I’ll give you the end of the story first: You cannot lose weight simply from exercise.
Ok, I said it.
Yes, and I own a gym! How can I possibly say this when it’s my business to help people get into an exercise program? With me?!
Because, I would be telling you a lie. The magazine industry had the following recent headlines “Hot Body Jumpstart”, “Sculpt Sexy Legs” and the “12 Minute Flat Tummy Workout.” It is simply not the way your body works.
What some in the magazine industry don’t want you to know is the workouts they prescribe will do little to reduce your dress size. They know many people prefer to DO something than NOT. So if you ramp up your exercise, heart rate, or start something new, you will lose. We believe some of the best work done inside and outside the gym can be A) stopping a sport or movement that is causing pain/injury, B) holding tension for a stated period of time, and C) breathing properly can be more fulfilling in the long run. It can prevent injury and show your body how to really build muscle/burn fat. Increasing oxygen throughout your body is frankly good for all of us.
What is necessary to lose pounds and inches? Maintain a low level of stress, eat fewer calories made of whole food and get adequate sleep. Without one of those, the result is ultimately frustration, anger and potentially additional weight gain.
To get lean and visible muscle is tough. I won’t lie. But it is achievable. And it can be super fun in the process. The journey makes the result that much more rewarding.
We will always espouse getting strong and moving well. We want your body to learn how to safely build muscle and burn fat. Moving is better than sitting, by far. Even better, moving correctly leads to healthy posture, stronger bones and the appearance of a slimmer body than one that slouches. And, we know more now than ever, exercise helps brain health.
How many times have you fallen into the same trap?
- A) You overate/indulged over the weekend
- B) You have a BIG event coming soon
- C) You can’t fit into your clothes
- D) Countless other options
Next, you turn to exercise. You:
- A) Ramp up your miles or classes by at least 2 days a week
- B) Contact a fitness professional for a guided program or class
- C) Walk more over your lunch break at work
- D) Worst: weigh yourself daily
- E) Countless other options
- A) Get frustrated because you didn’t reach your goal of fitting into the latest swimwear, skirt, shorts or jeans
- B) Leave the fitness program because you not only didn’t lose the pounds, you bulked up
- C) Couldn’t any longer find the time to fit your demanding schedule
- D) A long list we at FOR can provide you verbatim
Let me approach the weight loss from a different perspective. When you went to college to get a degree, did you earn it in 6 weeks, 3 months, 1 year? No, it took 4. Possibly longer. And it was worth it.
When you took on a new project at work or school, was it completed in 6 weeks?
When you started your successful business, were you amazed at the Profit and Loss statement the first quarter?
Similarly, nothing that is permanent in our world of fitness happens overnight. Real true and lasting fitness and health is a journey. It’s a journey of finding out how YOU can get there. Measuring your stress and sleep, eating the right foods at the right time and designing a sustainable fitness program for you are all vital.
Many people do not take the time and end up injured, frustrated and fatter.
Take the time to find a balance between the four components of a solid wellness program, then set reasonable goals that are sustainable and achievable. We are all human, after all.
I have a client who wants to wear a particular brand of men’s clothing. It is a slimmer look. Did it happen overnight? Did he run into any roadblocks?
He took the time to know what was achievable: how much he could alter his lifestyle to achieve what he wanted was up to him. He journaled.
How much exercise did he really need? Well, he actually had to cut down on running. Early on, we determined his cortisol levels were sky high, (preventing restful sleep) and running 6 days a week was directly preventing his fat loss. It was, frankly, sidelining him. Once he settled into a sustainable sleep, stress management, and food program…his workouts became easy, fun and results driven. In his case and in many others we know, the less worry about your diet; the more weight loss.