting your fitness journey or a seasoned pro looking for something new, we’d love to meet you! And guess what? Your first class is on us. Click HERE to schedule your FREE Jumpstart Class and let us show you what makes Roux Fitness different!