Go to Gym, Work Butt Off, Lose Weight.....Right? WRONG!!! Part 1
Updated: Jul 3, 2019
Exercise is not the only key to your fitness goals. As someone who loves exercising, I wish this was case but unfortunately it’s not. There are multiple factors that play into your results during your health and fitness journey. If the only thing you change in your life is adding exercise will you be healthier? Yes. Will exercise alone help you lose weight? It certainly can, but not always. Read on....
Here at I Defy Fitness, I recently did 2 case studies of how exercise alone is not enough to make meaningful change in your health and fitness goals if the rest of your life doesn't promote health and give an environment for weight loss. I recently had 2 clients start exercising 5 days a week and worked their butt off for 3 weeks. I had them do a DEXA scan before week 1 and at the end of week 3. The results? Even though they felt stronger and felt like they had positive changes the scan revealed increased fat mass and decreased muscle mass. How is this possible???
There are 4 BIG factors that contribute to health and fitness. Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep, and Stress management. I provided help to sleep and stress management, but did not force a dietary change. This allowed 2 of the most common poor nutritional habits to show how powerful they can be. This made for poor results for a high intensity metabolic and strength program.
Diet 1 (over-indulge) consisted of eating 3+ meals per day but not caring about the nutrient composition. Eating donuts for breakfast, burritos, fast food, and sometimes eating 2 lunches with an ice cream finisher. All the while justifying the calories to yourself, because you’ve been working hard in the gym and deserve the extra calories. If you don’t regulate the foods you eat at all, many people eat foods that don’t offer much useful nutrition. Now, it’s ok to have the occasional donut (as far as I know it doesn’t directly kill you), but every day consumption results in poor gut health and your body can’t use those calories to repair and build a stronger body. The bigger picture is that when you should be eating 1600-1800 calories a day and you’re closer to 3000+ losing weight will probably not happen. The result: 3.1lbs of fat mass added, .8lbs of muscle lost, for a net change of +2.2% body fat.
The solution: Get a simple diet tracker such as myfitnesspal or any of the others. There are also great pictures and apps online for portion control if inputting numbers isn’t your thing. It’s important to know how a wholesome meal is structured and what it looks like. Many of us don’t realize what we’re eating until the phone shows us how many calories we’re getting in our meal choices. Usually just using an app will start to decrease the amount you eat, because tracking your meals you start to realize what is too much and sometimes it’s shocking. Any time weightloss and increasing strength is a goal, it’s always a good idea to make sure you are getting enough protein .8-1.2g/pound of bodyweight. There’s room to experiment with how much carbs vs fat work for you but protein isn’t very negotiable in my book. Total calories in is incredibly important. A quick and easy way to find your calorie goal is to multiply your bodyweight by 10-12.