If you want to lose fat, you are going to have to dial in your nutrition, workout effectively, get your gut health in order and make sure your body has plenty of down time to recover. Yep...you read that right! You are going to need to make sure that your body has enough time to rest and recover.
Sleep’s Role in Building Muscle
During a challenging workout, you’re tearing down the fibers in your muscles. While you’re sleeping, those muscles are able to recover and repair themselves. This is also when your muscles grow, as your Human Growth Hormone (HGH) levels are highest while sleeping. Muscle growth is critical for burning fat because the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism. In addition, this is how you shape your body, making it look lean and toned.
Quit The Insane Workouts
Doing insanely difficult workouts every day can actually be detrimental to your fat loss efforts. In fact, it can negatively affect your hormones and metabolism, causing a weight loss plateau. Exercise raises your cortisol levels, which isn’t a bad thing if you allow time for those cortisol levels to return to normal, however, when your cortisol levels remain elevated for extended periods of time, the effects can be antagonistic to your weight loss efforts. According to Jeff Behar:
“Elevated Levels Of Cortisol Can:
Cause you to crave carbohydrates excessively, especially in the evening
Make you feel fatigued and exhausted
Increase cholesterol and triglyceride production
Decrease serotonin levels in your brain which can trigger depression
Deplete vital vitamins and minerals the body needs for proper function such as the B Vitamins, (aka, stress vitamins), calcium, and magnesium.”
Intentional days off are crucial for teaching your body to be a pro fat burner.
How Often Should You Work Out?
Depending on your starting point, you want to work out at a high intensity level no more than 5 times per week. On your off days, you can actively recover with a walk or jog, or by doing yoga or stretching. However, it is absolutely critical that you take it easy on those days, allowing your hormone levels to even out and your muscles to recover from the work you’ve done all week.
Sleep and days off might feel counterintuitive when it comes to fat loss, but it is truly the missing component in so many health and fitness programs. Your body needs time to repair muscles in order for them to grow. You also need rest so that your hormones can remain stable, and your body can burn fat effectively. So, ladies, take a day off, get plenty of rest, and sleep your way to a leaner, healthier you!
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