Commitment and consistency are crucial variables in any fat loss program; this rarely comes as a secret. You must establish and maintain boundaries that will reflect your personalized fat loss needs, from portion control based on habitual tendencies to the redefinition of success to remain plan-oriented in times of temptation. Otherwise, your results will be equally off-balance (and possibly even nonexistent).

That said, it can be hard to come out of the gate with tight dietary restrictions — especially if you are working to break a long history of compulsive unhealthy eating. The idea of having no fallback option without consequence is intimidating, but when embraced, it can serve as an effective spurring force to remain on-plan; this is essentially the foundation of the “75 Hard” program I have followed in recent months, a plan contingent on mental toughness, dedication, and most importantly, compliance. Those following “75 Hard” must remain compliant with their physical and nutritional demands for 75 days, or they will risk having to start over at day 1 — a potentially devastating regression.

Compliance, in this sense, is key to achieving success in any fat loss program; it not only makes it harder — almost impossible — to fall off plan, it also significantly enhances one’s overall perception of what is working. The commitment control is so tight that, should a period of regression or stagnation occur, it will most likely indicate that the plan is the problem. This blend of heightened self-awareness and direct accountability makes the adaptation process more concrete; it eliminates time wasted on pinpointing the issue via trial and error. The sooner you know that commitment is not the issue, the quicker you can effectively troubleshoot your plan and adapt for the future.

One great way to interpret fat loss compliance is to view it as a science experiment. Once you know that you have a firm grasp on the experiment’s control variables, you will create a more linear path to adjustment when it is needed. If cheating is never even an option from the start, success will be all the more attainable; it just may take a few plan changes along the way.