Constant slogging in the gym, counting calories, watching what we eat….and getting nowhere! Sound familiar? So many of us are stuck in this cycle, with no results to show for it. I recently had a major revelation in this regard. For months I had been racing off to the gym a few times a week to do a really tough workout, always trying to lose a couple of pounds. I was so focused on watching what I was eating I ended up thinking about food all the time and probably eating more as a result! So one day I decided all the rushing and racing to the gym might be counterproductive, it’s making my body release cortisol and any weight I might lose through the workout, the cortisol is quite possibly putting back on me. So I cut the gym right back, only going now on spec if I fancied it, or going for a handy enjoyable run or a short workout at home, and I started yoga once a week. I felt so much more relaxed right away and after only a week could feel I was making progress without the gruelling workouts I had been regularly rushing to. On the food front, I started taking more time preparing meals and then actually sitting down without interruptions to eat and enjoy the meal. Chewing food sufficiently is so important, but can be hard to consciously do, instead, I tried adding raw veg, or seeds or nuts wherever I could for that extra crunch, so you actually have no choice but to chew more. By chewing more you definitely end up feeling fuller soon and usually eating less. So the long and short of it was that by doing less exercise, I was actually getting much better results, simply by relaxing and enjoying it rather than putting myself under pressure to get it done. And relaxing about food, listening to my body, eating what I felt like, in moderation. Stress is so detrimental to our bodies & health! Sometimes a nice relaxing slow lunch or a simple walk outdoors can be a lot more beneficial than hours slogging in the gym!
By Kara Reilly