I've heard this story all too often: "Sorry coach, but I don't think what you have me doing is right for my body. I just can't seem to get any closer to my goals. I don't understand"
You have probably felt this before too. I know I have. I will go for a run where I want to be fast, or lift a weight or step on the scale...all expecting a certain outcome. And much to my chagrin, I am no further along than I was 2 weeks ago. Sound familiar?
Yes, there could potentially be something about your program that needs minor tweaking. If it is a fitness related thing, perhaps you are not recovering properly, maybe you aren't being pushed hard enough. Or maybe you have hit a plateau in your weight gain/loss journey and something does need to be changed. However.... I first dare you to take a look at how compliant you are to the program.
Mindfulness is the first word that comes to my brain when I think about how people move throughout the day. We are so easily set into a certain routine and go through the motions without always realizing what we are doing. You know, you leave work and before you know it you're pulling into your driveway not even knowing how you go there...but you were driving. Like that.
When you have a goal but you move through the day not being mindful of what you are actually doing, this can 100% delay or completely ruin results. If you want to lose weight but are constantly cleaning up the leftovers your toddler didn't eat without realizing it, that's easily a few extra hundred calories a day. If you are trying to get stronger but under-eating by hundreds of calories a day, it is going to take significantly longer than if you followed protocol.
Being mindful of what you are doing (or not doing for that matter) won't just happen though. You need to work on your routine, work on modifying your habits and keep practicing in order to see changes.
If you aren't sure where to start, here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling-
1. Slow down. You are moving throughout the day at lightening speed, you don't have the chance to realize what you're doing before it's too late.
2. When it comes to eating, get in the practice of eating only under certain circumstances. You must be sitting at your table, with a place set and a glass of water. This is SO inconvenient, right? Taking bites of your sandwich standing over the sink is MUCH easier than setting a table setting for yourself. Exactly! If it's inconvenient you aren't likely to do it. Guess the dog will have to get the left over scraps from your kids dinner plate ;)
3. Start the day completely different. If you normally wake up, zombie walk directly to the coffee pot and open your email, instead, try waking up and immediately stretching for 3 minutes. That's it, 3 minutes. Or down a glass of room temperature water before you have that coffee. Simple changes have the ability to support more change throughout the day when it comes to creating new habits.
4. Set timers on your phone. If you forget to eat, set an alarm for every time you need to eat (and add a note of WHAT to eat too). If you spend too much time scrolling through social media when instead you could be getting extra steps in outside going for a walk, set the timer on your phone to alert you when you have reached a certain amount of time scrolling. 90% of people use their phone too much anyway (me too) so we might as well use it to our advantage.
If your diet or training program "isn't working," before you jump to immediately thinking it just isn't for you, instead consider that you aren't actually doing it as well as you could be. And be patient. Or as my dad likes to say "Don't quit before the miracle."