Many find that successfully changing their body composition is just too difficult. But a closer assessment of what these individuals are doing (and not doing) typically reveals the root of their problems.
After years of working with hundreds of clients, I’ve realized that it is common for people to make the same mistakes as many others have done and are still doing. Here are 5 of the most common mistakes and, of course, what you can do to avoid them and rectify any problem areas.
Having Too Lofty Goals With No Middle Ground
We are constantly bombarded with advertisements, online pictures and magazine covers that all tell us what we’re “supposed” to look like. The problem with constantly being exposed to these types of images is that it begins to change how we perceive ourselves in relationship to others.
Seeing these images leads most of us to desire those physiques for ourselves. The problem is that most people don’t realize the amount of effort that is required to attain such a body.
The reality is that people on the covers of magazines have spent a good portion of their lives dedicated to exercise and nutrition. And realistically, they still have more work to do. This is without considering that many of these “ideal physiques” have come at the hand of pharmaceutical assistance as well.
The reason I mention this is because sometimes people have unrealistic expectations, which leads them to feel like a failure when they can’t achieve the image they crave. This results in an endless cycle of attempting to improve, only to fail.
I recommend that you try to recognize the reality of the situation and make realistic goals for yourself. For instance, if you’re severely overweight, attaining a cover-ready physique isn’t reasonable in just 3 months or perhaps even a year.
In this case, losing 10-20 pounds over a period of 2-3 month is, however, entirely attainable and a more appropriate goal than attempting to be cover-ready in only a few months.
This isn’t to discourage you from having lofty goals. I too have very lofty goals, but you need to recognize that achieving many, smaller and attainable goals will be your route to success. You can’t expect to make one change and achieve the physique others have worked for decades to build.
Going Through The Motions
Getting started with a sound training approach is easily one of the more difficult ventures for changing one’s body. This event is surrounded by fear and anxiety, which isn’t easy to overcome.
Once people get past the hump of starting an exercise routine, many people mistakenly just go through the motions. Starting was difficult and most people don’t even consider that it’s all uphill from there.
Just getting into the gym and doing the same exercise routine is not your key to success. As I’ve discussed in other articles, you need to constantly stress your body to greater extents to encourage your body to keep improving. Mostly, if you do the same thing all of the time, you can expect to remain the same, rather than improving.
I recommend that you keep a training journal and also regularly change up your routine. By keeping track of everything you do in the gym, you’ll know if it’s time to switch up your routine; looking back on previous performances will give you a good idea of what you need to do to improve further.
Only Doing Part Of The Work
I can’t tell you how many clients come to me saying that they exercise daily but can’t lose weight. In addition, they almost always mention that they haven’t changed their nutritional habits at all.
The main issue with only exercising is that you’re effectively only working on part of the equation. And really, you don’t even need to exercise to lose weight. Adjusting your nutrition alone is easily enough to change your body. Regardless, almost without fail, people workout but don’t change nutrition.
This goes without mentioning that making the sacrifice up front and changing both exercise and nutrition at the same time will expedite your progress. For instance, changing both your nutrition and exercise at the same time will produce much faster results than attempting to only change one thing.
While you might want to focus on changing one variable at a time, I strongly advise that you attempt to adjust both your nutrition and exercise. If you’re not focusing on both, you’re likely making the process much harder than it needs to be and you’re probably limiting your progress. Try both out and see how much easier the process is.
Falling For Clickbait
Since social media is so popular, marketers have tried to take advantage of that reality by pumping your feed full of clickbait advertisements that are often too good to be true.
Just yesterday, I came across an advertisement for a detox drink that “literally flushes out fat” and it’s backed by science, too! The problem here is that this advertisement is 100% false and preys on your lack of scientific knowledge.
Most days I get questions about these products and my answer is always the same. If it’s too good to be true and you need to ask an expert for an opinion, it’s likely to be untrue and something you should avoid.
These advertisements are built specifically to lure you in. The idea of “flushing out fat” with just a drink is alluring and tempting for most, but I implore you to always attempt to find logic and reason behind a certain “health product” before you spend all of your money and place your entire diet in the hands of something that probably won’t work.
Being Distracted At The Gym
Having high-end computers in our pockets all the time isn’t conducive to focusing while in the gym. Far too often, I see people sitting around on their phones, only to realize that they are supposed to be exercising, ten minutes later.
This can present real challenges for people, especially if you have a limited amount of the time in the gym. A 1 hour session can quickly be reduced to just 30 minutes if you get too distracted on your phone or with other people in the gym.
If exercise is a priority, I recommend that you make an honest attempt to avoid getting too distracted in the gym. Making this change could be what you need to finally make the progress you desire.
5 Mistakes To Avoid
Many times, if someone isn’t seeing the progress they think they deserve, it’s due to a few simple mistakes. Fortunately, most of these can be easily identified and fixed if you know how to recognize and remedy them.
Consider reevaluating your routine if you feel you’re guilty of any of the above. Making an attempt to fix them will almost certainly result in more progress and great results.