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Why Doesn't More Exercise and Less Food Equal Better Results?

Step one.

Know your #1 goal.

Too many people want to learn how to deadlift 500lbs, win the 400m dash at the Olympics, walk the empire state building on their hands and lose 20 pounds of body fat.

Everything you do is a stress on the body and requires recovery. The more you train, the more food, sleep, and relaxation you need.

If you are someone who has a full time job, kids AND you want to lose some body fat (more stress). Then you need to find the right balance.

More is not better. More is more. More can be worse. Enough is plenty.

When people start working out one of two things will happen. They start getting results or they don't get results.

This then leads to you thinking either, "This is working, I am going to do more and eat a little less and it will work faster!"

Or, "This isn't working, maybe I just need to do a little more and eat a little less, then it will work!"

The absolute worse is when you struggle and your "trainer" tells you that it is your fault, you just need to do more workouts and eat less food.

Ironically, the answer is typically the opposite. When most people are stuck its because they are causing more stress than they can recover from.

Often the answer lies in doing a little less training and eating a little more food.

(Or doing more productive training... but that's another blog post)

It may be counter intuitive, but remember the goal isn’t to do as much exercise at as high intensity as possible. It’s do the right amount for your goals and your situation. The goal isn’t to eat as little food as possible. It’s to eat the right amount for your goals and situation.

Majority of people seem to do best with three hard training sessions a week, no more than four times at the most. At Coastal Strength & Fitness, 3-4 days a week seems to be the sweet spot where we’ve gotten our best results.

Nutrition can be the hardest. This is because the more you train, the more fuel you need. BUT to lose weight you still need to be in a calorie deficit, but just a small one.

If you create too big of a calorie deficit you will start noticing:

  • your energy levels are low

  • A cranky mood

  • Workouts suffer

  • Hormones will tank, etc.

Under-eating will inhibit fat loss just as much as overeating.

A slight caloric deficit can lead to healthy and sustainable fat loss. A huge cut in calories leads to your body having all fat loss come to a halt - your metabolism will tank.

Combine this chronic under-eating with tons of extra workouts and you have a recipe for a metabolic disaster.

After a few days of undereating, your body will start reducing active thyroid hormone (T3 and T4) and raising your stress hormones like Cortisol. Elevated cortisol levels then lead to leptin and Insulin resistance. Leptin and insulin are two of the BIGGEST players related to fat storage and fat loss of your body - they work together to control your metabolism.

Complicated story made simple: under-eating will wreck your metabolism and stop your fat loss efforts.

This is why when fat loss is the #1 goal you are much better off training 3-4 times a week. Spend the rest of your time being consistent and disciplined with proper nutrition and walking as much as possible.

Case Study:

Valerie came to us after training for a year at a pace of 6 days a week, sometimes double sessions a day! She was dieting and eating carbohydrates only one day a week.

Valerie lost 15lbs in 12 weeks training less and eating more!

She would lose weight, then gain it back. Continuing the yo-yo process and frustration...

Only to try and fix it by thinking she needed to do more.

When she started at Coastal I had her focus on:

  1. eating more food than she was to provide some nourishment to her body and find her baseline calories

  2. cutting her training in half, so she could actually start recovering

This was a tough mental game, but she came out on the other end 12 weeks later with 15 pounds of fat loss.

The crazy thing is she lost the 15 pounds in not only her stomach, but check out her arms and legs as well!

Again, she accomplished this by decreasing her training amount down to 3-4 days a week and INCREASING her calories and carbohydrates.

She went from eating carbs once a week to once a day.

If your goal is sustainable fat loss and you honestly are not getting the results you desire and feel like you have dug a deep hole with the "more training" "less food" mindset...

Then schedule a strategy session to sit down with us and map out a plan to get in the best shape of your life.

Our goal is for you to do things you have never done before. Things that are over looked like REAL pushups, chinups, relentless conditioning, AND sustainable fat loss.


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