How do you define consistency with healthy eating?
High-achieving women often equate consistency with perfection, believing that to consistently eat healthy and lose weight, they must never make mistakes with food.
However, this definition of consistency isn’t sustainable for long-term success. It will only create unnecessary pressure and inevitable burnout with healthy eating.
To create long-term results, you must redefine consistency in a way that accounts for human error and long-term success.
In this episode, I’m offering a definition of consistency that will serve your long-term healthy eating and weight loss goals. I’m also sharing what healthy eating persona allows you to be truly consistent with healthy eating long-term in a useful and effective manner.
Hello my friends. Welcome back to the podcast this week. As always, I hope you are having the best week so far, and I think it’s about time we did an episode on consistency. It’s so interesting. I was thinking about what I wanted to talk about this week and I could have sworn I devoted an episode to consistency already and I was so surprised to see that I hadn’t because this concept of being consistent and what that means in terms of healthy eating is something I have coached women on for years.
It’s something that comes up so much with all of you. And so I am so very happy and excited to offer you this resource in today’s episode. And what I want to do is I just wanna have an open dialogue about how as high achieving women, we tend to define consistency in a very specific way and how oftentimes it’s not serving us whatsoever when it comes to our healthy eating goals.
And so I want to talk about that and then I also want to offer you a different perspective on how you can define consistency now. And so we’re going to talk about all of that, but first I really want us to think about how we define consistency, and I invite you to ask yourself how you define consistency now, how do you see being consistent? What does that specifically mean for you personally? And really what do you expect from yourself when you think about consistency with healthy eating?
Be as specific as you can because how most of you will define consistency is never missing a day of healthy eating. So it’s perfection. And this can be really daunting. I always say if you think about the concept of consistency with food and it brings up feelings of pressure, then we can know that you are not defining consistency in a way that serves you.
And this is due to a combination of hustle culture and the diet industry why we define consistency with food in this way. That’s what we learn to expect from ourselves. And what happens is it leaves us very little room to succeed at our goals and be a human being in the process of that, which is why we will work so hard and have these high standards for ourselves when we try and change the way we eat.
And then it feels like it all comes crashing down when we expose our true imperfect selves. And the reality is we need to expect ourselves to be imperfect because we are human, which just means that we need to redefine what consistency is to us. In this episode, you’re going to reframe consistency so you can effectively succeed at your healthy eating goals because at the end of the day, there’s no way out of being a human, my friends, I hate to be the bearer of bad news.
You are an imperfect human, which means you’re going to need to adjust your expectations as to what consistency with healthy eating is to you. Because consistency is not getting a grade of a hundred percent with your healthy eating actions despite what every weight loss protocol has taught you or diet plan has taught you, that’s not what can possibly be expected. This will never happen long-term. You’re never going to be able to indefinitely get an a plus with your eating habits.
This is one of the big lies of the diet industry. What happens is we are sold this definition of what consistency with healthy eating is, as if that’s what’s going to make us successful with long-term weight loss. So we’re taught just take these healthy eating actions perfectly, just eat this way indefinitely and you will lose weight and keep it off. That would work if perfection worked.
But we are imperfect humans with emotions with all of the circumstances in our lives. We’re not going to follow a diet plan every time, which means you are then left unequipped with what to do when you aren’t following a food plan or you aren’t following a diet plan. Where we get stuck is as high achieving women. So many of us can actually struggle with this the most because we have this lingering belief system that we are capable of being perfect.
This is why women like us so readily will gravitate towards diet protocols and plans because we have it in our head that we are more capable and most capable of being perfect at something long-term. And so this is kind of a belief system we really want to unlearn is we will never achieve perfection with anything long term. And if anything is being sold to you as that perfection with that thing is necessary to achieve those results, then it’s not going to be sustainable.
And this is why my clients and own your eating habits do not rely on a food protocol or plan to eat healthy or lose weight. So we do things very differently. It’s just not an effective approach long-term if you want lifelong results because if you learn how to lose weight with a plan, there’s absolutely nothing morally wrong with that. But if you lose weight with a plan, you’re not going to know how to maintain the weight without that plan. You’re going to rely on it.
Will not know what to do if that plan falls through or you stop following the plan. So if you go out to eat unexpectedly, if you don’t order what you originally planned for, if you don’t prep your meals, you’re going to be left without skills that support you. So my clients learn to eat healthy without things that are time, energy, or planning dependent. So they learn how to make adaptable healthy eating decisions at any moment and at any time without a plan being required.
