Leisurely Steps > Stressful Steps for ALL Body Composition Goals
Written by Fritz Nugent
Calm it down, Sparky. I cannot count how many people I have worked with on nutrition who want to gain muscle and lose fat. Most of those people are not under-stressed. They move PLENTY each day, yet they are still struggling to lose weight. Or they are training hard five days a week and struggle to gain weight. I will break down both of these situations within the paradigm of stress and daily movement.
First, the person who desires fat loss.
“But I walk 12,000 steps a day at my job!” Ok, great. You’re moving. How much stress is attached to your movement at work? Probably a lot of stress. You aren’t taking 12,000 leisurely steps each day. You aren’t looking around at the scenery at work and breathing lightly. You’re probably moving quickly with your mind either back in time thinking about what you could have done better or how something you did could be adjusted, OR you’re thinking about what’s coming up next and how you feel about it. You are most definitely not in the present. So even though you are “burning calories”, your stress is also high, so those steps cancel out with your stress. Here’s a new approach for you to try:
Leisurely Steps > Stressful Steps
Can you take more leisurely steps throughout the day than stressful steps? This will help you reduce your stress. Reduced stress will have a cascade effect on your sleep quality and quantity, and you will be able to better digest your food. Your cravings will decrease. And before you know it, you’ll feel generally better and will probably shed some body fat.
Next, the person who wants to gain muscle mass and body weight and is struggling.
I throw the same formula at you! Shoot for more leisurely steps than stressful ones, and for the same reasons. Decreasing your stress will help you better recover from your training sessions through improved sleep quality and quantity, improved digestion, and, for you specifically, actually decreasing your energy expenditure during the day so that the food you are eating now becomes enough to support a gain in muscle mass!
So go out there and calm down. Breathe lightly and through your nose. Walk around and notice your world. Get curious about your surroundings and how you approach the situations in your life. Enjoy yourself. For none of us knows how much time we have left.
Have a nutrition-related goal? Coach Fritz is available to take you on as a client! You don’t need to live in San Diego – it’s online coaching! But don’t wait until the New Year like everyone else – spots fill up quickly so don’t miss out!