Do you have trouble reaching your fat loss goals? At some point everyone does, the situation and circumstances will surely be different but the end result is the same. Let’s outline some common reasons you’re not reaching your goals and different tactics to use to help you win.

The feeling of failure after missing a goal is something we could all go without feeling for the rest of our lives. But, at the end of the day, we are better for it. You know why that is? We keep going and start over again.

Quitting means you lose, you don’t believe in yourself or you don’t think you’re good enough to reach (X) goal. That ends today. If you take nothing else from this article take this:

Failure is okay, normal even. But, quitting is not acceptable. Not one successful person has hit their goals every time, none of them have “never failed”. What successful people do is learn from it, and try again — and again and again until they succeed. Life isn’t perfect and never will be. Just. Keep. Going.

5 Reasons Why You’re Not Reaching Your Goals:

  1. Program Hopping-

You’ve outlined your goals and you’re ready to take action. You have exactly what you’re going to do in place. You start out strong, you’re hitting the gym every day and eating fairly well. A couple of weeks go by and you start to get bored with your current workout program. Maybe it really is boring, maybe you want to do something your friend is doing or maybe you read muscle & fitness and you want to try the program that Mr. Olympia does because if you do his workout you’ll look like him in 8 weeks, right?


Find a program you feel will help you reach your goals. If you don’t know what kind of program you need, shoot me an email or visit my coaching page here and I can help get you going in the right direction. Once you have your program: Start Program > Finish Program. Mix it up a little if you need to but stick to the one you started with. Results will come much faster this way even if the program is not perfect, compared to program hopping and doing something entirely different every single week.

  1. Neglecting Nutrition-

Are you working out hard and not seeing results? Typically, this means there is a problem in the kitchen. Results are 80% nutrition and 20% fitness. So, if you’re going to go all in on one or the other, nutrition is the way to go. Eat well at least 80% of the time and you’ll see results sooner than later. I guarantee it.


Maybe you have no idea what eating “well” or “right” looks like. In my opinion, a conversation with a nutritionist or registered dietitian is always a great investment. My wife, Hillary, can help with that. A little coaching and guidance may be the push you need to take your nutrition habits to the next level. Confidence in your eating habits and realizing eating ‘healthy” doesn’t have to mean bland tasteless food can be huge for the psyche.

Another extreme that derails progress when working on nutrition is diet hopping. We’ve all done it.

Atkins. Weight Watchers. Paleo. Gluten Free. Vegan. Vegetarian. Bulletproof Diet. Intermittent Fasting. Carb Cycling. Ketogenic Diet.


I’m not saying that any of those don’t work. What I am saying is that if you tried each of those within the last two months your results were probably minimal — or maybe you even gained weight.

  1. No Support Group/Accountability-

When setting out to achieve any goal it is so important that you communicate your goals with your close social network. Saying your goals out loud validates them and gives you a sense of responsibility to complete them because “everyone” knows what I am trying to do.

Pick 1-2 from your social group that you could ask to help hold you accountable. Accountability is a crucial component to reaching your goals. It is inevitable that you will struggle/want to quit/feel like giving up and having someone who knows you’ll be coming to them when you need help or, even better, checks in on you regularly will be paramount to your success.

Don’t have anyone who you can rely on to do that for you? If you have the means, find a coach who you vibe well with and have them be your accountability partner. Whether it is me or someone else, you will reap the benefits of it.

  1. Expecting Immediate Results-

This issue is so common. I talk about something like this almost daily with clients.

It all starts with false expectations and body goals that in reality were made in a dark room on photoshop. Magazine cover models probably look good in real life, yes. But — do they look exactly like the cover and maintain 4% body fat year round? Not no. But Hell No.


You’re not going to look exactly how you want to look after one workout, or one week, or 3 months. It’s just not going to happen. You know what, though? That’s okay. In fact, I encourage you to love your body no matter where you are progress wise on your goals. Love yourself — we have one body and one life. Own It. Love It. Be You.

Weight loss is not linear. There will be ups, there will be downs. It’s part of the game! I have clients come to me all the time saying they had a down month because they “only” lost 4lbs. Umm, 1lb per week is nothing to be upset about. Actually that’s pretty dang impressive and something to be proud of. Progress is progress even if you think it is slow.


By the way, 1lb per week would be 52lbs a year. Had to throw that out there in case you math like I do. Took me a minute to make that calculation so I could save you a little time. You’re welcome.

  1. Unrealistic Goals –or- Goals That Aren’t Well Defined

An article I wrote last year summed goal setting up pretty well, so rather than reinventing the wheel I took a section from it and put it below.


Get Specific with what you are wanting to accomplish, simply saying “I want to lose 20#”, or “I want a 6 pack”, or “I want to bench press 500#” doesn’t cut it. Are those goals admirable? Of course! Who am I to rain on your goal parade?! But, to get to a point where you can make strides toward that goal you not only have to define the goal, you have to define; where, who, what, and why you want this to happen.

The goal must be Measurable. Tracking progress (or regressions) is a vital part of knowing where you stand. Flying by the seat of your pants leads to failure. It’s as simple as that. If you want to make a change, put in the groundwork before you start — that will help you up your success rate tenfold down the road.

You want to make sure that your goal is Attainable/Achievable. For example, say you are currently 35% body fat (male) and your goal is to be Mr. Olympia next year. Well, that’s just not going to happen.

Those guys train for years to get the physiques they have, not to mention their genetically gifted and more times than not have one of those doctors that give them the good stuff. Heck maybe they use A-Rod’s “guy.” Set a goal that you know and believe that you can achieve, if you don’t believe it from the start what do you think the chances are of it coming to fruition?

Is the goal Relevant? Does it line up with other goals you have set for yourself? Contradicting goals can and will set you up for failure.

The goal must be Timely. By that I mean you should set an end date to achieve that goal. If you say you want to lose 100# but there is no end date it is very easy (and common) to lose sight of what the goal is and motivation is lost because there isn’t the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel.” To build on the timeliness of a goal I would also strongly recommend “micro” goals, or smaller goals that come at much shorter increments. I wrote about micro goals here.

Diagnose if you’re dealing with any of the issues above and make an action plan as to how you’ll deal with it. If you can’t pinpoint what you’re issues with reaching your goals are (if there are any), let’s chat and outline an action plan that is right for you (no pressure and sales pitch free). Email me at [email protected] with “reaching goals” in the subject line.