This was posted last year and now is a good time to revisit some of these ideas. Stress is a funny thing and affects people differently. Sometimes thats a good thing and sometimes its a bad thing. Take another read, even if you read it last year and let me know if it brings up any questions.
So, you wanna lose those last pesky little pounds?? Do less.
We have been conditioned to think that if a little is good, a lot is better and a ton is even better! For those of your that have goals related to losing some body fat exercise is not usually better in large amounts. Short intense bouts with a foundation on strength and mobility is key.
If you are under the impression that more is still better lets talk about our ancestors and hormones.
If you can think back with me about the time before there were roads, farms, or even refrigerators… This was a primal time and where we get alot of clues as to how our bodies should be fueled. That is for another post but i want to look a bit closer into what those people experienced. Because they did not have safe ways to store food, their bodies had to act as the storage shed. We have a very important hormone roaming through our body that is a response to stress (mental, emotional, physical) and its called cortisol. Cortisol was very important to our ancestors because as they were put under physical or mental strain, their body would store energy for hard times ahead. For example in times of abundance they would gorge themselves (spring and summer time) because they knew as autumn falls and winter nears, nutrients will be sparse. If they used all the energy they ate or excreted the excess there would be a very short life span of the Human animal. Luckily for us, Cortisol came the rescue and allowed us to store some extra energy for the hard times.
Fast Forward about 20,000 years as we open the refrigerator to see what is for dinner or stroll through Central Market and choose your favorite cut of meat. As nutrient is in high supply if we know where to look, so is Stress. Although our stress now, is different than it was 20,000 years ago it has the same effect. See where this can get you in trouble? Stress stimulates cortisol which causes the storage of extra energy (which means you are getting fatter because of stress). How do we alleviate this? First we need to know what kind of stress we need to moderate.
For those of you in high stress jobs, family situations, or emotional duress you should explore some meditation or working in which simply means doing things that build energy inside of yourself instead of expending it. Some examples could be anything from 5 minutes of quite time for you to close your eyes and focus on your breath to directed meditation to finding a hobby that helps you relieve stress (this hobby cannot be related to exercise as exercise is just another type of stress and likely making you fatter).
For those of you that feel like work and family stress is low but insist on doing high amounts of exercise which includes excessive Crossfit, long distance endurance work and basically anything that you are exerting yourself for longer than 20 minutes. The built up cortisol causes us to get fatter, not thinner as we are told. So, Yes, i am saying that exercising could be making you fatter.
As i mentioned earlier in the week, i have been doing this a long time and KNOW what we do in the gym is an appropriate amount of exercise for most people (not all) and should give just the right amount of physical stress to stimulate growth and NOT storage.
(Source: Black Box Ft. Worth)