Reasons You May Not Be Seeing Any Progress
There may come a time where you feel stuck, whether it’s with gym progress or losing weight. This can be a frustrating place to be, as you feel that you’re doing everything right to see changes. Maybe at first, things just sort of melted off, and now you’re not seeing much progress forward.
Well, these sticking points don’t just happen for no reason. There is typically something that is holding you back, and that just requires a little bit of reflection and change.
It must be considered that the human body is an insanely complex machine. Things change with age, lifestyle, and routine and you have to take this into account. You also have to take the adaptations you make to these stimuli into account as well. As you get better, you need to keep pushing new things. In addition, you aren’t the same as the person sitting next to you. Your body needs its own calories, nutrients, and workouts that fit best. General work can lead to progress, but at a certain point you’ll have to get a little more specific.
The point of this post is that there are reasons behind being stuck, and we’re going to break those down. You must also keep in mind that these are variables that you can change to help drive progress forward.
Let’s get into it!
This is always going to be number one right here. Diet is where most of the magic happens, and it’s also where you’ll need to find what works for your body and lifestyle. Yes, you’re body needs certain calories and nutrients to run efficiently, but you’ll also need a routine that accompanies it.
One of the big “oops” when it comes to diet and being stuck, is extra calories. We may have a set number that we’re aiming for, and we swear up and down that we’re hitting those numbers… However, there is a good chance that somewhere in the day you’re bringing something in that pushes you into a surplus or at least breaks you even. This tends to come in the form of liquid calories or snacks. Smoothies and drinks that are labeled as healthy can often be full of calories that we aren’t accounting for, so you will want to avoid anything that isn’t zero calorie for the most part. In addition, we may be eating a “healthy snack” to help fill the space between meals. This may lead to a couple handfuls of nuts or a higher calorie snack like peanut butter. While these foods are healthy and good for you, you have to take into account that they contain a ton of calories. You can eat them, but they need to be controlled.
On the other hand, if you’re trying to gain weight, similar principles apply just in the opposite direction. You may swear up and down that you’re a hard gainer and eat so many calories. However, you aren’t eating as much as you think you are. Therefore, it’s important to keep an eye on your daily intake. If things don’t add up, you can make changes where needed.
Diet is key, at some point you just have to make sure your intake is right.
What you do for exercise is also a key reason that you may find yourself stuck. Training often goes one of two ways – you’re either training too hard or not training enough.
It’s easy to get on the internet and find a workout program that a professional bodybuilder does. You can print it out or screenshot it for later, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for you. A workout like that is advanced, and if you’re just starting off, this isn’t going to end well for you. We have a capacity for training due to the fact that we need to recover for this to work. If you’re training so hard that you can’t recover, you may actually slow your progress down. You can end up with “overtraining” which can increase your fat storage, lower certain hormones, and even impede your sleep. You have to meet yourself where you’re at, or you may find yourself at a standstill.
On the other hand, you may find that you’re not training enough. You make it to the gym twice a week and the rest of your time is spent sitting at work and at home. This may not be enough to boost your calories burned for weight loss or provide enough stimulus to build muscle. A lot of people who you may see as “athletic” or “lean” may not do anything special, they’re just super active. Even with a desk job, you can account for this by just being more active. You could stand at work or take more walks. An active weekend hobby would even be a great way of increasing activity. The point here, you don’t have to be in a gym to be active or get enough exercise. We have to approach our progress as a whole to see changes.
Create a workout routine that works for you and meets you where you’re at. There’s a happy medium between going as hard as you can and being active enough.
Having someone to hold you accountable is crucial. If you don’t have this, you may find that you’re slipping up more often or going off of the plan. This is where a coach would come into play. Having that person to send pictures to or reach out to for help, is going to help you narrow down on what needs to be done. This outside perspective is great for calling out shots of what needs to be done. When we try this just ourselves, sometimes we tend to slack off. However, that coach is going to be able to see things as an observer and make calculated moves with you. I can’t stress enough how the lack of accountability can lead to a lack of progress in the gym.
Structure is what may be holding you back as a whole. If you’re spotty on your diet, training, sleep, etc then you’re going to fall short. While it won’t be perfect, you need a structure to really create solid routines. This may looks like a Sunday meal-prep, a gym schedule, a bed-time routine, or even scheduled off days. A routine makes this so much easier to follow along with and takes out a lot of the guesswork.
In addition, having a routine for long enough really creates a staple in your day. You’re much more likely to stick to something that has become part of your day versus a nuisance that you feel obligated to go do. Think of that morning cup of coffee. That became a part of your routine even if you don’t need it. It’s just part of your day and you look forward to capitalizing on something withing a routine. Treating the gym or your diet this way will do numbers for making progress.
Now, you have some idea of areas that you may need changes in. It’s important to do two things. One, reflect on your day and see where you may be falling short in some of these categories. From here, you need to take time to start at one. Yes, you do not want to overwhelm yourself with ALL of the things. Pick your diet for example and see where you can adjust things. If progress starts to show again, you’ll know that you’re on the right track. Just keep doing this until you’ve created something bulletproof for yourself!