Can Too Much Exercise Make You Fat?

So everyone who reads my blog knows that I love to exercise. I suppose you could say I am a little addicted. I can’t live without it. But that isn’t such a bad thing right? What’s wrong with keeping yourself active and healthy? However, I was surprised to find that too much exercise can actually be a bad thing for those of us who exercise for weight loss. That’s because too much exercise can actually cause our bodies to store fat rather than burn it.

A recent study showed that too much exercise at too high an intensity can cause the body to become depleted and worn down and this can actually slow the body’s metabolism as we go into survival mode. This means that our bodies will try to hold on to our fat stores rather than burn them. In such situations its not uncommon to actually lose muscle and preserve fat. Not what we want!

So how can we ensure that we are exercsiing in a way that will ensure we burn fat not muscle?

1. Firstlly make sure that you enjoy exercise. Keep the workouts at a level that ensures you still enjoy what you’re doing. If you work so hard that you begin to totally dread every new workout and feel drained, chances are you are doing too much. It ‘t doesn’t have to be pure agony for you to derive benefit.

2.  Make sure that you add resistance training to your workout regime at least twice a week. Too much cardio and not enough resistance can cause your body to stop burning fat effectively. This can be in the form or weights or just by using body weight exercises. Using our muscles and building them ensures that we don’t lose muscle.

3. Try to reduce cardio if you are pushing yourself too much. 2-3 cardio workouts a week of 30-45 minutes at moderate to high intensity is sufficient for most people.

4. Try using intervals as a way of breaking up your workouts. You can speed up your metabolism and burn fat whilst spending less time exercising. Replace long runs on the treadmill with short 15 minute interval circuits to help boost your metabolism.

5. Ensure that you get plenty of sleep. This helps your body to repair and recover from the day’s stresses and strains. Look at ways to reduce your stress if you have trouble sleeping

6. Eat a healthy balanced diet and don’t cut out food groups or starve yourself. Sensible eating and portion control ensure that you eat a balanced diet that will give you all the energy your body needs.