To Help You Feel and Look Good: Part 2

In this three-part series we’re helping you to debunk the myths of how to feel good and stay looking good during busy periods. Earlier this month, we discussed diet and weight loss and that cutting our calorie intakes dramatically does not help us lose weight in the long term! This week, we’re talking about exercise.

Body Fat

The body needs fat to survive, we use energy every day just to stay alive! When we try to lose weight rapidly, the results can begin to reverse. Classically any weight you may lose at the beginning of a new routine will shortly return. In some cases you may gain even more weight than you lost as your metabolism has slowed down. Because your metabolism slows down, you burn less calories in your day-to-day routine, and more fat gets stored.

Remember that TV show the Biggest Loser? Participants would undergo extreme dieting and intense exercise routines over the weeks, shedding some serious pounds. What the programme did not show you, however, was the participants later down the line. Over 80% gained back what they had lost in a short period of time, some even heavier than when they originally started!

What exercise ought I be doing?

To drop the weight, people think you ought to be doing cardio: running, spinning classes, HIIT classes…anything for that sweat to pour out. Do this and you will lose water and be lighter on the scales, but you are generally not burning body fat. This type of training can stress the body out, causing it to release the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone will trigger your body to hold/store body fat and slow down your metabolism.

Effective exercise for healthy weight loss

  1. All types of yoga are effective. This is the case particularly when it comes to burning calories, improving flexibility and muscle tone, calming the mind, and providing a feeling of inner peace and contentment. If your goal is to lose body fat, certain practices can be more effective than others. If you want to burn fat and keep it off, power yoga and vinyasa flow are good to focus on. These are both fast-paced flows that provide the perfect mixture of cardio and strength-training. The dual combination is an effective fat burning combination and helps increase lean muscle mass. These two types of yoga enable the body to burn anywhere from 400 to 600 calories per hour. This is equivalent to the number of calories burned during a typical hour in the gym!
  2. Weight training is more effective than cardio at building muscle and muscle cells burn more calories at rest than fat cells. The more muscle cells you develop, means a faster metabolism. Women worry that they will get bulky, however, you will get leaner as you shed body fat from all over your body making it look tighter and leaner. A pound of muscle will weigh the same as a pound of fat, however the muscle is much more compact to give you a smaller frame.
  3. Invest in yourself. Perhaps find yourself a Personal Trainer for guidance and support. Maybe even partner up with a friend to share costs of a trainer and help motivate you. Online personal training can be a great option also if time is limited and more cost efficient.
  4. Make time to train. Block out your diary and schedule in training times, whether it’s a gym session or a home session or even just going for an evening walk, factor it in rather than leaving it to chance. There are some fantastic YouTube yoga sessions to follow, all you need is a yoga matt and a bit of space. Be responsible for your schedule and be realistic. Even 1-2 30 minute sessions a week can have significant results when following a healthy eating plan.
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