Women are often caught up between what they read in magazines, watch on TV, the advice of their unqualified husband or boyfriend, and society’s expectations of what they should look like. None of these should matter, it’s how you feel, not how others want you to look that matters.
I want to delve into the muddy waters and make things as clear as possible when it comes to achieving long lasting health and fitness results.
The top mistake women make when dieting is to cut their calories too drastically.
This is referred to as ‘crash dieting’.
Crash dieting can lead to fast weight loss in the first couple of weeks.
It is not sustainable in the long run and when returning back to normal eating habits all the weight lost is regained, usually with more on top.
A proper nutrition plan involves changing eating habits in a way that does not shock your body, so that weight loss can be sustained and maintained in the long run. It is my mission to empower as many people as possible with as much knowledge on the subject.
Too Much Cardio
Cardio is most effective for people who are overweight and/or new to exercise. Overtime, however, the body adapts and begins to use energy and oxygen from more convenient sources, i.e. muscle tissue. This is crucial to avoid.
Excessive cardio is also related to an increased appetite for sugary foods to replace the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is lost during periods of chronic stress. After running a half marathon on Monday I cleared my fridge out, and then my cupboards!
The main way too much cardio hinders your fat loss efforts is through increased production of the hormone cortisol.
Cortisol is catabolic, i.e. it uses up muscle tissue and slows down protein synthesis. Again, you want to avoid this.
Less muscle mass equates to a slower metabolism and a slower metabolism leads to your body burning fewer calories during rest.
Other effects of high cortisol include:
- Increased insulin resistance making the body unable to tap into fat stores for energy.
- Imbalanced leptin levels (a hormone that regulates hunger).
- Suppressed growth hormone and testosterone levels (associated with increased fat gain).
Avoid running on the treadmill at the same speed for prolonged periods of time.
High intensity interval training or ‘HIIT’ is proven to be a much more effective fat burning technique.