2 Outdated Principles When it Comes to Losing Weight
When we talk about decreasing the amount of body fat on our bodies we tend to focus on a few principles that in my opinion are outdated. Principles like counting calories and "no pain no gain" when it comes to exercise. During this blog post I'd like to make the argument that these ways of thinking are not only outdated but short sighted and ineffective.
Contrary to what you have been taught, the body does not work like a calculator when it comes to weight loss. Rather, it tends to work more like a barometer or boomerang.
Think about a boomerang, the harder you throw it, the harder it is going to come flying back at you. Your body works the same way.
Look no further for proof of this than the TV show "The Biggest Loser". After a recent study, we found out that roughly 90% of the contestants gained all of the weight they lost on the show back and MORE.
Why? When you drastically alter the intake of energy (food) and the expenditure of energy (exercise) in an extremely short amount of time, the body will actually interpret that as a threat and eventually, over time, fight extremely hard to get back to the comfortable weight that it had been at for 20, 30 to 40 years before you tried to lose weight.
Think of it like your hair (if you have it). When you cut it, it will not only regrow, but regrow thicker, denser and faster. You're body acts in a similar way with it's weight.
No Pain No Gain:
This blends right into counting your calories. We have this belief that the more we exercise the more our body will dip into it's fat stores as energy and we will eventually look lean and slim. And while this is partially true, we are still missing the key reason why this approach ultimately leads us to burn out and/or injury in the gym. The body interprets too much exercise too quickly the exact same way as too little food too quickly.
As a threat.
The body has a reaction to everything you expose it too. And exercise is no different.
We have to view our bodies as a separate entity other than our conscious self. If I'm Jeremy, then my body's name is Jason, for example. Jeremy wants to lose weight and look good, while Jason is obsessed about having every system in the body be regulated and could care less about how Jeremy wants to look in the mirror.
In order to get the aesthetic outcome you want in the mirror you are going to have to convince "Jason" that there is no threat.
How do we do that?
We introduce stimulus (exercise, eating patterns) GRADUALLY over time. This will allow our bodies to make changes without plateauing due to it not viewing these things as a threat.
In short, eat healthy food that you enjoy, slowly, when you're hungry and begin to introduce more movement like walking and structured exercise in to your day. And understand that you're going to have to court, nudge and convince "Jason" a lot more than pushing and pulling him in the direction that you want to go.