Yes, is the simple and very emphatic answer. They do. Those who stay the course and achieve what they set out to do with regards to their own health display specific characteristics and fit into certain trends.
And here they are.
They have a flexible mindset. This means that – instead of seeing things or thinking of things in black and white – they see shades of grey. They have the ability to say ‘no’ to stuff that doesn’t align with their goals. Of course, saying ‘no’ to everything all the time won’t work all year round. However, we still have to say ‘no’ to things in plenty of situations.
They have a balance of patience and a desire for progress. For example, they don’t stress about short-term weight fluctuations.
Picture this scenario: you’ve been on track for weeks, you’ve been working hard, but today you climb on the scale and you are up by 1kg (or 2.2lbs). How can this be?
Let’s put this into perspective. Firstly, 4.5 litres of water (or 1 gallon) can weigh up to 3.6kgs, or 8lbs. The average person consumes up to 1.8kgs (or 4lbs) of food each day. Going to the bathroom can release 0.5 to 1kg (1 to 2lbs). Your weight is going to fluctuate 24/7, just by going about your day-to-day life. When you start to get some physical activity in, your weight may even increase at the beginning because muscle weighs more than fat.
This is why, before you get discouraged and give up, it is important to remember: weight is a fickle number. There are better ways to measure your progress. You will make tons of progress when you stop focusing on things that don’t matter (like constantly trying to measure progress by weight) and committing to staying consistent. Let the weight take care of itself.
When they have to (or choose to) eat off-plan, they usually return to eating on plan at the next available opportunity. It doesn’t derail them for days or weeks at a time. Want that Oreo? Have that Oreo. Eat that holiday lunch out with family. Does that mean you have failed? No. Simply return to your plan, and let it go.
Their environment contributes to their success. They are less likely to be in positions or situations of high stress and low sleep. Even when these situations arise – and they do and will – these people know how to effectively and practically manage their day-to-day stress. They are also less likely to be surrounded by high-calorie foods at home and work and – if they are – they are better able to manage their choices.
These people will also often go into an approach or change with an open-minded belief that it can work well for them. It’s hard to buy into an approach and implement it if you don’t believe it will work.
Their weekend intake often does not look dramatically different to their weekday input. Yes, it may look a little different, just less different than the average person.
Finally, they have a desire for growth and learning. They often want to know why we, as nutritionists, are doing what we are doing. They are interested in the process and how it works, functionally and practically.
So, yes: there are trends. And these are well-worth implementing into your daily health activities.