It’s here! It’s the day you’ve finally reached your goal weight after months and months of hard work, good eating habits and consistent exercise.
And, it’s just in time for you to shine and show-off to your friends and relatives that you haven’t seen in eons just how good you look.
For several weeks, you look amazing and feel even better. You celebrate by going out almost every night showing off your new sexy body: dinner at fancy restaurants, dancing at the club, parties wherever and whenever you can find them.
But pretty soon, those new clothes you just bought start to fit a bit to snug than you’d like them to, and don’t really compliment your body very well (in fact, they’re starting really be unflattering).
Then you think to yourself:
“Maybe I shouldn’t have gone out so much, and skipped so many workouts in favor for cocktails with the girls. Maybe I shouldn’t have had those extra glasses of wine and spent too many nights with too little sleep.”
Maybe so… but, you can’t change that now!
So what can you do?
All you want to do is get back to how you looked and felt, and not have that amazing feeling disappear again.
What were all those sacrifices worth if you can’t keep the weight off?
Interestingly, the secret to keeping your body from regaining all your weight, is really not such a secret.
Honestly, it’s just as simple as getting back into your regular exercise routine and sticking to it! (And yes, a night of dancing will count!)
In fact, researchers have recently shown through meticulous experiments that EXERCISE can and will prevent your body from regaining weight loss after months and months of serious dieting, (as long as you’re not blowing off healthy eating habits completely).
The Negative Effects of Dieting
When you lose weight through strict dieting, your body tries to fight it in many ways:
- First, your brain starts telling your body that you’re starving, and that you need to eat more food.
- The brain also tries to slow down your metabolism so that your body returns to its “comfort weight.”
- Your fat and muscle cells become more insulin sensitive, which although is mostly good for overall health, it makes the body more efficient at storing any excess energy (in fat cells) instead of burning it off (in muscle cells).
- Finally, weight loss and dieting initially suppresses your ability to burn fat while sending extra energy to fat storage.
This is why thousands and thousands of people (particularly women) have such a hard time both losing weight and keeping it off. It also explains why most people need all the help they can get physiologically, psychologically and biologically when it comes to attaining the body they deserve.
However, once you reach your goal weight, how can you stop your body from gaining it all back? That’s a legitimate fear most people have, and sometimes stops them from even trying.
Exercise to the Rescue!
Exercise is really a “magic pill” that most people forget to take.
Yet, it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent weight re-gain known to man:
- Regular exercise leads to decreased appetite and increased caloric expenditure, helping you keep the weight off longer
- It also changes the body into a fat-burning machine and helps it store more carbohydrates in muscle where they can be used to fuel further exercise sessions
- Finally, it can increase muscle tissue and keep fat tissue at bay, which helps you look better with and without your clothes.
Weight loss researchers from the University of Colorado, Denver, also recently showed that regular exercise after weight regain stopped the body from gaining weight and storing extra fat even during a situation of excess calorie intake!
We all know that we want to eat more food than our body really needs, especially after we’ve dieted for a long time, but this research shows us that even if we have a few higher-calorie days, or eat at weight maintenance (rather than for weight loss), we won’t regain our weight as long as we continue to keep moving every day.
Exercise, in this research study, helped the body burn off any excess calories ingested, and helped the muscles use more calories to create energy for more movement.
Regular exercise, both during weight loss and while in active weight-loss maintenance, also helped prevent some of the compensatory mechanisms that the body undergoes while dieting that thwart fat loss efforts.
Overall, if you want to lose weight and keep it off forever, don’t forget the importance of regular exercise.
So what’s best?
For most women, depending on their schedule and preferences, 3 lifting sessions, 1-2 HIIT sessions, and 1-2 MIC (moderate intensity cardio) sessions is perfect. These can be combined in different ways to allow 2-3 full days off from the gym every week (but still aim to be active on those days — housework, yard work, walking the dogs — it all counts!)
Not only will you feel better with renewed energy and vigor, but you’ll help your body look better for longer, too and isn’t that what we all want? To feel healthy, attractive, and strong?
Lucky for you, Girls Gone Strong has JUST the thing! Just the other day, the ladies of Girls Gone Strong released their first training and nutrition resource to absolutely RAVE reviews. (See more here —-> Check it out here! )
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The best thing about this program? OK, it’s too hard to decide what the best thing is, but there are 3 different levels that suit every ability level, with 2-4 substitutions for each exercise, so you have options, and can completely customize it if you’d like.
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Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for the Nutrition Guide and Meal Plans created by Yours Truly.
Exercise reduces appetite and traffics excess nutrients away from energetically efficient pathways of lipid deposition during the early stages of weight regain.
Steig AJ, Jackman MR, Giles ED, Higgins JA, Johnson GC, Mahan C, Melanson EL, Wyatt HR, Eckel RH, Hill JO, MacLean PS.
Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2011 Sep;301(3):R656-67. Epub 2011 Jun 29.
Cassandra Forsythe PhD, RD, is the author of two popular nationally publicized books for women, “The New Rules of Lifting for Women”, and “Women’s Health Perfect Body Diet”.
She has also been featured in major magazines such as Oxygen, Women’s Health, Men’s Health and Delta Sky Magazine.
Her passion lies in encouraging women and men of all shapes, sizes and life stages to exercise seriously and with purpose. Most recently, she has become an advocate for super fit pregnancies following her own ultra-fit gestation.
She holds her doctorate (PhD) in Exercise Science and Nutrition from the University of Connecticut and is a Registered Dietitian (RD). She’s also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and a Certified Sports Nutritionist (CISSN). She’s well-known for her expertise in low-carbohydrate diets, nutrition for fat loss, and all aspects of female health.
She also runs her own group fitness facility in Connecticut, which has transformed the bodies of hundreds of women and men across the state. You can find out more about her here.