Extreme. Insanity. Obsession
Sound familiar? Like words associated with fitness programs that constantly pop up on TV and on your social media feeds, perhaps?
Listen, it’s no wonder that many of us believe that working harder and eating less — or in other words, doing increasingly — is the only way to get wondrous results.
For a really long time, I took that message to heart. I wore it like a token of honor. I exercised for several hours a day, sometimes plane doing two workouts in the same day. I moreover followed a very strict nutrition that didn’t plane come tropical to fueling the value of work I was asking my soul to do (or indulge my soul to properly recover from all that work!).
It was only a matter of time surpassing I worked myself into the ground. And you know what’s worse? The results I was training so nonflexible for only seemed to slip remoter and remoter away.
And I know this hasn’t just been my experience. I hear stories like mine all the time from women in the Girls Gone Strong polity — GGS Coaching clients and fitness professionals alike.
As one vendee shared:
"I just figured I'm not getting results, I need to do more.
I need to run more.
I need to work out more.
I need to pay sustentation to what I'm eating more.
I need to stress out more."
But here’s the thing.
There might be flipside way — a largest way — to finally see the results you want. One where, as clichéd as it sounds, less truly is more.
Before we swoop in, let me make one thing clear: You get to segregate how much and what type of worriedness you do. Your goals and what motivates you to set those goals are personal and valid.
You’re in charge.
This vendible is simply meant to requite you increasingly information well-nigh why people often:
Let’s start by looking at why more isn’t unchangingly better.
When it comes to meeting goals, particularly ones like fat loss or improved sturdy performance, it’s easy to finger like you’re never doing enough.
If you’re like me, you may have had this reaction without seeing some initial results:
And then you add a little increasingly time to a cardio session. Or add flipside set to all the exercises in your strength training workout.
Or maybe what started as doing increasingly in the gym has come into the kitchen. You start making changes to your diet. Make your meals a little smaller here. Cut a few increasingly calories there.
At least, that’s what I did, time and time again.
Except it never worked the way I thought it would. All it did was leave me exhausted, ravenous, and burnt out.
As tempting as it is to just keep doing more — I mean, it worked at the very beginning, why wouldn’t it work now? — instead of progressing, you may be…
So many women in the GGS polity — myself included — have learned this at the forfeit of our overall well-being!
I’m going to unravel lanugo four problems with this “more is better” tideway to help explain why it doesn’t work (and what you can do instead!).
Even when you love it, hours upon hours of exercise each week can phlebotomize your schedule, your energy, your productivity, and your social life. There are only so many hours in the day, and most of us squatter competing demands for our time, including:
By constantly trying to increase the value of time we spend in the gym, we may hit a point where we uncork neglecting other parts of our life. This ways that:
Plus, considering we’re doing so much, our persons never get to recover fully. We reach the point where we don’t have the energy or mental clarity to engage fully in any part of our life, gym or otherwise.
As my good friend, GGS co-founder and Head Coach for our GGS Coaching program, Jen Comas recalls:
“For years, I put my life on hold. All I did was grind away, working toward fat loss. When I say it was all I did, I’m not exaggerating — my only hobbies were working out, prepping food, and dieting, all in a quest for the ‘perfect’ body. If I wasn’t working out, preparing food, or eating, I was thinking well-nigh it.
I would spend all of my self-ruling time designing or logging my workouts, planning out my grocery lists and meals, or simply irreflective well-nigh supplies (mostly considering I was unchangingly hungry). I avoided doing scrutinizingly everything that wasn’t centered virtually fat loss, considering I was so nervous that it would interfere with my meal and gym schedule.
Oddly, despite all of that exercise, I wasn’t getting leaner. I wasn’t getting stronger, either. I wasn’t any closer to stuff worldly-wise to do a single unassisted pull-up or regular push-ups.
Despite not seeing the results I wanted, I had wilt quite obsessed well-nigh my workouts. If I had to skip a session due to an illness or some other obligation, I was instantly riddled with feelings of guilt. I was exhausted, both physically and mentally.
Finally, on a Saturday afternoon in 2013, without seeing a really fun photo that my friend had posted on social media, it suddenly hit me: My unshortened existence was centered virtually fat loss — I had turned fat loss into my sole purpose.”
This mindset can tingle up on us, and it can have a profound effect on our lives.
If you’re already...
… but you’re still not achieving the results you want, it’s easy to fall into the trap of yoyo you need to do more. We’ve all heard the phrase “no pain, no gain,” without all. Do you find yourself thinking of that as you work harder?
