Have you been sweating it out at the gym in the name of squeezing into smaller jeans? And do those smaller jeans always seem to be too small, no matter how many walking lunges you suffer through?
Unfortunately, for anyone overweight, exercise alone doesn’t do the best job of shedding extra layers of padding…and working hard and not losing weight is so frustrating.
See, your muscles respond to exercise pretty quickly (the soreness means those muscles have been worked!), but your fat is less responsive to the charms of strength training and feeling that burn.
If you’re only exercising to lose weight, it’s probably not going to work.
Not buying it? You should.
Here’s one possibility of why you are not losing weight, even though you’ve logged so many hours in the gym this month:
Science has already proven that our bodies are not caloric bank accounts. We can’t put in food (calories) and “burn” them, or take them out, with a “you just burned 500 calories” workout on the treadmill. It doesn’t work that way.
Storing fat is a complicated process, and it’s even more complicated to take that fat out of your cells and use it for energy.
You have to factor in your hormones, metabolism and genetics. Sorry Charlie, none of those are yours to control.
There is some truth to eating less and moving more, but that moving more part is tricky.
See, exercise stimulates your heart. Your muscles. Your immune system.
The harder you exercise, the hungrier you’ll be. This makes it really, really, really hard to stick to your controlled meal plan, which leads you to feeling like a failure for the extra spoonfuls of peanut butter at the end of the day.
If you set your mind to it, you can do it, though. After all, you’re a warrior who would rather be fit and strong with a few pounds to lose, than an out of shape underweight cake for breakfast eating wimp, right?
If you have those few pounds you need to obliterate, it’s the food work that will get you most of the way there. Still, exercise helps, so I want you to use it wisely.
For now, intense exercise isn’t the best bet. Stick to low intensity activities. Taking fat out of your cells and using it for fuel requires a lot of oxygen, so make sure you can take good breaths.
If you’re panting like a dog, you’re not gonna burn fat.
Also, 15 minutes isn’t going to do the trick. A 30 minute or longer walk won’t stimulate your appetite and it’s long enough to kick into fat-for-energy mode.
My best advice for you: maximize your genetic potential.
Just as you may never get to be 5’10”, your body may be designed for strength and power (read: muscular) and not endurance (read: lanky), or vice versa.
Look at your body for what it is built for and embrace it. Make it as fit as possible.
Don’t waste your time aspiring to make your body into something it isn’t. Being strong is fierce, even if it doesn’t translate into you looking like an underwear model.