If our main or even only reason why we work out is to burn more calories, we're doing it wrong.
Do you work out to burn more calories?
That's okay… I'm not here to blame. I used to choose my workouts solely based on how many calories they burn. I'd even do jumping jacks before going to sleep to make sure to burn 3000 calories by the midnight. Nothing to be particularly proud of, but hey, I'm here to share all my mistakes and insecurities so you can hopefully learn from them!
Why Do We Always Focus On Calories and Weight Loss?
I'd like us to THINK what's behind always focusing on calories (and weight).
Here's why I personally no longer work out to burn calories: When I did, all the following things happened…
🔻I only got more exhausted but not stronger
🔻I was constantly hungry which was just annoying
🔻 It became a huge mental burden – this nagging thought in my head, “what ELSE can I do to burn a little bit extra?” would never go away
🔻 I always felt that I should have squeezed in another 10 minutes of exercise
🔻 I turned a relaxing walk, bike ride etc into a workout (let's go faster! Let's find a trail with more hills!)
🔻 I thought I had to earn my food via exercise
🔻 Obviously, as you probably know my hormones were completely messed up and I lost my period for 10 years. I've written countless posts about Hypothalamic Amenorrhea, and you can find them here.
What We Miss Out On, If We Only Focus On Burning Calories and Losing Weight?
Here's one big thing that we're missing out when we're only focusing on ONLY how many calories we burn, and that is connecting with our bodies.
Because if we're too busy making sure we burn enough calories, we likely never ask ourselves the following questions:
🔶How does this exercise FEEL?
🔶 Am I pushing through an injury or pain, ignoring what my body says?
🔶 Am I recovered enough from my last workout to do another hardcore workout?
🔶 Could I use a rest day (yes, an unplanned one!! It's actually allowed!)
One Big Question To Ask Yourself If You're Focusing Only on Calories
Ask yourself a serious question: Why is it that I'm always focusing on calories (and scale)?
The answer is usually that you want weight loss… But weight loss doesn't give you everything you've ever wanted. It just doesn't.
Set more meaningful goals, like getting stronger, improving your health (and that happens whether or not you lose weight), connecting with yourself, enjoying what you're doing. This is how you really enjoy fitness.
What are your workout goals?
If you have recently recovered from hypothalamic amenorrhea and want to safely get back to working out, check out my program, Simple Strength for Women, that is designed specifically for women like you.
If you need help with learning how to eat flexibly, mindfully and healthfully without dieting, I can help you.
We work on your behaviors around food and fitness, improve your body image and if needed, create your unique training plan that supports your health and wellness goals.
Get in touch here if you're ready to take the step towards food freedom and true physical and mental health.
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