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Stop Counting Workout Calories. Start Counting The Other 23 Hours of The Day.

October 17, 2016

 

Losing weight has little to do with the 60 minutes you are working out and everything to do with the other 23 hours of the day.

 

Stop trying to burn as many calories as you can in your workouts. It is futile and will only lead you to burning out and getting bored when you put all your stock in the calorie burn and realize after a couple weeks it’s going to be the same 400-800 calories an hour.

 

First off, make sure you are after fat loss and not weight loss. The “burn as many calories as possible, workout as much as possible” approach can just as easily result in muscle loss more than fat loss.

 

This train as hard as possible every time and burn as many calories as possible in my workout, eat as little as possible approach does not work. The obesity rates for the country continue to climb. And if it does work in the short term, the weight typically finds it's way back and some extra. See: Former The Biggest Loser contestants.

 

The answer?

 

Stop chasing exhaustion all the time in every workout. Always training at your redline and having that "Zombish / 24-7 burned out and exhausted feeling” is your body telling you to back off.

 

It is a super stressed, cortisol induced state…

 

That most people are creating by trying to burn as many calories as possible in a workout, like it is some kind of game.

 

But it is your body.

 

The only one you get.

 

Seek balance.

 

We have enough stress as it is from relationships, jobs, kids, commutes, presidential elections, etc.

 

Training is a stressor.

 

Don’t get me wrong, it is a good and important one (in the right amounts and intensities) for:

-increasing and maintaining muscle mass

-strengthening ligaments and joints

-improving mobility and heart health

 

But, going too hard, too often will just pile on the rest of our stress and impede our ability to recover and reap the benefits.

 

When stress is high cravings will increase, making it easier to binge when given the chance.

 

And it is a lot easier to slurp back a 700 calorie margarita or wack back two slices of cheesecake than burn 700 calories.

 

The 'out train' our diet game is a game we will always lose.

 

Instead of worrying about how many calories you burn in a workout... 

 

Majority of your training sessions should be pure strength training with enough rest and a focus on proper movement along with tons of low intensity stuff like walking. Walking is underrated and essential. Aim for 10k steps a day.

 

The rest of your focus should be on the other 23 hours. Building healthy nutrition habits, developing a nightly routine to promote a good, deep 7-8 hours of sleep. Relaxing activities like reading and listening to music. You want to be doing things to help you recover and balance all of life’s “stressors”.

 

The true benefit of working out isn’t the calorie burn, it’s building muscle and exercising your heart. You don’t need to develop an elite level of conditioning through extreme measures to do those things.

 

It would be awesome for everyone to be some extreme pro ninja warrior, spartan racer, crossfit athlete, etc. but we aren’t. Know your goal and situation and train accordingly.  

 

There is nothing wrong with "just" wanting to look good at the beach, have healthy blood work, and be in good enough shape to play with your kids or hop in a pickup game.

 

 

 

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