Eat Less – Exercise More is WRONG

 

If you read anything today, it should be this.

For years, I myself told people, “exercise more, eat less – thats how you lose weight!”

This is true.

Unfortunately, I disagree with this statement completely now. Yes, I can change my views on things too, I am human.

So why is is wrong, and what DO I suggest?

First lets look at the principles behind the statement.

If you increase exercise, or movement in general – you burn more calories.

If you eat less food, you consume fewer calories.

Thus, you create a caloric deficit. Meaning, you are burning more calories than you consume, and by the undeniable laws of thermodynamics – you should be losing weight!

This is all true.

So what is wrong with exercise more, eat less?

Exercise More

“I need to do more cardio” – ” I need to go to more bootcamps” – “I need to workout more”

Three common statements made by people who want to lose weight. All good statements, but all could be neglecting something important – DIET.

You cannot out train a bad diet. You might be able to at the start, but it won’t last. I promise.

You lost weight by running a bunch and not really looking at your diet. Then all of a sudden life happened and you had to stop running 2 hours a day, 7 days a week. Then what happens?

Or you hit a plateau in your weight loss, so you must add more running! Now you are socially exiling yourself from your friends and family, because you need to run 12 hours per week to maintain your weight loss – that sounds fun.

Exercising more is not the answer.

Eat Less

So you want to crash diet to fit into that dress for the winter ball? Ok. Go jump on a standard cookie cutter diet (which definitely doesn’t include cookies) and starve yourself at 1200 calories a day. You will lose weight.

But then what?

You either have to keep eating so little that you burn out, or yup – you have to exercise more to create bigger deficit.

Man or woman, starving yourself brings about some pretty nasty hormonal side effects – I don’t recommend it.

So what the hell do you recommend?

Exercise More, Eat More.

or

Exercise Less, Eat Less

(but maintain a caloric balance suited for your goals)

What does this mean?

Want to lose weight at a sustainable rate? Then live in a 300-500 calorie caloric deficit for most days of the week, and don’t go crazy on days that you aren’t.

Want to gain muscle at a sustainable rate without gaining tons of fat? Maintain a caloric surplus of 200-300 calories for most days of the week that you train.

So say you want to lose some fat.

Here is what your week might look like:

As exercise increase, this allows you to eat more – which will help maintain muscle mass, and your sanity – and as long as you stay within a deficit, you are golden.

So how do you figure all this out?

That is way beyond a blog post – and unfortunately it isn’t as simple as just plugging in numbers to a formula. For in general, if you live by being aware of 1) Did I exercise today? and 2) Did I eat a little more today? and 3) Am I still losing/gaining weight (dependent on goal) – then you will have your answers.

This is my goal for everyone. Stop this trend of eating less and less and less, and exercising more, and more – and find a sustainable process that works for the long haul, and you can switch it on and off like a faucet – with very little problems.

 

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Stop Overthinking Everything Diet and Exercise

Being in the industry, I see a lot of opposing viewpoints when it comes to nutrition and exercise.

I can see why it is so confusing for the average person to figure out what they NEED to be doing.

Here is a great realization that I have made recently – the fitness/nutrition world is just like America right now. I would say about 98% of people in the industry agree on most stuff – and then you have the other 1% on each end of the spectrum.

Unfortunately, these 1%’ers on bot are the ones that make all the noise.

  • “If you drink tap water you will die!”
  • “If you eat 5 grams of sugar, your will die”
  • “Lifting weights makes women bulky”
  • “Cardio is the only way to lose fat”

Pardon my le français, but STFU. These aren’t even the most extreme things I have heard, but it blows my mind what people choose to fixate on, and what they passively ignore.

“What supplements should I take?” – “What do you currently eat daily?”…. Crickets….

Supplements mean absolutely, 1000%, jack if you have no clue what you currently eat. I’m not saying it has to be meticulous tracking for the average Joe or Jane looking to lose weight, but you need to be aware of how much you eat.

I could go on about different examples, but here is the deal. Stop over complicating things.

We all know what we should be eating mostly, and what we should be limiting, so I’m not going to even go down that road.

We all know that exercise is good for us, and we should be doing more of it, so I’m not going to go down that road either.

But when was the last time you actually wrote down, or at least thought about what you ate?

When was the last time you worked out, and it felt good, and you felt good after?

When was the last time you enjoyed a day at work?

When was the last time you took time to breathe?

Wait, where am I getting with this?

