What Are The Most Common Everyday Things We Do, Unconsciously, To Hinder Our Fitness Progress?

What are the most common everyday things we do, unconsciously, to hinder our fitness progress? Here's some invaluable feedback on what and why we fail and great ideas for success! Check it out!

TOPIC: What are the most common things we do to hinder our fitness progress?

The Question:

We may not often realize it, but unconsciously we may hinder or even hurt our fitness progress on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

What are the most common everyday things we do, unconsciously, to hinder our fitness progress?

What's the worst everyday thing that one can do which would hinder their progress?

Bonus Question: What have you done that has hindered your progress and have you done anything to make corrections.

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The Winners:

      1. May Blaiz

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      2. History in Effect

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      3. Greek_Elite

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      3. Adina

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        1st place - 75 in store credit.

        2nd place - 50 in store credit.

      3rd place - 25 in store credit.

1st Place - May Blaiz
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What we do to hinder our fitness progress.

      We may not often realize it, but unconsciously, we may hinder or even hurt our fitness progress on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

What are the most common everyday things we do, unconsciously, to hinder our fitness progress?

"The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken." -- Samuel Johnson

Whether our goal is to lose weight, gain muscle, increase flexibility or improve strength, the focus is on change. As human beings we have the ability to identify our options and then the response. We have the ability to make a choice. The question we need to ask ourselves, then is, is the choice made one that hinders or one that facilitates our fitness progress?

Without bringing into our conscience and becoming aware of what we do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis we cannot move forward and our fitness progress is put to a halt. I am a big believer on the Prochaska and Diclemente's 6-stage model of change. The theory behind this is that change is a process not an outcome.

You may move from one stage to another but whether you move forward or take 2 steps back, you are still changing. You may have already read about the Transformational Theory of Change but here is a quick overview:

  • Stage 1: Pre-contemplation is aka "The Ignorance Is bliss" stage or denial phase. There is no awareness of the unhealthy habit and no readiness to change.
  • Stage 2: Contemplation is when there is an awareness of the unhealthy habit but still no plan to change and very little time considering alternative options.
  • Stage 3: Preparation is when we finally make the decision to change and begin to get ready for taking action. Here, an examination of the pros and cons, benefits and disadvantages to making the change occur.
  • Stage 4: Action is making the change. Removing or making adjustments to the bad, unhealthy habit.
  • Stage 5: Maintenance is about holding on to that healthy change and making it a daily healthy habit.
  • Stage 6: Relapse / Reaction can occur when certain triggers re-appear (like that Thanksgiving dinner with family or the night out with friends)

As I provide you with some things we may do unconsciously that hinder our fitness progress, consider what stage you are in the process of change:

At Home:

  • Skip breakfast.
  • Eat too fast.
  • Get distracted with technology.
  • Not get enough sleep.
  • Too much liquor, not enough water.
  • Inadequate supplementation.

At Work:

  • Sit for long periods.
  • Too much caffeine or other stimulants.
  • Snack, snack, snack.

At The Gym:

  • Resist setting up a purposeful workout plan.
  • Not working out 'til fatigue.
  • Not cooling down by stretching or meditating.

In Life:

  • Let negative self talk control our days.
  • Setting goals without time limits.
  • Lack or loss of motivation.

Psychologist and behavior experts say that it takes about 20-70 days to change and form a new habit. There is no quick fix and of course, change is never easy. It takes patience, perseverance, discipline and determination.

But as we all know, even the well-intentioned people can fall off the health and fitness wagon. (I raise my hand and plead guilty) ... But by challenging ourselves to change, forming healthy habits and getting rid of unhealthy ones, we learn more about ourselves, we grow in our knowledge in how to respond to change and begin to develop skills to adapt and transform.

What's the worst everyday thing that one can do which would hinder their progress?

We read constantly in the newspapers, magazine articles, self-help books and Bodybuilding.com about ways to eat right, get fit, lose fat and gain muscle. But why is it so hard to achieve fitness progress? Why is it not easy to eat the food we know is good for us? Why is it so hard to keep to our workout plan?

You may know the answers to these questions already or you may still be struggling at finding the reasons why. But there is only one reason: Lack of motivation. Without motivation, there is no desire to change what we know hinders our progress.

Jim Loehr, a sports psychologist and CEO of LGE Performance Systems in Orlando, FL states that those who succeed in achieving a healthy lifestyle create a habit that is seductive enough so their behavior pulls on them rather than having to push it.

Motivation is driven by intrinsic (i.e. your motivation to play outdoor soccer is because you love it) and extrinsic values (i.e. you are motivated to work because of the financial rewards). So instead of thinking of making the change as "I have to stop eating bad, and drinking too much booze," think back to why you wanted progress in your fitness in the first place. To live a long healthy life, enjoy friends and family and have an abundance of love and laughter!

