In recent conversations with clients about their health and fitness goals and the best ways to achieve them, I’ve noticed there seems to be a major disconnect between what many of our clients want and what they truly need to do to achieve that goal.

Most of the clients we see on a regular basis have the goal of losing fat and building muscle. This doesn’t seem too much to ask for – on the surface.

The first thing you need to do to start losing fat is to eat better. You need to gain more control of not only what you eat and drink but also how much you eat and drink at each meal, and developing a simple plan that you can actually follow on a consistent basis in regards to consumption will lead to a much healthier you.

Second, if you want to build muscle and accelerate the fat loss process (along with many other health benefits), you have to add in some level of strength training. I made sure to state that these are the clients that we “see on a regular basis” because that is one of the biggest steps to achieving those goals. You have to create a level of consistency with strength training and getting to the gym. You want it to become so routine in your everyday life that you do it without even thinking about it – like brushing your teeth, it’s something you don’t ever think about NOT doing.

Unfortunately, reading these paragraphs is much easier than actually creating the behaviors that are needed to be successful. Many of us start out on the right path but somewhere along the way we get discouraged with our results (or lack thereof) and make changes to what was already a pretty simple plan. The problem is, once we decide that the original plan is not working, we go back to what we did in the past. But if that had worked, then you would never have strayed from that plan in the first place…right?

The solution is not to add more to your routine until you are so consistent with your strength training and consumption that adding something else doesn’t take away from the basics. In short, you need your basics to be concrete before adding to them. Then, you can add in cardio, yoga, Pilates or anything else.

To reach your goals, it’s all about getting back to the basics: eating and drinking well and working out on a regular basis, including strength training. It’s simple, but takes a commitment – but you’re worth it!

Anthony Wilkins writes a monthly blog for  Alloy. He is co-owner and operator of Alloy Personal Training for Women in Suwanee, GA.