As someone who started their fitness journey over 3 years ago, there were a lot of mistakes I made. Over the years, I’ve realized what those mistakes were and am on a mission to help other people avoid the same mistakes I made. Below are a few common fitness mistakes that I see a lot of people (myself included) make:
- You go too hard too soon. You decide you want to lose some weight and you make a plan to do so. This plan involves eating clean, eliminating all junk food and working out 5 times a week. While this sounds like a great plan, if you’ve been eating pretty bad for awhile and haven’t worked out in some time, this plan will most likely lead you to give up. You’re trying to change too many things at once and it becomes overwhelming. Set realistic goals and gradually increase them over time. For example, if you haven’t worked out in a year, going 5 times a week can seem daunting. While the first week may be easy, you’ll soon dread going to the gym. Start by going 2-3 times a week or going for a 30 minute walk 3 times a week and work up to going to the gym 5 times a week. The same goes for your diet plan. While cutting out all junk food is a great goal to get to it’s very hard to completely cut it out if it’s been a majority of your diet. Start by cutting out soda or late night snacking. If you cut out all junk food, you’ll crave it more because you can’t have it and are more likely to binge if/when you do give in.
- You see your diet as a means to an end. You want to lose 10 lbs for a wedding and then you plan on going back to the way you were eating/working out before. If this is the case, there is a high probability that you’ll gain the weight back once you revert back to your old diet. You need to make sustainable changes that you can implement throughout your life and make it a lifestyle change to see lasting results.
- You only have physical goals for eating well and working out. While physical goals can be motivating, it’s important to also have goals that aren’t physical. It takes time to see our body changing and can be discouraging when we don’t see the results we want in the time we want to see them. By having non-physical goals such as running a mile in under 10 mins or being able to do an unassisted pull-up, you can focus on improving your overall physical health and see your body changing and getting stronger in other ways than weight.
- You don’t enjoy the process. We all know that being on a diet isn’t fun. You can’t indulge in pizza and beer whenever you want and you sometimes have to sacrifice having fun for putting in work at the gym. However, if you don’t enjoy the process, it’ll make it 100 times harder to stick with. Learn to love the process by learning new workouts, new healthy recipes and new ways to workout. It’s only as hard as you make it and having a good attitude during the journey will make the end destination that much more rewarding.
- You care what other people think. Whether you’re trying to lose 50 lbs or want to tone up, don’t let people dictate how you feel about your goal. Being a relatively thin person, I always get comments when I order a salad or the “healthy” option on the menu. It used to bother me a lot and I would frequently order something I didn’t want as much just to not get comments about my order choice. I knew that eating healthy made me feel good and I genuinely love salads, turkey burgers, etc. People are going to make comments if you’re doing something different than they are and you can’t let it bother you. If you want to order a salad to stick to your goals, DO IT. If you want to order a burger with a side salad, DO IT. If you want to order fries, DO IT. At the end of the day, people aren’t going to care if you meet your goal but YOU will! Do what makes you happy and don’t care what other people think. (Assuming that your goal is healthy of course ;))