I've seen a lot of 30 day challenges pop up. They can be fun and a good way to pass some time and improve your fitness.
The question is:
Great, you've done a 30 day challenge, what about day 31?
Say you've just finished the 30 day squat challenge. You've done 250 squats on day 30. How many squats do you plan on doing on day 31?
Say you've just finished the 30 day plank challenge. You've held the front plank for 5 minutes on day 30. How long do you plan on holding it for on day 31?
Say you've just done a 30 day transformation. You've been told what to eat. what not to eat. What MLM supplements to buy. You've lost a few pounds and been given 10% off your next order. What are you going to eat and do on day 31?
This doesn't just stop at 30 day challenges. 6, 8, 12 week diet plans are similar. If you complete a 6-week diet that was shitty to get through as it cut out all the foods you liked. What is your plan for week 7?
For many people, the answer is usually along the lines of "nothing, I'm glad it's over" for the exercise challenges or "what I was eating and doing before" for the transformation challenges.
And there is the problem.
Once the challenge is over, you go back to doing what you were doing before and slip back to square one.
Maybe you wait for the next challenge to come along and yo-yo yourself through it again.
The thing is, it's not your fault.
These challenges look and sound fun at the time and you might get a kick out of them.
But, they are only ever designed as a gimmick, a very short term unsustainable "solution" or as a gateway to get you hooked on buying certain products.
If this sounds familiar, ask yourself "What did I really learn and achieve in that challenge or diet?"
And if you do find yourself continually back at square one, ask yourself "How can I approach this differently to stop yo'yo'ing?"
It means working on areas such as mindset, education and skills.
The things that aren't flashy enough for a 30 day challenge (and usually take longer to master) but build long-lasting skills, habits and approaches to reduce the chances of yo-yo'ing.
Here are some of the things I mean:
Working on self-image; self talk; your goals and reasons why; understanding the time and work it takes - not just for 30 days but long after that; reducing that all-or-nothing mentality; understand that once you reach goals they need to be maintained
EDUCATION & SKILLS
Understanding the calories in the food and drink you consume; portion sizes; how to fit in the foods you enjoy without feeling guilty (it can be done); exercise techniques and progressions; exercise substitutions; building better habits to support your goals, learning your triggers
This is what works to help you make sustainable changes and maintain them for the long term.
Yes, I will plug my services here as these are the types of issues I help to coach people through in my online training services.
Not with fad diets, restrictive eating and unsustainable exercise regimes but working with you and your lifestyle to make changes to support your goals.
I'll leave you with one final question to ask yourself as you sign up for another 30 day challenge or buy another restrictive eating diet book:
Look back on all those 30 day challenges and all those diets you've tried and didn't stick with and honestly ask yourself "How have they been working for me so far?"
This is my, mostly, Personal Trainer musings and information which I hope you'll find helpful!