When it comes to getting in shape, there are many assets you need to succeed – patience, consistency, determination, positivity to name a few – but you also need reassurance that you are on the right track.
The ability to work hard is one of the best traits you will have, yet working hard on the wrong things is not going to be a smart use of your time and will put all of your work at risk of going to waste. You also need to work smart, and this involves chipping away to at areas you need to focus on.
If you are not seeing progress and not getting results, confidence decreases and your consistency will follow suit. It can be an incredibly frustrating period and, therefore, it is important to know why you are not moving forward, so that you can avoid these mistakes in the future. So, if you are failing to see results, why might this be?
Not Tracking Calorie Intake Closely
One of the most common reasons why people fail to see results is that they are not tracking what they consume on a day-to-day basis. You will often be consuming more calories than you think, and that is due to low volume, high calorie foods or liquids that drastically increase your intake.
These are usually those that are high in fats, such as oils, fatty meats, and nuts. While these foods and liquids are good for your health, they are not advantageous for your goal of fat loss, as one gram of fat has nine calories, compared to four calories per gram of protein and carbohydrates. So, make sure you are tracking everything you consume, including liquid calories – this will ensure you either that you are in control or need to make changes.
Inconsistent and Low-Quality Training
Training will be a huge part of your journey to getting in great shape. It will be your primary form of exercise and the cornerstone behind building muscle, increasing your metabolic rate and adding a better structure to your body. So, it is vital that you show up consistently to your training sessions, put in the hard work and keep progressing. The more consistent you are with your training, the less time it will take for you to reach your goals.
You must have a training plan that is specifically for you and what you are looking to achieve. You then must work hard and consistently progress your exercise execution, strength and intensity during your workouts. Once you have build solid foundations, you can then look at gradually moving into more advanced exercises that will be more metabolically challenging and rewarding.
Recovery is going to be one of the most important areas to master during your fitness journey. For you to be consistent with the tasks required to reach your goals, you have to be in an optimum position, both physically and mentally. Many people make the mistake of burning themselves out when trying to get in shape through high-intensity workouts, demanding exercise routines, and ultra-restrictive diets. Not only is this detrimental to your performance and progress, but it can also be harmful to your overall health.
Adequate recovery involves seven to nine hours of sleep per night, two to four rest days per week, and quality nutrition to repair the body after an intense training session. If you do not prioritise your recovery, you will find the process harder, struggle to stay consistent, and therefore slow down your rate of progress. The process of getting in shape has to be sustainable, so consistent recovery is going to be key.
Not Active Enough
Training is very important but another factor that must not be overlooked is your activity outside of the gym. Believe it or not, when it comes to burning calories, gym sessions may not be enough to stay in shape if you want to enjoy your food. An hour of walking can burn up to 300 calories and can make the difference between you gaining unnecessary body fat if you are planning to eat at around maintenance calories. Therefore, it is important to combine your training sessions with activities such as walking and swimming (if you can) so that you are active and burn a sufficient number of calories during the day.
Being active is also a great way to explore destinations you are in and make the most of your time away. Make sure your NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) calories are at good level too – these are the calories you burn outside of exercise, such as the everyday tasks of cooking, making your bed, walking up flights of stairs etc. Playing some sport can also be a good option, both from a calorie-burning and enjoyment perspective. Light cardio, as a support to resistance training, is a great way of accelerating your progress.
Poor Lifestyle Habits
Many people enter their fitness journey with poor lifestyle habits that are responsible a body shape that they are unhappy with. This can be in several areas, such as bad food choices, binging on weekends, a sedentary lifestyle, lack of sleep, and high-stress levels. If you do not work at improving these, you will find your progress stalling and frustration increasing.
So, as well as your training and exercise, look at certain habits you have that are pulling you back and work on getting better. This could be getting more sleep, reducing intolerant food groups, tracking your nutrition, reacting to situations more calmly or simply going for a walk once per day. All of these areas, when combined, can hugely impact the rate of your progress.
So, if you are not seeing the results you want for the effort you are putting in, it is likely because you are doing something wrong. This includes, not tracking your calorie intake, inconsistent and low-quality training, poor recovery, not being active enough and harmful lifestyle habits. Look at these areas and make changes, when required, and you will find that your progress will start to take off.
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