Do you think that losing 20 pounds will make you happier? It might, but why are you unhappy in the first place? Really, WHY? It likely isn’t just that 20 pounds.

Focusing on improving your nutrition and working out like a #beast is great, but NONE of that will change your life, make you happier, or arguably make you more healthy – if you don’t look at your LIFE as a whole.

So let’s stop fixating on whether or not you should eat 22 or 24% of your calories from fat, or eat 0.8 or 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight…and start fixating on living a wholesome and happy life.

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Sit More Than 50% of the Day? You Need These 6 Exercises

When we hear about exercises for sitting all day, we often hear about stretches for the hips and low back. Hardly ever addressed, is the upper back – especially the thoracic spine.

When we sit at our desk, computer, in our car, or for 20 minutes at a time on the toilet mindlessly browsing Instagram on our phones, we usually are set up in classic kyphotic posture.

The upper back/spine is supposed to be a very mobile segment of the spine, but this kind of lifestyle leads to tightness. When the mobile thoracic spine is immobile, the lumbar spine – lower back – is often sacrificed for mobility – thus leading to LOW back pain.

Here are some quick exercises you can do right now to help loosen up that upper back, fix your posture, and feel better daily.

Cross your arms and look for hit spots along the upper and outer back muscles. Hit them with short little rolls for 30-60 seconds each.

Cross your arms again, keeping your butt on the floor, arch your back over the roller starting at your midback and working up towards your neck. Go slow, breathe out, feel the back stretching – but make sure your butt is on the floor the whole time.

Breathe out and reach big over head letting gravity take your ams towards the floor. Repeat until you feel like you have extended your range and cannot go further.

Lay with one leg over the foam roller and rotate your body away and open while breathing out. Repeat for 5-10 reps per side.

Drive your hips back and arms up while rotating your palms towards the ceiling. Let your head push through your arms towards the floor. Breathe out, reach out. – 5-10 reps.

Plank up, drive your hips back then bring one leg forward outside of the same side hand. Drop the other knee to the floor while rotating away and breathing out. After hitting both sides, push your butt back in the air, then come forward – driving your hips towards the ground and arching your back (DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU KNOW IT HURTS YOU!) – finally glide back into a yoga childs pose. Repeat 3-5 times.

Do these exercises 2-3 times per week – and I promise your back will start loving you.

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Why Your “High Intensity Training” Is Holding You Back

High Intensity Training; it’s all the rage. Bootcamps, Crossfit, HIIT Class, Group X Classes with Plyo Box Jumps for 60 year old ladies…

There is nothing inherently wrong with it, rather the approach may be the biggest problem.

Even your more bodybuilding types can be prone to too much high intensity. When you hit the gym day after day, working at high intensity 95% 1RM sets that you have to crank up the Metallica to 11 for, slap your chest and huff and puff – (this was me) – day after day…

What about endurance athletes? Thats not high intensity! While it may not be high intensity in the form of an all out sprint, I would argue that it still is because of the duration of the activity.

See fancy graph:

So what’s the problem? 

You spend all your time doing HIIT, or balls to the wall workouts – because that burns fat faster, right? Not always.

Truth is; the body has a finite amount of intensity that it can endure until somethings gotta give.

Let’s think about this:

High Intensity not only places stress on the physical musculature of the body, but also the central nervous system. What also places stress on the body and the CNS?

  • Work
  • Life
  • Sickness
  • Lack of sleep
  • Poor nutrition
  • Dieting
  • Watching the news
  • Frequent travel

So how many of you High Intensity 5x per week go getters are perfect in all of the above categories? Probably not many.

In that overstressed environment, your body releases chronically high levels of cortisol, a hormone that causes you to lose muscle, retain fat, and lower your ability to fight off illness and injury.

So what do you do???

Am I saying stop doing HIIT all together? NO

Be aware of your volume. If you aren’t sleeping and eating like crap, doing HIIT stuff wont help you 5 times per week – it will probably do the opposite. Get your diet in check and try to sleep more, and limit your high intensity training to 1-2 times per week.

Self monitor. Here’s a novel idea – listen to your body. If you are dragging ass and feeling extra bloated and weak, it’s probably not the best idea to go all out crazy at the gym. Reflect on why you are feeling this way, fix that problem, and then dial it back for the day and do some lower intensity pump work.

Work to Recover. When we talk recovery from training, it’s usually in the form of eat better, sleep better, and do your foam rolling and stretching. How many of us do that?

If you can’t sleep more, and don’t want to change your nutrition habits, then you can at least make an effort to do a solid recovery session 1-2x per week.

