GUEST AUTHOR: Hannah Stevens
One of the hardest lifestyle changes to establish and keep is making consistent healthy dietary and nutritional choices. It is just too easy to run through the drive-thru or throw something in the microwave after a long day at work. And of course that unhealthy meal decision is going to leave you too full or bloated to have any interest in hitting the gym for an evening session, and yet another day that began so promising with a healthy breakfast and lunch now gets tossed into the pile with all of our other “failure” days.
And what is even worse is when you actually are sticking to your routine (at least most of the time) and you still aren’t seeing the results you are looking for. There are a number of reasons that you might be struggling with reaching your health goals, but to make it easier, we thought we would put together a simple list of five common reasons your diet plan may not be producing the results you had hoped for:
You Are Working Out Too Hard
Believe it or not, this is oftentimes a major contributor to plateaus and stalls in your weight loss or muscle gain goals. Many people like to go “all-out” when they get serious about improving their physical wellbeing. This can include intense workouts that often times leave them drained and uninterested in eating, which in turn robs the body of the fuel it needs to convert all of that effort into results. It can also cause injury or prevent you from being able to repeat the activity daily, which is the key to sustaining long term health goals.
Your Stress Levels are Too High
Anxiety, stress, and worry are all killers when it comes to managing a healthy diet and maintaining a regular fitness routine. Stress eating is a very real and very damaging behavioral issue that affects many more people than you realize. Even if you manage to avoid the nutritional pitfalls that come with being overly stressed, it still presents an obstacle to working out as it demotivates us and can actually cause physical problems such as headaches and neck and back pain.
You Aren't Getting the Proper Amount of Rest
This is a big one, and all too often overlooked. The single most beneficial activity you can offer your body is one in which you actually do nothing at all – sleep. All of our recovery and healing processes take place during our nocturnal slumber, and when you are cutting it short to surf the web or binge just one more episode of your newest favorite show, the result it has on your diet and exercise routine can be extremely negative.
On a side note, to help with regulating your sleep cycles, it’s probably also best to skip the afternoon coffee as well.
You’re Following the Latest Trend or Fad Diet
Look, we know that when a celebrity or Instagram-famous person says that they just discovered the secret to easy weight loss and complete physical transformations, it can be extremely tempting to give it a try. But the truth is that the same tried and true methods that have been effective for thousands of years for improving our health and fitness are always going to be the same. They consist of a nutritious diet and regular physical activity. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.
You Aren’t Staying Consistent
This is where being honest with yourself becomes critical. Just like the golfer that allows themselves a mulligan every time they feel like that last shot shouldn’t have counted, if you are sneaking in a sugar-laden processed treat here and a slice of that pizza from the latest office party there, it is going to show up when you button those jeans or step on that scale. If you aren’t staying on course there is no way to lie to your body about it.
The main way to set about creating and keeping a routine is to accept the fact from the very start that sometimes you are going to slip up. Getting right back up again is the key to overcoming the occasional or even frequent failures.
Turning It All Around
Working towards a specific goal can be downright frustrating, and sometimes too overwhelming. Understanding that although a rewarding physical body is the dream, taking care of your well-being is a big factor that also influences your journey. So, just breathe. Regardless if things might not be working out now, this doesn’t mean that now is the perfect excuse to give up. Oftentimes, the right direction is all you need!
Exclusively written for RINutritionTherapy.com