If you have been following The Fit Collective, you would know that I am all about making health and fitness a lifestyle rather than a short term 'challenge' which you need to continuously motivate yourself to re-start every 4,6,8,12 weeks. Challenges can be great to get that kickstart, to establish some healthy habits and to educate yourself on approaches and strategies that may work for you. The key however, is that this kickstart will leave you with a plan to continue your training, your nutrition and your mindset long after the initial 'challenge.'
A strong foundation will take time, persistence and will require challenges to be overcome, it won't necessarily be easy but that resilience that is built will transfer to other areas of your life. Your health and fitness is so much more than the reflection you see in the mirror, and let's face it, our perception is not always the best reflection of what is really in front of us. Going beyond the aesthetics, what about our insides? If you or your client is restricting caloric intake too low (and literally I see this ALOT, women eating as little 1200 calories) this has negative impacts on our bodily functions, brain functioning and our mental health.
Caloric restriction is required to lose body fat however, far too many men and women jump straight into creating a deficit before they have even considered; their current mental health, sleeping patterns, hydration, macro and micro nutrient intakes, type of physical activity (including effort level). These factors should always be addressed before creating a caloric deficit as these small changes can make a world of difference to your body composition and mental health.
Developing a healthy and sustainable approach to your fitness, mental health and nutrition is going to have benefits that go way beyond any short term approach. The reason I am so passionate about staying away from challenges that don't promote long term sustainable approaches is because if you can't adhere to a plan, or you hate the plan it is going to be utterly useless for your health at some point.
So take your time, choose an approach that promotes strong bodies, performance increases, healthy minds, creates challenges, empowers you, it won't all be roses but it'll be worth it long term - do it for your health not the reflection in the mirror.