Healthy looking skin, shiny hair, lean and toned muscles. Yes, we want it all. Unfortunately no one has invented a “perfect body”-ordering app as yet. Transformation takes time, commitment and consistent work. And then there are all the other things from the department nutrition, health, exercise, timing and mind that can have an impact on our body’s shape.
#1 – You don’t value the importance of food
It’s estimated that the human body consists of 50 – 200 trillion cells. 50.000 cells of your and my body will die and be replaced with new cells by the time I have finished writing this paragraph. Did you ever think about where these new cells come from? They don’t just suddenly appear.
New cells are copies of existing cells. Basically make two out of one. So firstly, the new copy can only be as excellent as the template. And secondly, the material needed to build a new cell comes from the food we eat. Do you know what nutrients are needed to build healthy splendid looking new cells? No? Well, than this might just be one of the reasons why you don’t have the body you want.
#2 – You consume too many calories
Obviously our caloric needs vary from person to person. If you work an office job and the only “exercise” you get through the day is from the walk back and forth to the coffee machine you need fewer calories than the postman who distributes letters and lifts parcels the whole day.
Another reason why you don’t have the body you want could be due to under or overestimating of how many calories you think you are consuming and actually are consuming. Calories can add up very easily. One extra tablespoon of sugar here, two tiny Tim Bits there, an extra helping of pasta for dinner and a glass of wine.
Writing a food journal might be an eye opening experiment. I’d like to emphasize that I am not recommending counting calories. But it is helpful to get a good feel about foods and the energy they contain. You can use our free calorie counter app but again, I don’t want you to get obsessed with it. It’s just for fun and getting our perception right, okay?
#3 – You consume too little nutrients
Nutrient dense food is truly very important. If you want a healthy and gorgeous body you have to stop thinking about calories and make nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, essential fatty acids, proteins etc.) your top priority.
Just to name a few examples: Eczema and flaky skin are linked to a deficiency in EFA’s. Iron, zinc and copper are minerals are associated with making your hair healthy.
#4 – Your body’s systems are out of whack
Your body is in its happiest state when it is in equilibrium with the body’s systems. This is called homeostasis. It’s like a leveled teeter-totter on the playground. Everything we do, eat and drink challenges this balance. Deficiencies or excesses therefor lead to unbalances. And chronic unbalances lead to all kind of disorders like allergies, candidiasis, diabetes, high-blood pressure and so on.
#5 – Your hormones get in the way
We’d rather not think that our body shape might be influenced by something so unpredictable as hormones. In general unbalanced hormone levels will impair the body’s ability to build muscle and recover from stress.
Eating a late dinner for instance could influence the secretion of growth hormone by your pituitary gland. Growth hormone is needed to burn fat and build leans muscle mass, while you are in deep sleep.
Carb-loaded meals bring out the hormone insulin, which stores unused glucose as fat.
Low thyroid hormone is related to difficulties losing weight, and high thyroid hormone to trouble gaining weight.
#6 – Your body wants to hold on to fat cells to protect you
Our fat cells are the perfect storage unit for toxins. Even if we are on a “healthier lifestyle” our body has to deal with toxins from prescription drugs, cleaning products, cosmetics, air pollution and preservatives and additives in the food we eat.
If our detox organs (skin, liver, kidneys, colon, lymph and lungs) or overwhelmed, toxins are stored in fat cells. If we are having trouble losing that extra weight, it could mean, that your body simply doesn’t want to open these units to protect us from an overflow of toxins.
#7 – You’re not doing the right exercise
Whatever your goal is. Do you have a strategy that delivers success? You want a firm bum but haven’t heard about squats and lunges? You’d like to achieve bulky shoulders and big guns by doing 20 reps with 5 pound dumbbells? Don’t just wing it and copy what other people do. They might have totally different goals. Do your research or invest in a personal consultation.
#8 – You’re doing a little bit of everything
“My name is consistency. I am related to success. We should hang out more than every once in a while.” We are what we repeatedly do. So what do you do more? Business chair pushing and fast keyboard typing or actually lifting weights, running or yoga? Not working out hard enough or often enough could be another reason why you don’t have the body you want.
#9 – You are working out at the wrong time
Studies suggest that exercising in the morning raises the resting metabolic rate and you continue to burn fat for a full 12 hours. If you exercise in the evenings and then go to bed, you lose most of the fat-loss effect. Sleep causes your metabolic rate and body temperature to decline. So maybe switch things up a little and see how that works out for you.
#10 – You’re working out too hard
Trainings success is the sum of training and recovery. Every time you work out you are damaging muscle tissue and challenging your nervous system. Allow your body to recover between workouts. Overtraining and not refueling properly can also lead to adrenal fatigue.
#11 – You’re too impatient
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither is your body. How much time have you given yourself to transform whatever you would like to see transformed? Oh, so you’ve been eating “healthier” for 2 weeks now and still no glowing skin? And you still can’t run 10 kilometers without gasping for air after 4 weeks of training? So you give up because you think it is not working.
Well, transformation needs time. The cells of the surface of your lungs e.g. are being replaced every 2-3 weeks. But at the core of your lungs, where the oxygen exchange happens, cells are being replaced about once a year. And about the skin: Some theories suggest, that the skin is last in the hierarchy of organs to receive “extra” nutrients. So all the good stuff you’re eating just might be needed for some more pressing internal projects of your body.
#12 – The image you’re trying to achieve is not realistic
Oh I know. I love these magazines “Men’s Health”, “Shape” and whatever their names. They are part of my life. I love the great advice in all categories. But you have to remember when you admire the bodies of these models on the cover, it’s there job to look gorgeous.
Everything they do caters to looking good (and it doesn’t mean that they are healthy). And then in the end it still needs a very talented graphic designer that polishes the picture with Photoshop before it gets on the cover.
Yes, you are allowed to see them as role models but also ask yourself, is it realistic in my current lifestyle to look like them? Do you have 5+ hours every day to work out, shop and cook healthy plus doing all the other chores that life brings to you? Because one thing is for sure, it took time and hard work and commitment to shape these bodies the way they are.
#13 – You are not ready
Yes, you wouldn’t mind to look like Heidi Klum or Tony Horton. But you also wouldn’t mind owning that bag, these shoes and that delicious looking donut.
Simply put, you don’t want it bad enough. Your body shape is not your first priority. Once you are honest and admit it to yourself, you can finally move on, make peace with your mind and body and spend time reading articles that really matter to your current life situation like “Why you shouldn’t pay attention to people that judge you by your looks.”
#14 – Your emotions get in the way
Emotions can manipulate our diet. When we are stressed or depressed, there is no better instant cure than reaching for comfort food (that is typically rich in carbohydrates). As soon as sugar touches our tongue, endorphins (our happy hormones) are released, which make us instantly feel better. Did you every wonder what they mean when they talk about the mind-body connection? There you got it.
#15 – You’re not surrounded by people on the same mission
This one I find very important. Are you surrounded by people that (unwillingly) sabotage your goal? Do you know more people that get really excited by the words “Fredo’s Pasta Bar” or do you know more people that would love to go on a hike, run or cycling with you? Choose your friends wisely or get them hooked on the same mission.