All Or Nothing – A Surefire Way to Fail

Let’s talk all or nothing.  Does this describe you:

“I’m hyper-motivated and I set out on this amazing plan to lose a bunch of weight by exercising every day and doing intermittent fasting.  I made it 4 days and messed up… why do I even try?  I can’t even make it a week!”

I am not saying that doing a weight loss challenge doesn’t have inherent value.  What I am saying is that challenges are not a way to live; strict keto is not likely to last a lifetime; adding running to your routine every single day [when you don’t already run] could be a recipe for disaster.

If you are looking for a way to be heavier than when you started this journey then go all or nothing.  If you want a better way, read on…

But I Already Know

But do you?  Do you really?

A lot of people logically understand they should give themselves a bit of grace when it comes to taking weight loss steps.  Those same people are the ones we inevitably hear say, “I can’t do [insert all or nothing phrase here].”

Examples could be:

  • “I’m not drinking alcohol anymore”
  • “I will work out 6 days per week”
  • “No more eating before bed.  Period”
  • The list goes on…

To the logical part of your brain this makes sense.  Doing anything in an all or nothing fashion will absolutely fail.  Actually, let me build context:  doing anything in an all or nothing fashion for long term and lifestyle will absolutely fail.  This makes sense as we’ve all experienced a stressful day combined with lack of planning.

The result?

Binge eating and a simultaneous “f*ck it” to driving to the gym.

How Can I Be Successful?

“One good meal won’t make you just like one bad meal won’t break you.”

I’m sure this is a saying somewhere and I’m also certain I got it wrong.  Aaaaaaaaanyway…

What has allowed our clients to have success is giving themselves both room and grace to make mistakes.  As long-term and consistent habits are the key to making a change like this, giving yourself a wee bit of wiggle room can go a long way to keeping you on track.

I’m a fan of the 80/20 rule when applied to these scenarios:

  • Instead of, “I’m not drinking alcohol anymore,”  we might go with “I’m not drinking alcohol during the week”
  • Instead of, “I will work out 6 days per week,” we might go with “I will work out more than 12 times per month”
  • Instead of, “No more eating before bed,” we might go with “No more eating before bed 3 days of the week”

What about treating it as a math problem?  For example:


3 meals per day x 7 days = 21 meals during the week

80% of 21 meals = 16.8 meals (round up to 17)

21 meals – 17 meals = 4 meals


What this translates to is 4 meals during the week can be used for what you want:  poor planning, going out and having a bit of fun with your friends, or a “whoopsie” meal.

Adjust based on where you are at and where you want to be.

Be Kind To You

All or nothing thinking is going to get you into trouble on a long enough timeline.  I challenge you to set a percentage-based [and actionable] set of goals and habits.  You will not only see the physical changes you’re looking for, but you’ll notice a much better headspace when it comes to accomplishing things as well!

Looking for a lifeline from someone who’s been there and done that?  Head HERE and set up a conversation with one of our amazing trainers.  We will lay out a plan for you to be successful!

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