Or maybe you’re thinking, “But I love to exercise!” If that’s the case, then great! It’s when you uncork shaping your workouts and nutrition virtually the idea that you have to do more, regardless of the side effects, that it might be time to shift the script.
This is a unconfined time to take a step back. Ask yourself the pursuit questions:
If the wordplay to either of these is no, it’s a good indicator that you’ve fallen into the unsustainable “more is better” mindset.
When you’re training too much or too hard, chances are you’re moreover doing one of these two things nutrition-wise:
Obviously, if fat loss is your goal, eating increasingly supplies than you need is going to seriously hinder your results.
Despite this, have you overly seen an vendible in a fitness magazine that recommended a 1200-calorie-per-day meal plan? Or have you overly worked with a trainer who recommended both a low-carb and low-fat nutrition for weight loss?
If so, you’re not alone. Countless women are misled into eating far less supplies than they unquestionably need to support high-intensity training.
With messages that tell women to eat as little as possible and that glorify nutrition culture, many women lose their sense of what “enough” supplies really is — expressly when trying to lose weight. This unsimilar perspective can hinder fat loss, strength gain, muscle gain, energy levels, and overall health.
The truth is that if you’re not eating unbearable supplies (particularly protein), you can wits a whole host of issues, including:
If you’re under-eating on a resulting basis, you can bet you won’t be performing as well in the gym or losing soul fat while maintaining your muscle.
Some of the most worldwide symptoms of under-eating include:
You may moreover notice that you’ve hit a ceiling on your worthiness to lift or that you aren’t making progress in unrepealable areas of training anymore.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms regularly and you’re not sure why, then this is a good time to assess your nutrition to ensure you are getting unobjectionable intake of calories and macronutrients. (Be enlightened that some of these symptoms can be due to other medical issues that should be treated by a physician; if these symptoms don’t rapidly modernize with increased energy intake, you should consult your healthcare provider.)
If you’d like increasingly information on under-eating and how to determine your towardly energy intake, trammels out this unconfined article by Laura Schoenfeld, RD.
When you’re training a lot and very intensely (and expressly if you’re not eating unbearable calories to sustain that level of work), your soul responds in the way it was physiologically programmed: it starts conserving energy and directing calories to functions that are necessary for survival (like zoetic and regulating soul temperature). In other words, your soul resorts to urgent fewer calories.
This worked really well when our calorie restriction was due to famine or poor yield turnout; our persons had to step in to help us stick out the rough times. The version was necessary for survival, and human persons got really good at it — it unquestionably increased our bodies’ efficiency. But this version is not so unconfined when we’re trying to unzip goals like fat loss or muscle gain.
When high-intensity training meets energy scarcity, it can wilt nearly untellable for your muscle tissues to repair without training, let vacated to increase muscle strength or size.
This energy deficit can seriously weaken your power in training sessions in general. You’ll have a harder time maintaining your results and making remoter progress.
What’s more, when you don’t eat enough, your body:
When your cortisol is chronically elevated, you can wind up with both leptin and insulin resistance, an unhealthy hormonal state that promotes soul fat and water retention (and causes long-term health issues that go way vastitude weight loss resistance).
So basically, over-exercising coupled with under-eating can lead to hormonal imbalances, and hormonal imbalances often prevent weight loss.
On top of this, vestige shows that women who exercise regularly with a chronic energy deficiency (from a lot of exercise, not unbearable calories, or a combination of both) may end up with:
If you’re in the trundling of exercising at a upper intensity on an almost-daily understructure trying to get largest results, then it’s scrutinizingly unrepealable that you’ve experienced:
Maybe you’ve unfurled pushing past these annoyances, or maybe you’ve thought that just “stretching out” the tight zone would be enough, or maybe you’ve thought that increasingly exercise was the way to “loosen it up.” Or if you’ve taken a day or two off to try and recover, maybe you’ve felt guilty well-nigh taking a unravel and jumped when in as soon as you could.
When we’re in this trundling of unchangingly doing more, we can sometimes get into the habit of ignoring our body’s signals.
As you’ve once learned, the combination of intense exercise and low caloric intake can rationalization muscle loss, lower power output during training, and reduced topics to recover without training. This combination sets you up for injury, expressly overuse injury.
Overuse injuries are typically muscle and joint injuries caused by repetitive trauma or training errors. Stress fractures, tendinitis, and shin splints are worldwide ones. So if you’re running five miles every day and ignoring that nagging (and OK, maybe increasing) shin pain, you might be developing a problem that is compounded by muscle loss and your reduced topics to recover without training.
