Over the past 12 years, I have been helping people get into shape whilst looking and feeling better. When our guests arrive at our fitness and wellness holiday retreat in the Algarve – almost everyone tells me they need help to shift stubborn fat despite trying various diets and training programmes at home.
So why do busy people with more stress in their life struggle dropping unwanted body fat? Think about all the stress factors in your life and picture putting them all in a ‘stress bucket’.
Stress could come from:
– Poor diet
– Over consumption of alcohol
– Increased sugar and carb intake
– Lack of hydration
– Too much coffee
– Relationship stress
– Work stress
– Financial stress
– Emotional stress
– Time pressure
Now if your stress bucket is pretty full with some of the above and you want to lose body fat, spending 4-5 hours a week in the gym is actually not the best things for you to do.
Exercise is a stress after all. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a good stress.
If you apply exercise in the right amounts at the right time, exercise is a wonderful thing. Your muscles, heart, mindset and posture will all be positively impacted by the right kind of exercise. However, too much exercise ON TOP of your current stressful life will get you nowhere fast.
We see this a lot with people who are keen runners and spend all of their training time just jogging. There is nothing wrong with running, it has many benefits. But if you use it as your only training tool, you are going to elevate your stress levels and really hit a plateau with your results.
Whenever busy, stressed people come to us to lose stubborn body fat, I always try to deal with some of the factors in the stress bucket first. This can be achieved with some simple techniques such as reducing coffee and alcohol, eating more protein and vegetables, adopting some meditation techniques or some deep breathing work.
Once there is some space in your mind – and your day, I would suggest introducing short and intense exercise routines that do just enough to stimulate change in the body without over stressing the system. Adding in some low intensity walking and stress reducing yoga routines are good options also.
The sympathetic nervous system is often overworked and the stress hormone Cortisol is chronically high. Cortisol isn’t necessarily a bad thing! We need it to live! It allows us to generate fuel for movement and life. Too much of it however, can lead to low energy, a sluggish metabolism, loss of muscle mass and an increase in body fat, particularly in the stomach and hip area.
Are you one of those super-stress people who can’t shift stubborn fat no matter how hard you train? Perhaps, it is because you are just adding more stress to a stressful life? What stressors can you remove or reduce from your life?
You can achieve great results just doing 4-5 fully body workouts a week – each work out takes 12-15 minutes and uses mainly bodyweight exercises. Is your current training regime working for you or do you need to make some changes to start seeing better results?
I’d like to hear more about your experiences, is this something that has happened to you? Say firstname.lastname@example.org