Go to Gym, Work Your Butt Off, Lose Weight. Right?.....Wrong!!! Read on to find out why. Part 2
Updated: Jul 3, 2019
Just to recap in case you missed part 1.
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 you lose weight with exercise alone? You 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, especially if other factors aren’t controlled. 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.
You can read about the first diet here
Diet 2 (super model diet) consisted of eating about 1 meal a day and living off of coffee and energy drinks for the rest of the day, with poor water intake. The result was very low protein consumption (~60g/day), excessive fat consumption, and excessive over eating for the 1 meal per day. I had strategies and supplements in place to control work and life stress, but not eating enough protein and carbs during strenuous exercise makes it very difficult to recover and therefore increases stress. Increases in stress are very important because if we chronically elevated our stress hormone (cortisol) then you will see increases fat storage, increases muscle breakdown, decreases our ability to make new muscle, and decreases our ability to recover between workouts. Not drinking enough water for the day also has many negative effects on food intake, exercise, and health that are beyond the scope of this article. The end result: 2lbs of muscle mass lost, 2.8lbs of fat gain, and the dreaded 1.4% increase in body fat. This what only 3 weeks of training for 1 hour will do, so if this pattern continued it could spiral downward quickly.
The solution: Evenly spread meals throughout the day. If you are constantly on the run there are strategies to get some intake in. Even if you are doing intermittent fasting you are encourage to do more than 1 meal. Another big factor here is what to eat. Protein is key to recovery and stopping our stress hormone levels from chronically elevating and breaking down our muscle. Aim to get .8g-1.2g/pound of bodyweight. Making sure to get enough water throughout the day that is not from a caffeinated or flavored source.
If feel like you need help with your fitness journey contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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