Below are 12 reasons that I have found through research, study and observation of why most people struggle to get in shape. If you put 3 or 4 of these ideas into action, I believe you would see noticeable results. If you put all of them into play, your success would be almost certain.
Not only would you get in better shape, but your overall health would improve. Most of these ideas apply to everyone, not just someone trying to get in better shape. Childhood obesity is on the rise and if our children followed simple principles like these, we could virtually put an end to it.
You don't have a solid nutrition plan:
It is very important to follow a plan that works and that is normal and attainable by you. Not a "diet" in the quick fix sense of the word, but a sound nutrition plan. Whether that's just eating healthy and cutting out junk or following a designed plan. Make sure you get enough fruits and vegetables and not too much dairy. Try not to drink national brand coffee drinks Do your best to limit your processed foods. Always be prepared with healthy snacks like nuts, seeds, and fruit. Everyone wants a muscle building nutrition plan, find one that fits you.
You aren't monitoring what you are eating:
Should I count calories or just eat healthy? Very important to monitor so that you know what you are eating and where your problem areas lie. You might notice that you are eating too much refined sugar every morning with coffee. Or that you aren't getting enough vegetables. However, always keep eating healthy at the forefront of your mind so that you get better at making good food choices.
I found out that I wasn't getting enough calories to sustain my activity level. You may find out that not only are you not getting enough of a certain nutrient, but that you are overeating due to some hidden food items that you didn't always account for such as snacks and high calorie drinks.
You skip too many workouts.
Must be consistent so that you don't set yourself up for a setback. The more you do something and the more momentum you build up, the more likely you will be to having success by not letting anything get in your way. It is important to stay consistent so that you can increase your work load as you progress. This can not happen if you skip workouts. If you've missed a workout here and there, just work to become more consistent.
You don't get enough rest:
Some people can't get enough sleep. That's me sometimes also. We still need at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Rest is a very important component to health and fitness. Muscle recovery time after workout is increased with more rest.
You aren't eating 5-6 small meals throughout the day:
If you spread your meals out throughout the day, you are less likely to get hungry and overeat. This will keep your metabolism working and it is easier to get a more varied spectrum of foods throughout the day. Plan ahead. Find your ideal meal prep plan for weight loss. Meal prep is about being ready with good food so you don't have to drive thru to get bad food.
You aren't eating enough fiber rich vegetables:
From what I can tell, most people have a lack of vegetables in their diets. You need to eat 5-6 servings of vegetables per day. Eat a variety of greens (not iceberg lettuce) and try new vegetables often so that you can mix it up and not get bored. If you eat sandwiches, try to load them with any fresh vegetable that you like. Don't just eat meat and cheese on your sandwich. Try different methods of cooking them so you find what is easy and works for you. Roasting, grilling, and steaming are all great ways to cook them.
You aren't drinking enough water:
Drink a glass as soon as you wake up. Drink eight glasses throughout the day. Drink ice water when you can; your body will have to work harder to equal out the water's temperature with your body's temperature thus increasing your metabolism. Cut back on refined and carbonated drinks even if they are "diet." These days, I carry a canteen wherever I go so I always have water with me.
You aren't eating enough whole foods:
This should be your foundation for any eating plan. Eat as natural and as whole as you can. Stay away from white bread, white tortillas and white rice. Unrefined and whole foods will pay dividends to not only your fitness, but your overall health. The fewer ingredients a food has, the better it is for you.
You aren't breaking a sweat when you workout:
After you have been checked out by your doctor, show up and go hard. If you are working out but not sweating, then you need to go harder. It is important to work as hard as you can and complete each workout. If you need to pause and take a break, do so but just keep going until you are done. You will begin to see results very soon and that will motivate and excite you to continue.
You are eating until you are stuffed, not stopping when you are satisfied:
Slow down when you eat and your brain will have an easier time catching up and signaling that you are full. Eating slower = eating less! Also, think of food as fuel instead of fun. Of course food is fun, but most of the time it's just fuel.
You are giving up too easily:
Don't give up if you don't see results right away. Give it some time and keep on working (diet and exercise). Your weight does not determine your fitness. Your body fat percentage does. Measure your body fat percentage and take your girth measurements at the beginning. Also, you should be able to tell after a few weeks if you are firming up. Most likely, you will find that you are loosing fat and gaining muscle so your overall weight hasn't changed much. Your body composition is changing and you are getting in shape. Keep working!
You are eating too many refined foods:
Candy, sodas, cookies are a no-no. But be aware of chips, crackers, bread, fruit juice and all boxed foods, even if they say low-fat, all natural, 25% less fat, or any other marketing term. Remember, whole foods and unrefined foods are what your body needs. It is a challenge at first, but if you slowly start eating less refined foods, the whole foods that you are eating will begin to taste even better.
Fitness is possible! Let me know if you have any questions.
I'm just an average 40 something guy with a family who wants to help people get fit and healthy. I have a bachelor's degree in Physical Education (UTEP 1991) and a Master's degree in Kinesiology (Sam Houston State University 1993) I became a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) in 1994 from the National Athletic Trainer's Association. I became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength and Conditioning Association in 1999. I have worked out (mostly) in some form or fashion since high school. I'm not super fit and I don't have a six-pack. I've don't Spartan and a few other obstacle races. I've done home fitness DVD's and worked out at gyms. I'm not a runner or a Crossfitter. I don't eat perfectly, but do understand it's importance. There are too many people who are not healthy and too many people who don't know how to enter the fitness world. There are too many personal trainers that are not qualified to work with people, especially beginners. There are too many false thoughts, gadgets, and expectations and I want to guide people down the right path so that they have success. If I share a product or service with an affiliate link, I either use the product or know the product. I don't know everything, but I know a thing or two.