By Katie Rosenbrock
TheActiveTimes.com

If you've been consistently working hard in the gym, but can't seem to achieve noticeable results, it could be because your habits outside of the gym simply don't support your goals.

Yes, no matter what your goal may be, exercise is an important component of any fitness program. But unless you’re an elite-level athlete, most of your time is spent outside of the gym, and it’s where you spend the majority of your time that your decisions and choices count the most.

When it comes to getting in shape, losing weight or improving athletic performance, consistency is always key. In order to see improvements, we have to consistently integrate the habits that will help us reach the desired outcome into our everyday lives.

In other words, if you want to see results it's important to work at all of the different factors that play a role in supporting your success.In this case, that includes everything from your nutrition and sleep habits to your posture and stress levels. When you're not at the gym, make sure to focus on these important habits speed up the process and achieve optimal results.

What To Do Outside The Gym To Get Results

Replenish with protein
 

Replenish with protein

"After you exercise your muscles are more sensitive to amino acids and will begin the process of protein synthesis, meaning you should supply them with some amino acids via a protein-rich food or a protein shake," said certified personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach Henry Halse.

Replenish with protein
 

Replenish with protein

"Make sure you get at least 20 grams of protein to maximize the response," Halse said. "If you don't consume protein the body will break down other muscle tissue to help build the muscles you just worked." This is especially true for any type of resistance workout, like weight lifting or bodyweight training.

Eat to meet your goals
 

Eat to meet your goals

"Make sure your diet supports the work you are doing at the gym," said Dr. Ellen Albertson, Ph.D., RDN, CD, a psychologist, nutritionist and founder or SmashYourScale.com. "Have a small meal or snack both before and after your workout that contains both carbs and protein. Carbs are necessary to fuel and build muscle and protein is needed for growth and repair."

Eat to meet your goals
 

Eat to meet your goals

She suggests maximizing your nutrition by making sure to plan out your daily meals and snacks. "Put together a meal plan and shopping list so you’ll have the fuel you need to succeed," she added.

Sleep well
 

Sleep well

"Once you're out of the gym and done with your workout, your body goes into recovery mode, trying to repair any damage done to your body," explained Chris Cooper, a Precision Nutrition coach and a NSCA certified fitness professional. "In addition, a great night’s sleep keeps our hormone levels in check. There’s no better recovery tool than sleep. When we get restful sleep our body repairs all the ‘wear and tear’ we experience throughout the day. Our tissues are able to ...

Sleep well
 

Sleep well

... regenerate and our brain can process and learn from our day’s experience." He put it this way: If your body was like a battery, sleep would be its charger. If you don't get adequate sleep, you won't be able to operate at full capacity in order to reach your goals.

Avoid overcompensating
 

Avoid overcompensating

"Don't over-compensate with calories despite an early morning workout," said Amy Hendel, author of 4 Habits of Healthy Families. "If you are sitting much of the day, even after a vigorous workout, you are probably not burning as many calories in a day's 'total efforts' as you think." This idea also connects to Zakrzewski’s point about mental toughness and food rewards. She pointed out a recent report by Time that investigated whether exercise might actually prevent us from losing weight.

Avoid overcompensating
 

Avoid overcompensating

"What the research seems to show is that those people who exercise intensely actually seem to choose more sedentary options the rest of the day and also are more inclined to reach for extra treats throughout their day, validating their choice with the fact that they really pushed themselves in their workout,” she explained. "In other words, people often negate their positive workout effect shortly thereafter by their poor nutrition or overall physical activity choices outside of the gym."

Practice good posture
 

Practice good posture

"How you sit, stand and move throughout the day has a greater impact on how your body looks and feels than your most intense class at the gym," said Karen Nuccio, a movement specialist and creator of the Warrior Strategy. She explained that by sitting slouched at our desks, dragging ourselves as we walk and spending after-work hours slumped on the couch, we’re essentially negating any of the positive effects gained from our time spent in the gym.

Practice good posture
 

Practice good posture

"If we simply engaged our bodies consistently throughout the day -- sat at our desk with an engaged core, walked up the street and stairs and activated the muscles on our limbs, rather than drag them about, breathed in and out so that oxygen actually fed the body properly, and hydrated properly -- this small effort exercised consistently would do more to raise the baseline of health and fitness more than any single class a day ever could."

Pay attention to portion sizes
 

Pay attention to portion sizes

Even when you're snacking on nutritious foods, if you're not paying attention to portion size, you could be consuming more calories than you think. "Even the healthiest of snacks can add more than a meal's worth of calories before you realize it," says NASM certified personal trainer Kat Whitfield.

Pay attention to portion sizes
 

Pay attention to portion sizes

Her healthy snack example: celery and peanut butter. "The celery may not contain many calories, but the peanut butter sure does. One tablespoon turns to two turns to three ... before you know it you've eaten 360 calories in just one snack." Avoid this habit by portioning out your snacks and meals and putting food packages away before eating so you’re not tempted to consume more than one serving size.

Disconnect
 

Disconnect

Research on the topic is still relatively new, but several studies have shown that disconnecting, even for short periods of time on a day-to-day basis, may help to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and even increase your creativity.

Disconnect
 

Disconnect

In other words, putting down your phone, taking a break from Facebook and disconnecting from your email every once in a while is probably good for your health, and especially for reducing stress which means you can keep hormones that promote fat storage and appetite increase in check.

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For the complete list of the What To Do Outside The Gym To Get Faster Fitness Results, go to TheActiveTimes.com.

More From The Active Times:
-- Healthy Habits You Need to Adopt Now
-- 10 Habits of Successful Athletes
-- The Best Workouts To Do When You're Too Tired To Exercise
-- How Exercise Makes You Happy

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