You signed up for a gym membership 6 months ago, and you’ve been consistently making trips there to get a workout in ever since. At first, you saw a few pounds shed and your body composition change slightly – but now change has been at a dead halt. Why?
Our bodies encompass our lifestyle. While one small change (adding movement) can impact our body slightly, there are still many other factors we need to look at. Here we will take a look at a few main areas of our lifestyle that we must focus on if we’re hoping to make a major change.
First, we’ll look at what we already know. Daily movement is essential to burning fat and losing weight. Regular exercise not only increases the amount of energy (calories) you burn while you are exercising, but it also boosts your resting energy expenditure. That is the rate at which you burn calories when the workout is over, and you are simply resting. To keep your resting energy expenditure elevated, you must exercise at least three days a week on a regular basis.
Building muscle also helps increase the amount of calories you burn per day, during both exercise and rest. At Ardent, we provide you with a training program that encompasses the perfect mix of many training styles (cardio, weightlifting, gymnastics, general physical preparedness, and more), to ensure that when followed with other proper lifestyle changes, you will see positive change in your body composition.
We have found that nutrition is the hardest “element” of this ideal lifestyle for people to conquer. To be quite honest, this is where most people will fail and give up. We live in a rushed world, and unfortunately, our diet has fallen victim to this. Fast food and frozen meals have become the norm for some, but this type of diet does not provide us with the proper micro- or macro- nutrients our bodies need. We could exercise all day every day, but if we are not paying careful attention to what we’re putting in our bodies, we will never see the change we are working towards.
Diet marketing has fooled many into thinking that by following the newest and trendiest diet, they will shed pounds – fast. The reality is that there is no quick fix. It will take months of hard work and fueling our body properly to achieve the results we are looking for. When it comes to nutrition, both quantity and quality matter. We must learn appropriate portion sizes, and start tracking our food to ensure we are hitting prime macro-nutrient numbers (protein, carbs, and fat). It’s also important to eat clean, incorporate a lot of vegetables and fruits into our daily diet, and stay way from processed items.
There are many ways in which sleep impacts our ability to lose weight. Research shows that those who are sleep deprived feel significantly hungrier, and lack the energy to exercise. Sleep deprivation also impacts our body’s response to insulin. When we are not responsive to insulin, fat cells are far less able to release fatty acids, blood glucose remains high, and extra fat and sugars circulate in our blood – causing us to pump out even more insulin. Eventually, this excess insulin can cause us to store fat in all the wrong places, including tissues like our liver. This leads to problems such as fatty liver and diabetes. Leptin and ghrelin are two hormones that can be affected by lack of sleep. The less leptin you produce, the more empty your stomach will feel. Ghrelin is a hormone that stimulates hunger, while also reducing metabolic rate and increasing fat storage. Research shows that sleeping fewer than six hours reduces leptin and stimulates ghrelin: causing you to feel more hungry and less satisfied! Just like you make exercise a daily priority, be sure to get AT LEAST 6 hours of sleep a night!
Stress, we all have it. Whether it’s emotional stress, internal stress, or physical stress – if you’re not managing it, your body will be affected. When you are under high stress, your body will go through hormonal change.The body’s response to stress has been linked to changes in metabolism, insulin, and fat storage. You’ve probably heard of the “fight or flight response” before. This is triggered by stress, and this response releases 2 hormones: adrenal and cortisol. Adrenal prepares our body to take action, once this wears off, cortisol (aka the stress hormone) hangs around. Cortisol temporarily suppresses functions like our digestive, immune, and reproductive responses. In short – the more stress we carry, the more cortisol hangs around in our system, the more likely our body is to hold on to fat, or gain fat. It’s crucial to take some time during your day to de-stress. Whether that’s 30 minutes with your favorite book, a quick walk around the block, or a mid-day power nap!
If you are looking to make a change, you must reevaluate your entire lifestyle. At Ardent Fitness & Education, we understand the importance each of these factors, and we’re here to help.
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