Working out is different for everyone. Everyone’s body is unique, so some see fitness results more quickly. One factor affecting fitness is how many days you work out and your exercise intensity. For example, engaging in high-intensity activities like sprinting three days a week achieves weight loss more rapidly than weekly walks. Another element influencing fitness is lifestyle habits. These alter the body’s response to physical activity, improving or hindering a workout’s effectiveness.
If you don’t want your efforts to go to waste, here are a few lifestyle habits to get past:
Though cliché, breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day. Skipping it prevents you from being healthy and fit. If you don’t eat in the morning, your body won’t have carbohydrates for fuel. Those who exercise may not be able to power through entire workouts, experience lightheadedness, or even faint.
If you’re too busy to eat breakfast, choose easy-to-prepare foods. You can have overnight oats with berries, a granola bar or whole-grain toast with peanut butter. This way, you can always get the energy you need for the day ahead.
Smoking hinders your fitness levels. A Cleveland Clinic article titled “Smoking and Physical Activity” reveals that smokers have less physical endurance and flexibility as it harms the heart and lungs. This prevents them from completing longer and more intense workouts.
Instead of smoking, consider quitting gradually by using smokeless nicotine products like pouches and patches. Nicotine pouches are placed between your gum and upper lip, so they’re less likely to harm your lungs, and they come in different flavors to suit your tastes. It’s easy to order nicotine pouches online nowadays because they’re available across a number of high-profile sites such as Prilla, so you can have them delivered straight to your door. Similarly, nicotine patches can conveniently be found in drugstores. These are often transparent for discretion and are worn for up to 24 hours. Ultimately, quitting smoking can help increase your endurance for better workouts.
Mindless eating means eating without thinking. For example, eating while watching a show may prompt you to eat more because you’re too distracted to feel full. As such, you may consume more calories than intended or eat unhealthy food.
Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to avoid eating mindlessly. Make it a point to eat at the dining table during meals. Move away from the TV and your phone to prevent distractions. Focus on chewing thoroughly and on how your food makes you feel so you realize when you’re full. This way, you won’t find yourself eating more than you should.
Excessive drinking builds up the fats in the liver. This impedes your metabolism since the liver is partly responsible for breaking down fats and carbohydrates. Thus, consuming alcohol hinders your fitness goals—especially if your goal is to lose weight.
One thing you can try is replacing your usual drinks with mocktails. These resemble the taste of your favorite beverages without affecting your fitness goals. A 2022 article from Ocean Drive titled “Toast To Sober October With These Mocktail Kits And Recipes From Betty Buzz, Ritual” finds that you can even buy mocktail kits online. These contain all the ingredients and instructions you need so you can easily make and enjoy drinks without wasting your fitness efforts.
Skimping on sleep
Insufficient sleep decreases leptin, the hormone responsible for regulating appetite. As such, you get hungrier and consume more calories, leading to weight gain. Lack of sleep also prevents muscle recovery since the body repairs itself during this time. This impedes healthy muscle gain.
Get enough sleep by placing all distractions like phones and tablets away from your sleeping area. It also helps to make your bedroom quiet and dark, enticing you to fall asleep. Finally, do your best to get 8 hours of sleep every night.
Your lifestyle habits impact your fitness goals. These tips can help you maximize your efforts. For more handy advice, check out our other fitness pieces here on Fit Girl’s Diary.