Failure To Launch: Why Health and Fitness Resolutions Never Last

Updated: Jan 8, 2018

The beginning of a new year means a fresh start. That’s why so many of us tend to focus our goals on making better health and fitness choices but despite having the very best intentions, many of us don’t make it past February. Why is that?

I spoke to two health and fitness professionals who shared their insight into why people fail to stay on track and what they should be doing instead. If you can feel yourself losing momentum, read on to find out why this happens and how you can get back on track!

Barbra Jambga

Barbra Jambga’s been in the industry for over ten years and has a lot to show for it. Not only is she the owner of Sweat Nation which runs a popular and effective fitness bootcamp, she is also a personal trainer, nutrition and lifestyle coach, contest prep coach and figure athlete. Because she's so committed and enthusiastic about helping people with their health and fitness goals, success is almost always guaranteed.

Why do so many people fail to maintain the healthy lifestyles they choose to follow themselves?

There are plenty of reasons why people fail to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Firstly, there is a lack of understanding of the process and that time is a huge factor for success. More often than not people give up too fast because they don't get the results they require quickly enough. I feel that if they understand that the process takes consistency over time, then they are likely to stick it out. Patience is everything.

Secondly, choosing an unrealistic plan (eating and training) will lead to quitting or failing. Choose a healthy nutritional plan which also gives you flexibility so that you do not feel deprived or starved. The same advice applies to your training; the time, place, accessibility and type of activity are all factors that ensure success and or failure.

Third, is boredom. Choose an active method that you enjoy. You are more likely to stick it out and succeed when you are enjoying your fitness journey.

Finally, a lack of guidance also leads to failure. A Fitness professional in real time or virtually is a worthy investment.

What are some common mistakes you’ve seen people make?

Most common mistakes come from a lack of education. It is a good idea to take time to educate yourself about the science behind exercising and how the body responds to specific stimuli, how it responds to specific food and what to eat before and after training. If this doesn’t sound exciting then perhaps engage with someone that will take you safely through the paces of a healthy lifestyle.

What should they be doing instead to ensure they reach their health and fitness goals?

Think about the overall goal and write it down. Set smaller weekly or monthly goals and focus on those. Tick them off slowly as you move forward. Be accountable. I find that taking comparison photos of yourself is a good way of tracking progress. Do this every 4 weeks; this will keep you motivated and moving forward. A food diary is a great way of keeping track of what you eat. This will help you make adjustments where needed. The small details are very important on this journey. Remember, there is NO one size fits all. It really is about figuring out what works for You as an individual and sticking to it. Happy 2018!

Kirsty Baxter

Nutritional Therapist Kirsty Baxter graduated from the acclaimed Institute of Optimum Nutrition and opened her own practice almost two years ago. She is passionate about helping clients achieve optimum health and performance through food and has a thirty year sporting background, having competed in numerous body building competitions including winning Ms Zimbabwe 2016 and competing at the prestigious Arnold Classic in South Africa early last year.

Why do you think so many people fail to maintain the healthy lifestyles/nutrition goals they choose to follow themselves?

In essence, life is made more convenient and more sedentary than ever before, with changing modes of transportation, and an increase in convenience foods versus home cooked meals. Many people find in this fast paced world that they ‘have’ and ‘make’ no time for the things that really count, like health. Too often people only realise what they have lost once it’s gone. which is very true of health and disease.

The fundamental cause of why there is an increase in overweight people worldwide is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. Globally, there has been an increased intake of energy-dense fast foods, high in saturated fat and refined carbohydrates, with a decrease in physical activity.

What are some common mistakes you’ve seen people make?

I find that while the Internet provides a wealth of information, many people are now becoming confused by too many mixed messages and everyone’s become Dr Google. The Internet is quite general and does not speak to an individual’s actual weight, height or health conditions, so it becomes confusing when what is recommended does not work. We are also living in a ‘quick fix’ and ‘instant gratification’ era, where, for example, if someone wants to lose weight they’ve put on over a long period, they would rather swallow a pill to drop to their goal weight in 2 weeks, often as the advert promises, rather than put in the effort of a restricted diet over 3 months to lose the weight correctly.

What should they be doing instead to ensure they reach their health and fitness goals?

First off, if you are serious about your health, you should invest both time and money in it and seek professional advice. See a reputable nutritionist or specialist about a condition you are looking for advice on. In terms of food, consider moderation remembering that all food groups have their purpose (nutrients serve a valuable purpose to provide key elements to the functioning of vital organs, our brains and mood etc) and that portion control has its place in a healthy well-balanced diet.

There you have it! An in depth look at why your lifestyle resolutions haven't been successful and what you can do differently in 2018 to make them work.

© 2018 by nnyasha.

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