Why 90% Effort is More than Enough
Perfection is overrated.
Don’t give up on your diet or exercise plan just because you messed up. You can still get extraordinary results even with unexceptional willpower.
How Much is Enough?
I like to make a joke about how I’m going to “give my workout my all — my full 70% effort.”
Turns out it might not have to be a joke after all.
Precision Nutrition (an industry leader, and the company Megan is certified through as a nutrition coach) recently analyzed a year’s worth of data from 1,000 clients, and what they found was quite interesting.
People who adhered to their program anywhere from only 10-49% of the time still lost an average of 11 pounds over the course of their year long program. They also lost 8-11 total inches (2-3 from the waist).
Pretty impressive for people who were compliant less often than not.
At around 90% consistent (still less than “perfection”), those numbers doubled. And the best part? Because it’s a long-term program, the results are likely to stick.
How would you feel about losing around 10-30 pounds in a year and keeping it off?
What Does it Look Like?
Consistency isn’t about how many consecutive days you follow a diet, or how many weeks you exercise without missing a workout.
It’s about trying, failing, trying more, failing more, and not giving up.
With that mindset, “failing” isn’t even really a failure. It’s part of the process. As far as things to be concerned about, messing up 1 out of every 10 meals shouldn’t even be a blip on your radar.
Think about that.
If you eat 4 times a day, that means you could mess up once every 2 and a half days and it’ll barely affect your progress.
Does your current diet allow that kind of leeway? Or do you get mad and let it ruin your day if you have dessert once a week?
Of course, how you calculate 90% will look different depending on your goals. But here’s the point:
It doesn’t matter.
The 90% mark is just a symbol. It’s a reminder that perfection isn’t the goal, only improvement.
As long as you keep going, you’ll still do better than when you weren’t trying at all.
About the Results
Not every diet or exercise program will give you the same results Precision Nutrition showed in their research (it’s a must-read article, by the way).
Some programs make it impossible to be consistent only a percentage of the time — they’re all or nothing. Other programs are just plain bad and won’t give you results even at 100% effort.
The reason people got the results they did was because the principles used in their program are based on a long-term approach that’s backed by science, and takes individual factors into consideration.
We’re big believers in those principles.
It’s why Megan got the coaching certification she did, to help you put these ideas into practice. (It’s also why I’m not simply a personal trainer, but am a Behavior Change Specialist as well.)
When you’re ready to start a 6-month program that will get you the results you want, without requiring or expecting perfection on your part, you can apply here.