6 Reasons Why You Aren't Hitting Your Goals
You’ve decided to set yourself a goal and even though you have increased your training frequency and tidied up your diet, you’re still not making the progress you’d like to. At this point you’ll be racking your brain, wondering what is slowing you down.
Rest assured, you’re not alone with this – everyone feels this way at some point or other. Many give up at this point as frustration gets the better of them. Instead you need to get to the root of the issue and work to resolve it so you can get back on track.
We’ve summed up the top 6 reasons why you may not be hitting your goal:
1. You’re not being consistent
We all want to see quick changes, especially when we’re putting in stacks of effort. We can often become impatient if we don’t see noticeable results in the desired timeframe. It’s common to give up at this point as your frustration gets the better of you.
Many fail to stick to the same plan for long enough to reap the benefits and others are strict all week and blow out at the weekend. Consistency is key when it comes to getting results. A constant schedule allows for steady weight management and enables you to get into a better routine and turn the actions from chores into habits.
Opting for a quick fix, e.g. dropping calories drastically will often be more difficult to stick to and you will likely experience negative effects on both your physical and mental energy levels. This will translate into your daily life, making things like getting up in the morning or getting through a chaotic day at work 10x harder.
2. You’re too stressed
Stress is extremely common nowadays. Jobs, relationships, lack of sleep and over-training / insufficient recovery all put a major strain on your mind and body, contributing towards feelings of stress.
When you’re stressed, the body secretes the major stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol plays havoc within your body and can raise your blood sugar levels, affect your appetite, lower testosterone levels, reduce your ability to burn fat and increase the rate you store fat.
Consistently elevated cortisol levels can work against your weight loss efforts. Research has found that as cortisol levels increase, ghrelin (hormone that stimulates appetite) also increases (Adams, Greenway and Brantley, 2010) – this provides some backing for the spiral of overeating we experience when under pressure and feeling stressed.
To overcome this, try to factor in some ‘me-time’ each day and allow yourself to unwind – have a bath in the evening, go for a walk/ jog to clear your mind and aim to get enough sleep each night. Furthermore, ensure you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet and allowing yourself to recover adequately between training sessions.
3. You’re not getting enough sleep
Sleep is needed to allow your body to unwind physically and recover from the day’s activities, but also to give your heart and cardiovascular system the opportunity to relax.
Waking up groggy and tired can make you less likely to want to head to the gym and make the day ahead seem like an uphill struggle.
Poor sleep has been attributed to weight gain. It has been suggested that the number of hours sleep you get each night may influence body weight and metabolism.
Taheri et al., (2004) studied American adults between the ages of 30-60 and found participants with short sleep had reduced leptin (appetite hormone that signals the feeling of fullness) and increased ghrelin levels (appetite hormone that signals the feeling of hunger). The observed changes in hormone levels are likely to increase appetite, potentially providing an explanation for the weight gain observed in the participants.
4. You’re consuming more calories than you think
A coffee when you need a mid-morning pick-me-up and a handful of nuts late afternoon, hardly seems like a big deal, but some of your go-to’s can quickly make your calorie intake rise. For instance, if you had a Starbucks latte, around 150 kcals, followed by some nuts mid-afternoon, it would total over 300 kcals.
If weight loss is your goal, you must consistently be in a calorie deficit. Snacking in this way will hinder your progress.
Now we’re not saying you need to remove these things from your diet, but you should consider being more mindful with your choices and alter your meals to allow for the extras.
5. You’re focusing on your diet, rather than a lifestyle change
When it comes to setting yourself up to getting the best results, there are multiple factors that come into play. Whilst it is vital to optimise your diet, this should not be viewed as the determining factor.
You should not think of this journey simply as a diet, rather it should be viewed as a lifestyle change. This approach will be more sustainable in the long run and you will make much faster progress.
When it comes to your lifestyle, small changes are all it takes. Aim to be more active during the day, perhaps walk to work or get off the tube a stop early, ensure you’re drinking at least 2 litres of water each day and get into a consistent exercise routine.
At FFF we promote controlled, sustainable weight loss. Our plans facilitate positive lifestyle changes, rather than simply offering a temporary fix.
6. You’ve not given yourself enough time to see results
The rate at which you see results is completely down to the individual as there are many underlying factors which will influence it. Comparing yourself to others will only cause unnecessary stress.
Often, people are unrealistic with their goals and can end up being disheartened when things don’t go as planned. You may not be giving yourself enough time to see results. Take a step back and set yourself a smaller number of manageable goals, which are both measurable and achievable.
In addition, the number on the scales isn’t necessarily always a measure of progress, so it’s important not to get too hung up on it. Mood, energy levels, improvements in the gym are all steps in the right direction and worth noting.
There are always going to be set-backs or obstacles along the way. However, the important thing is to learn to identify and work to overcome them.
At FFF we aim to take some of the stress off your plate and give you more time to focus on yourself!
In good health,
Georgia Head, FFF Nutritionist