Have you ever looked around in the gym, sweat dripping off you, and peeked at someone else not putting in half the effort as you, yet wondered why they might look in better shape than you?
Hint; It’s the other 23 hours of their day where they’ve got the upper hand on you.
From years of being in and around gyms, fit and healthy people, and seeing tons of transformation successes, I’ve come to learn some of the daily habits of highly successful fit and lean people, and those that tend to get great results and are able to maintain them year round with ease.
What’s more is that often they haven’t been told to do these things, they haven’t even considered them, they just do them. It’s habits that they’ve formed through healthy mindset conditioning. Workplace mentality, home life, the people you surround yourself with daily, and your childhood upbringing are all to blame or even thank for your health and fitness habits. As a personal trainer it’s a huge part of my job to try tap in to my clients’ mindest, break unhealthy habits and help over time form new ones.
Here’s just a short list of the positive habits I see commonly with successful people. How many boxes do you tick?
1. They’re not sat down all day, they don’t have a sedentary job, or they do a lot of non- exercise physical activity (cleaning, gardening, walking, keeping active but not actually exercising with intent). Typically these people are fidgeters and always like to have something to do.
2. They enjoy cooking, and are creative in the kitchen. They’re healthy but never boring with their choices.
3. They wake up earlier than they need to so they can prepare properly for the day, have a proper breakfast, and plan the day ahead. Or they plan the night before.
4. They watch less TV, or spend less time in front of a screen than you do (this also can affect sleeping habits, so key for body composition).
5. They surround themselves with healthy, positive people. Habits good and bad are infectious.
6. They’re big action takers. If they want to achieve something they take action to find the right people to help them. Just like a business mentor, they seek someone that’s been there themselves, and is an expert in their field to help guide them.
7. They will employ a professional to help them, but they also read health and fitness articles, listen to podcasts etc. in a quest to want to learn more (p.s., this is my ideal client as it shows they really want to understand the process that they’re going through, and are willing to learn).
8. They understand that it’s not just about working out hard; it’s about working out smart!
9. They invest in their own health and fitness, rather than things that’ll depreciate over time (quicker than their bodies will)!
10. They eat lots of “real” food.
11. They eat when they’re hungry, and listen to what their body is telling them.
12. They see the bigger picture in why they’re exercising, and are patient. Lack of patience brings about poor choices, and less success in the long-term.
13. They don’t wait until they’re bored with their fitness routine, they constantly seek new challenges, find new programmes and set clear goals.
14. They often find workout buddies, gym partners, running clubs, and fitness communities to surround themselves with likeminded goal-driven people.
15. They know the difference between being “starving”, feeling “hungry” and just “craving” food.
16. They have emotional control over their food.
17. They find someone (or something) else to be accountable for their results, such as a Personal Trainer, or a workout programme. Or make themselves accountable by telling someone else what their goals are, such as a friend or family member.
18. They never skip a meal! Conversely, they may even intermittent fast on occasion.
19. They mostly eat at home, or prepare food to take with them to work.
20. They get enough sleep, but no more or less.
21. They eat lots of fruit and veggies.
22. They don’t care how they look whilst exercising.
23. They don’t drink their calories.
24. They plan meals for the day/week, and never find themselves having to grab something on the go. If they do then it’s an easy decision to know what, because they have a plan.
25. They eat lots of healthy fats, and don’t worry about their fat intake.
26. They care about their digestive health, often taking pro/prebiotics, eating fermented foods and having a diet high in fiber.
27. They wear a pedometer, or have one on their phone or watch.
28. Even if they only have 20 minutes spare, they never use that as an excuse not to get in their daily workout. 20 minutes is more than enough sometimes. You never regret doing a workout, you only ever regret skipping it!
29. They invest in an Apple watch, FitBit, Garmin, Jawbone, or other fitness tracker or App.
30. They focus on how great they feel after a workout, and remember that feeling the next time they are struggling to motivate themselves.
31. They don’t use soreness as an excuse not to exercise, in fact they never really have any excuses not to exercise. They always find a way.
32. They workout at home or outdoors if they can’t get to the gym. They see opportunity everywhere.
33. The don’t drink a lot of alcohol, if they do they know their go-to low calorie options.
34. They give themselves an 80/20 rule… 80% of the time sticking to good healthy eating habits whilst the other 20% enjoying a life of no restriction.
35. They never miss more than two days in a row of exercise.
36. They train their weaknesses as well as their strengths.
37. They sometimes train with their boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/colleague to mix things up a bit, have some fun, and offer each other some workout accountability.
38. They understand nutritional basics, what protein, carbs, and fats are, and what foods they can be found in.
39. They make friends around the gym, so the environment almost becomes like a second home, and an enjoyable experience.
40. They “do” something rather than just talk about it. They’re big action takers. If they set themselves goals they take action on them and take steps towards achieving them.
We could go on and on, and I’m sure you can recognise some habits that you see in others you wish you did yourself. Can you identify areas in your current lifestyle that could be holding you back from your fitness success? If so there’s no better time like the present to start making that change. Consider what areas you can improve on, have a plan or seek guidance, and take action to implement those changes.