Why Your Intense Workout Might Be Stopping Your Weight Loss (And What To Do About It)


Everyone technically knows how to lose weight, right? Diet and exercise. At least that’s what the conventional wisdom says…

But let’s be real–calorie counting, carb-cutting, and restrictive diets don’t work. So there goes half of the traditional weight loss wisdom right there.

So what do the weight loss rules say about the workout side of the equation?

Just like the idea that strict diets are key to weight loss, old-school rules advocate intense, killer workouts if you want to lose weight.

It’s an idea that is just as pervasive as crash diets–and just as damaging.

When I was locked in a body-food-weight struggle, I lived by old-school fitness paradigms. I believed in the “no pain, no gain” theories. I motivated myself with slogans like “sweat is your fat cells crying.”

It wasn’t too long before I started to realize what those off-the-chain workouts were doing to my body–and my weight loss efforts.

I felt burned out. I hurt like crazy. I felt starved, depleted, and desperate for fuel.

Needless to say, cravings took over my life, and I lost all control with food. And–surprise, surprise!–it lead to unwanted weight gain, not loss.

The strategy that I thought would help me get control of my body ended up taking control of me.

High intensity workouts were working against me–especially when it came to weight loss.

Am I saying that you need to stop working out if you want to lose weight? Do you need to make your workouts easier instead of more challenging, and does that mean sacrificing your fitness goals?

Not at all! But here’s the surprising truth about over-the-top workouts…

Some workout regimens, no matter how well-intentioned, actually halt weight loss, even though they promise to do the opposite!

But that doesn’t mean quit the gym. All it means is changing up your routine and making a few key mindset shifts–all of which I’m going to share with you today!

Watch the video below to learn what workouts with help and what workouts will hurt your goals!

I’m going to say something that I say all the time here on the blog, but it bears repeating, so here goes…

Lasting weight loss is about working with your body rather than fighting it.

I’ve talked a lot about what that means in terms of food. But working with your body goes beyond what you put in it. It’s about how you treat your body in ALL ways, including how you move it.

Most of us buy the idea that super-intense workouts are the ticket to dropping a few sizes. But when you put this idea into practice, your body has a way of defying that old-fashioned “calories in, calories out” logic.

Pushing your body with intense workouts might begin to build your strength, but they also create stress. And if you go all-out at the gym day after day without any breaks in the action, that stress doesn’t stop.

What happens when your body is in overdrive for too long?

Stress hormones like cortisol cause your body to switch into survival mode. They trigger your body to hold onto fat instead of using it for fuel. And the repeated pounding on your body actually tears down muscle mass faster than your body can repair it.  

What’s the endgame?

Your body ends up feeling burnt out, depleted, and exhausted. That leads to responses like cravings, binging, and even emotional eating. Not to mention unintentional weight gain.

Not quite what you had in mind when you set out to lose weight, drop food stress, and feel confident in your body, right?

So does this mean you have to sacrifice your fitness goals? Should you take your workout down a few notches just to keep your body from stressing out and holding onto weight?

The answer is NO. You don’t necessarily need to lower the bar. But you don’t have to go all-out every single day, either!

All you need are a few powerful shifts, both in mindset and in action. I’m talking about changing the way that you think and feel about working out. Then changing up your workouts to set you up for weight loss success, and without sacrificing your fitness goals.

You can get stronger, stop the stress response, and encourage your body to release weight. Let me share my top three steps to get fit and lose weight–and without your workout getting in your way!

Step 1: Choose workouts that you love.  Here’s a radical idea–what if you decided to exercise just for the FUN of it for a change?

Here’s what I mean by that. Instead of worrying about which workout will maximize your weight loss, start by asking a different question. Decide how you want a workout to make you feel. Then choose a physical activity that’ll help you create those feelings.

Think about the activities that light you up and energize you, and make them a part of your regular fitness routine. Maybe that’s dancing, hiking, walking, or yoga–or anything else that you genuinely love to do.

This might sound like a cop out, especially if you believe (just like I did) that losing weight means grueling workouts–and that anything less won’t help you shed a single pound.

But I invite you to challenge that belief, right here and right now.

Here’s the deal. Stress will kill your progress, whether it’s restricting your food or punishing yourself at the gym. Getting out of that panic-based survival mode is the key to lasting weight loss.

So you choose workouts that you love, you’ll not only stay out of stress mode, but you’ll have a lot more fun. And the more fun you’re having, the more likely you’ll continue with your active lifestyle. So it’s a serious win-win!

Step 2: Get maximum results by changing it up. It might sound like Step 1 is encouraging you to “dumb down” your workouts. But what if I told you that this isn’t the case–and that taking some down time just might skyrocket your results?

Here’s the deal: you don’t have to quit the challenging workouts altogether. There’s nothing wrong with pushing yourself a little bit to get stronger. But instead of killing it every day at the gym, try alternating your tough days with lighter, more restorative workouts.

Why does this make such a big difference?

Taking lower-key workout days gives your body a chance to repair itself in between tough workouts. That means two things: first, your body comes back stronger. And second, the strength (and muscle mass) you build jumpstarts your metabolism naturally.  

That leads to lasting weight loss a lot faster than doing the same intense workout every day!

So maybe rock the CrossFit style workout one day, try a walk or a yoga class the next. Maybe the day after a long, intense training run, give yourself the gift of a stretching and relaxation session.

Give yourself the best of both worlds–leave some days for stretching your limits, and others for letting your body get the R&R it needs. It’ll jumpstart your results–and make you feel amazing in your body!

Step 3: Examine the truth behind your fitness goals. I know that many of us hit the gym with more than just weight loss in mind. Maybe for you, it’s also about athletic goals, like road races or triathlons.

If that is you, go for it! But if you’re an athlete or a competitor, I have a suggestion for you (especially if you also have the desire to lose weight).

I encourage you to take a moment for a reality check. That is, check in with your motivations for signing up for that race, relay, or triathlon in the first place.

Did you sign up for this event to support an active and fit lifestyle, or is masking a desire to lose weight? Do you genuinely love your sport, or is it an attempt to drop a few dress sizes by doing something “respectable?”

Whatever your answer might be, it’s OK. Just be honest with yourself!

Let me repeat that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight, and you don’t have to throw in an athletic event to make your desires acceptable!

This is when it comes back to Step 1–deciding how you want to feel, and choosing the workout that serves you the most.

If for you that’s getting stronger and rocking your athletic event, do it. If you simply want to lose weight, that’s great as well. If you want both, that’s awesome as well!

Just be honest about what you want, first and foremost. Then choose the path that’ll get you the results–and the feelings–that you desire the most.

Remember that there’s a lot of fad workouts, just like fad diets. Misinformation is everywhere, especially when we’re talking about workouts for weight loss.

Start by challenging the idea that you have to be the “energizer bunny” at the gym if you want to lose weight.

Remember–working out can be a challenge, but it should also be fun! Choose workouts that light you up rather than ones that just wear you down. Be sure to balance out the tough workout days with adequate rest, and watch what happens.

Your body will thank you–and it’ll work with you to make your fitness goals a reality with a LOT more ease!

I talk more about how to work with your body in my free training. You can grab it at the link below!

Now, let me ask you this–what kind of movement sounds fun to you right now? Maybe right now it’s a tough weightlifting session, but it also could be dancing, walking, or yoga. Listen to your body, go with what feels right, and partner with your body. You’re going to love the results!

How do you want to feel today, and what kind of activity would get you there? Leave me a comment and share what workout would energize you the most today!

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Meet Brittany

Welcome to! 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...

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