The Big 3 Barriers of Fitness & Nutrition

How to overcome a lack of time, energy and not knowing what to do

Tom Fitzgerald
6 min readAug 26, 2022


Using the 3 F’s to manage energy balance is a simple concept, but it’s not always easy to implement. Life gets busy, emotions run high, and things generally get in the way of our best intentions to improve fitness and nutrition.

I surveyed my email list back in 2013 to find out what the biggest barriers to fitness and nutrition were. The results were clear: time, energy, and not knowing what to do. There are others, but these were the most common and have frequently come up in conservations with clients ever since.

Understanding barriers and developing strategies to overcome them is critical to building an adhereable fitness and nutrition plan. Adherence drives progression, so we need to take time to consider barriers and how to overcome them. Here are a few ideas on the big three.


A lack of time is the most common barrier to improving fitness and nutrition. It takes time to prepare, travel and complete training sessions, just as it does to buy and prepare food.

Telling people to make fitness and nutrition priority number one is rarely a good way to get clients on board. Instead, we need to move it up the list but ensure the strategies we develop don’t get in the way of the big rocks (family, work, etc).

Frequency and duration are the key variables of time. Let’s say you want to do 90-minutes of moderately vigorous exercise each week. You could do either 3 x 30-minute sessions or 6 x 15-minute sessions. Don’t even think about what is a better form of training (it doesn’t matter) just focus on what fits into your routine.

Some people like shorter sessions more frequently because they are over quicker and generally flexible. Other people prefer less frequent training, especially when they need to travel or shower afterwards.

Once people begin to see progress or enjoy the training sessions, it becomes much easier to make it a higher priority. I’ve had clients go from rarely training to it becoming a non-negotiable of their routine because they feel better on days they train (independent of performance and body composition changes).



Tom Fitzgerald

Nutritionist & Exercise Scientist writing about health, business and my everyday life in Australia.