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13 Bad Habits That Are Holding You Back from Your Fitness Goals


Getting in shape is a goal that many people strive for, but unfortunately, not everyone is able to achieve it. While there can be many factors that contribute to this, one major obstacle that people face is bad habits.

These habits can hinder progress and prevent people from reaching their goals. Let’s go over 13 bad habits (yes, 13 of them!) that people have when trying to get in shape and I’ll offer advice on what can be done to fix them.

1. Skipping Meals

One of the most common bad habits that people have when trying to get in shape is skipping meals. Some people believe that skipping meals will help them lose weight faster, but this is not true. Skipping meals can actually slow down your metabolism, which can make it harder to lose weight in the long run.

Advice: Instead of skipping meals, focus on eating healthy, balanced meals throughout the day. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains in your diet. Eating smaller, more frequent meals can also help keep your metabolism working efficiently.

2. Overindulging in Cheat Meals

While it’s important to allow yourself the occasional indulgence, overindulging in cheat meals can quickly derail your progress. Consuming too many calories in one sitting can easily undo all the hard work you’ve put in at the gym.

Advice: Rather than completely avoiding your favorite indulgent foods, try incorporating them into your diet in moderation. For example, allow yourself one cheat meal a week rather than multiple cheat meals throughout the week. You can also try swapping out high-calorie foods for healthier alternatives, such as a grilled chicken sandwich instead of a cheeseburger.

3. Not Drinking Enough Water

Drinking enough water is essential for overall health, but it’s especially important when trying to get in shape. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, dizziness, and even decreased physical performance during workouts.

Advice: Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, and more if you’re particularly active. If you struggle to drink enough water, try adding fresh fruit or herbs to your water for flavor or invest in a reusable water bottle to keep with you throughout the day.

4. Overtraining

While it’s important to stay active and get regular exercise, overtraining can actually do more harm than good. Overtraining can lead to fatigue, injury, and burnout.

Advice: Make sure to give your body enough time to rest and recover between workouts. Incorporate low-impact exercises, such as yoga or stretching, into your routine to help prevent injury and promote recovery.

5. Focusing Too Much on Cardio

Cardiovascular exercise is important for heart health and weight loss, but focusing too much on cardio can actually hinder progress. This is because your body can adapt to the same type of exercise, making it less effective over time.

Advice: Incorporate strength training into your workout routine to help build muscle and increase your metabolism. This can help you burn more calories even when you’re not working out.

Additionally, try switching up your cardio routine to include different types of exercise, such as swimming or cycling, to challenge your body and prevent adaptation.

6. Not Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep is crucial for overall health, and it’s especially important when trying to get in shape. Lack of sleep can lead to fatigue, decreased physical performance, and even weight gain.

Advice: Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, such as reading a book or taking a warm bath, to help you fall asleep more easily. If you struggle with sleep, consider talking to a healthcare professional for additional support.

7. Drinking Too Much Alcohol

While the occasional drink is fine, drinking too much alcohol can quickly derail progress when trying to get in shape. Alcohol is high in calories and can also disrupt sleep and cause dehydration, which can affect physical performance.

Advice: Limit alcohol intake to one or two drinks per week, and opt for lower calorie options such as wine or light beer. When drinking, make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and consider having a snack before or during drinking to help slow the absorption of alcohol.

8. Not Tracking Progress

Tracking progress is important when trying to get in shape, as it can help you stay motivated and make adjustments to your routine as needed. However, many people fail to track their progress and end up feeling discouraged when they don’t see results.

Advice: Use a journal, app, or fitness tracker to keep track of your workouts, measurements, and progress. Take progress photos to help you visually see changes in your body. Celebrate small victories, such as lifting heavier weights or running a longer distance, to help keep you motivated.

9. Comparing Yourself to Others

Comparing yourself to others can be detrimental to your progress when trying to get in shape. Everyone’s body is different and responds differently to exercise and nutrition. Focusing too much on comparing yourself to others can lead to negative self-talk and discourage you from continuing your journey.

Advice: Focus on your own progress and celebrate your own accomplishments. Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on becoming the best version of yourself. Surround yourself with positive influences, such as supportive friends or a personal trainer, who can help keep you motivated and focused on your goals.

10. Not Having a Plan

Going into a fitness journey without a plan can make it difficult to see progress and stay motivated. Without a plan, it’s easy to fall into bad habits and lose track of your goals.

Advice: Create a plan that includes specific goals, a workout routine, and a nutrition plan. Make sure your plan is realistic and achievable, and don’t be afraid to make adjustments as needed. Consider working with a personal trainer or nutritionist to help create a personalized plan that works for you.

11. Being Impatient

Many people expect to see results quickly when starting a fitness journey, but it’s important to remember that progress takes time. Being impatient can lead to frustration and discouragement, which can cause people to give up on their goals.

Advice: Set realistic expectations and be patient with yourself. Remember that change takes time and progress is not always visible immediately. Focus on small improvements and celebrate your progress along the way.

12. Lacking Discipline

Discipline is essential for creating healthy habits and achieving long-term success in fitness. Without discipline, it’s easy to fall back into old habits and lose progress.

Advice: Develop discipline by creating a routine and sticking to it, even when it’s difficult. Find accountability through a workout buddy or personal trainer to help keep you on track.

Remind yourself of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and the consequences of not being disciplined. Over time, discipline will become easier and more natural, making it easier to maintain healthy habits.

13. Spending Too Much Time on Social Media

Social media can be a major distraction when trying to get in shape. Scrolling through fitness influencers or constantly checking your progress on fitness apps can cause comparison and discouragement.

Advice: Set boundaries for social media use and prioritize your fitness goals. Consider unfollowing accounts that make you feel inadequate or unmotivated.

Use social media as a tool for inspiration and motivation, but limit your time spent on it. Instead, focus on being present and engaged during your workouts to maximize their effectiveness.

With the right mindset and approach, it’s possible to overcome these habits and achieve your goals. By focusing on healthy habits, staying consistent, and being patient with yourself, you can create a sustainable fitness journey that will help you achieve long-term success.

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