Is "No Pain, No Gain" Serving Us?
The thought process has always been that if you are not seeing results you need to work harder, longer and endure more amount of pain than you are currently in. This has meant working out more frequently, longer training sessions and exerting more energy throughout your workouts at the expense of your well being. Most times to the point of exhaustion and burn out leaving you right back to where you started. So how do we break through this plateau or even start a fitness routine that is sustainable and produces results?
In order to understand the answer you must first know that the body does not work like a calculator like most of you have been taught. Calories in versus calories out has been the clear, simple, easy to understand methodology that has been tossed on you in order for you to stay sane and follow whatever program your fitness professional has prescribed. It's simple, black and white, yet extremely inaccurate, tedious and downright not that effective.
Yes, energy balance is crucial. However, without hormonal balance long term results cannot be achieved. What is hormonal balance you ask? Let's start with identifying hormonal imbalance. Think:
Any of these sound familiar when dieting or working out constantly? Even though you may have a caloric deficit, your body is giving you clues that it is not in hormonal balance. Can you see how the "No Pain, No Gain" belief can actually make this situation worse?
So how can we create a caloric deficit while staying in hormonal balance? The body is constantly providing feedback on how to do this. All we have to do is listen and start becoming a detective when it comes to our health and fitness. Starting slow, adding in movement and exercise along with eating foods that serve you are common suggestions (that are effective). But it is the hormonal balance piece that everyone forgets.
Walking, relaxing, restorative yoga, laughing and getting massages and just some strategies to help get your body back to hormonal balance.
Hard work is required, but the "No Pain, No Gain" philosophy should be examined closely next time we here it being given as advice.