What would this include?

  • Breathing exercises
  • Mobility drills
  • Soft tissue work
  • Range of motion work
  • Light cardio

Essentially 30 minutes dedicated to leaving the gym feeling better than when you got there.

By focussing just a little bit on recovery, listening to your body, and dialing back a bit on the crazy 50 box jump workouts, you can actually improve your bodies ability to burn fat, grow muscle, and feel a whole heck of a lot better.

 

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You Don’t Turn Health “On and Off”

*The minimum amount of activity recommended is 150 minutes of  moderate/vigorous exercise per week* – See more here.

30 minutes, 5 days per week.

21 minutes 7 days per week if you want to look at it that way.

But then what? Will doing this alone get you the results of your dreams? Hardly.

Everyone want’s to know:

What is the MINIMUM AMOUNT of effort I need to put in to get results?

What is the MINIMUM AMOUNT of money I need to spend to get results?

What is the MINIMUM AMOUNT of time this will take until I’m at my goal?

This mindset is terrible. Working towards your health really has no minimum nor maximum. You don’t turn it on and off. It is more about how much effort you put towards it vs. how much you don’t.

So if you are already asking what is the least amount of effort you have to put in, you are going to fail.

One of my ladies put it so well in a conversation about working out, I have to share it. Our women’s lifting group meets 2 days per week, for 45 minutes per session. Not even the bare minimum recommendation. However – she gets “it”. This is how she summed up the idea of training twice per week:

“You have to commit to 7 days to see results, 2 of those days you just happen to workout with other people”

BAM! SO GOOD!

It’s all about the process, not the end date.

Do you need to go all out 7 days per week? Do you need to meticulously measure all your food and never eat “junk food” or drink alcohol 7 days per week? Hardly

You need to commit to healthy behaviors 365 days per year, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be 24 hours a day.

1) Move as much as possible

Ever track your steps? Do it and see exactly how much you move in a day. If you usually have your phone on you, I recommend the Pacer AppGet 10,000 steps per day.

2) Eat mostly unprocessed foods that are ingredients, not ones made of ingredients.

How many ingredients are in an apple? One – apple. How many ingredients are in a chicken breast? One – chicken. How many ingredients are in a slice of deep dish delicious pizza? I don’t know, but probably a lot.

Follow this rule as much as possible.

3) Prioritize your health as an investment

You have one body, and one life. You better take good care of it.

In about 6 weeks, people will line up to spend $1000 on the new iPhone. How many of these people will also claim they can’t afford to eat healthy? A gym membership? Even a small group training class could be purchased with that money!

Many won’t hesitate to blindly put shoes, fancy gadgets, and epic nights out on their credit card. But when it comes to putting purchases that will benefit their health, and pay long term dividends, many are hesitant.

 

 

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Don’t Forget to Train THIS Muscle Group!

 

“How much ya bench?” – Most Bro’s in the gym.

“I want to have toned arms” – Most women.

A large majority of people who approach lifting on their own are often quick to jump to the “typical” exercises – bench, curls, shoulder presses, some leg stuff, and abs.

But what about your back?

The muscles you can’t see in the mirror are forgotten about in most self made recreational lifting programs.

Not only do some people forget about training back, but if they do train the back muscles, they often don’t train them enough or with the right kind of work.

First let’s look at the back:

The “big 3” back muscles are the trapezius (traps), the teres major, and the latissimus dorsi (lats) – and you could throw in the back of the shoulders – the posterior or scapular part of the deltoid (rear delts).

Why should they be trained?

Your back muscles play a huge part in your posture and overall spinal health. Most people nowadays spend most of their time hunched over at a desk, hunched over in the car, or hunched over on their phones. This leads to a chronic weakening of the upper back muscles, and a shortening or tightening of the chest muscles, leading to “desk posture”

So, by focussing only on mirror muscles at the gym – chest especially – we are only reinforcing that posture and thus leading to more bad posture and more chronic back issues.

How much should you be training your back?

Most fitness experts will propose a 1:2 or 1:3 push to pull ratio.

***This means for every pushing exercise you do (bench press for example), you should do 2 or 3 pulling exercises (rowing exercises or pulldowns)***

Now we can get even deeper here and I would argue for a 1:2 ratio of vertical to horizontal pulling exercises.

Vertical pulling being pullups, chin ups, or pulldowns, and horizontal pulling exercises as any row variation from multiple angles varying from 45 degrees above the shoulder, straight on from the shoulder, and 45 degrees below the shoulder.

