7 things people who stay effortlessly fit never do (so you shouldn’t either)

Have you ever noticed how some people have to work super hard to get fit and stay that way? And then there are others out there who seem to just stay fit with no effort at all. It doesn’t seem fair, right? 

When it comes to health and fitness, we become obsessed with what those naturally fit people are doing, what they’re eating, and their exercise routine.

But what if I told you the secret to keeping fit is as much about what you don’t do, as what you do? 

Today, I’m sharing 7 things people who stay effortlessly fit never do so you shouldn’t either. This might just get you on the right track to a healthier body and mind.

Let’s dive in. 

1) Aim to give 100% effort to every workout

You’ve probably heard motivational speeches that tell you to give your workout your all and push yourself to give 100%, right?

The funny thing is, effortlessly fit people never aim to give 100% effort to their workout. 

Here’s why: there’s this thing called RPE (rate of perceived effort) which is a 0-10 scale to assess how hard you’re pushing yourself. 0 is no exertion, and 10 means you’re working as hard as possible. 

Effortlessly fit people know that aiming for 100% all the time just doesn’t work. 

As PT, Beth Ansley explains, “If you always feel like you are working 9/10 then you aren’t going to make as much progress as you could because you are just killing yourself every workout. You won’t be able to recover and stay consistent over time – which is the key to success!”

Effortlessly fit people don’t aim for 100% because they know it’s unrealistic and less beneficial in the long run, so you shouldn’t either. 

2) Do things they hate for exercise

When I started my fitness journey, I viewed exercise as something that I had to endure as part of a healthy lifestyle. I hated running but I knew I needed to do cardio so I endured it. 

I later realized that effortlessly fit people don’t do things they hate for exercise. They know that physical activity is something they’ll be doing for many years, so they find something that they enjoy (or at least don’t despise).

And I know you might be thinking “I hate all physical activity” but hear me out. 

There are so many options: think dance, yoga, weightlifting, swimming, and even walking, not to mention many available group classes. There’s sure to be something you don’t dread. 

And here’s the kicker: a recent study has found that the more you enjoy the exercise, the more likely you are to continue to do it consistently. Effortlessly fit people know this and never do things they hate just for exercise, neither should you. 

3) Obsess over food

My aunt Rita has had a lifelong battle with health and fitness. She’s constantly crash dieting which causes her to obsess over food. She’s always restricting herself which means she constantly craves foods she ‘can’t’ have and it even dictates her mood. 

If you’ve ever spent any time with someone like my aunt Rita, who’s following a diet plan, you’ll know they obsess over food. It seems like all enjoyment of food is taken away as they scrutinize every bite.

This might be sustainable for a few weeks at best but the only way to achieve long-term fitness is to have a healthy relationship with food. Effortlessly fit people grasp this concept instinctively, they don’t need to be told.  

They make mostly healthy food choices but aren’t afraid to indulge in something delicious and not so healthy from time to time. 

Instead of looking for a quick fix, stop obsessing over food and develop a lifestyle that’s mostly healthy food choices, leaving some room for the occasional treat. 

4) Drink alcohol excessively

Did you know that to keep alcohol-related health risks to a minimum you shouldn’t have more than 6 pints or 10 small glasses of wine per week? It’s true, these are the NHS (UK healthcare) guidelines.

It’s no secret that regular and excessive drinking can hinder fitness goals. Research suggests that alcohol can even make our muscles less efficient during exercise. 

People who are naturally fit don’t drink alcohol excessively. Sure, they might have a social drink here and there. Every once in a while, they might party hard for a special occasion but generally, they keep alcohol to a minimum and it helps their fitness. 

Are you willing to reduce your alcohol intake for the sake of your health and fitness? 

5) Wait to feel motivated

This one’s a biggie so listen up: naturally fit people don’t wait to feel motivated. 

Imagine this: you’ve decided you’re hitting the gym tomorrow before work. Your alarm sounds at 6.30 am and it’s cold and dark outside. You’re wrapped up warm and cozy in your bed and you just don’t feel like working out right now. So you go back to sleep. 

Sound familiar? 

Believe it or not, effortlessly fit people feel like this sometimes too. But the difference is, that they don’t wait to feel motivated to do a workout, eat right, or look after their fitness. They do the hard things even when they don’t feel like it. 

They take on the mentality of podcast sensation, Joe Rogan who says “Forget your motivation, you need discipline because motivation’s not there every day.”

Effortlessly fit individuals never wait for motivation because they know that it comes and goes. They rely on discipline and consistency to do what they need to do, regardless of how they feel. 

6) Sacrifice sleep on an ongoing basis

How many hours do you sleep every night? 

Most of us need 7-9 hours of sleep per night but according to the CDC, one-third of adults in the US are getting less than the recommended amount of sleep. Sleep is important for all of us but it’s even more vital for people focused on their fitness. 

As outlined by Sleep Foundation, “Evidence shows that more sleep, or extended sleep, can benefit athletes, their recovery, and their performance.” 

One study looked at the impact of increasing the sleep of a men’s basketball team to 10 hours per night and found that it improved their speed on the court and their shooting accuracy by 9%. 

There’s no doubt that sleep is beneficial for maintaining fitness. 

Naturally fit people know that sleep is just as important as diet and exercise in maintaining good health and fitness. That’s the reason they don’t sacrifice sleep regularly. And neither should you. 

7) Count calories

We all know that if you eat less and move more, you get fitter over time, right? 

And one of the ways you’ve learned to track how much you eat is through calorie counting. If you can burn more calories than you eat then hey presto, you’re on the road to fitness. 

But here’s the thing: people who stay effortlessly fit never count calories. 

Instead, they focus on the quality of their food and the nutrients they’re getting. They know that if they focus on getting enough carbs, fats, protein, vitamins and minerals, the calories aren’t important. 

Stop counting calories and focus on nourishing your body with whole foods and healthy choices. 

Final thoughts

It’s true that some people find it easier than others to stay fit, but we can learn important lessons from those who stay fit effortlessly, which will help us on our fitness journeys.

Focus on getting the basics right, keeping everything in moderation, and finding ways to enjoy the process and you’ll be well on your way to increased health and fitness

Cat Harper

Cat is an experienced Sales and Enablement professional turned writer whose passions span from psychology and relationships to continuous self-improvement, lifelong learning and pushing back on societal expectations to forge a life she loves. An avid traveler and adventure sports enthusiast, in her downtime you'll find Cat snowboarding, motorcycling or working on her latest self-development project.

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