This occurs when they learn to regulate their stress so they don’t eat emotionally. They learn to listen to their body and make very deliberate food decisions in a moment. And why I’m telling you this is I want you to know that even with this approach, they do not execute it perfectly and it’s not necessary for them to create the results they want.
They have moments where as they’re moving through their progress, they emotionally eat and only realize it after the fact they eat past fullness and then realize that their body is stuffed. That is all part of the learning process. But why they’re still able to create results even with moments like this is they no longer define consistency as perfection with a food protocol or diet plan. So they redefine what consistency really is with healthy eating and it’s in a way that more partners with naturally healthy eating.
So here’s how you can think about that here today, and this is similar to what my clients learn. Consistency does create results, but consistency isn’t getting it right a hundred percent of the time. It’s not taking the perfect actions and having the perfect result a hundred percent of the time. Consistency is implementation. It’s the process of creating results in an imperfect way.
So it’s being consistent in showing up with the best intentions to eat healthy, following through as best as you can, and then evaluating what setbacks occurred objectively so you can take that data and move forward with new decisions that you’re going to make. It’s not just taking the right actions and meeting your goals, that implies perfection. What consistency actually entails is the process of making decisions, taking action on those decisions with the best intentions, then neutrally and honestly evaluating what you can do better next time.
So you do not quit making progress because you didn’t do it perfectly. You don’t stop going in with the best intentions to take action because you fell off track. Most of you aren’t being consistent because you’re mis defining consistency as needing to be perfect in your execution. That’s not what consistency is. The good news is you always have the ability to be consistent because the stakes aren’t that high.
Being consistent is consistently making that decision each day to show up to the eating habits you want the weight loss you want knowing you are for sure going to miss the mark at times because that’s part of the process, but you still commit to remaining consistent in showing up to your goals. And I really want you to think about this because this is such a specific difference. What would change if you redefined consistency this way? Really?
So if you stopped believing that consistency meant that the actions and results always needed to be the same, that they always needed to look a certain way, what if you gave yourself unconditional permission to equate consistency with just showing up with the best intentions? This might be vulnerable because what this means is you’re going to need to accept that you are not a perfect human and you will never be with some things.
As high achieving women especially, we really can convince ourselves that we can be perfect, but in the things that you see yourself being perfect in those things are all short-term and they have nothing to do with food. You are an eater for life. You have a body for life and it’s not going to look perfect all of the time. So to eat healthy naturally, you’re going to need to be willing to experiment with what works for you and your body and what doesn’t. It is not a process that can possibly be perfect.
So you’re going to need to adjust your expectations in terms of what consistency is. And this does not mean you are sacrificing the results you want with your body, with food or with weight loss. It’s actually the opposite. What you’ll do is you’ll open yourself up to the path of least resistance because you’re lowering the pressure to show up and just take action in the best way that you know how you have the ability to be consistent with healthy eating.
Now, nothing can stop you because consistency is not perfection, it’s showing up. Another way to be consistent is not just showing up, but it’s who you show up as when you make healthy eating decisions. So let me explain. I’m going to offer you three identities here that I often like to use with my clients and you may have heard me reference them a time or two on this podcast. So I want you to consider three identities that you can have as someone who wants to implement healthy eating.
You can identify as a drill sergeant, a struggler, or a scientist, and I’m going to walk you through all three. Then explain how you can fit the concept of consistency into this. So the main difference between these three identities is that they all go into healthy eating with different intentions. So different reasons for taking actions, different emotional fuel.
The drill sergeant identifies as someone who has a high standard for themselves, someone who expects perfection and someone who really isn’t comfortable missing the mark . I’m side eyeing all of you listening right now. This is the persona a lot of us can adopt as high achieving women. I know that a part of my brain identifies as this too. It’s not a problem, but we really want to be aware of it. What fuels healthy eating actions from this persona? The drill sergeant is pressure.
It’s thoughts like I need to do this right or this should be easy or this shouldn’t be a problem for me. It’s pressure, it’s exhausting. It will burn you out. And then once we’ve depleted our emotional fuel from this pressure, this drill sergeant, we tend to go to the other end of the spectrum, which is the struggler identity. So the struggler identifies as someone who has a really hard time eating healthy.
They see themselves as someone who doesn’t have control, who can’t be trusted. It’s very disempowering. When you have failed to meet the mark from that drill sergeant persona, you’re gonna fall over to the struggler persona and it kind of feels like a lot of self-pity. This tends to fuel unhealthy eating decisions from shame, helplessness, anything disempowering. So this is when we’ll act as such and we’ll provide more evidence that we are someone who struggles so we’ll emotionally, eat, overeat, and just generally opt out of our growth completely.
