It has been some time since you are regularly exercising, doing squats and cardio, but you find no change in your body. You start wondering where exactly you are going wrong. And it frustrates you to the extent that you feel that all your hard work is simply going down the drain. I hate to break this news to you but just because you workout does not mean that you will start losing weight automatically, and will flaunt toned arms and a tight, flat stomach!
The fact is that gaining a healthy body is primarily a lifestyle. You will lose weight only when you stop obsessing over the weighing machine, get hold of a thoroughly enjoyable activity and start visualizing food as a source of energy rather than something that keeps you from getting bored or feeds your emotions.
And it does not matter where you are from or who you actually are, these are some of the big reasons why you have been working out and still not losing weight.
Of course, you should include cardio in your exercise regimen; it maintains the health of your heart and enhances your metabolism as well as helps you sweat once a day. But the thing is that if you engage only in cardio or overdo it then you will only be inviting health issues. For example, if you engage in longer sessions of cardio then it can consequently lower the amount of lean muscle mass in your body, which plays a crucial role in improving metabolism and burning excess calories.
Moreover, it will result in your body becoming excessively endurance-focused, causing it to store energy in the form of fat so that it can reserve plenty of fuel for your cardio sessions. Along with this, you will also find an increase in your appetite, leading you to fall prey to unnecessary overeating or snacking.
If weight loss is driving you insane, take a look at your kitchen. There are some who are so focused on burning their body fat that they hardly take into consideration what they are consuming. You will be surprised to know that your diet forms as much as 80 percent of the total weight loss battle.
And though it is true that the right foods for consumption depend on a lot on your metabolism, body type as well as several other factors, it is good to follow the thumb rule of sticking to whole, natural foods.
It is best to reserve your carbohydrate consumption (such as grains, potatoes, and brown rice) for days of rigorous workout or strength training. On days when you engage in cardio or on a rest day, you should consume only vegetables and protein instead of starchy carbohydrates.
Also, avert consumption of excess sugar, bread, and other processed foods. Search for foods that contain few ingredients on their labels- and if you come across any ingredient that you are not able to read or pronounce then there’s point in consuming such food.
Just because you need to keep control over your cardio does not mean that you cannot enjoy your bike rides or not sign up for the next marathon! However, if your main focus is losing your body fat then there are various other exercise options that are far more effective in helping you lose weight such as weightlifting. The most effective way to grow lean muscles and lose weight is by engaging in strength training apart from cardio. The more you add muscle tone to the body, the more amount of body fat will be burned.
In case you aren’t willing to quit on cardio routine immediately, consider adding interval training to your exercise regimen. Such workouts are way more efficient in promoting hormones that attack stubborn fat. After this, you can consider taking up resistance training. Exercises such as squats, lunges, and pushups offer incredible results in helping you with weightlifting.
Having achieved the afterburn you will find yourself gearing up for the next day. But the next day you should focus on targeting a different group of muscles. You could also chalk out an exercise regimen in which you workout for an entire day (whole body) and engage in stretching, light cardio or total rest the next day.
Rest and recovery are sometimes more essential than exercise. In fact, it is during your rest period that actual burning of body fat takes place. Therefore, take time to recover completely so that you can prepare for the next day of exercising. And don’t forget to listen to what your body has to say. Pushing yourself is good, but loving it is equally important.
Your body will get stressed out when you exercise. If you are able to balance your stress (exercise-related) and rest period, you will gain a healthy and fit body (free from excessive fat). But if you don’t take proper rest, your body will start producing excessive amounts of the stress hormone known as cortisol.
While cortisol is essential at the time of exercise (it provides energy to your muscles), a larger amount of this stress hormone for extended time period can lead to negative effects on your body such as deposition of stubborn fat in various body parts. Apart from exercise, it is also crucial that you maintain your emotional and mental health so that you can achieve an overall body wellness.
Till date there is no such perfect equation for consuming healthy food and working out- everything is based on trial and error method. You need to find out exactly what works for you. Also, spending extra time in the gymnasium does not assure more fitness level. If you are not a bodybuilder or an athlete, there’s no point in spending more than one hour per day in the gymnasium.
Make sure that your exercise is intensity-dependent instead of time-dependent. Remember that if you work harder, your exercise duration should be shorter. It is important that you maximize the time spent on exercising so that you can keep the metabolism level in your body revved for at least 24 to 48 hours. And keep in mind all the points mentioned above so that you can gain actual, visible results from your workout sessions.