You're exercising regularly, making an effort to push hard at the gym, and focusing on good nutrition. You are putting all of this effort into getting fit and strong, but see no improvements, and you can't seem to reach your fitness goals.
This has all happened to us at one time or another. We dedicate our time to making healthy efforts, only to be disappointed with a lack of results.
First off, just because you don't see physical improvements does not mean that your body isn't progressing. And anyone part of the Stef Health Tips community does not use the word, "quit" in their vocabulary!
If you are working hard and not seeing the results you anticipated, there are a few common fitness saboteurs that may be holding you back. Here are five of the most frequent saboteurs that I notice in my clients, and a few ways to combat them.
1. Unrealistic Expectations
Progress takes time, effort, and dedication. It can be frustrating when you feel like you are making big changes, but don't see results as fast as you want them to appear. Set realistic goals, pace yourself, and don't lose your motivation two weeks in. Think about how long it took you to gain the weight, or how many years you have avoided exercise; you can't just undo those habits in a weeks time. Be patient, stay the course, and set small, manageable goals throughout your journey.
I am guilty of overtraining at many times in my life. I used to think that working out 7 days a week was key to getting strong and fit. I soon realized that by the time Monday rolled around, I was exhausted at the gym and couldn't focus; my workouts suffered, and I consequently couldn't complete an effective workout or be alert in the rest of my daily activities. I now implement one rest day per week to help my body rest and recover. Not only does this help recharge and reboot my body, but I am also able to hit the next week with vigor and purpose.
3. Improper Nutrition
I always say that health is 20% fitness, 80% nutrition. That hot body of yours is going to be made in the kitchen. I've seen improper nutrition go two ways with my clients; some people don't eat enough food because they think eating "well" means eating less. Additionally, they won't eat after a workout, which is a big mistake, as 30 minutes after a workout is the essential time to refuel and help repair the muscles. The second problem I see is that some people eat too much; they think that exercising allows them to eat whatever they want. Finding the perfect balance between exercise and nutrition is key, and working with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist to come up with an optimal eating plan for your goals is important.
4. Vague Goals
Going off of unrealistic expectations, saying you want to "lose weight" is vague and not specific. How much weight do you want to lose? Over how long of a period of time do you want to lose this weight? Why do you want to lose weight? How will losing weight make you feel? These are all practical questions to answer and consider before embarking on your fitness endeavors.
5. Failure To Deal With The Unexpected
Subways get delayed, the weather doesn't always cooperate, and emergency work meetings might come up last minute. Don't let the unexpected derail your healthy habits. You need to be resilient, and take each experience as it comes. Be flexible with your plans, and learn to modify them accordingly.