Avoiding Unrealistic Fitness Goals and Fixing Your Road to Fitness

It can be frustrating to not get to your goals. It can also trigger a person to go back to his or her old ways. It can be doing more harm than good.

Working on a goal can help simplify your fitness program. Not only does it help give you the drive to work out and eat healthy, but a goal can also be a good starting point for those who haven’t had a healthy lifestyle. However, goal setting can also have its drawback.

Whether it is losing X amount of pounds in a week or achieving an Instagram-ready body, it tends to be natural for people to set unrealistic goals. In one study, a goal regardless if it is realistic or not, kept people working and seeing a healthier version of themselves.

It can be frustrating to not get to your goals. It can also trigger a person to go back to his or her old ways. It can be doing more harm than good.

Why Unrealistic Goals Can Do Harm

Setting unrealistic goals can lead a person to do drastic and unhealthy activities. It can get people to deprive themselves of food just to meet his or her weight loss target. It is also possible that some would be triggered to develop eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.

Therapists working with people who developed eating disorders suggest having realistic fitness goals instead.

Losing Too Much In a Short Period of Time

Weight loss has been at the forefront of most fitness goals. A lot of people wanted to lose a significant amount of weight in just a few weeks or months.

There is a danger when you lose too much weight in a short period of time. Let’s take a closer look at weight loss in terms of calories.

To lose 1 pound, you will have to be at a deficit of 3500 calories. You either burn it and/or you eat less. For most people, losing more than 3 pounds a week is too much.

There is always the risk of not getting enough nutrients if you are going to lose too much weight in a short period of time. Some would even dehydrate themselves just to be able to hit their target weight.

Weight Rebound

According to one study, 80% of people who lost a significant amount of body fat won’t be able to keep it for the next 12 months. And to top it off, those who go after fad diets tend to gain back more than half of what they’ve lost.

The Biggest Loser was a popular show that "helped" obese contestants lose fats and live a healthier life. Unfortunately, the show did more harm than good. In a study conducted by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases, it was discovered that the contestants had a lower resting metabolic rate six years after the show. This dip is partly to blame for why they gained most of the weight that they've lost during the show.

Fixing Your Approach to Fitness

So how should you approach your fitness journey? How do you make it sustainable? Here are some tips that could help give you better (long-term) results.

· Start Small

Changing your habits and your diet is already challenging enough. Could you imagine switching to a healthy diet all of a sudden after years of eating fast food? What you can do instead is to start small. Try to revert to one or two healthy meals a day while eating normally for the rest of the day.

If eating healthy is a big commitment for you, you can also start by drinking more water throughout the day. The next thing you know, you may have already avoided drinking sugar-filled drinks.

As for your workouts, it is also a good idea to start small. Don’t expect to do intense activities right off the bat if your body isn’t used to these types of workouts.

· Food Diary

It is also a good idea to be aware of just how much you eat and what types of food you typically eat throughout the day. A food diary can be a good way to track not only the foods and drinks that you consume, but it will also give you an idea of what triggered you to eat the way you did. This will give you a baseline and know how you are going to modify your diet.

· Exercise the Right Way

If it is your goal to build muscles then you might want to also do resistance training. A lot of individuals have mismatched goals and fitness programs. It is often the case that they don’t know how to workout thinking that some exercises can be considered a one-size-fits-all solution. It is ideal if you can have the help of a professional trainer. This way, you will have an idea of which workout can give you the best results.

· Creating a Habit

It is more sustainable if you can build a routine. Routines allow you to have a structure. And once you get to adjust to your healthy routine, you will not feel as if you are forced to do something that you don’t want to do. This is true for both eating healthy and working out.

There is even a study that suggests long term weight loss results are not common because implementers failed to break the unhealthy habits and replace it with healthy ones.

Final Thoughts

People usually set unrealistic fitness goals only to get frustrated in the end. Unfortunately, unrealistic goals are not exactly sustainable and healthy at times. Are you guilty of imposing these types of goals on yourself? What do you think of our tips? Let us know in the comment section below.