Then there’s where your success will live, which is in the middle. So this is the identity of the scientist and this is someone who sees themselves as the creator of their results. They take that responsibility from not a pressured place but from an empowered place. And most importantly, they do not expect perfection. Logically, they see creating their results as an experiment that they must partake in through trial and error.
And this is long-term healthy eating and weight loss. My friends, this is it. When clients join own your eating habits, they adopt this persona of being a scientist and that is the journey they go on, they gain a process, they learn how to create the result through trial and error, and then they are able to adopt this persona of being a scientist of their own eating habits. That is how they create their results. But why I’m sharing this is I want you to think about how each of these personas defines consistency.
And what’s interesting is we can picture here that the drill sergeant and the struggler define consistency as that perfection. So the drill sergeant expects perfection with healthy eating. So it pressures itself through willpower and then when that willpower runs out and they fail, the struggler just gives up. But the expectations of consistency are the same for both.
These two identities just fluctuate back and forth and are tied together. It’s really representative of a dieting cycle. The scientist on the other hand, thinks about consistency with healthy eating differently. And I want you to think about this. When you’re identifying as a scientist who creates a result through trial and error, how would you define consistency? How would you personally picture it? It would be in showing up and conducting the experiments.
It would be consistently looking for what works, what doesn’t. Then moving forward with the experiment at the most efficient pace, this is the difference. So there is consistency as a drill sergeant or struggler with healthy eating where you will see it as perfection with your actions and your results as if there are right or wrong actions to take. And this is when you will gravitate towards more rigid methods with weight loss, then there is consistency as the scientist.
And this is how naturally healthy eaters identify. You see consistency as the willingness to keep showing up and conducting the experiment. So you don’t wait for someone to tell you what to do. You don’t need handholding. You are the one who will create the result and you are curious and fascinated by the process of doing so. Now here’s the thing. We are all humans with a human brain and you’re going to have access to all three of these identities, which sounds a bit weird, but these are all just different manners of thinking that we can have.
One places you on a pedestal, the drill sergeant, where you expect perfection from yourself. Another beats you down when you fail, which is the struggler where you wonder what’s wrong with you. And then that middle, what it does is it neutralizes the experience of you eating healthy and losing weight.
So the scientist isn’t even considering how capable they are or where they should be. There’s no ego involved at all. They are simply a scientist who’s conducting that experiment. And what I’m getting to here is not only is useful consistency showing up, but it’s also being consistent with who you decide to show up as. The goal is for you to consistently as best as you can, show up as that scientist of your weight loss progress, where you’re not interested in getting a hundred percent of your actions right?
You’re not trying to be that perfect student, you’re just focused on creating the result through trial and error. Consistency is being consistent with that persona. So you can implement hypothesize solutions, measure the outcome, and repeat that cycle. It’s repeating that process. It’s not getting a hundred percent. You will always be creating your weight loss result in your life and that never finishes.
There is no finish line to this work. You can achieve permanent weight loss, but that’s only achieved when you’re living naturally in a way that is consistently creating the weight loss result you want. It’s reaching that equilibrium with your eating habits and body, which means the persona you adopt to create, it needs to be a livable experience for you. And this is why we teach our clients to become naturally healthy eaters, which essentially means just changing what you eat is not enough to create this result for life.
You need to change your identity with food. Changing your relationship to consistency is such a foundational way to approach healthy eating completely differently in your life. This is one of the best places you can start. So I really, really offer for you to think about your definition of consistency. What would happen if you changed that perspective of consistency in the ways I offered you today, and where would you be a year from now if you began doing that right now?
That is something I would love for you to consider. And if you want to master the skills of naturally healthy eating, I invite you to join me inside Own your eating habits. It is the best program to master those skills. You’re going to implement the exact process to do so and receive the coaching you need to take you from where you are now to the eating habits you wanna have. Alright, my friends, I hope this was massively helpful to you. Thank you as always for being here and I’ll talk to you next week.
Hey there! I'm Kat Rentas. I’m a certified life and health coach for women who believes that eating healthy should feel simple and sustainable. I teach hundreds of high-performing women to change their eating habits without the overwhelm. Want to change your eating habits in a way that is aligned with your needs, preferences, and goals? You’re in the right place. You can read my full story here.