Switch It Up

imageFor the past month I have been stuck at a certain weight and in fact I have gained about 5 lbs. I was getting very discouraged and didn’t know what to do. I decided to reach out to a friend for help. My friend is a health coach and we used to meet on a regular basis to discuss how I was doing on my journey to fitness. We would talk about making healthy food choices, about what kind of exercise I enjoyed, and about how things in my life were affecting my physical and mental health. I don’t remember the reasons why we quit meeting. I do remember how much she had helped me in the past. I called her to see if we could start meeting again. She was very happy to get together and offer me whatever help she could. We met this week and she talked to me about switching up either my exercise or my eating. I asked her how changing my exercise routine could help me start losing weight again. She told me that when you start an exercise routine you will start shedding pounds but after a few months, you may start to stagnate at the same weight, even if you do the same amount of exercise and you stick to your dietary restrictions. The reason for this is simple: with the repetition of the same type of workout, your body will get used to the exercise routine and will consume less energy. If you change up the exercise routine, your body will be continually challenged and it will burn more calories, resulting in a more successful weight loss. In addition, you can avoid repetition and boredom. Many people will quit their workout routine due to boredom or lack of results. The change can be made in the intensity of the workout or in the type of workout. You may also increase the time spent working out. I saw how this had happened to me. When I first began walking an average of 5-6 miles a day I did lose weight for the first 9 months, but the weight loss gradually starting slowly down to the point where I was no longer losing weight(in fact, I was gaining weight). I wasn’t bored with my routine; my body was just used to walking everyday and I was burning less energy/calories. In the same way your body can get used to what you have been eating. My friend said that if you have been eating foods that are low on the glycemic index, then for one week you should eat foods high on the glycemic index. Then go back to the way you were eating. This way you will shock your system and jump start your weight loss again. We decided to try switching up my exercise routine first. So, I am now walking one day, doing something else the next day(a kettle-ball workout, boxing with a heavyweight bag, dancing to Richard Simmons’ “Sweatin’ to the Oldies”, etc), then walking the next day, and so on. I hope this will shock my system and I will start losing again. One thing I know for sure is that I am not going to stop meeting with my health coach this time.

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