What have you done that has hindered your progress and have you done anything to make corrections?

During winter and holiday season festivities, my biggest challenge is staying motivated. "I want that turkey with cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie." "I don't want to workout because my favorite reality show is on." "What's wrong with a couple of glasses of wine on a Saturday night with friends?"

It's that constant dialogue between my good and bad side! Here are some strategies I'm working on to facilitate rather than hinder my progress:

Plan my work then work the plan

I keep the reasons why I want to achieve success in front of my fitness/nutrition log. I try to set goals weekly and keep them in front of me as much as possible to keep from being distracted.

Set Deadlines

This is the difference between a dreamer and one who lives their dreams. By setting a deadline, I force myself to do what needs to get done.

Visualize Success

I'm a visual learner so by visualizing ways to succeed, I end up doing without thinking.

What's motivating me right now are designing dream boards, keeping my favorite quotes posted on my fridge, computer, bag and phone. Instead of meeting the girls for a drink, I suggest to go to the mall to shop and power walk. Instead of sitting on the couch to watch television, I sit on my stability ball for core balance and strengthening when I watch.

I try to stay conscious of where I can fit activity into my day. I keep a log book and continue to write in it even if I know I cheated or was "bad" that day. By reviewing this log book regularly, I can monitor my success and discover ways to improve and fine tune my fitness success plan.

2nd Place - History in Effect
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What do we do to hinder our fitness progress?

Eating Habits

Many people start fitness programs in hopes of losing weight, gaining lean body mass, or other reasons. They train hard, but see little results. The reason lies in them not taking their nutrition seriously. It is of great importance to eat 4-6 balanced meals consisting of high protein, moderate carbs, and little fat.

If you eat fatty foods all the time and train hard in the gym, you will see little if any progress in your body. The best bet in continuing your fitness progress is to plan meals in advance and that includes your cheat meals which allow you to enjoy your favorite foods.

Having your 4-6 meals scheduled in advance will lessen your temptation to eat fatty foods. Write down everything in a nutrition log and a training log. Motivation is the key. In the words of Skip La Cour, "This is a great time to determine exactly why you will absolutely commit to eating the way you should to build the physique you really want." (Ironman's Ultimate Guide to Bodybuilding Nutrition, 10300)


The substances I am talking about are cigarettes, alcohol, and various illegal substances. Many people overindulge in these activities and fail to realize how it hinders them in the gym. They blame others for their lack of progress when instead they should be looking at themselves.

The passion to smoke a cigarette can turn into an addiction.
+ Click To Enlarge.
The passion to smoke a cigarette
can turn into an addiction.

The passion to smoke a cigarette or drink alcohol could turn into an addiction which could prove hard to break. These substances can hinder or slow down your progress-remember that the next time you puff or drink. Without these substances, your fitness progress will be a lot smoother.


It amazes me at my college how people take cars to classes when they live within 5 minutes of campus. You could be walking to classes and getting that fresh natural air. There is no excuse for not walking.

Walking is natural and more people should enjoy it instead of getting in their car. I understand how cars give us that freedom, but when class is only five minutes away why not just walk or bicycle. Then, when people go to school they take the elevator instead of the stairs. In my opinion, this is just plain lazy. Taking the stairs is great for exercise people.

What's the worst everyday thing that one can do to hinder their progress?

No Motivation

The fourth and last problem lies in the lack of motivation. Motivation was mentioned earlier and without being motivated you can not accomplish your goals or make significant progress.

People blame money as one reason why they can't make fitness progress. You can always go shoot hoops in your backyard or jog around your block. You just have to be motivated. People say they don't have time, but they have time to do other things. It only takes 30-60 minutes to have a productive workout. Stop making excuses ladies and gentleman ... get motivated.

These four things in my opinion contribute as things that hamper our fitness programs. You have to be motivated to make progress. Motivation will take you to new heights that other people see and want to soar along with you. Your motivation in the gym and hard work can inspire others to take the high road to success.

What have you done to hinder your progress and how can you correct it?

I use to have problems with eating fatty meals all the time without taking in account what it did to my body. Now, I keep a nutrition log to write down what I eat and try to schedule proportioned meals in advance to avoid overindulging. I have set cheat meals that are planned in advance, so I have less problems maintaining progress. A log will always help you strive for the top.

3rd Place - Greek_Elite
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What are the common everyday things we do to hinder our progress?

I am a firm believer that our mental and psychological states impact our everyday lives and behavior. Think about it, if you are in a bad mood you may not want to hit the weights that day, and if you do, it could be just a mediocre lift, not trying to hit a new PR or go for those last few reps.

So how do you prevent this from happening? One way is to clear your head of any bullsh*t before you go to the gym. Now everybody has their own way of doing this, some listen to music, some watch an action movie, some meditate; whatever gets you focused and motivated, DO IT!