Going when to that “no pain, no gain” thing. If we’re in that mindset, then it makes us increasingly likely to squint at pain as a sign that “Hey, maybe this thing’s working. If I just push a little harder, I’ll do plane better.”
Pain, though, is a signal from our smart-ass that’s warning us that something might be amiss. This might be a perceived threat of instability or weakness we need to alimony an eye on, or it may be an indicator of very tissue damage.
It’s super important to tune in to our bodies, expressly when we are working toward a goal. As you’ve once learned, it can be easy to fall into unchangingly wanting to push yourself to get results. Push yourself to run faster, train harder, lift heavier.
But pushing yourself too nonflexible when you’re once dealing with the other issues we’ve talked well-nigh (like muscle loss) makes injury a much worthier risk.
Generally, exercising unceasingly and eating mindfully help us meet goals such as fat loss and strength gains. As such, we tend to see these as healthy behaviors. But excessive exercise and calorie wearing (just like excessive anything, really) can unquestionably stilt us lanugo instead of lifting us up.
In wing to the problem with sustainability, you’ve just learned how these habits can wreak havoc on our soul and our health — and in many cases these practices can move us yonder from our goals, which is the word-for-word opposite of what we want!
While dedication and transferral to reaching a goal can certainly be a good thing, it’s helpful for us to take a step when and squint at the big picture. Do our endeavors really contribute to us feeling better?
So how do you unravel out of the “more is better” mindset and find a training and eating program that will help you unzip your goals in a sustainable, healthy way?
We gave you the link older to an vendible by Laura Schoenfeld, RD, that will help you determine how many calories (roughly) you should be eating. (Here it is again.) You moreover learned how to spot the signs that you might be under-eating, which may be hindering your worthiness to lose weight and proceeds muscle.
The value of supplies you need will depend on...
… and it may be higher or lower than the recommendations you’re seeing on social media, in advertisements, or elsewhere — and that’s OK. In most cases, you should stave wearing your calories to the yellowish minimum. Instead, what we encourage our GGS Coaching clients to do — and what we are encouraging you to do too! — is practice staying enlightened of how you’re feeling, unsuspicious those feelings, and vicarial in a way that nourishes you while still moving you steadily toward your goals.
Now, we’re going to swoop into how to determine what value of exercise is right for you and your goals.
How much exercise is optimal for you will be variegated than how much exercise is optimal for someone else. And plane how much is optimal for you may vary throughout your life — or plane throughout your week!
Instead of constantly trying to do more, we encourage all of our GGS Coaching clients to icon out their own exercise “sweet spot,” or Optimal Effective Dose (OED).
Your OED exists on a continuum between your Minimal Effective Dose (MED) and your Maximum Tolerable Dose (MTD). Let’s squint at each of these in turn.
In training, the Minimum Effective Dose is the minimum value of stimulus needed to unzip a desired effect. MED is towardly for people who want to often modernize their health, are once struggling with very upper levels of chronic stress, or have very rented schedules. Think of the MED as doing the yellowish minimum to move forward (which can be very salubrious and towardly for some people).
The Maximum Tolerable Dose is the highest value of stimulus a person can handle surpassing experiencing negative consequences. Pursuit an MTD tideway with training is for professional or competitive athletes who have plenty of time and resources to focus on optimizing their nutrition, getting plenty of rest, going for massages and other recovery care, and prioritizing sleep for the weightier recovery possible. Training using an MTD tideway is a full-time transferral that requires time and dedication, and it moreover comes with the most risk for overtraining and injury.
Somewhere withal the continuum between the MED and the MTD, there is a vast middle ground referred to as the Optimal Effective Dose (OED), which provides results in a relatively timely manner if you’re working nonflexible and staying resulting while still living your life.
You don’t need to suffer to see results (and that goes for both exercise and eating). I realize that doing anything less than the Maximum Tolerable Dose may sound counterintuitive, but take it from me and many GGS Coaching clients who have worked at both ends of the exercise spectrum: Achieving unconfined results is possible without going to extremes.
Whether your goal is to get lean, get strong, build some muscle, or modernize your overall health and performance, pursuit our OED tideway to training will help you:
Another major goody of aiming for your OED is that it’s much increasingly sustainable. Training to the max might work for a little bit, but soon enough, you may be faced with all of those negative side effects we mentioned above, like urgent fewer calories and risking overuse injuries.
And wouldn’t you rather get the results you’re looking for in six months to a year versus working intensely for two months only to have your efforts stall (and plane start working versus you)?
Ultimately, the OED tideway is well-nigh finding your sweet spot. It’s doing unbearable exercise to elicit the desired result within a reasonable time frame — without all of the negative side-effects that come with training increasingly often or increasingly intensely than necessary.