How should the back be trained?

Back exercises should focus on using the back muscles to initiate the pull, and end with a strong contraction of the back muscles. Many times, people focus on pulling with the arm, and don’t actually pull with the back muscles.

Think about initiating the pull with your lats, and squeezing the heck out of the lats on the contraction.

Bonus: Having a muscular back is sexy

Yes, I get it, we don’t all workout just to look good – but thats usually a nice added bonus.

Having a muscular back for men gives you a wider upper back, which is in alignment with the more traditional masculine body type, you fill out your tee shirts better, and it also makes your waist look smaller (pro tip).

For women, having a muscular back looks great when you wear a swimsuit or tank tops, and it often helps with the look of having sexy toned arms.

As evidenced by my badass women’s lifting group:

Rather than asking for a light load, ask for a strong back – Do your rows.

 

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The Healthy Foods That May Be Keeping You Fat

 

No single food will inherently make you fat, and no single food will inherently make you slim down.

You could eat 100% “clean” and still gain weight if your calories are too high.

You could eat 100% “crap” and lose weight if your calories are under your maintenance. (You would probably feel like crap too though)

Unfortunately, many foods that are very healthy – meaning containing good nutrients – are also assumed to be fair game when it comes to eating them. However, the calories can add up quickly with some of these foods, and this can blunt your weight loss progress.

1) Almonds – 2 ounces – 340 calories

While high in heart healthy fats, almonds are still high in calories – because fat is 9 cals per gram. Don’t avoid, but just be aware of how easy it is to eat over your goals.

2) Avocado – 1 half – 140 calories

Again, very high in heart healthy monounsaturated fats – but still calorically dense – so be aware of portions.

3) Protein Shake with Milk, and Fruit – Calories Vary

This is a very common area that I see people over consuming calories. While smoothies can be a great way to get a quick meal in, you must remember that the calories can still add up.

One scoop of whey protein in water is usually around 120 calories – and pure protein.

When you get into adding milk, fruit, and even peanut butter – you could be talking upwards of 800-1000 calories.

4) Gluten Free, Organic, Sugar Free, Fat Free, etc.

Just because foods are labeled as any of the previously mentioned, it doesn’t automatically make them healthy when it comes to calorie levels. Often times, the organic versions of processed foods especially can be HIGHER in calories than the non organic version.

5) Frozen Yogurt – 1.5 cups – 360 calories

While FroYo is much lower in calories than full fat, and full delicious ice cream – it doesn’t make it something you load up on if you are still trying to watch your calories.

So what might a day of eating just these foods look like?

1422 calories – from just those 5 foods. This would be nothing for a 200 pound guy like myself – BUT for a smaller framed woman, this could equal your total daily intake alone!

So what is the moral of the story?

Awareness is key, knowledge is power, and nothing is magically slimming nor fattening – it all comes down to calories.

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Sorry, You Can’t Spot Reduce, BUT You Can Spot Develop

 

Spot reduction – the process of exercising a certain muscle group or part of the body with the goal of melting away fat from that exact area.

Think of the bro’s doing millions of crunches the week before spring break in college to get their abs.

Or the lady walking sideways up a step mill with the goal of melting fat from her inner thighs.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like this.

Or bodies will choose where we lose fat from, and the only way to lose fat – yes, here I go again – is to create a caloric deficit.

So then what is the point of lifting weights if we can’t magically change the appearance of our bodies based off of targeting a specific muscle group?

Oh but we can…

While we can’t spot reduce fat, it is very well known, especially in the bodybuilding realm, that you CAN spot develop a certain area.

This is called muscular hypertrophy:

Muscle hypertrophy involves an increase in size of skeletal muscle through a growth in size of its component cells. Two factors contribute to hypertrophy: sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, which focuses more on increased muscle glycogen storage; and myofibrillar hypertrophy, which focuses more on increased myofibril size. – Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning 

In other words – you build muscle.

So how do you build a certain area? You prioritize it, then you hit it with the right amount of volume, then you measure and adjust.

1) Prioritize

Want your stubborn calves to grow? Do them first in your workout.

Want your back to be wider and more imposing? Train it first in the week.

Want your booty to fill out those sexy jeans? Train it 3 times per week.

Now, there are limits to how much you can and should train a certain muscle group before you start getting negative returns, but more later.

This seems like a no brainer here though – if you want to develop a certain area, prioritize it!

2) Hit it with the right amount of volume and frequency

This refers to the amount of sets and or reps you do for that muscle group. For simplicity sake, lets keep the reps in the 8-15 range.

