10/08/2015 06:27 BST | Updated 08/08/2016 06:59 BST

Weight Loss, Accountability, and the Best Use of Twitter I Ever Saw

I heard a little while ago of a trainer in West London who would begin by giving his clients a stack of blank business cards. They would write the name of a loved-one on one side and on the other they would write a personal promise of exactly what the weight loss goal was, and when it would be achieved.

These cards were then delivered. To the client's partner, to their best friends, to their parents, to their children, and to their boss.

Sounds scary right? Imagine giving that card to your boss.

But that's why something like this can be so effective. Do you think those clients stuck to their exercise and nutrition after those cards were delivered? Do you think they made sure they delivered on their promise to the people they cared about most in the world? I do.

Once you give those cards out you really have to make it work - there are no more excuses. This is the kind of motivation you can leverage to achieve your health and fitness goals.

People fail in their weight loss for only one reason

The reason is that staying the same is more desirable than making the change. There are a thousand causes for this, but in the end it always comes down choosing similarity over change.

A big part of my job as a personal trainer in Fulham is to show people why succeeding is worth it. I have to show people how much they'll gain by making that change, and how much they'll lose by not making it.

This makes creating the change more desirable than staying the same, and this motivates real and consistent action.

Utilising accountability is a fantastic way of doing this, of creating intense motivation that leads to action. And it doesn't require anything as fancy as a personal trainer.

How to use accountability to make your weight loss easier

The goal is to make not doing it more painful than doing it, so you make the change. Accountability is a direct and effective way to do this.

Choose some people you love and respect, tell them exactly what your goals are, what you're going to do, why you're doing it, and what you expect to have achieved in a specific timeframe. You tell them how much this means to you, and how committed you are to making this happen.

You're creating a situation where it's much harder to fail than to succeed. Can you imagine how it will feel to let all those people down?

It's unthinkable, so you'll do what it takes to make sure that doesn't happen.

The best use of twitter I ever saw

Social media is great for tool for creating accountability. Everyone is so up in your business that you can make a public commitment and be motivated to stick with it.

A client of mine used Twitter to do exactly this. He set out his goals, he told everyone what he was going to do, and then he posted regular photo updates to show how he was getting on.

That's accountability. He had different exercise goals, but for me this is a fantastic use of Twitter as a motivation tool. I'll take that over pictures of fitness models any day.

If you're interested in seeing how he did it you can find his profile at @trainedbynath

This takes courage

It's hard to put yourself out there like I'm suggesting. The consequences of failure are bad.

But that intensity of emotion is exactly what you can tap into to achieve your goals. That's exactly the intensity that gives you the energy to bust through whatever has been holding you back.

Be brave. Put yourself out there. Tell people who you are and what you're going to do. Then do it.


You can find Nathan on Twitter and Facebook.

Or visit his website at West London Personal Trainer.