1. Your plan is too restrictive
‘That’s it! Starting tomorrow and for the next 4 weeks I’ll be eating 1200 calories, no booze, no cakes, running every morning and hitting the gym 5 times a week! 4 weeks is not that long, right? I can do that, just think about it…….I’ll be about 5kg lighter! mmm how good would that be?!’
Sounds familiar? I fell into this trap way too many times. And do you know what it will most likely end like? You falling off the wagon, binge eating on everything you’ve been depriving yourself of, ditching the gym and cardio all together, because ‘you deserve a break’ and then have a reality check in the mirror, realise all your efforts were in vain, you’ve gained all the weight back and more in only 2 weeks!!! and now you have to get back into your restrictive routine because you want to quickly lose all the weight you’ve gained. And that’s how you become a yo-yo dieter. So no! restrictive eating, yo-yo, obsessive behaviour around food, do not lead to long lasting results and are not the answer!
2. You have unrealistic expectations
So you have a kick-ass plan, you are committed to it, you’ve not missed a single gym session, you’ve been doing your early cardio (doing great so far!), your diet is on point, most of the time, you meal prep, consume lots of protein and fibre, BUT, you’ve had an occasional biscuit at work, you went out for drinks with friends, you had a birthday party to attend, baby shower, work meeting, etc. You overate several times and you feel awful about it, you feel like you cheated on your plan and all your progress is ruined, so might as well go all out, ditch the plan, eat and drink as much as you like till you can’t manage a single bite anymore. Well if you go through with that, you will definitely reverse your progress. Before this self-sabotaging behaviour, that part that you were feeling guilty about, was LIFE! You can’t expect to never indulge in an occasional treat, celebrate with friends and family or have an occasional feast. These are all normal attributes of our lives and that’s great! And you can still make progress with your body goals while doing all those things, ABSOLUTELY! Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? 80% stick to the plan, 20% get loose and allow yourself to over-indulge a bit, just don’t go too crazy. If your plan is not restrictive you won’t even feel the need to go crazy.
3. You rely on being motivated
Motivation is an emotion, therefore it’s unstable and unpredictable. If you have a long-term goal in mind, there will be times when you won’t feel like getting up and going for it, you’d feel like choosing something less challenging, you’d feel lazy and just…meh!, what we’d call unmotivated. But take your job for example, you won’t tell your boss ‘I can’t be bothered with this today’ , ‘I’ll complete your assignment next week, I’ve got no motivation for it today’, ‘I have an excuse – I’m on my period, I had a fight with my partner etc.’. You won’t do that because it will slow you down or potentially throw you off your career path. So if you want to climb up the career ladder you show up everyday, suck it up, do your thing and eventually you get there! With fitness goals, it’s the same. Depending on your goals and your starting point, devise a plan of action (or hire someone to do it), stick to it long enough to see if it works; if it doesn’t don’t give up, get a different plan. This is how you learn to understand your body and when you do, no body goal will be out of your reach!
Note: body/fitness transformation occurs much faster with less time and effort than a career transformation – one more reason to see it through 🙂