Another thing that can impact our progress is just general daily behavior. Not getting enough sleep can be very detrimental to your progress, especially if you workout in the morning.

Waking up after 4-5 hours of sleep can leave a person groggy, unmotivated, and lacking a good mind-muscle connection, which plays a large physical and psychological role. Even still, afternoon and night lifters need enough rest to get them through the day, AND THEN workout. Of course there are supplements that can help aid with sleep and recovery, but nothing beats a good old-fashioned slumber.

Nothing Beats Good Old-Fashioned Slumber.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Nothing beats good
old-fashioned slumber.

At the gym, not warming up properly can easily affect your workouts and progress, and worst case even leading to an injury. Proper stretching and warm-ups are essential to getting the blood flowing and filling your muscles, helping you lift more and harder.

What's the worst everyday thing that one can do to hinder their progress?

Improper diet I believe is the worst thing that can hinder your progress, even if you do bust your butt in the gym five times per week. We all see those people in the gym, they are in there Monday-Friday lifting and running, then go party all weekend, drinking and eating everything they stayed away from during the week.

There is just no excuse for lifting hard to just go wash the hard work away with a #5 combo, even if it is with a diet soda. Sure we need a psychological boost every so often, but nobody needs one every weekend and to such an extent.

Even on a daily basis, improper nutrition has numerous negative effects. Eating poorly during the day can make a person sluggish, not to mention malnourished, and obviously impact their lift. Getting enough water in, especially if taking supplements that work best with proper hydration, is another key daily factor.

Eating poorly can also have a negative psychological effect, as a person may make themselves feel guilty for cheating, and possibly even second guess why they even bother going to the gym in the first place.

What have you done to hinder your progress and how can you correct it?

One of my favorite quotes about bodybuilding is "Compliments kill a bodybuilder, criticism makes one." Most people will look at this and think that is ridiculous, but I feel it is very true.

Personally, when a friend compliments me it does give me a psychological boost at first, but then I let it affect my day, specifically my diet, and I believe I subconsciously think something like, "I worked hard and got this compliment, I can have a little cheat snack."

I am still working on correcting this, but I am getting better. To help me avoid slacking I do something that will make me feel good but not impact my progress.

For example I will reward myself by buying something I wanted for a while, maybe even some more protein (it's nearly impossible to have enough on hand), or I will do something fun like see a movie (no popcorn though) or go out with friends but not drink. It basically works to reinforce my belief that I am doing this for a reason and I can find other reinforcements outside of food.

3rd Place - Adina
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

What Are The Common Everyday Things We Do To Hinder Our Progress?

A few days ago, a coworker of mine was walking around taking orders for breakfast. It was about 9:30 when he started taking orders. We open at 8 a.m. I was the lone person who did not order anything. When he came to my desk, I pointed to my diet, which I have clipped to my board, and said, "Unless they have something from this list, I'll pass."

And here's the thing, everyone at work already had breakfast that morning ... every single person.

The unconscious need to not pass up free food prevailed. No one was hungry. There was no need to eat. No one was hungry. But no one stopped to think.

And it's the little things like this, every day, that hamper us.

  • Mindless snacking in the break room.
  • Eating just because it's there, not because you're hungry.
  • Saying yes to dinner with friends without thinking how it will derail your trip to the gym.

Every choice we make during the day has a consequence, and so often it's those unconscious, spur of the moment decisions, that hurt our fitness goals the most.

What's the worst thing that one can do to hinder their progress?

The single worst thing you can do to hinder your own progress is to not make a plan.

I always have a plan, and that's how I lost 121 pounds. I have already looked at my calendar from now through the holidays. I know that between now and the end of the year, I have more than 25 opportunities to eat off the plan.

Looking at it like that and planning ahead makes me know I simply cannot miss that many workouts or eat off plan that many times.

If I didn't make a plan, I would think, "It's OK, this only happens once per year," when in reality "it" happens more than 20 times just in the next few months.

I don't wait for my health and fitness goals to miraculously fall into place. I plan every day. I know what I'm going to eat and when I will exercise, and I do not let other things get in my way.

What have you done to hinder your progress and how can you correct it?

The biggest thing I did along the way to hinder my own progress was to believe that it was someone else's fault that I was overweight.

  • I blamed my daddy for leaving.
  • My mom for keeping honey buns in the house.
  • My ex for making me unhappy, and my kids for keeping me too busy.
  • I even blamed random strangers for having better metabolisms than me.

Never once while I was pointing that finger at others did I look at the three folded fingers that were pointing back at me. The same fingers that kept shoveling those honey buns in. Day after day. Year after year.

I finally had to accept responsibility for my own actions. I had to realize that I was grown and responsible for every bite of unhealthy food I put in my mouth and every workout I chose to miss.

I had to decide to rise above my circumstances and become the fit and healthy person I wanted to be.