Want to run a 5K, 10K, or marathon? Compete in powerlifting? Be healthy unbearable to play with your grandchildren? Modernize your thoroughbred pressure?
What well-nigh other goals in your life? Are you working toward a stratum or certification? Do you have children or white-haired parents who rely on you as a watchman or a source of emotional support?
As we discussed earlier, the Optimal Effective Dose takes into worth all of these factors, including (but not limited to):
The Optimal Effective Dose considers your own goals, preferences, and environment, and how they all work together. In other words, the Optimal Effective Dose is realistic and sustainable.
To determine your Optimal Effective Dose, you first need to assess your goals and priorities.
Depending on your goals, your OED may require quite a bit of time and effort, or not very much at all. If you have a taxing job plus family responsibilities, your goal may be to maintain your current level of fitness or to stay healthy in general. That’s a perfectly fine goal! In this case, your OED will be very tropical to your Minimum Effective Dose — that is, as we covered earlier, the minimum value of stimulus needed to unzip a desired effect.
Ultimately, it may take some soul searching to decide what’s most important to you. Is an Ironman on your skillet list? You might be willing to put your social life on hold for several months while you take the time to train for the race of a lifetime. Or you might really need to focus on your family right now — so although you’d like to modernize your fitness, you’re OK with maintenance mode until life settles lanugo a little bit.
As a part of your soul searching, think of what you’re willing to requite up to reach your goal, and what you’re not willing to requite up. Many people find that training for an event or working toward a big goal — such as a marathon, triathlon, or powerlifting competition — requires some tradeoffs.
You may be willing to skip Sunday brunch with your friends for a few months so that you can shepherd your marathon training group’s weekly long runs. Or you might decide to cut when on other parts of your household upkeep so you can sire a biweekly massage. In general, the worthier the goal and the increasingly time and effort required, the increasingly tradeoffs you’ll need to make.
Here are some questions to consider when setting and prioritizing goals:
Your worthiness level and exercise wits will have an influence on your training plan. Naturally, increasingly wide athletes will be worldly-wise to handle increasingly intense and frequent training considering their persons have built up a solid muscular foundation and they’ve practiced proper movement patterns.
It’s important to realize that people at every level — beginner, intermediate, and wide — need unobjectionable rest. “Doing too much” is possible no matter your training background!
Identifying your level is helpful for a few reasons:
In a bit, we’ll tell you well-nigh the signs that you’re doing too much and show you how to retread your training plan accordingly. But first, let’s squint at how your worthiness level and exercise wits have an influence on your training plan.
You’re considered a beginner if one or increasingly of these statements wield to you:
(Note that there’s nothing wrong with stuff a beginner. What’s important is to determine the level that’s towardly for you so that you can make progress and unzip your goals.)
You are at the intermediate level if:
To be considered advanced means that:
As a very unstipulated rule, these classifications are pretty solid. Segregate the worthiness level that sounds most like you. If you finger like none of these classifications feels quite right, segregate the one you think most closely describes your worthiness level. If you’re wavering between two, segregate the lower one just to be safe. You can unchangingly retread as you go.
If you’re looking to find a healthy wastefulness between your worthiness level, your schedule, and your goals, here’s a template to help.
These unstipulated guidelines are for someone who is interested in balancing health, lifestyle, aesthetics, and performance. None of these goals take top priority; they’re all taken into worth when creating a training plan, and there’s a little requite and take in each category.
Keep in mind that I recommend as much low-intensity movement (like walking) as someone has the time and desire to do each week, so I’m not including it in this orchestration considering the recommendation is unchangingly the same: move as often as you can.
HIIT: high-intensity interval training — widely specified as a short period of intense work performed at a 9.5–10 out of 10 on the GGS Perceived Effort Scale, followed by a period of rest, repeated for time or for a number of sets.
HIT: high-intensity training — otherwise known as vigorous-intensity cardio and specified as worriedness performed at a 7–8.5 out of 10 on the GGS Perceived Effort Scale. Some examples include hiking, rowing, jogging, and cycling.
MIC: moderate-intensity cardio — can be hiking, biking, swimming, fast-paced yoga, or spin training. This is well-nigh a level 4–6 on the GGS Perceived Effort Scale.
Your current routine may be very variegated than these guidelines, which is OK. However, if you’re working out significantly increasingly than this template recommends, it’s a sign that you may be doing too much. Don’t finger like you have to overhaul your workout plan just yet! Below, we’ll imbricate how to retread your plan depending on how you’re feeling and your results.
