5 Reasons You Aren't Seeing Workout Results
By: Brendan Epps
With the holidays approaching some dread the temptation of overeating, others look forward to the challenges of resolutions to get into (or back into) shape. Don’t wait until after the holidays to start your fitness journey. In fact, plan now with holidays portion control goals. And nothing says you can’t ‘cheat’ on your resolution and start working out now and working toward the results you want to see: weight loss (or gain), size loss (or gain), and ultimately a fit version of you. The only way you’ll see those results is with hard, smart work. Here are a few reasons you may not have seen results in the past with tips to see and feel the results you want.
1. You don’t really want it. You’ve talked about it, but aren’t committed to the work it takes to be fit. You like the idea of seeing yourself in a particular outfit, but you aren’t willing to sacrifice the time to bring your lunch instead of eating out or scheduling time to exercise. You don’t have to get to “the gym,” but if you’re reading this, chances are you’re already a Y member, so why not stop by a place you enjoy going…and…exercise with other great people?
2. You let the apple a day keep you away from the doctor. Sometimes it’s not just in our heads or hearts. There are some physical ailments that keep people from losing weight (or cause excessive weight gain). Sometimes it helps to talk with a professional. Do your research, and don’t just take their word for it, but conditions like hypothyroidism causes weight gain that working out alone may not show you the results you want. Insomnia is another reason for weight gain, because sleep is a vital part of fitness and recovering from exercising. Also, because of the additional stress that lack of sleep puts on your body. It doesn’t mean you can’t get there, it just means the doctor may be an unexpected workout “partner” for you.
3. You aren’t eating/drinking enough…of the right things. Hydrating is key to fitness. We should be drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day; more when living an active lifestyle. Think about it. Our bodies are composed of 70% water, when we’re properly hydrated. That water lubricates joints and organs, provides nourishment to cells, and helps cushion and support our brains. Too scientific, think of an inflatable ball. When that ball is filled appropriately, it has the right bounce, it rolls, and it’s fun to play with. It does what it’s supposed to do. When that ball loses some of its air, it doesn’t bounce as well or roll as fast. You can still play with it or use it, but it’s just not the same. That’s loosely how dehydration affects us. Sure we can still manage through life and our workout, but we aren’t as strong as we could be. We don’t have the energy we should. We just aren’t as effective. And the more dehydrated we are, like the more air missing from the ball, the more noticeable the impact to us.
Eating right is another key to fitness goals. Are you skipping meals? Don’t. Plan your meals. Of course it’s tough. That’s why it’s worth it. And aren’t you, and your results, worth the work? There’s a variety of options for what “eating right” means. The most important factor is what works for you and your body. While a vegan or vegetarian diet provides amazing results for some, it may not be for everyone. And the issues people have with meat may have more to do with the way the meat is raised, processed, and/or chemically treated than simply the fact that it’s meat. I’m not a doctor, nor a scientist, so I can’t say for sure, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express…if that counts for something. There are a number of other factors to consider including intervals (how often) and portion control (how much). Biggest piece of advice is not to be tempted by fads or extremes. Focus on nutrition, like fitness, as a lifestyle.
4. You don’t have a fit mindset. This is different from wanting it and having the will to be fit. The right mindset for being fit and seeing “results” isn’t about a fad, diet, or some magical thing. It starts with a mindset and a why. Why do you want to be fit? Is it for you or for others? Do you feel like you have to be? Are you trying to impress people? Goals to have a ____ (beach, wedding, etc) body don’t work or don’t last, because it's’ for someone else to see at a point in time. It incentivizes the moment, by whatever means possible. It’s also likely to start negative mental habits that can hurt you in the long run. Instead, starting with a mindset of fitness and health. If you’re working toward living a healthy lifestyle, you won’t shed the weight like a crash diet, nor bulk up quickly. But you will meet your goals in time…and stay there. Plus, when you’re doing the things like drinking plenty of water, getting rest, and eating healthy, your goals will come faster than you think.
5. Three may not be a crowd. Accountability partners make a bigger difference than we think. Whether it’s someone to spot you so you can push yourself (and those weights) safely, or a workout buddy to remind you of their goals and maybe even guilt you into working out for their sake, others can help. My preference is to workout solo, because my schedule constantly varies, but I’ll ask for help when I need it. When it comes to fitness, there’s literal strength in numbers. And, by asking others to help you with accountability, you may be encouraging them in their fitness journey as well.
These are five reasons you aren’t seeing workout results, but they aren’t the only reasons. For a different perspective, change this list to reflect reasons you are seeing results. Talk to the doctor, if you need to, and ask for her/his help with planning your exercise and nutrition path. Eat, and drink, the right things to fuel productive workouts. Focus on having a fit mindset. And add accountability to your workouts, whether that means bringing someone with you or checking in with someone to make sure you exercise and eat for the results you want. Take charge of your reasons and make them work for you.