I usually base this off of a per week basis, and usually the low end is around 8-12 working sets per week. The maximum end (where you start getting diminishing returns) is around 24-30 sets per week.

Now, these are WORKING sets – meaning you are using a weight that is challenging for you, BUT you can complete all desired reps, with a few “left in the tank”.

So lets say you are new to lifting, but really want to build your chest.

Lets start at 8 working sets per week of some sort of chest building exercise (Dumbbell Bench Press for example)

So maybe you hit 4 sets of 12 reps on Monday, and 4 sets of 8 on Thursday. 8 total sets.

The following week, you would bump up to 10 working sets, and so on – following the basic progressive overload principles. 

If you are a more seasoned lifter, you might need to start around 16 working sets per week. This is where frequency becomes important.

Hitting 16 working sets for one muscle group in one day might be a little much.

So hit the group twice per week, for a much more manageable 8 working sets per day.

3) Measure and Adjust

Take measurements so you know if you actually are growing a body part. Pictures help too.

Remember, it takes time to build muscle -AND if you have a layer of fat over it, you might not see some of the changes.

This doesn’t mean you should avoid trying to build an area – it just means you have to have realistic expectations, and when you are ready – you could switch your priorities to a focus on burning fat, and eventually reveal those new muscles you have built up!

Are you thoroughly confused now?

I can help – I am always taking on distance coaching clients – for less than $2/day! He never saw me once during his training, followed the plan, and lost 12 pounds of fat, and GAINED 4 pounds of muscle in 12 weeks! (And is still going I might add…)

Click HERE to Apply

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Starting Strength Training From Absolute ZERO (Video Guides)

 

Strength training is growing in popularity among average Joe’s and Jane’s, which is friggin awesome!

I write about it’s importance all the time, and how it is literally the fountain of youth (when done correctly).

But what if you have absolutely no experience, are afraid, or have zero clue where to start and what to do?

I will try and lay it out in the post, step by step, as clear as possible. If you have any questions feel free to post or email me – mike@mgfitlife.com.

1) Focus on all the fundamental movements – push, pull, squat and hip hinge.

What the heck are these?

PUSH – think push up, or pushing AWAY from your body, like a chest press. Can’t do a push up? Try hands elevated pushups. Any pressing machine, or dumbbells will work as well.

PULL – pulling weight towards you. Start with a form of horizontal pull like a dumbbell row, a body weight row, or cable row.

SQUAT – pretty much exactly how it sounds. The squat is more of a knee dominant exercise and it tends to work the quads, or front of the legs more than the hamstrings, or backs of the legs.

Start with just body weight, then add weight once you can sit down to the point where your thighs are parallel with the floor.

HINGE – this is also a lower body exercise, but focuses on hinging from the hips – and works more of the backs of the legs – hamstrings and glutes (butt).

Start with a slight bend in the knees, but then push your hips back keeping your spine straight. Go to the point of feeling a stretch in the backs of your thighs then return to the top.

If using weights, keep them close to your legs, and shoulders back and tight.

So these are the 4 basic movement patterns that will cover most muscles of the body, now what do we do with them?

Start with ONE workout, because one is infinitely more than zero.

First – warm up. This can be as simple as a 5-10 minute brisk walk followed by 20 forward and 20 backward arm circles to warm up your shoulders.

Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions (reps) of the first exercise before moving to the next. Give yourself about 1 minute rest in between sets.

What weight should I use??? Use a weight that allows you to get all 10 reps, but it somewhat challenging by the final rep. If you are unsure, do one warm-up or “ramp up” set first with light weights to gauge the difficultly.

You shouldn’t go to failure on your working sets, and you shouldn’t force sloppy reps.

I often use the cue – leave a few reps in the tank. Meaning, if you absolutely HAD to do 12 or 13 reps you could.

How does this look?

Example:

  • 10 push ups or dumbbell presses – rest for 1 minute
  • 10 push ups or dumbbell presses – rest for 1 minute
  • 10 push ups or dumbbell presses – rest for 1 minute
  • 10 rows – rest for 1 minute
  • 10 rows – rest for 1 minute
  • 10 rows – rest for 1 minute
  • 10 squats – rest for 1 minute
  • 10 squats – rest for 1 minute
  • 10 squats – rest for 1 minute
  • 10 hinges – rest for 1 minute
  • 10 hinges – rest for 1 minute
  • 10 hinges – rest for 1 minute

That’s it!