Before you make any changes to your current routine, however, let’s discuss flipside important speciality of training: consistency.
If you’ve been training unceasingly and not seeing the results you want, your first impulse might be to retread your training program. Maybe you start toying with trying out longer cardio sessions, subtracting an uneaten day of strength training, or starting a group matriculation on top of your individual workouts... But not so fast! You might not need to tinker with that speciality of things just yet.
Consistency with all of the other things that stupefy fitness and health, like sleep, stress management, and nutrition, can be just as important (if not increasingly so!) as your workouts, which is why we focus on all of these aspects with our GGS Coaching clients.
To make progress, you need to be unceasingly addressing all of the elements that work together to produce results:
If you’re not seeing the results you want, ask yourself: Have I been resulting with every part of my plan, including nutrition and recovery? Have I been...
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, spend some time focusing on those areas for the next two to three weeks, then re-evaluate your progress.
Remember, each element affects the others, and to get the weightier results possible it’s hair-trigger to write all of these areas. If one or increasingly of them are suffering, that’s probably what’s hindering your progress.
If you’ve been pursuit the same routine for four weeks, you should have unbearable information to know if you need to scale when or if you’re ready to amp it up.
Here’s a good rule of thumb if you’re stuff resulting with your eating and exercise but not making progress:
For the purposes of this article, let’s focus on the latter situation, where your body’s signals are telling you that you may be doing too much.
Here are three variegated options for doing less that you can segregate from based on how you’re feeling and on how drastic of a transpiration you might need to make (or would be willing to make).
You’re not seeing results and:
In this case, you might not need to make drastic changes. Here are some ways you can do a little less and recover more:
Pay sustentation to how these changes make you feel. Do you have increasingly energy during your workouts or throughout the day? Are you looking forward to your workouts again? If so, that small transpiration may be all you need to reach your Optimum Effective Dose.
You can moreover try these smaller changes if you’re nervous well-nigh wearing when too drastically. If you’re used to doing a lot of exercise or watching your nutrition very closely, it can be scary to suddenly start eating a lot increasingly or working out less often. You may be worried well-nigh going too far and losing progress on a goal that ways a lot to you. If this sounds like you, it’s OK to start by doing a little less and see how you feel.
You’re not seeing results and:
In this case, I recommend increasing your rest by swapping out a regular workout for an zippy recovery day or a less-intense form of that type of exercise at least once per week. For example, you could:
Take note of how you’re feeling without your recovery session, both mentally and physically. You might finger unconfined that you took some time for yourself to rest and nourish your body, or you might finger a little yellow-eyed well-nigh scaling when a bit. Both of these reactions are normal! Alimony in mind that changes may not happen immediately. Stick with it and reassess without 3–5 weeks.
Ideally over time you’ll notice:
You’re not seeing results and:
In this situation, I would recommend dropping lanugo a level (from wide to intermediate, or from intermediate to beginner) in terms of your overall exercise volume and frequency. Reference the orchestration whilom for some unstipulated guidelines on what a well-turned program should squint like at each worthiness level.
Another option would be to take a full week off of intense exercise. Only do walking and gentle mobility exercises, such as stretching, easy foam rolling, or a gentle yoga class. If you finger yellow-eyed well-nigh taking an unshortened week off, consider timing it with flipside life event that makes sense — like a leisurely vacation, your holiday break, or the week your sister is coming up to visit.
I want to say it once more: You don’t need to suffer or go to extremes to unzip unconfined results (and that goes for both exercise and eating).
If you’re still thinking, “I’m not sure well-nigh this, I’m worried that doing less will just stall my results...” that’s understandable. It can certainly seem counterintuitive that doing less can unquestionably requite you largest results, and it’s a concept that some of our GGS Coaching clients struggle with at the whence too.
But the consequences of standing to do too much can be pretty big: exhaustion, hormonal issues, an out-of-whack appetite, and overuse injuries. If you recognize the symptoms of doing “too much” that I outlined above, but you’re still a little worried, I rencontre you to do two things:
I’ve seen so many women in the GGS polity finger largest and get largest results when they embrace the OED approach. Going hard, hard, hard, just isn’t sustainable (unless you’re an peerage athlete with plenty of time and money to devote to training, nutrition, and recovery). And for many of us, it isn’t very fun!
As I said earlier, fitness should add to your life, not detract from it.
By rethinking the “more is better” approach, you can have a increasingly well-turned life and unzip largest results.
The post What to Do When Increasingly Exercise and Stricter Weight-watching Don’t Work appeared first on Girls Gone Strong.