When talking about weight loss, one of the most common questions I get asked is “How come I am training now but I haven’t lost any weight”. I have heard this from a few ladies lately who were all on Weight Watchers or Slimming World and they were losing ‘weight’ but since starting exercising the scales have not moved and this has left them upset. They have broken down in tears at the Weight Watchers meeting after getting on the scales in front of people.
Now where I do like Slimming World and Weight Watchers because they get you to eat food, I do not like the weekly group weigh in. This puts too much emphasis on the scales which can leave you feeling deflated. If you are following your diet plan then you should be losing weight slowly but this does not mean that your body is getting fit or that it is working properly.
Once you start exercising your body starts to change. You start to build lean muscle and at the same time you will be burning fat. You will have heard the statement that “muscle weighs more then fat” of course this is not true… 1lb of muscle weighs the same as 1lb of fat but the density is much different. 1lb of muscle takes up a lot less space than 1lb of fat. It is the extra fat in your body that makes you look ‘fat’ or bulky. Once you start building muscle your metabolism speeds up… your body starts working how it should be. Think about it… if you are dieting but not being active then your body is still not working. Your body is designed to move. It needs to be kept active for it to work properly.
Now some ladies get put off when you start talking about building lean ‘muscle’. When I have mentioned this to some their initial reaction is. “I don’t want to be big and muscly”. If you are referring to body builders then they have been trying to get big and muscular for many, many years and they take lots of supplements to feed their bodies to get bigger. A simple exercise plan which includes weight training or body weight exercises will not get you big and bulky. For your body to look lean and toned you need a good percentage of muscle mass and a small percentage of body fat. Building lean muscle is what actually gives you that toned and sexy look. The only case when you can become bulkier than you were before is if you don’t change your poor diet! If you gain muscle AND fat at the same time, of course you will look bigger and bulkier. But with a proper diet and exercise you can actually lose fat WHILE building lean muscle mass.
Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss
Most people only rely on the scale to measure their progress. Yet this is definitely not the best tool! If your weight remains the same you might think that you haven’t made any progress. But if you followed the diet and the training program carefully, you probably lost a few pounds of fat and gained a few pounds of muscle instead. So your weight is the same but your body composition is totally different (and you definitely look better now). And isn’t this what you really wanted? Don’t you want to burn the fat and to get that “toned” look?
So stop using the weight as the only method of measuring progress and use fat calipers or body fat scales as well. Measure yourself, see how different your clothes feel, how different you feel. But do not do this everyday… not even every week. Maybe just once a month or couple of months. Be careful what you are telling yourself too. Do not get upset if the ‘scales’ have not moved… remember you are listening to yourself. If you are saying to yourself “this is shit… I give up” then you are already telling yourself that you can’t do it. Stick with it… you didn’t put weight on overnight and you won’t lose it overnight. Stay positive and enjoy your journey.
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Many studies show that people who exercise regularly benefit with a positive boost in mood and lower rates of depression.
What Are the Psychological Benefits of Exercise With Depression?
Improved self-esteem is a key psychological benefit of regular physical activity. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain.
Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. For example, the feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as “euphoric.” That feeling can be accompanied by a positive and energising outlook on life.
Endorphins act as analgesics, which means they diminish the perception of pain. They also act as sedatives. They are manufactured in your brain, spinal cord, and many other parts of your body and are released in response to brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neuron receptors endorphins bind to are the same ones that bind some pain medicines. However, unlike with morphine, the activation of these receptors by the body’s endorphins does not lead to addiction or dependence.
Regular exercise has been proven to:
• Reduce stress
• Ward off anxiety and feelings of depression
• Boost self-esteem
• Improve sleep
• Boost your energy levels.
Exercise also has these added health benefits:
• It strengthens your heart
• It increases energy levels
• It lowers blood pressure
• It improves muscle tone and strength
• It strengthens and builds bones
• It helps reduce body fat
• It makes you look fit and healthy.
Trailblazer Fitness Bootcamps can be a great way to get some exercise, meet friends and feeling good about yourself. Get in touch and come and join us.
Hey guys, this is probably something we all think about, just maybe not enough, do you think you drink enough water?
Drinking enough water every day is so important, your body NEEDS water to function properly.
“But I don’t get thirsty” – drink anyway! Did you know one of the first symptoms of dehydration is lack of thirst? But I bet you eat when you’re not hungry don’t you?
“But I’m on the toilet all day if I drink too much!” This is a clear sign that your body is far too used to being without sufficient water. When it gets more than usual it gets rid of it quickly because it doesn’t know what to do with it. After a few days of drinking enough water your body will adapt to its new water allowance and begin using it properly… in nearly EVERY cell in your body. Your wee should be should be mostly clear with only a slight tinge of yellow and nearly no odour. Dark strong smelling during is a sure sign of dehydration. Not the most glamorous thing to study but its important and helpful to note… think of this blog the next time you go for a wee!
Effects of Dehydration
Feeling tired or fatigued? You’re probably thirsty. Inadequate water causes a drop in blood volume, which makes your heart work harder to deliver oxygen to the rest of your body.
Feeling hungry but you know you’re not? Again, You’re probably thirsty. The body isn’t great at distinctly recognising if its hungry or thirsty, have a glass of water instead of 7 biscuits! Clinical studies have shown that drinking water in between meals suppresses the appetite, boosts your metabolism and increases the rate that the body can break down fat.
Got a headache or migraine? Or suffer with them regularly? Dehydration can be main culprit! Get a glass of water. Maintaining a good water intake will keep headaches at bay.
Skin looking dull? Water helps to moisturise skin, replenish skin tissues and increases elasticity. A well hydrated body increases capillary blood flow, giving a healthier and more youthful appearance.
Head up your ass today? Mild dehydration (just 1-2% lower hydration level) negatively affects your mood and ability to think. Have a glass of water and get some fresh air at bootcamp and those lovely endorphins from exercise will work like dream. Not to mention releasing some tension on those boxing pads.
Are you trying to lose weight? Simply replacing sugary or calorie filled drinks reduces your daily calorie intake (drastically if you drink a lot of these!). Muscles need water for fuel and because they’re made up of about 80% water, being properly hydrated is key for lean muscle growth and more lean muscle means more resting caloric expenditure (burning calories while you’re resting).
Painful joints? Cartilage which is a rubbery material that coats our bones is made up of 85% water, being hydrated ensures our joints move smoothly making for a more enjoyable workout and preventing injury.
Get a bottle of mineral water next to your bed and have a good drink as soon as you open your eyes on a morning while your stomach is empty, it wakes up your body and kick starts your metabolism. Your body is working so hard during the night, a good sleep leaves you dehydrated so replenish the nutrients that have been depleted so you can start your day right. Continue to drink at regular intervals throughout the day – using an app or setting a reminder on your phone can be helpful.
Look after yourself, you only get one body, treat it right.