Losing weight is not easy. The concept is simple. Eat less and move more. Eat the good stuff and stay far away from the junk food. Use a combination of resistance training and cardio to blast the fat away. All these are simple concepts to understand. But…
It is tough as hell to follow them. Immense discipline is required to avoid the foods you crave for. Eating wholesome foods may seem bland and boring. Resistance training will make your muscles ache. Cardio will leave you breathless. You will not lose weight in a healthy manner without sweat equity.
This is why keeping fit and losing weight is the number one New Year resolution that people renege on. It is perfectly understandable but not excusable. Nothing great was ever achieved without effort.
So, what in the world is the title of this article all about?
Less is more? Really?
Unlike the late night infomercials or weight loss spas that claim you can lose pounds by wrapping yourself up in Saran wrap and lying down like a pre-packaged frozen chicken at the supermarket… the less is more concept here is very different.
When you exercise on a daily basis and follow a strict healthy diet with cheat days at regular intervals, you will be stressing your body. Resistance training will tax your body. Cardio is also stressful. Over and above that, the diet will leave you emotionally drained too. All this is stress.
Stress causes weight gain. Many people do not realise this. Stress will add on pounds to your belly or butt. It’s not all about calories in and calories out. There are other factors too. Stress is one of them.
When you are under stress, your body releases a hormone known as cortisol. So what is cortisol?
Cortisol is a hormone in your body and when the cortisol levels in your body are high, your body will tend to store fat around your midsection. This visceral fat is detrimental to your health and is the kind that raises the risk of you getting high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol level.
Now even though exercise is good for the body, it stresses the body out. So, one of the best things you could do for your body is to take a 10 day break every 8 weeks. During these 10 days, do not engage in any exercise except for maybe a slow 30 minute walk. Allow your body time to rest and recuperate. Do gentle stretching exercise or milder forms of yoga.
Keep your diet constant and do not eat at a caloric surplus. Just maintain the calorie level so that you do not gain weight during this period. After this short hiatus, you will look and feel much better. You may even be able to burn off the last stubborn layer of fat on your tummy.
Try and not be stressed out by the daily events in your life. This will be difficult since we live in a fast paced world with constant stress. However, do your best to stay calm and collected. Meditate daily or do whatever you feel makes you light hearted and happy.