Simply put, a limiting factor is anything that makes it hard for you to reach your goals. When the subject is fitness, body composition, or general health the top five limiting factors are:
1. Your genetic makeup: You can’t blame everything on your DNA, but lets say you ran the Boston Marathon in four hours last year, no matter how much training you put in the chances of winning next year or any year for that matter are nearly impossible, but that doesn’t mean you can’t run it in sub four hours. You need to set realistic goals that are achievable. Don’t set yourself up to fail, nobody likes that.
2.Your exercise: Our bodies are meant to move way more than we are moving them. You need to dedicate time to moving your body with intention and intensity. If walking is the only thing you can do to start that’s fine, but you will need to eventually get your blood pumping, sweat it out, and lift some weights. The articles out there that claim exercise is not necessary to reach your health and fitness goals is just, well, dumb.
3. Your physiology: If you are feeling sluggish all the time you might want to get your Thyroid checked. If you are constantly bloated, gassy, or fluctuate between constipation and diarrhea, check out an elimination diet or see your doctor to get some food allergy testing done. Women should typically be training and eating according to their menstrual cycle (this one needs a post of its own) in order to perform at peak levels. Men need to read up on andropause: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andropause
4. Your mindset: If you believe that you can’t achieve your goals it is highly unlikely that you ever will. Negative self-talk has a huge impact on people, daily mental habits can make or break you. So turn that frown upside down and smile at yourself as often as possible without looking like a nut job. And please stop complaining, please. You have a choice, make it, do it, move on.
5. Your nutrition: If you eat too much regularly, no matter what it is, even kale *gasp*, and or you are eating highly processed nutrient lacking foods you are not going to be able to sustain your health and fitness goals, especially when it comes to body composition. This is also true for people who are not eating enough. Do some self experimentation and find out what works for you. Remember, there’s no magic pill or one-size-fits-all.