By Tommy B.
You’re hitting the gym, shifting your nutrition habits, and feel like you should be further along than you are.
It’s time…you’ve told yourself and taken some actions to start moving towards the fitness goals you not only want, but also feel you deserve and have been longing for.
That’s great and you should celebrate the win of taking action because most people don’t.
However, it’s possible you haven’t seen the results you’d hoped for or maybe you’ve hit a big time plateau where you’re doing the same things that got you the initial surge but now it seems you’re totally stagnant and feeling frustrated.
It happens…and many times training harder or cutting more calories isn’t the answer.
We’re going to address 7 reasons why you’re not getting fit, have plateaued or feel stuck with your fitness and the exact ways to breakthrough them and keep moving forward.
Let’s get rolling.
#1: YOU DO GREAT DURING THE WEEK, THEN BLOW IT ON THE WEEKENDS
Here’s a common thread that occurs all the time:
Someone has a fantastic week as part of his or her routine; nutrition, hydration and fitness are all going great and then Thursday night hits with a social event.
That starts a cascade of alcohol-fuel decisions, which turns into the weekend and a 3-day complete derailment of the awesome work they’d done during the week.
Why is this a problem?
Well, 3 out of 7 days is 42% of the week – which can completely reverse the momentum they had created.
Additionally, it takes our bodies a few days to recover and recalibrate back to normal – so our fat burning processes may not even be back to full force by the following Tuesday or Wednesday, only for the cycle to be repeated again.
Ben Greenfield of Greenfield Fitness, details the side effects of drinking alcohol on our body and appetite in “How Alcohol Makes You Fat.”
This doesn’t mean you can’t live your life – but do it in a conscious way and remember that taking control of your next meal can minimize even one really bad night.
ACTION STEP: Aim for 80% compliance throughout your week to find the sweet spot of results while having a fun lifestyle and doing the things you love.
#2: YOU’RE IN WAY TOO MUCH OF A CALORIC DEFICIT
Ahhhh, we see this all the time – this person is cutting calories all the time with the goal of finally losing those last 12 pounds.
They are almost starving yet they’ve hit a plateau that hasn’t budged in a while – leaving them to cut an extra 250 or 300 calories per day.
This actually has a complete reverse effect …and they’ve hit the starvation zone.
Here’s the deal: cutting more calories isn’t always the answer and in fact can be the biggest hindrance to achieving the next level of results.
Our bodies are evolutionary mechanisms desired to keep us alive – that’s what they are designed to do 24/7.
When you’re always in a large caloric deficit you’ll undoubtedly have low energy, vitality and feel sluggish.
Beyond that, when your body is in this starvation mode, it will halt its body fat burning processes because it’s worried about how much food it’s going to have and wants to keep its reserves, because, you know – evolution.
Although sounding very counterintuitive, eating more can re-ignite this process and remember the golden rule below.
Precision Nutrition, one of the leading nutrition coaches authorities, talks about rapid, starvation mode dieting by saying “lose weight quickly while nearly starving, only to gain most of it back (or more) and feel hungrier than when you started.”
ACTION STEP: Calculate your BMR — as a starting point, for Men, multiply your bodyweight x 11 to get your BMR, for Women, multiply x 10 to get your BMR. BMR is the number required to keep you alive and maintain (without physical activity).
#3: YOU’RE WINGING EVERYTHING
One of the biggest culprits is the fact that you’re simply winging it.
You’ve done it before and it worked, so why not again? This means you don’t plan your workouts or nutrition; you go by feel and what’s around.
Although this can be a ton of fun because it exposes you to a bunch of different fitness activities such as yoga, running, functional fitness, gym training, boxing, etc. – it leaves you completely scattered.
Since you’re not planning and scheduling your workouts, life often gets “in the way” and you skip sessions.
Sure, it sounds boring and mechanical to plan things – but as we know, if you fail to plan, plan to fail.
ACTION STEP: Plan your upcoming workouts a week in advance. Schedule the day/time and the activity you are doing and don’t let anything interfere with it on your calendar.
#4: YOUR TRAVEL RESEMBLES SPRING BREAK
Similar to the prior reason, a lot of us spend a good amount of time traveling.
This can be business, pleasure, vacations, seminars and everything in between – time spent on planes, cars, trains and more.
One of the biggest factors of success with staying on track during travel is one word:
If we don’t have healthy food available and we’re starving – we’re going to eat whatever we can which means junk food, processed food, and anything in between.
It’s also quite common to just “go with the flow” during travel and eat completely different than normal, skip workouts and come home exhausted and jetlagged.
Being prepared while traveling by prepping food for the flight, scoping out restaurants that taste amazing and are healthy, bringing a travel bag designed specifically for this reason and using fitness to enhance your experience is an amazing way to stay on track.
ACTION STEP: Shop our fitness travel bags designed for you to keep your active lifestyle organized on the road.
#5: LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY, THE “SECRET” SAUCE OF RESULTS
Without a doubt, the secret to long-term results in almost every area of life is the power of accountability.
Accountability is the power of having to report back to someone – it could be a workout partner, a coach, trainer or online fitness community.
Think about a time where you had a long, exhausting day – you were running around, never had a moment to stop and remember you had a dinner with an old friend who was in your city that night.
Deep down, you didn’t want to go…you much rather completely rest and relax after your day.
But you ended up showing up anyway, meeting up with your friend, catching up on old, amazing times and feeling amazing by the end of your night.
This simple dinner example highlights the power of accountability: having someone else you have to show up or report to that forces you to take action where if it was just you, you wouldn’t.
Here’s the deal: everyone thrives on accountability and it’s truly an essential part of any program, any time.
Craig Ballantyne from Early To Rise, has accountability in his 5 pillars of transformation, stating, “you need to check-in with someone each day and admit what you did wrong, and boast about what you did right.”
ACTION STEP: Find at least 1-2 ways to be accountable…maybe you join a nutrition challenge offered by a local gym or decide that every Saturday you meet your friends for a hike. Whatever it is, stay consistent with it.
#6: YOU NEVER USE YOUR FITNESS IN THE REAL WORLD
Unless you absolutely love the gym (and most people don’t), it’s crucial for you to try new activities and ways of testing your fitness.
This could be taking a rock climbing class, doing a short sprint triathlon or anything in between.
What this will do is reinforce the importance of leaving your comfort zone and excite you to keep pushing the envelope with your fitness, understanding that looking great is awesome but so is the ability to experience life and new things.
ACTION STEP: Pick one new activity every month that you’re going to try – rock climbing, stand up paddle boarding, surfing – you name it. You can also sign up for an event to fuel your intensity and consistency.
#7: YOU HAVEN’T BECOME HOOKED TO FEELING GREAT
The last reason is simple and it comes down to awareness: many people have built a set of habits and rituals in regards to their health, fitness and body that are not maximizing the way they feel on a daily basis.
Plain and simple: you haven’t gotten hooked on feeling awesome.
Let’s be honest…life is better when you dedicate time to your fitness, body and health.
It makes your relationships better, your confidence, the way you walk into a room and your mental and physical confidence to complete a task you’d like to do.
ACTION STEP: Be aware of how you feel on a daily basis and create small changes to your routine to start feeling better.
It’s very likely that one, two, or even more of the reasons above are currently holding you back from breaking through that next level of fitness.
And now you know, which means you have the power to change them.
Remember: start small and simple, be consistent with the changes, and find a system to track your progress to know if something is working or not.
We’d love to hear from you: Which of the above are you going to implement? Post to comments.