I go to the gym and see people pounding away on cardio equipment trying to "burn more fat". Unfortunately, the body doesn't burn fat based on a strict math equation of calories in minus calories out.
Perhaps, our efforts may be better spent working on keeping our bodies from storing fat in the first place.
There are habits each of us has in our everyday lives that we overlook - thinking it isn't a big deal - but could be sabotaging our efforts to have a lean, fit, healthy body. Here are the top 5 I see most often:
1. Chronic Stress
Our fast-paced lives can lead to the overproduction of stress hormones such as cortisol. They trigger our body to store fat to keep us safe in times of danger. However, most of our modern day stressors - like traffic - don't require extra abdominal fat. Taking just three deep breaths during stressful situation can help decrease cortisol production.
2. Lack of Sleep
Not getting enough sleep wrecks havoc on the hormones that control our appetite. We will feel less satisfied and crave carbohydrates for quick energy. During these times we are much more likely to eat due to emotion instead of true hunger. Aim for at least 7-8 hours a night.
3. Alcohol Consumption
Drinking alcohol halts all fat burning efforts. When you consume alcohol your body wants to rid itself of the toxins and will burn through the alcohol before anything else. The alcohol will be burned while the food you eat will be stored away for later.
4. Too Much Sugar
When we consume sugary and processed foods it causes our insulin levels to spike. Insulin is a fat storage hormone. It is impossible for your body to actually burn fat while it is also producing insulin. To improve your insulin levels, fill your plate with protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates (those that take your body longer to break down).
5. Lack of Fiber
When it comes to maintaining health and a lean body, fiber is a hero. It not only contributes to good digestion and cardiovascular health, it also helps control insulin. When we eat carbohydrates that lack fiber, blood sugar can spike quickly. This is followed by a crash, causing hunger and overeating - and the fat storage cycle continues.
As you can see, a lean and healthy body is not just made in the gym - but in the kitchen, restaurants, grocery store, and bedroom. All of our lifestyle choices contribute to our bodies ability to burn instead of store fat.
If you are interested in learning more about how protein, carbohydrates, and fats can be balanced to breakthrough weightloss resistance, fatigue, and cravings, join us for a Free Hands-on Nutrition Workshop.
With the help of our Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, You will walk away with an individualized plan to meet your goals and overcome your current challenges.
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