I’m sure you know the drill.
You overate last night. And you decide that to make up for yesterday, you’re going to go lights-out at the gym today.
Or maybe you feel like lately, you’ve been falling off the wagon with food. And that you need a monster weightlifting session or a big run to get “back on track.”
Maybe you just believe that pushing yourself to the breaking point at the gym is only the road to lasting weight loss. Because, “no pain, no gain,” right?
(Or in this case, “no pain, no loss…”)
Sometimes we all believe that excessive exercise can make up for something we shouldn’t have eaten. Or that it can force our bodies into dropping extra weight.
After all, it seems logical to overcompensate at the gym when you overeat in the real world. And it makes sense that you need to “work harder” if you want to change your body, right?
So why is it that over-the-top workouts usually don’t (ahem!) “work out” for either of those goals?
Because more often than not, when you beat yourself up, you break your body down. (And not in a healthy way!)
Even though they seem like they should help, those excruciating workouts deplete your body. You break down a lot of muscle and put a lot of undue stress on your system.
And unfortunately, that stress can lead to cravings, overeating and weight gain. Pretty much the exact opposite of everything you wanted.
So am I telling you to stop exercising, or that you should forget your athletic goals?
Of course not. Your body needs movement. It needs to be challenged every once in a while to grow stronger.
But there’s a difference between nudging your body to go a little further and pushing yourself to to compensate for “bad” eating choices.
Working out because you genuinely want to be stronger is not the same as forcing your body to change with punishing regimens at the gym.
There are workouts that DO work. But there are others that unnecessarily stress your body–and can backfire big-time on your long-term goals.
If you want to bring your body back into balance after an overeating incident, or if you have a genuine desire to burn fat, there are some workouts will actually set you back.
Watch the video below where I tell you what those workouts are, why they can cause more harm than good, and tell you which exercise styles truly will help you burn fat and kick cravings.
So you’re at the gym after a long and intense exercise session. You’re on such fitness high that you don’t think much about your post-workout refueling plan.
And then suddenly, you crash–and cravings get the best of you.
At this point, willpower doesn’t stand a chance. Your body needs fuel, and the quick-fix feels like the only alternative.
So you fill the void with sugar, carbs, or whatever else you can get your hands on. Physiology trumps willpower and goals once again!
2 Workouts That Hurt Your Weight Loss Efforts Instead of Help Them (and What to Do Instead)
Long, endurance-like training. Don’t get me wrong–if you love running, you don’t have to forego your athletic goals. For many of us, sports and working out are a passion unto themselves. I totally get that! And there are ways to work with your sport without stressing your body out.
But for the average person, constant steady-state cardio is pretty intense on your body. And it can break your body down more than it builds your body up, especially if you’re not properly refueling.
So if you’re only doing the long-distance run to lose weight, your body’s rebound effect will sorely disappoint you.
Working out on an empty stomach. I know this might trigger some backlash from the intermittent fasting crowd. But an intense workout first thing in the morning on an empty stomach won’t induce your body to burn its fat reserves (no matter what intermittent fasting fans might tell you!).
When your body is running on empty, it doesn’t go straight to fat burning. It goes after other systems in a desperate bid for energy. It attacks your adrenal glands, your endocrine system, and your muscle mass.
So those empty-stomach workouts actually deplete your body’s energy. And typically set you up for out-of-control cravings later in the day.
So if everything you’ve heard about fat-burning workouts is off the mark, what’s the alternative?
How do you move your body so that it challenges you, and without burning yourself out and ending up ravenous?
The truth is that your body knows what it needs. All you need to to do is listen to what it’s telling you, and respond accordingly.
And yes, there’s a workout for that!
You don’t have to beat yourself up to get positive results. Let’s talk about how to honor your body and get fit and healthy at the same time!
3 Ways To Work Out WITH Your Body Instead of FIGHTING Against It
Step 1: Choose a workout that you LOVE. Just because one exercise plan helped your friend drop 20 pounds doesn’t mean it’s for you. And just because everybody is into Zumba or CrossFit doesn’t mean that you have to be on the bandwagon, too.
It’s a lot easier to show up for something that you love rather than to tolerate something you secretly resent. So choose an activity that lights you up, or your commitment will turn into a struggle.
Step #2: Give yourself a break. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying to never push yourself. And if you have athletic goals that require intense training, like a triathlon or a marathon, do what you gotta do!
But you do need to remember is that for every day you tackle the intense cardio or up the ante at the weight room, match it with a day that includes a yoga class or a nice, long walk.
Because tough days at the gym means stress on your body. And if you’re going all-out every day without proper recovery time, that stress accumulates. Which leads to depletion, exhaustion, and of course, cravings. And weight gain.
And when it comes to fitness, the rest days are just as important as the tough days.
Because it’s during the rest period that your body assimilates nutrients, builds muscle, and gets stronger. It’s also the time when your body diminishes the stress response. And this ultimately defuses cravings.
So it’s ok to get a tough workout in occasionally. But being in a perpetual state of battle will eventually backfire, so be sure to take time to chill out!
Step 3: Mix up your workouts with intervals. Want an easy way to get a challenging workout that won’t burn you out?
Try alternating short bursts of intensity with rest intervals. We’re talking a few minutes of workout with a burst of recovery time. Alternating between the two can make even a 20-minute workout challenging and effective.
The best part is that you don’t have to max out your heart rate for an hour to get the training effect you want!
So the bottom line is this: move your body in a way that you enjoy. Allow yourself adequate recovery and refuel time. And incorporate rest days with lighter activities that help defuse your stress response.
Now, you might feel like rest might not feel like work. In fact, you might even wonder if you’re being lazy, or letting yourself “off the hook” by not pushing yourself harder.
But if you’re an intense, all-or-nothing kind of person like me, I know that you don’t shy away from your commitments.
So try this: instead of making a commitment to killing it in the gym, commit to something a little bit different. Commit to exercising in a way that pushes your body, optimizes your metabolism, and allows that adequate recovery time.
Move in ways that you love, and push yourself when you need to. But on other days, make sure that you refuel, rest, and recover. And always take care of yourself in between.
I hope this helps you understand how workouts work, and how you can tailor yours to support all your fitness goals!
If you’re stuck on the idea that it’s “go big or go home” every day at the gym, trust me–I was there for a long time!
Let me help you break free of all those outdated exercise rules, and create a plan that’ll work with you rather than wear you down.
My free training at the link below will help you drop struggle with your body and your food, and free you from the unnecessarily intense workouts that keep you stuck!
Grab that at the link below!
Have you been overdoing it at the gym, only to end up feeling more run down than energized?
Leave me a comment and let me know how you plan to upgrade your workout plan so that you can and hit your goals with ease instead of stress!
Welcome to BeatingBingeEating.com! I’m Brittany Brown.
My goal is to transform the health and happiness of the world, starting with you. You were not put on this earth to struggle. I’m here to show you how to finally feel at home in your body and end your struggle with food and your body for good. This mission was born out of my own passion-driven breakdown. Here’s my story...Read More
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