I hear it all the time: "I can't lose these last 5 pounds." "I do everything right and nothing changes!" "I've changed my workout routine and diet and still gain weight!"
The reasons why you can't achieve your "dream body" might be because of all of the factors listed below or just a few. Take time to really think about these and then think about your daily behaviors. I was going to try and list these out in order of importance to me but then I realized they are all just as important so they are in no particular order. 😉
5 Reasons Why You Aren't Achieving Your "Dream Body"
1. You Are Focusing on a "Dream Body" Instead of Being Healthy or Performance Goals
Like I mentioned in my body image post when I first started my fitness journey I didn't have any goals - I only wanted to be healthy. I know this might not work for some people but maybe if your goals haven't been working for you try shifting your focus to being healthy instead of losing XX pounds or running XX miles per week. Once your focus shifts to living an overall healthy lifestyle your body will change right along with it.
I'm not saying that it is bad to have goals in mind but honestly, Scott and I have been living this lifestyle for over 4 years now and we have never competed or trained for any races, etc. We might not be super lean but we are healthy AND consistent!
2. You Are Focusing on Losing WEIGHT Instead of Losing FAT
You want the scale to go down, right? I know you do but sometimes the scale doesn't tell the whole story. Actually most of the time the scale doesn't tell the whole story. I even did an entire project on it where I weighed myself EVERY SINGLE DAY to show exactly how my body changed.
The ONLY thing that weighing yourself frequently does is create extra, unnecessary stress which causes you to hold onto more fat.
Stress is NOT your friend when you are trying to "lose weight". Instead of focusing on losing weight and the number on the scale, focus on FAT loss. Focus on the way that your clothes fit, your energy levels, your PHYSICAL abilities. Maybe you can run for 5 minutes straight now when a month ago you couldn't even run for 1 minute. Celebrate your small victories and throw away the scale.
The best and easiest way to do this is by incorporating weight training into your fitness routine! More cardio isn't the answer!
3. You Are Comparing Yourself to Others and/or Yourself
You've heard me talk about "Fitspo" before if you've read my previous body image posts. It's what most people associate fitness with now. Fitness no longer seems to be about performance but more about six packs, magic detox teas, and obtaining the "perfect" body. If you've ever spent 5 minutes scrolling through any social media platform under the "health and fitness" category you know what I'm talking about. Selfies after selfies of body parts (most of them nearly nude), usually promoting some sort of supplement. I'm not saying that all selfies are bad (progress pics once a week or month are certainly okay) and not all supplements are bad either (I use supplements myself) BUT it's very easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to these fitness "models" or "experts" you see on social media. It's almost as if every "like" or "follow" is needed to boost self-esteem. Keep in mind that most of the time you see these people they have been preparing for a photo shoot or a competition, etc.
You can't compare your "every day" to someone's highlight reel.
On the flip side, you might be like the trap I was in where I was actually comparing myself to others AND to myself at a different point in my life. It was miserable. Posting and opening up about it has definitely helped me and I have realized that life is way too short to waste time on comparison.
4. You Are UNDER-Eating
Yep, you read that right. You aren't eating ENOUGH. Almost all of the people that I coach and the people that I get emails from are NOT eating enough. It seems to be that when people start exercising they think they need to restrict their calories. However, when you aren't feeding your body properly it will hold onto fat. I repeat, if you are not feeding your body properly it will hold onto FAT! You must nourish your body in order for it to perform everyday tasks but then you also need to be eating for the exercising you are doing. I am most successful when I eat every 2-3 hours (5-6 meals per day) with protein and fiber at every meal.
5. You Are OVER-Exercising
Do you have the mindset that taking days off is a bad thing? This is another popular one that I encounter. Rest days are VERY important. Rest days actually allow your body to recover and grow. You need to take at least 1-2 rest days per week. Also working out multiple times per day or staying in the gym for hours isn't healthy either. While this may provide temporary results you are looking for, overall it will slow your metabolism which can take you years to fix.
ALL of our workout plans have 1-3 rest days per week. We take the guesswork out of it for you!
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Take time to really think about what your goals are and re-evaluate how you are going to reach them.
You may also be interested in these articles:
- How Getting Into Fitness Ruined My Body Image
- Stories From My Scale (Why You Need to Ditch Yours For Good!)
- 5 Things I Did to Achieve My Dream Body
- 5 Things We've Done to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle 7+ Years