Weight loss can be a long struggle for many people. Sometimes, the scale can seem a bit like the monster under the bed was for many of us when we were kids. We don’t want to go in our bathrooms and stand on it because we feel like it might eat us alive. So, it’s especially frustrating when people over-train while trying to lose weight and just wind up doing more harm than good.
What is over training?
Overtraining, to put it simply, is exercising faster or more than your body can recover from in a given time. You see, exercising depletes supplies of various chemicals, such as ATP, in your body. Once you deplete chemicals and food stores, it takes time to refill the supplies and prepare your body for exercise again.
The reasons people over train:
- Ignorance: Some people start exercising without understanding the actual process. They simply don’t know any better. So, they push their bodies well beyond the acceptable limits. That’s why it’s always important to talk to a doctor or fitness expert, if you plan to start a major weight loss exercise routine.
- Running the Race: Many people who are overweight feel like they’re in a race against time. Either they’re sick of being harassed about their weight or they are sick of not being physically able to do all the things they want to do. Some also feel that their weight threatens their health. So, they try to run a race against some invisible weight loss clock and feel compelled to train as hard as they possibly can all the time.
- Addiction: Many people don’t start out with the intent to over train. However, exercising releases endorphins in the brain that give people a good feeling. So, a lot of people want to keep that good feeling perpetually. So, they become addicted to exercising and, in that way, start over training.
Defining Over Training and what it means to you
What qualifies as over training? Well, it depends a little bit on the person involved, but there are certain guidelines. For example, it takes twelve to twenty-four hours for the body to fully recover after a major training session. Sitting around for twelve to twenty-four hours not exercising may sound bad, but recovery is vital to the weight loss and fitness process.
What you need to understand about fitness is that the body repairs and strengthens itself during rest periods, not during the exercises themselves. So, your exercise routine sets the wheels in motion, but you’ll never reach your end goal without allowing your body to rest. That’s why most good exercise programs involve variations and resting periods throughout the week, rather than just intense workouts each day.
Also, there are other factors that can affect recovery times and make it more likely that you’ll accidentally over train. For example, if you’re stressed, not eating properly or not sleeping at night it can make your body weaker, which would make over training a bigger possibility. Also, in women, menopause or menstruation can throw the inner chemical balance of the body off and make a person more susceptible to over training.
The Problems Over Training Can Cause
Over-training can have a lot of negative consequences for your body. Many of those consequences can make it much harder for you to lose weight and some might even cause you to gain it.
- Make it impossible for the body to heal small muscular tears as fast as they’re created.
- Elevate the heart rate while resting.
- Make you more likely to get infections.
- Make you more prone to injuries.
- Cause you to become protein deficient.
- Release excess stress hormones and cause irritability and/or depression.
On top of all of those things, over training can make your muscles sore, make you yourself generally more tired all the time and cause you to have trouble sleeping at night. Any and all of those things can make good weight loss training impossible. You could find yourself actually back pedalling your progress and gaining weight back, rather than losing it.
Another major problem is the potential for injuries. An injury can be a dangerous thing for a weight loss exercise regimen. It can keep you from exercising for days, weeks or even months, depending on what the injury is. So, over training is definitely not worth the risk.
Treatments for Over Training
If you’ve been over training, you can change things, but it takes a bit of time. If you’ve only been over training for a little while, the recovery time is much different than if you’ve been doing so for a long time, however. So, the recovery process can be anywhere from a few days up.
There are several ways to fix an over training problem. One way is to simply reduce the intensity of your exercising. Take things a little slower. The world won’t end if you do a few less exercises in a given day. Also, remember that your body needs time to rest. So, you should try exercising one day, resting the next and alternating that way throughout the week.
Food, Weight Loss and Over Training
Unfortunately, many people who are trying to lose weight by exercising don’t eat properly to begin with. Over training, though, means that your body is fatigued, energy supplies are depleted and you could find yourself lethargic and not wanting to eat hardly anything at all, which will only perpetuate the cycle.
Another trick to recovering from or avoiding over training is to eat a balanced diet. Make sure you’re supplying your body with plenty of calories for it to use during exercise. Also, you might find it beneficial to take vitamin supplements. That way, you can take charge of your weight loss exercise routine, rather than it taking charge of you.