- One of the biggest mistakes people make when they want to lose weight is thinking that long, exhausting workout sessions torch calories and in turn burns fat.
- Excessive exercise can actually work against you, putting excessive stress on the body and making you gain weight.
- Exercise doesn’t burn as many calories as people estimate. And because most people reward themselves for a workout, they end up eating more calories than they burned.
- You have to exercise for your body, brain, and to prevent disease.
- So, how much is too much? What kinds of exercise backfire and prevent weight loss?
- Download the free one-page guide to the best kinds of exercise for optimal physical and mental fitness.
When I weighed 300lbs, losing weight was my single biggest focus every day in the gym and at meals. I spent at least 20 hours a week trying to lose weight for years. It was a complete waste of time.
Thanks to a lot of self-experimentation and working with world-class experts, I don’t have to spend much time on my physique to stay lean and muscular. All I need is 10 minutes, twice a week to maintain muscle and keep my body fat down.
I wasn’t alone. One of the biggest mistakes people make when they want to lose weight is thinking that long workout sessions burn calories and in turn burns fat. That line of thinking can work against you, actually making you gain weight.
Reason being, exercise stresses your body. In moderate amounts, that’s a good thing. Just enough of the right types of exercise stresses your body enough to wake up your cells, increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), boost your mitochondria (your cells’ battery packs) and build muscle, even as you age.
On the other hand, too much exercise over-stresses your body and causes an increase in cortisol (stress hormone) levels in your bloodstream, which over the long-term causes a cascade of reactions in your body. Too much cortisol from any stressor, including exercise, causes you to gain weight and lose muscle, throws your hormones out of whack, and makes you more likely to quit early in the game.
That’s not to say the only form of exercise you should do is channel surfing. Moving helps pump blood to your brain and nervous system, and it keeps your lymph flowing to help detoxify your body.
So, how much exercise is too much? What kinds of exercise backfire and prevent weight loss? To help you navigate all this, download the free one-page guide to the best kinds of exercise for optimal physical and mental fitness.
What counts as exercise
When you use exercise as a means to achieve a lean and more resilient body, keep in mind, exercise must be:
If your activity does not check off all five of these, you’re not exercising to maximize your physical and mental fitness. Even exercises that challenge your strength and endurance, like ultramarathons, don’t qualify because they don’t improve the way your body works overall — the intensity causes harm over the long run.
For the most part, your workouts should look like play, with a brief rigorous workout once a week to get the muscular benefits people look for when they workout every day. To keep your functional movement abilities in tip-top shape, you want to incorporate strength, cardiovascular, flexibility, and balance exercises into your rotation.
If you want to know what exercises give you the most bang for your buck, which ones aren’t worth your time, and how often you should be active in order to max out your physical and mental performance, download the easy-to-follow Bulletproof Exercise Roadmap.
With so many different types of physical activity you can do, you can get overwhelmed trying to figure out which ones fit into your life, let alone which ones do more harm than good.
If you’ve been around Bulletproof for a while, you know that I love shortcuts. Grab your copy of the Bulletproof Exercise Roadmap to help you lock down your favorite way to move.