4 Reasons You Aren't Reaching Your Fitness Goals
Starting a new fitness routine can be exciting, but continuing a new fitness routine can be challenging when you aren't seeing the results you want! Here are 4 reasons you may not be reaching your fitness goals.
Change IS Happening...
It just might not be happening as fast as you had hoped for. Meg and I teach a fitness class full of wonderful women, and when we asked one of the ladies, who had been attending for about two weeks, how she was doing, she very wisely replied, "I just have to remember, it took me over twenty years to get this body...it's going to take a while to get back in shape."
Lasting change does take time, so don't get discouraged! It is sometimes slow and we can't see it happening before our eyes, so we assume it isn't happening at all. It is! Maybe you will go to try on a dress you haven't worn in a while and it has "magically" gotten too loose, or realize you went up and down the stairs without getting winded for the first time. Maybe you will go to stand up from sitting on the floor and realize you didn't need to grab onto something to help yourself up, or perhaps you were able to lift heavier dumbbells than when you first started. These are all changes, tiny glimpses of an evolving body that is heading down a path toward healthier living, instead of away from it.
We had a client send us a picture that brought a smile to our faces! She had gone into her closet to get out the next season's clothes and realized none of her shorts fit...they were all too big. She didn't necessarily realize how significant of a change there was in her body daily because it happened slowly over time, but it was changing! She could see just how much it had changed when she tried on her shorts! Be patient - your body is changing!
You are Not Changing Your Diet
If your main fitness motivation is weight loss or a more toned body, than exercise alone is not going to do it. You have to change your eating habits along with exercise, and that is where real change can happen! Many people are hoping that the one hour in the gym will be enough to help them lose weight without having to make changes with their eating. Unfortunately, it's impossible to "out exercise" a bad diet. To see real change, you have to make healthier nutritional choices. (Read more about Diet or Exercise? Which Is Most Important for Weight Loss)
Even if weight loss isn't your main focus, not eating properly, especially following your workouts, can actually have a negative effect on your body's ability to recover from a hard workout. Getting the right nutrition is particularly critical when you are adding weight lifting into your new fitness journey! Adopting a healthy approach to nutrition will absolutely help you see the results you are looking for faster! (Find out more about the basics of clean eating)
Overestimating the Impact of Your Workout
Most people tend to overestimate the caloric burn of a workout, and underestimate the calories of the food they eat...the result is sometimes people actually gain weight when they start a new fitness routine. Many people workout and then reward themselves with a special treat afterwards, but they don't realize that the reward actually has a lot more calories than their workout. It's easier to eat 500 calories than to burn 500 calories. For example, a Venti Iced Pumpkin Spiced Latte from Starbucks has almost 500 calories, or you could run 5 miles to burn off that 500 calories. It is much easier to sip the latte than to run 5 miles.
When you reward yourself with special treats that you might otherwise avoid, you are at the very least cancelling out any of the weight loss benefits of the workout...which can be why you aren't seeing the changes you had hoped to see. (You can read more about that in the article Is Your Workout Making You Gain Weight).
Your Fitness Goals Are Strictly About Weight Loss
Meg and I workout for lots of reasons...and quite honestly, none of them really have to do with weight loss. We "eat clean" to maintain our weight, but we exercise to have healthier minds and bodies. I'm not saying exercise can't help you lose weight, I am saying that if that is your sole purpose for working out, you're missing the big picture! The benefits of exercising regularly are longer than I can list, but it definitely includes:
- Stronger muscles and bones
- Less prone to injury
- Better cardiovascular health
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Lower blood pressure
- Improves mood and energy
- Better brain health and memory
- Promotes better sleep quality
- Associated with combating a host of diseases including stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, a several types of cancer, and arthritis.
Quite simply put...people who exercise regularly live longer than those that do not. I'd say that's pretty good motivation to keep working out! (Read Meg's article Why I Workout...and it Doesn't Have to do with Losing Weight)
Don't get discouraged! Change is happening, you just have to be patient, and perhaps broaden your fitness goals beyond weight loss. A healthier your body is... the more positive your outlook is! Celebrate becoming more healthy and enjoy the ride, you won't end up where you started, and one day you'll look back and realize just how much you really have changed!