are you gearing up to give a new program a go? perhaps you're curious about whole30 that you've been hearing about, unless of course you’ve been living under a rock or in a yurt in the middle of nowhere. our chief fitlosopher, chief fitlosopher’s daddy + fab fitbookers are just a few of the millions of people who have taken the plunge. or perhaps you wanna go down the paleo path? keto? intermittent fasting? whatever the program, all the restrictions and rules can easily intimidate anyone. (side note: we actually created the 6-week COMEBACK program for this very reason - to let you ease into good habits in an intimidation-free zone.) that’s why we put together 7 things you should keep in mind before starting a new program - to help minimize the fails + maximize the results.
ready to get started? which program are you trying? or what programs are you curious about? let us know in the comments below + we might try it for an upcoming edition of been there, tried that!
1. plan ahead.
you had a long day at work and still have no clue what’s for dinner, which is how you found yourself swinging through the drive-thru at your local fast-food joint yet again. sound familiar? we’ve all been there. this is why having a plan in place in advance is so crucial to the success of any new program you try. when you plan ahead, you’re ensuring that you’ll be more likely to stick to your program, because it means you’ve got plenty of healthy options at home - perhaps even prepped in advance. pro tip: set aside a solid hour the weekend before you start any new program and plan out the week ahead, including a meal plan with corresponding shopping list! hello, this is why we created our eat fit kit.
2. set goals + rewards.
before you start any new program, you should have a goal in mind, something to work toward, a benchmark to use as a measure of your progress, whether that means working your way up to doing an unassisted pull-up or losing a few pounds. set your goal, then attach a reward, because when you dangle a proverbial carrot, you’re much more likely to keep moving toward your goal. trust us - if you know there’s a spa day at the end of that whole30, odds are you’re going to give it your all. pro tip: each + every fitbook reminds you to set weekly rewards for this very reason.
3. don’t forget to write it down.
keeping track of what you’re eating, how you’re exercising and how all the different components of your program are making you feel is an essential part of any nutrition or workout plan. in fact, studies have shown that people who log their food + fitness stats lose twice as much weight in the same amount of time than those who skip the scribbling. whether you use a fitness journal or a blank notebook, write everything down so you can keep track of your progress and make tweaks as needed.
4. find inspiration.
whatever inspires you, surround yourself with it, whether it’s a specific cookbook or a certain blogger or a really great website. it’s much easier to stick with something when you have a good example to emulate. tackling your very first whole30? find a cookbook geared toward whole30 recipes - it’ll ensure your meals never get boring. taking up weight-lifting? find a fitness YouTuber you love whose routines you can try. the more positive and inspired you are, the more enthusiastic you’ll be about your new program. then surround yourself with positive affirmations on your desk, on your mirror, or post stickies on your fridge!
5. don’t go it alone.
enlist an accountability buddy, just like our chief did when she first took on whole30. it’ll help keep you motivated, consistent and on-track with your goals. it’s a whole lot easier to talk your way out of a workout or a healthy meal-prep sesh if it’s only yourself you have to convince. if not following through, however, means you’re disappointing and/or standing up your friend, you’re much more likely to stick to your commitment. this is why fitbook lite has a space specifically for stating who your buddy is - because friends who fitbook together, reach goals together!
6. don’t let one slip set you back.
now, we know whole30 is pretty strict about this, and if you so choose, you might decide that even the tiniest of slips warrants starting all over again. we like to be a little more flexible and realistic in our approach, because flexibility is the difference between temporarily (and often begrudgingly) eeking something out for a month or two, and actually making meaningful lifestyle changes that will last for the long-haul. one junky meal is just that - one meal. it does not mean you’ve failed, and it does not mean you’ve erased all the progress you’ve made. pay attention to how you felt afterward, learn from it and move on. it might actually help you make even better choices in the future. this is actually why we designed the 6-week COMEBACK, to provide a flexible program for people with busy lifestyles who can't always go all-in at all times. (i mean, this journalist may have even called it impressive, but whatevs, no biggie.)
7. it’s not all about the number on the scale.
if the only thing you’re focusing on is your weight, you’ll miss out on so many other incredible achievements and gains that have absolutely nothing to do with moving the needle on that bathroom scale. if you know you need to lose weight, that’s fine, and we commend you for putting in the hard work and the effort, but make sure you pay attention to all the other wonderful things outside of weight loss that inevitably follow that hard work. more energy? higher endurance? better sleep? skin lookin’ all glowy? those are all wins that should be celebrated!