We all know just how easy it is to make excuses for why we haven’t done something or done it as well as we should have done. A lot of the time we’re so used to making them we don’t even realise we’re doing it!

When it comes to eating well and exercising however, the excuses for not doing so are endless. So I thought I’d share with you the Top 6 most common excuses that I’ve been hearing from when I first became a trainer to the present day – and provide you with my solutions to help you overcome them.

Excuse No1: “I’ve got no time to eat properly

Solution: use and utilise your days or hours off to get organised! Look at your diary for the week and put some time aside to think about what you’re likely to be able to eat depending on where you will be. One idea that works for a lot of people is to cook healthy meals in large quantities that can be divided up, frozen, defrosted and either taken to work or eaten when you get home.

It also helps to be prepared for the cravings you know you will have – when doing the weekly shop, make sure you buy a week’s worth of healthy snacks to keep at work, in your car and at home so you always have access to something healthy.
You can also help yourself out by not keeping unhealthy rubbish in the house in the first place – remember if it’s not there you’re a lot more likely to not be eating it!

Excuse No2: “I don’t think it’s healthy/right to deprive myself of anything

Solution: if this sounds familiar, then ask yourself how far this has got you to date. Nobody wants to feel deprived which is why having regular ‘treats’ may mean that you don’t – but at the same time, constantly ‘treating’ yourself won’t be doing you and your body any favours!
The easiest solution is to follow the 90% rule: eat healthily 90% of the time and things you wouldn’t normally eat in the other 10%. Being organised here will help you as you can plan for the week in advance and find other ways besides eating unhealthy food to ‘treat’ yourself.

Excuse No3: “I hate the gym”

Solution: you’re not alone! Exercise doesn’t have to be confined to the gym and this is one of my strongest philosophies.
However, if you find it difficult to motivate yourself to work out at home or on your own, and you think the gym will be the only means of ensuring that you do exercise, then you need to view it as a long term investment for your health the same way you would view having a Personal Trainer – think of the money you’ll be saving on potential medical costs in the future.

By exercising regularly and fueling your body correctly, you will also be saving the money you would normally have spent on either eating out or unhealthy food which will result in two positive things:
1) When you do eat out, it will be a much more special occasion
2) You’ll find buying healthier alternatives means you will actually be eating a greater amount of less calorie dense foods, but spending less throughout the day on quick hunger fixes such as chocolate or sugar loaded cereal bars.

Excuse No4: “I can’t eat healthy all the time as I eat out a lot/go to lots of parties etc”
Solution: if eating out is a big part of your life then of course this doesn’t have to stop. Just use your common sense when ordering off the menu, and remember that, as a customer, you are entitled to modify certain dishes in order to suit you.

Just because the bread basket is there doesn’t mean you have to reach for it. And if you decide to have a dessert, make sure you make up for it the next day with a good workout and healthy meal choices as a means of balancing it out.

If you’re attending a party where you know there is likely to be a lot of unhealthy food, then just make sure you have eaten before you go so you don’t arrive hungry and make a beeline for it.

And if you really want to be prepared, then have something healthy, such as the leftovers from the meal you ate before you left ready to eat for when you get home if you are worried you may be hungry then.

Alcohol and its effects on your fat burning metabolism is also something that can be greatly underestimated and misunderstood. Without over-complicating things just remember this: whenever you drink, your body recognises it as a foreign chemical. It will therefore choose to oxidise the alcohol instead of your fat stores, therefore hindering your previous efforts quite a bit. Something to bear in mind when you reach for that glass of wine!

Excuse No5: “I’ve got no time to exercise

Solution: check out my youtube channel, or Fitness Newspaper’s ‘Alive in 5′ workouts for examples of intense 5 minute workouts that you can fit in either before work or in the evenings. Again, taking the time to get organised will mean you will always have time.

Many of my clients motivate themselves by thinking of the benefits of exercise and how great you feel afterwards before you do it. Little things like packing your gym bag the night before or keeping it in the car, and scheduling in solo exercise sessions (whether they are in the gym or at home) in your diary will mean you are far more likely to stick to them.

Excuse No6: “I’ve already tried everything and nothing works

Solution: ok then maybe try this – stop believing in the fads and quick fixes we are subject to every day on TV and in magazines – many are based on a loose theory and have no long term maintenance plan. Remember that any long term success plan is going to take time and requires patience but the results you experience will be well worth it!

Now you’re aware there is always a solution for every excuse, I hope this will help you to stay focused and motivated in your quest for achieving your ideal body.

Print and keep this article with you to read the next time you catch yourself making an excuse. You now know how to overcome it – and your body will thank you!

Good luck and happy training!