It’s here! You’ve finally reached your fat loss goal after months and months of hard work, good eating habits, and consistent exercise.
You relish in your success and you cannot wait to show the world the results of your hard work.
You’re so happy that you begin to celebrate by going out constantly: dinners out during the week, dancing with your friends, parties wherever and whenever you can find them. You’re feeling amazing!
But pretty soon, those new clothes you just bought start to fit a bit more snugly than you’d like them to, and don’t really complement your body the way they first did (in fact, you might even feel like they’re a bit unflattering now).
Then you think to yourself:
“Maybe I shouldn’t have gone out so much, and skipped so many workouts in favor of cocktails with the girls. Maybe I shouldn’t have had all those extra glasses of wine and spent too many nights with too little sleep.”
But you did, and you had a great time.
Instead of berating yourself for this behavior, perhaps the experience can provide some insight as to what you could do differently in the future?
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 was all that hard work worth if you can’t maintain your results of looking and feeling amazing?
Interestingly, the secret to keeping your body from regaining all your weight, is really not much of a secret.
Honestly, it’s just as simple as getting back into a 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 regular exercise can and will prevent your body from regaining weight lost after months of serious dieting. Of course, it helps even more if you’re also practicing some basic healthy eating habits.
Let’s focus today on the element of exercise as a weight maintenance tool, because the benefits are oh-so-good!
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 sensitive to insulin, 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 so many people have such a hard time both losing weight and keeping it off. It also explains why most people could use a bit of help physiologically, psychologically, and biologically when it comes to attaining the physique and the health that they want.
So, 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 in the first place.
Exercise to the Rescue!
Exercise really is a “magic pill” — It’s just one that most people forget to take consistently.
Yet, it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent weight re-gain:
- Regular exercise leads to decreased appetite and increased caloric expenditure, helping you maintain your new, slimmer physique.
- 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.
Weight loss researchers from the University of Colorado, Denver, also recently showed that regular exercise after weight loss stopped the body from gaining weight and storing extra fat even during a situation of excess calorie intake!
We all know it can be very easy to eat more food than the body really needs, especially after dieting 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 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 for good, 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. It sounds like a lot, but these can be combined in different ways to allow 2-3 full days off from the gym every week. It’s best to still aim to be active on those “off” days. Whether it’s housework, yard work, walking the dogs, or dancing—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 don’t we all want to feel healthy, attractive, and strong?
Lucky for you, Girls Gone Strong has just the thing, having released their first training and nutrition resource to absolutely RAVE reviews.
This resource has everything you’ve ever wanted to know about strength training, and more!
- A 90-minute, high-definition Video Library of Molly Galbraith coaching Alli McKee through over 70 exercises
- A Training Manual
- An Exercise Glossary
- A Progress Tracker
- THREE, yes THREE, 16-week Training Programs (yeah, that’s a whole year’s worth!)
The best thing about this program? OK, it’s too hard to decide what the best thing is, but there are three different levels to suit every ability level, with 2-4 substitutions for each exercise, so you have options, and can completely customize it if you’d like. The program meets you where you are.
Grab yours here: =====> The Modern Woman’s Guide To Strength Training
Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for the Nutrition Guide and Meal Plans created by Yours Truly.
Steig AJ, Jackman MR, Giles ED, Higgins JA, Johnson GC, Mahan C, Melanson EL, Wyatt HR, Eckel RH, Hill JO, MacLean PS. Exercise reduces appetite and traffics excess nutrients away from energetically efficient pathways of lipid deposition during the early stages of weight regain. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2011 Sep;301(3):R656-67. Epub 2011 Jun 29.