When you embarked on your fitness journey, what was your goal? To deadlift 60kg (132lb)? To feel confident on holiday? Or perhaps to run a marathon (go, you!)? No matter the destination, the journey takes hard work, dedication and time.
However, sometimes it feels like no matter what you do or how hard you train, your fitness goals just can’t be reached – you’ve plateaued and hit a dead end. And when this happens, you lose all motivation and sometimes revert back to bad habits.
The good news is, you probably haven’t hit a dead end; you may just need to check in with yourself and assess your wellbeing or simply up your training. So to help you get back on track, here are three reasons why you may not be hitting your fitness goals.
1. You’re a stress head
Any source of stress placed upon the body triggers the production of the hormone cortisol (also known as the stress hormone). Cortisol helps us stay alert, motivated and responsive. The thing is, when we’re stressed the body produces too much cortisol, and this can affect our metabolism and lead to weight gain.
To rebalance your cortisol levels naturally, try:
- Learning to say “no”: Over-committing yourself can cause needless stress. Remember, you’re not a bad person (and you’re definitely not selfish) for saying no to an invitation.
- Limit your caffeine: Caffeine is a stimulant and can cause the jitters, and for some people, it can increase their anxiety. So if coffee is your vice, try keeping it to one cup a day.
- A meditation: You don’t need to block out a whole hour. A short, 5-minute meditation is enough to help you enjoy some mental clearing.
2. You only exercise every now and then
Consistency is the key to success. So, if you’re only exercising on the weekends, or pressing snooze instead of working out, you probably won’t get the results you’re after.
Exercise is enjoyable (I promise) when you find a good routine that fits into your lifestyle. So, if mornings don’t suit you, try working out on your lunch break. If you have no energy in the evening, set your alarm a little earlier in the morning.
Once you start seeing results, your motivation will skyrocket and you won’t want to skip a workout.
3. You’re running on empty
A good sleep routine can make a world of difference. Try and set yourself a similar bedtime each night, and a similar wake-up time each morning (I aim for 7-8 hours, but sometimes my toddler can change this).
If you’re sleep-deprived you’ll feel irritable, cranky, often more anxious and will overeat. In fact, lack of sleep can also impact our immune system.
And if your mind won’t stop, turn off your phone (or any device) for at least half an hour before bedtime. This will prevent you from checking work emails or scrolling on social media.
Focus on your end goal and never quit
I want you to remember that no two bodies are the same, so never compare yourself to other people’s successes – simply use them as inspiration. Sometimes the number on the scale stays the same or even goes up, but your clothes may fit differently or you find yourself bursting with new energy and a better mood every day.
And most importantly, be proud of yourself for setting goals and embracing a healthier and more active lifestyle. You can be amazing – I really believe it!
Written by Tiffiny Hall, founder of online health and fitness program TIFFXO.com.