Our question this week is: What is the most common weakness or obstacle that hinders your clientele in pursuing and obtaining their fitness goals and how do you fix it?
1. I have found the way to get people beyond this obstacle is to help them recognize that their health, or lack there of, didn’t happen overnight, and will take time to heal. We need to be patient and loving with our bodies though the process, and understand that when given the right tools (daily exercise, good nutrition)and time, we can achieve all of our health/fitness goals. Patience and persistence are the keys. Oh, and of course… love. Gotta love yourself. The more we love ourselves, the more we will actively care for the health and wellness of our body.
2. The most common obstacle for most of my clients is their diet. Nutrition is 80 percent of the success component of weight loss and where it is easy to instruct clients, I am only with them 3-4 hours a week, the rest is up to them. I find that it is impossible to out train a poor diet. In many cases, the client may be eating healthy, but either they are eating too much or they are dealing with metabolic disorders. This is a scenario where even with lowered caloric intake and plenty of exercise, the body is unable to access its stored body fat due to the increased insulin levels. This particular group should stay away from starchy carbs of any kind, healthy or not, if they are looking to lose weight. I will usually have them to begin a foodjournal, “ if you bite it you write it”, and that helps them to start getting a more concise view of their dietary habits.
3. The most common obstacle that hinders not only my clients, but people in general is nutrition. People think they’re eating healthy and they’re not and it’s not their fault. There is so much misinformation out there about what healthy foods are that most people unknowingly are eating foods that really aren’t healthy for them.
The best way to make improvements to your diet is to keep a food journal for 5 days. It literally gives you a snap shot of what your dietary habits are, if you are not getting enough of a particular macro-nutrient or too much of a particular macro-nutrient. In most cases, I find that people eat too many carbohydrates (even if they are eating whole grain), not nearly enough protein, healthy fats,vegetables and fruits.
4. One of the most common obstacles I hear from my clients is the TIME Factor. My clients are all BUSY MOMS! If you’re a MOM, who isn’t, right? I’m a firm believer that WE ALL HAVE THE SAME 24Hours in a DAY. ITs what we do in those 24hours that sets us up for Success or Failure. Take a minute to write down what you do from hour to hour and ANALYZE where your TIME is actually spent. You might be surprised with what you can cut out of your day or ask another family member to “help out” while MAMA works on making herself a priority when it comes to working out. It really comes down to the attitude and priority one wants to make becoming and staying a healthy role model for their family. Once you make exercise and eating healthy a lifestyle, you figure out how to make time for yourself.
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5. Probably the most common obstacle people face when embarking on the journey to better health and fitness is staying the course and remaining dedicated. I believe most people find sticking to a healthy eating plan the hardest part of improving their physique. It requires determination, dedication and keeping focused on the end goal, but the journey to get there is not easy. When my clients come into the gym for their training sessions, they find it easy to follow my directions and perform the exercises that I ask of them. Not that the training session is easy, but all they have to do is what I tell them.
However, when they are not in my presence, the distractions of life, the desires of food familiarity and the effects of stress wreak havoc on the brain and many reach for comfort in what they find familiar. Even the most detailed nutritional plans can be thrown to the wayside when will-power is not at it’s strongest. Emotional eating is a very powerful force to be reckoned with and once you understand the triggers, progress can be made to overcome it.
In addition to being in constant communication with clients to keep them motivated, keeping a food diary can also be beneficial. Once you recognize that a client has a tendency to fall off of the wagon from time to time, asking them to write down what they eat, when they ate it and what they were feeling at the time they made that choice can help establish a pattern that can be identified. Once those triggers are identitied, a new behavior can be created to circumvent an unfavorable eating habit and hopefully correct it!