Too many people focus on what their training and nutrition program looks like or they search for the “best” diet or training program over and over.
Each time you start it, but sticking with it and finishing it is the challenge.
You do stick with it and finish it, but once it’s done you go right back to where you were before you started.
This is the problem with fitness and nutrition, too many people think its the training program or nutrition program that matters, and it does matter…. but there is also a huge piece to the puzzle that you are probably overlooking.
And that is the mental side of things and your approach to the training and nutrition programs.
In this blog I want to go over 8 reasons why I see clients and prospecting clients struggle with their health and fitness goals, none of these have to do with what you do in the gym or what diet you are following.
You can use any of these and apply them to any training or nutrition program, and I can guarantee that you will enhance your results.
Your environment plays a huge role. If you constantly have things around you that make it harder to stick to what you’re doing, that will be an ongoing battle day after day, and eventually you will give in.
You need to fix your environment.
For example, if you always have tasty snack foods in the house and you see them everyday, eventually you will give in to them. Instead if you take them out of the house or put them in harder to see/get places, you will be more likely to say no to them.
The same goes for other distractions that can keep you from doing productive things like grocery shopping or getting to the gym.
For me, my phone is a big distraction at times. To combat this, I put it in the other room when working. My productivity skyrockets.
A good book to help with distractions is “Indistractible” by Nir Eyal.
2. Over ambitious goals
The next killer is your over ambitious goals.
It’s great to have ambitious goals, but you need to be realistic as well.
Wanting to look like the model on Instagram or the professional bodybuilder is probably not realistic.
For one, its someone else, you can never look exactly like someone else.
Two, this particular person has completely different experiences, lifestyle etc than you.
There are also unrealistic expectations that are marketed towards us everyday, like “lose 30bs in 30 days” or put on “10lbs of muscle in a week”.
This stuff takes time and is going to require a lifelong commitment.
Over ambitious goals also lead to unsustainable strategies. People think starting small is “weak” or “dumb”, but these are the things that add up over time.
Setting more realistic goals in the beginning can be helpful so you can choose strategies that you can stick to and then progress over time.
Before setting a goal of having 6 pack abs, first set the goal of losing 5-10lbs and getting consistent with your workouts and nutrition.
Also give yourself more time than you think.
3. No plan
Having no plan for the long term, short term, and immediate future is killing your fitness goals.
Too many people wake up and just “go with the flow” each day.
This makes everything much tougher to stick to and to stay motivated with.
You sort of have no idea why you are doing what you are doing, so it’s no wonder doing something that isn’t thrilling like working out or eating better falls to the wayside.
Having no plan will all but ensure you fail especially if you are trying to do something you haven’t done before.
For example, take a new client who is looking to take their training and nutrition to the next level.
They know the basics in terms of nutrition and they can get to the gym a few times per week.
One thing we will do is have them start tracking their food intake, if each day they wake up with no plan in terms of when they will eat or what they will eat, then tracking becomes very challenging and tough to stick to because you are doing all of these things at one time.
It becomes easy to default to what you are used to doing.
Taking 5 minutes out the day before can save you a ton of time and willpower the next day.
We can also take this from a more long term perspective, just having the goal of leaning out but not setting a timeframe to get it done or how you are going to do it is going to make it challenging.
Anytime a challenging situation comes up you will most likely veer off because there is no plan.
4. Not wanting to get uncomfortable
Not wanting to get uncomfortable is another reason you can’t stick to your fitness goals.
This doesn’t mean you need to “grind” and train balls to the wall every day and only eat chicken and broccoli for every meal.
But if you aren’t ever making sacrifices or making yourself a little uncomfortable you can expect to stay in the same spot.
Getting uncomfortable can look like going to the gym when you don’t want to, or staying on top of your nutrition by passing up take out and eating a meal that’s in your plan.
Another form of getting uncomfortable is doing things like tracking for some time, yes it can be annoying but if you aren’t willing to get a little uncomfortable change is going to be tough.
5. Not taking responsibility
This is a killer.
Not taking responsibility would be when you say things like “work is busy this week, so I cant get my workouts in” “I have a lot going on, so I cant focus on my nutrition” “My boss is making me stay late so I missed all my workouts and didn’t meal prep” “my genetics just don’t allow me to build muscle or lose body fat” , etc.
Basically, you are blaming things outside of your control, when you do this you justify it in your head. If you want something you will make the time for it, no matter what you tell yourself.
Even if something happened that was out of your control, it’s helpful to ask yourself how YOU could’ve handled the situation better. It is freeing to start taking responsibility for your actions, you realize everything is up to YOU.
6. Seeking results, not habits
Another issue is that you only focus on the end goal.
Again having a plan and a physique you want is great.
BUT you cannot forget about doing the things that help get you there.
Too many clients get hyper focused on the scale and think that if they have a good day it should reflect it the following day, but this isn’t the case.
If you instead focus on the things that help your weight go down over time, then you will see that happen.
Stop focusing on just the outcome and start focusing on things that you can do right now that will help get you the outcome you are looking for, and stay consistent with them.
Hitting all of your workouts one week and then slacking the next two isnt going to get you results.
Instead focus on hitting all of your workouts each week, be patient, and then over time the results you want will come.
Focus on doing the things that will get you the results you want, not the results themselves.
7. Being 100% on or off
One thing I really try to dial in with online clients is getting away from that “on” or “off” mindset. What does it mean to be “on” or “off”?
“On” would be when you are doing everything, nailing your nutrition, nailing your workouts and not shying away from the program. “Off” would be when one thing goes wrong or off-plan then EVERYTHING goes with it.
This is a BIG mistake. I always like to tell clients to think of training and nutrition as a dimmer switch. Sometimes you are more on than others, but we never fully turn off the lights.
People who fully turn off the lights are the ones who are restarting every few months.
Maybe you normally workout 6 days per week and track your food every day, but a stressful time comes up in your life.
In this situation, most people think that if they can’t give 100% then they should just take a break.
But just going 2-3x per week for 30-45 minutes is all you need to maintain your progress. Sometimes just maintaining is PROGRESS. Read this blog here on how easy it is to maintain your progress once you get it.
In this scenario, nutrition-wise maybe you just focus on good habits like slowing down when eating and just making sure you get a lean source of protein in 2-5x per day.
Having this mindset will help you stay in the routine of going to the gym and it will make it much easier to come back when you can dedicate more time to fitness and nutrition.
8. Not celebrating small wins along the way
This goes back to focusing on your results in a way.
You are so focused on the “end goal”, and I say end goal in quotations because there never really is an end, that you forget to celebrate the small wins along the way.
Many times a client will mess up one thing and get down on that, but then forget about the progress they have made, even if it’s small.
It’s important to point these out and celebrate them because it gives you more confidence to continue doing what you are doing, and ultimately doing those small things and being consistent with them is what is going to give you results.
A classic example is a client who “blows” their diet, and in the past they would just let it spiral out of control for the next day, weeks, or months.
But now that client gets right back on it the day after. In their mind they screwed up because they “blew” their diet, but they actually should celebrate the fact that they got right back on track instead of letting it spiral out of control.
Again, having a great training and nutrition program is very important, but if you cant stick to it because you are making these mistakes then its all for nothing.
Start working on some of these and watch your results start to come flowing in.
If you need more structure and guidance around your training and nutrition, fill out the link HERE and lets get to work.