Eliminating Your Limiting Factors
Reaching Your Goals
Have you ever set out to reach your health and fitness goals and been unsuccessful? If you’re nodding your head “yes” right now, you’re not alone. Oftentimes we set out to reach a goal, such as lose weight or run a 5k, and we don’t make it to the finish line – no pun intended! The reason being is that we often have what we call, “limiting factors”, that stand in the way of our goals.
A limiting factor is anything that makes it more difficult for you to achieve optimal results. Based on Precision Nutrition’s concepts, limiting factors can stem from genetic makeup, physical activity patterns, physiology, and mindset. However, most often, the most significant limiting factor is nutrition.
Identifying your limiting factors is a crucial (if not the most important) step to reaching your health and fitness goals, and is often overlooked. By identifying, assessing, correcting, and ultimately removing your limiting factors, you will be able to clear the roadblock(s) that stand in the way of you and your health and fitness goals.
For some, identifying their limiting factors may be very obvious and easy, whereas for others, it may be a bit more difficult and require a little more digging. You also may have many limiting factors, but to begin, choose the most significant one. Once you are able to assess and correct, you can then move on to the next one.
Now that you know what a limiting factor is, the question is – how do you identify one? To begin, sit down with a pencil and paper and write down a list of reasons why you feel you aren’t reaching your current goal(s). Assuming your goal is weight loss, your list may look something like this:
- I eat out a lot
- I eat too many calories
- I finish my kid’s food
- I don’t exercise enough
- I eat a lot of sweets/junk food
- I don’t know how to workout
Now that you have your list, narrow it down to the most significant limiting factor. For example, let’s look at a common one, “I eat out a lot.” Maybe you grab breakfast at Starbucks every morning, or you eat out every lunch at work, or you eat out most dinners during the week. Regardless, you’ve now identified that the most significant hurdle between you and reaching your goals: excessive eating out.
After you’ve created your list and identified your most crucial trouble spot, the next step to determine why you eat out so frequently and how you can change this habit.
Dependent on your lifestyle, social surroundings, home environment, and work environment, there are many reasons as to why you may eat out so often. Here are a few common examples:
- I don’t have enough time to pack my meals
- I don’t have a choice – we are always having company functions
- My fridge is often empty
- It’s just more convenient to eat out
- I don’t know how to cook
For example, let’s look at a very common why, “I don’t have enough time to pack my meals.” Now that you’ve pinpointed your why, the next step is to identify how you can change this habit. Since the issue here is “time” you must now set yourself up for success by creating the time to prepare your food.
An example of how to solve this problem is prepping all your meals on one day, such as a Sunday. If prepping all your meals is too much at once, you can begin with prepping all your breakfasts and/or lunches for the week. Once you are comfortable with this, you can work on your dinners. Doing so sets your week up for healthy eating, without eating out, and solves a huge limiting factor: eating out.
Lastly, to visually summarize your process, jot down your limiting factor, your why, and how, on an index card. Place this index card in an obvious place where you will see it daily, such as on the mirror or your kitchen table. This will act as a visual reminder of what you are trying to fix and how you will do it. Using the above examples, this is what your end result would look like:
Limiting Factor: I eat out a lot
Why: I don’t have enough time to pack my meals
How: Sunday food-prep for the week
Keep in mind, once you begin to tackle your limiting factor and dive into the how and why, you may begin to realize that you have a larger hurdle standing in the way. For example, your why may be “I don’t have enough time to pack my meals”, but as you begin to tackle how, you may begin to realize that you have an empty fridge and there is never any food to pack! In this case, you should begin to solve the empty fridge problem as your why, and then move on to how, which would be your food prepping strategy.
Once you are able to successfully tackle your first limiting factor, you can then go back to your list (or write a new one if they have changed) and move on to the next one. By continuing this process, you will be able to consistently identify what is standing in the way of reaching your goals, and assess and correct your behavior. And by doing so, you will have a clear path to reach your goals!
***Want more help with your nutrition and reaching your goals? Check out our Lean Eating Programs and schedule your consultation with our PN Level 1 coach today!***
Written by DeHenzel Training Systems
Eliminating Your Limiting Factors and Reaching Your Goals
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About DeHenzel Training Systems: DeHenzel Training Systems offers In Home Personal Training services throughout Northern Virginia and Washington DC. Aside from in home, personal training is also available at the office gym or outdoors at a local park.
Within Northern Virginia, we service Loudoun, Fairfax and Prince William Counties including: Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Ashburn, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Fairfax, Falls Church, Great Falls, Herndon, Lansdowne, Leesburg, Lorton, McLean, Oakton, Reston, Springfield, Sterling, Tyson’s Corner, Vienna and Woodbridge.