7 Common Pitfalls that Keep People from their Fitness Goals

1. Crappy Programming

You can’t build abs in 20 minutes per week.  Drinking beet juice 3 days per week, potatoes on the fourth day and doing handstands on the 5th won’t get you where you want to be.  Nothing at McDonalds is healthy no matter how much they advertise it is.

I can’t stand the absolute abundance of ridiculous health and fitness information that we are bombarded with every day.  The truth of the matter is that figuring out how to reach your fitness goals will take a serious time investment and some self education.  It doesn’t have to be extremely difficult by any means but please stop investing in gimmicky programs that promise this or that.

If you aren’t willing to spend about 3-5 hours per week on bettering your body, mind and general well being then you may be doomed.

Fortunately there is also an abundance of fun, result producing information out there to really lead you in the right direction.

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2. Neglecting Nutrition

The most important aspect of looking better, losing weight or getting leaner is your diet.  The second most important aspect is what you eat.  It’s that important.

Be careful with fad diets.  If it sounds extreme, or promises results that seem too good to be true, chances are it is.  Finding the best nutritional protocol for yourself will take some work on your part.  Everyone has different needs, metabolisms, food sensitivities and goals.  Your diet will need to reflect those things that make you an individual.  There is no one size fits all program.

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3. Neglecting Lifestyle

This is a very often overlooked area.  This area encompasses sleep, stress management and substance abuse.  Most americans are overworked, under rested and over stimulated (Where’s the closest Dunkin Donuts?).

Food is used as a coping mechanism.  After a long day of work, treat yourself to a pizza, a glass of wine.  Upset?  Grab some ice cream.

Find a way to start living the life of your dreams.  Remove the negative influences in your life.  Get rid of the stress.  If you aren’t constantly anxious and depressed you may find that your diet falls into place.  Exercise and diet is also an excellent way to improve your quality of life.  Imagine how enjoyable, exciting and efficient life could be if you got 8 hours of sleep per night.

If you’re serious about your health and fitness, these areas will all need to be addressed individually.

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4. Poor Support System

I’m not sure what the deal is.  Maybe its jealousy, fear, ignorance or maybe people are just downright mean.  It seems that whenever someone makes the decision to make a positive change in their life with regards to their health they are confronted with violent opposition from everyone in their life.  Suddenly your family thinks your new diet is “unhealthy”, as if replacing donuts with apples was a disastrous mistake.  Your friends may joke when you order a salad at the restaurant while they stuff themselves with burgers and fries.

The bottom line is that to be successful you’ve got to surround yourself with like minded individuals who share your goals.  Find a training partner who can hold you accountable.  Join a gym with the right atmosphere, such as a cross fit gym.  Challenge your spouse to eating healthy and exercising for a month.  Sign up for a race or weightlifting competition.

Get rid of the toxic people in your life, create an atmosphere to reach your goals and make the decision to make a change in your life.

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5. Having No Goals:

Having no goals is like setting sail with no destination.  You might find yourself floating through life finding yourself working in a situation you never wanted to be in, thinking, how the hell did this happen?  Figure out what you want in your life and go for it.

Fitness is the same thing.  Pick a solid goalTake action. Keep track of your progressDo you want to gain 10lbs of muscle, or lose 10lbs of fat?

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6. Lack of discipline

This is killer.  It makes me sick sometimes when I hear about the absolute lack of discipline people have when it comes to diet and exercise.  Your health is the single most important thing you have in your life, but is certainly not a priority until we lose it.  Sometimes losing our health is not even enough of a motivator to change people out of their old ways.  Keep in mind that spending extra time, energy and resources now will pay dividends in preventing illness, promoting personal freedom, quality of life and save you big bucks.  Working in health care I see the direct results of poor diet, lack of exercise and poor lifestyle management manifested over the course of someone’s life.  Its not pretty!

I challenge you to take action.  No more excuses, just action.

7. Lack of consistency

For long term success you’ll need long term action.  I see this all the time with friends and clients that lose weight.  They’ll lose 50 pounds and then gain back 30.  Lose 20 and gain back 30.

This is another reason why crash diets are terrible.  A diet that can’t be sustained over the course of a lifetime won’t be successful.  Tweaking your diet a bit here and there for specific goals works fine, as long as there is a long term plan.  Eating nothing but broccoli and chicken breast for two months before summer starts and then going back to the pizza, beer and cereal when fall comes around won’t work.

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