So your diet’s not going great, but how about the training?
Cardio is fine for burning calories, but what you’ll notice is that pretty soon, your calorie burn per session starts going down.
Even if you try to work harder, you won’t be getting the same results, and you have to go longer and longer to get it back up. This is because subconsciously, your body is trying to save energy, so driving your calorie burn down.
Unfortunately, while often deemed safer than weights, this isn’t true either. Cardio (especially impact activities like running) can create huge stress on your joints and lead to injuries, particularly overuse injuries such as tendonitis.
Let me ask you this too: Do you enjoy cardio?
I know they talk about ‘runner’s high’ but apart from that, it’s pretty boring, right?
Even if you put a podcast on, or watch something on the TV, it’s not the best way to get your aggression out, relieve stress and really make you feel like you’re working hard and blitzing that stubborn body fat either, is it?
Now, when you combine these long, drawn out, monotonous cardio sessions with an extreme diet, things really start to go downhill.
You may have lost some weight, but your body’s wondering what the heck’s going on. You’ve gone from feeding it adequate fuel and not exercising that often, to slashing your calories right down and getting your cardio in every day.
As it starts to burn off muscle mass, you begin to look skinny and drawn out, and while many women say they’re not bothered about HOW they want to lose weight, provided they lose it – trust me, when you start seeing the muscle wastage and the lack of definition that come with the above approach, you’ll change your tune pretty fast.
The longer you diet like this, the slower your results get.
Well that loss of muscle mass means you burn fewer calories each day, and by burning fewer calories, the size of your deficit reduces, meaning weight loss slows. To get round this, you have to eat less than you are at the moment.
But remember those cravings?
Well they kick in HARD, and it becomes almost impossible to stick to your plan.
When the results are coming fast, depriving yourself and eating your same old bland, boring foods is bearable, but when the results aren’t there, it gets so much harder.
To combat such a drop in calories, your body also fights back with it’s survival mechanism.
You might have head this referred to as starvation mode, and while starvation mode itself is somewhat of a myth, there’s a degree of truth to it, though most people in the nutritional sciences industry refer to it as metabolic adaptation.
This is a process whereby your body starts to down regulate all non-essential functions, such as sex drive, digestion speed, and even the production of some hormones, so you can start to feel very lethargic and quite unwell. Additionally, you’ll subconsciously move around less, and so will be burning fewer calories, making it harder to keep losing weight.
(Can you see a pattern here?)
In the end, it all gets too much, and you give in and binge.
Maybe you’re out for a meal with friends, intend on having a plain steak or a chicken salad, but spy the burger and fries on the menu, and just can’t resist, so you have this.
It tastes so good, and you figure that you’ve blown your diet anyway, and so you go on to have dessert, wine, and then chocolate when you get home, and before you know it you’ve eaten a week’s worth of calories in just a few hours. And then you feel guilty.
This guilt starts to form part of a vicious cycle, whereby you think to get back on track you need to be even more extreme than you were before, with MORE cardio and LESS calories, but the same thing happens again, only this time, the binge comes sooner.
Each and every time you do this, you’re making future fat loss progress harder and harder, as you’re playing Russian roulette with your metabolism.
You make your physique worse too, as you lose a combination of muscle mass and body fat during the diet, but put back on solely fat (no muscle) when you binge or over-eat.
Now, this is not meant to be a horror story. Far be it for me to try and scare you straight from the start.
But I wanted to include this to outline how the way most women are told to eat and train to lose weight is just downright wrong.
I also know there’s plenty of scepticism out there when it comes to female fat loss, so wanted to show you how I’m not just another guru who wants to sell you supplements or get you onto an extreme eating plan.
I genuinely care about your results and your health, and in the next section of the book, I’m going to give you my overview of how you can lose fat fast, but avoid all the perils and pitfalls we talked about over these last few pages.