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Home > Our Health Experts > Kim Kantor > Work Smarter Not Harder Lose Weight

Work Smarter, Not Harder To Lose Weight

Many people believe that if they kill themselves in the gym, they’ll lose those unwanted pounds. But working out too hard can actually PREVENT you from seeing the results you want.

Overtraining, or going beyond your anaerobic threshold, means your body stops utilizing fat as a fuel source and starts using muscle, glucose, and carbohydrates. You could, therefore, run for hours and actually do nothing to help with weight loss. The old saying “no pain no gain” does not apply.

If you have been working out but not seeing the results you want, there are a few simple solutions. The first is, slow down. Instead of running, try walking on an incline. Sometimes less really is more.

You can also get a metabolic assessment profile (MAP). Your carbon dioxide and oxygen levels will be measured, along with your heart rate. This will tell you exactly what your heart rate is when you are burning fat. Then, your future workout strategy entails staying in this fat burning zone.

Another big misconception is that you must severely cut calories for effective weight loss. Overdo it here, and you can undermine your ability to shed that unwanted fat. When you don’t eat enough, your body goes into a sort of primitive “starvation mode” and actually holds onto excess fat.

To prevent this, you need to eat small, healthy meals every three to four hours. You’ll never feel hungry, and the small, frequent meals will ramp up your resting metabolic rate (RMR) and turbocharge your fat loss. To make sure you’re eating enough to lose weight, your RMR can be measured, which will tell you precisely how many calories you burn at rest and how many with day to day activity. Both the MAP and RMR tests are available at most quality athletic clubs.

 

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