How to Manage Fitness Expectations

It’s completely natural to want to achieve good results within a short time when you are trying to transform your body. It means you care. However, sometimes high expectations and wrongful ideas can get in the way of a proper plan to succeed. In many cases, there’s nothing wrong with the training method or the diet; it’s your mind that has become the worst enemy. Here are some thoughts on how to properly manage expectations.


A cheat day can’t kill you.

There was a time when I was very strict with my diet, and I always said no to burger dates or dinner parties. The result? I overate because my craving for food was too much. The solution is to have a cheat day once in a while to avoid binge-eating. Now I understand that my body looks different in the morning and the evening. Give it some time and go back to clean eating and regular exercise to “un-cheat” yourself. Have a burger, or a pizza won’t immediately make you a “fat” person, unless…you do it every day.

You can’t turn into Victoria’s Secret Angle overnight.

You can’t have a flat tummy or a killer bicep within one day. Good things take time and hard work. Fast fix never works. What happens to the people who take laxatives or only eat salads for a month? The weights always bounce back. That’s why you need to have a realistic and actionable fitness plan and stick to it. There’s no rush in doing 500 push-ups in one day. You’ll get there.

Don’t compare yourself with others.

I understand how frustrating it is to scroll over the Instagram page seeing all the perfect bodies. However, it’s impossible to have the same shape as somebody else. And there is also no point being disappointed just because others lose weight or build muscles faster. Every person is born genetically different. It means our bodies react and adapt to training and eating in different ways, so there’s no use using others as standards to examine our progress. Alternative? Find your tempo and compare with yourself!

Treat yourself, not punish.

I hear people say things like “I have to do 50 burpees to burn off the cookie calories,” all the time. You don’t have to punish yourself for enjoying food after a long day, and you certainly don’t need to earn the right for eating. Food is one of the things in life that can bring us joy and warmth. A piece of bread can’t kill you just because it’s carbs and sometimes you eat something sweet because your body or brain needs the energy. Enjoy the satisfaction of cooking and the comfort of food as long as the serving size is reasonable.

How to manage fitness expectations

Don’t get obsessed with numbers.

Don’t get me wrong. Numbers are helpful to measure progress in the body transformation process. But obsessing with how many pounds you gained or lost every day is not so relevant. A wiser approach is to look at different kinds of numbers such as the circumference and the body fat rate. Even so, only use them as a reference to check for progress, not as a competition. Find a measurement that suits you the most and forget about the math. Numbers are only part of the story, and it will never be as effective as to look at the actual transformation.

Take it easy with how you look.

I used to get very paranoid if I gained weights but had to go to a social event since many people would judge my body. Sometimes when I’m bloated, I feel others can tell and think about it in their heads. But the truth is, everyone is so busy worrying about being judged that they don’t have time to look at others carefully. It’s not how you look that matters, the only thing important is that you’ve found a way to live comfortably and you are enjoying your life.

I get it. It’s not always an easy thing to set a proper expectation since we are all humans. But it’s always the person who has the attitude and the persistence to follow through that wins the battle. Work hard on every training but keep an open mind over the results. Just enjoy!

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