3 Reasons You're Not Making Progress Toward Your Fitness Goals
Let me preface this with saying that I KNOW what it's like to be frustrated and fed up with fitness. I know what it's like to feel defeated and at wit's end. I've spent months, even years feeling stuck at different points in my fitness journey, but there are a few common things that got me back on the path to success, and that's what we're diving into today!
Yes, sometimes lack of progress CAN be attributed to factors that are temporarily out of our control, like a metabolic disease or crazy high stress levels, but aside from a couple outliers, we ARE in control of our results. It's all about controlling the controllables, and then just sticking it out and trusting the process.
Here are the top three reasons that you're not accomplishing your fitness goals:
1. You're lacking consistency
"Consistency is key"... As cliche as it sounds, it's TRUE. When it comes to losing fat, gaining muscle, increasing endurance, or any other health and fitness goal, consistency is the single most important thing! Remember, Rome wasn't build in a day, and neither is a healthy, fit body! Yes, a day of sticking to the plan IS great, but you've got to string lots and lots of successful days together in order to get some real results. Beyond the day to day, you also need to be consistent across each week. It's great if you can eat healthy all week long, but if you absolutely lose it on the weekend, you're probably going to just be spinning your wheels. Consistency across each day, week, and month is what is going to guarantee progress!
2. You're not quantifying things
People that want to save money and get out of debt are advised to create and maintain a budget right? Well, achieving a health and/or fitness goal is no different! There are a million different ways you can quantify your efforts and progress, but here are a few examples:
- # of days/week you want to ____ (lift weights, do cardio, practice yoga, stretch)
- # of inches you want to lose (amazing way to track fat loss without a scale)
- # of servings of fruits & veggies to eat per day (great for improving health)
- # of grams of protein/carbs/fats you eat per day (optimal for body composition changes ie fat loss or muscle gain)
- # of miles you plan to run or minutes of cardio per week (necessary if you want to build your endurance)
- # of pounds you lift during your workout (this should go up from week to week if you want to gain muscle)
Keeping track of your efforts and results is super helpful when it comes to staying accountable, too! When looking at the numbers from day to day or week to week, you can spot trends and pinpoint where you are or aren't making progress, and adjust the plan as needed.
3. You're stressed out
Whether it's a deadline at work, tension in your relationship, or being hyper-focused on your fitness routine, excessive stress is huge progress killer. You see, mental, emotional, or physical stress triggers your body to release Cortisol. While some Cortisol is normal and necessary, an excess of it will put a screeching halt on your health and fitness goals by making it harder to lose fat, weakening your immune system, hindering digestion, and elevating your risk for a wide range of serious health issues.
While all of that sounds scary, the great news is that stress is something that can absolutely be managed as long as you are diligent! Some great ways to manage stress are:
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Engaging in self-care, such as taking a bath, reading, or taking a nap
- Going for walks
- Engaging in physical activity
- Practicing breath work
- Talking about your stressors with a loved one
- Eating healthy foods that you digest well and give you good energy
By identifying and managing your stress, your body and mind will both be in a much better position to progress in the ways that you want!
Long story short, getting results isn't as complicated as we make it sometimes. It all comes down to formulating a plan, controlling what you're able to, and managing our daily stressors so that our bodies can do their thing! If you're doing all of those and still not seeing results, then that just means that it's time to adjust the plan.
Sending you love and good health!