See how you feel 2 days later, and if you feel up to it, repeat the same exact workout once or twice in the week,

Then what?

The most simple way to progress is to add reps until you get to about 20. Then go back to 10 reps and add weight. This will cover you for a decent amount of weeks and if you are truly new to lifting weights you will be good to go.

Example:

  • Week 1 – 10 chest presses with 10 pounds
  • Week 2 – 12 chest presses with 10 pounds
  • Week 3 – 15 chest presses with 10 pounds
  • Week 4 – 18 chest presses with 10 pounds
  • Week 5 – 20 chest presses with 10 pounds
  • Week 6 – 10 chest presses with 12 pounds
  • Week 7 – 12 chest presses with 12 pounds
  • And so on and so on…

That is literally the most basic form of weight training you can do, and if you are totally new to it this will be a great place to start!

Don’t try to get ahead of yourself and add weight every workout. It takes time for muscles to grow, and slow and steady is always the way to go!

 

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You Can’t Run Away The Fat

 

Sure, go from zero running to some running to lots of running and you will probably lose some weight. But then what?

I’ve seen it, in people I know, in people I read about, in people I see out in public…the weight loss stalls.

Now, I used to be that meat head that would say “cardio is dumb, you don’t need to do cardio, just lift and diet and you will be good”.

While I partially still agree with this – I also don’t think cardio is dumb. It is very important to make sure your heart is strong and functions well or, well, you die. If you ENJOY running – or more traditional cardio, and it doesn’t harm you – then more power to ya, run run run!

However, using cardio as a sole means of fat loss with complete ignorance of diet and some cross training is a recipe for disaster.

The three common traps that cardio lovers seem to fall into are:

  1. Weight loss stopped? Time to run more.
  2. I run a lot/train for marathons – I can eat whatever I want.
  3. I want to be better at running – so I will run more!

When weight loss stops on a pure cardio routine, many peoples first instinct is “I need more cardio”. Here why that might not be the best idea.

www.active.com

When you live by the cardio – you die by the cardio. Meaning that the more cardio you add and add and add to your week, as soon as something happens in your life that doesn’t allow you to run 10 hours per week, your progress will backfire and your weight will rocket back.

Without paying any attention to creating a slight caloric restriction through food instead of just trying to run more, you set yourself up for trouble when trouble strikes in your life.

Your body also becomes very efficient at running at a slow and steady pace. Meaning you CONSERVE calories so you can last longer on your run, but at a slightly slower pace. When fatloss is the goal, efficiency sucks.

Crank up the intensity, hit some sprints (on a bike especially) and turn your body into a furnace in a shorter amount of time.

This is where problem 2 comes in – the “I run a lot therefore I can eat whatever I want”.

There is a generic statistic that says you burn about 100 calories per mile traveled while running so lets just use that for an example.

Say you run 10 miles one day – so “burn” 1000 calories. Then you go to Olive Garden to celebrate with friends and get the biggest past dish you can find because you “earned” it.

Well that dish is 2500 calories, plus the 4 breadsticks you ate – so there you go, you now cancelled out your run plus jumped into a surplus.

The main point being – its very easy to supplant the caloric burn of a cardio workout if you blindly eat whatever.

You must still pay attention to diet, and eat enough for performance – but also if you goal is fat loss, you must be in a slight deficit.

And the last trap – more running = better at running, its not always the case.

Yes, you need to practice any skill to get better.

But for runners, don’t forget strength!

You need to build up the muscles through strength training so they can endure long runs, and the pounding on the pavement.

Strength training not only builds muscle (which boosts your resting metabolic rate) but it also helps build BONE.

How many cardio lovers do you know who have gotten stress fractures? I know a few.

Heavier loading of the bones and especially the axial skeleton greatly improves bone density. This means squats, lunges, step ups, deadlifts, all those good lower body exercises should be done 2-3 days per week. 

So if your goal is to lose some fat here’s what I would recommend:

  • Don’t rely solely on running- if you enjoy it, cool, but you don’t NEED to run. Biking, swimming, hiking, circuit training, are all great ways to get cardiovascular improvements as well.
  • Don’t ignore diet. Your goal should be to lose fat at a pace of 1-2 pounds per week with as little change to your normal routine as possible. So don’t just add in 10 hours of cardio per week because that wont last. Start with bodyweight x 10 for your calorie goal.
  • Weight train – not only to help prevent running injuries, but also to improve your metabolism, your muscle tone, and to improve your mood and energy.

 

 

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Stay healthy my friends,