Do 12-week challenges work? They all start out the same. The first 2-3 weeks you see amazing results nutritional changes and higher training loads with results that kick butt. Once the halfway mark is hit, the body starts to adapt to the new eating and training changes, and then you start to plateau. The results begin to slow, which is very normal.
For the highly organised and motivated person (10% of us) yes, absolutely a 12-week challenge works. The halfway, slow down period -this is just a new challenge. This personality will make it work and see excellent results.
However, for the other 90% of us that feel good based on their results, disappointment kicks in. Results start to slow causing motivation also to decrease. Training can drop off, secret snacks creep in and results start turning backwards. Before the person knows it, the 3-6 weeks of hard work and amazing life changes have gone and so have the results. Sometimes we then try and get back on track by jumping back to the original plan of the first two weeks. Sadly this usually ends up in a second failed attempt, before realising that they are worse off then when the challenge began.
So what is the answer to getting good results? It is important to pick wisely as the stats show that 95% of people that lose weight, eventually regain it. If you are in the 10% and you know if you are, start on a challenge, get the results you are after and are capable of maintaining. However, for the other 90% which is most people, the best way is the ‘Habit base approach’.
Habit base approach
The Habit base approach is by far my favourite as a trainer with 12 years experience. When a client starts with this approach, it is always a win. They know their boundaries and are creating a new lifestyle, by selecting a new healthy habit to put into their lives every fortnightly check-in.
The key to making a habit base approach work is by keeping it simple. Choose a habit you would like to change the most. Mine, for example, at the moment is drinking water to keep me hydrated before my big race in 5 weeks time.
I leave a note on my kitchen bench with water written on it. Every time I have a glass of water, I give myself a mark. This is a rewarding moment, as everytime I get a tick, it’s like I’m giving myself a compliment that I have done what I wanted to do. At the end of the day, I can see all the marks and feel like I have accomplished my goal. It takes at least 14 days to create a habit, so nail the first then select a new one to start.
What’s your healthy habit?
What is the first habit you could change to improve your health & lifestyle? Sleep, so maybe a goal of going to bed at 9 pm? Eat breakfast every day? Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning?
Don’t change everything at once, trust yourself and trust the process. Choose one thing and apply it for two weeks. Do it correctly, succeed and move onto the next habit or you will set yourself up for failure. The habit base approach isn’t a quick fix; it is a lifestyle change. A quick fix for most usually ends up in a more extended fail period, with add-ons. However, when you look back in a year, it will be a sweet moment.
So what is the best option for you?
You could be in the 10%, so let’s get you started on a challenge to integrate you into a healthier lifestyle.
If you do fall into the 90%, where you know a lifestyle change will work better or you have failed at challenges, then the habit base approach is for you. You might have 30 habits that you want to change over a year period (being realistic) and don’t know where to start. We want to help you. Come and see me, or one of our coaches, and we will help you select a habit.