Two Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Workouts

Bob Harper

Given: You’re Eating Healthy

Are you finally working out in an effort to lose weight? Are you running to the gym regularly, attending pilates, zumba or yoga classes, using the treadmill or elliptical and seeing little result? This is a common complaint I often overhear at the gym. Now mind you all these forms of exercise are great and mixing them up is even better! And I am willing to give people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to nutrition. So I will assume that if you have developed a fitness regimen with weight loss as a goal that you have addressed your fuel intake and must be eating healthy. And by healthy I mean lean and clean with a focus on whole foods and the elimination of processed foods. If that is something you haven’t taken into consideration, see my post Eat Yourself Healthy .

Two Behaviors That May Be Sabotaging Your Workouts

1. Resistance Training and Protein

Here are two questions you need to ask yourself when it comes to exercise.

  1. What kind of exercise will wake up my metabolism?
  2. How do I get my metabolism to burn fat while I’m sleeping!!???

The answer to both those questions is: you need to incorporate resistance training into your workout regimen. There is no way around that. If you want your metabolism to work you have to work to build your muscles!

If you’re reluctant to do this it’s time to check out motivational quotes on the web and post them all over your house. Bob Harper is good at producing motivational quotes. We know Bob Harper as the popular trainer on the Biggest Loser TV Series. I’ve included my favorite above.

Understanding the role that muscles play in weight loss is important.

Julia Merz put it well in her recent blog post on

“Resistance training is the holy grail of weight loss because studies have shown that lifting weights increases your resting energy expenditure for up to 72 hours after working out — resting energy expenditure (REE) is the number of calories your body burns when you’re not working out.”

Just absorb that for a moment. If REE isn’t part of your vocabulary this is when you introduce it.
Imagine being able to still burn energy 72 hours AFTER you work out! That is exciting to me and I personally love making my body work for me even after I’ve stopped working! And the way to do that is with resistance training. The whole purpose of lifting weights is to tear down muscle and it is the rebuilding of that muscle that burns energy. It’s a good thing that makes you fit, makes your bones strong and changes your shape.

That’s why so many trainers recommend protein after a workout to feed the muscle while it’s rebuilding.

But here is where things get interesting. Again from the same post: New research from Michigan State University reports that Resting Energy Expenditure “can be amplified by eating protein before working out. The researchers discovered that people who ate protein before exercising maintained an 8.5 percent boost in REE after 24 hours, while people who ate carbs before exercising maintained only a 3.5 percent increase in REE.”

2. Negative Self-Talk

Are you the type of person who complains all the time and whines about the exercise being too hard, too long, too anything?? If you are that type of person, you need to zip it! as a common courtesy to everyone around you. No one wants to hear complaints when they are doing all they can to motivate themselves to get through a workout. So put a cork in it.

And while you’re at it switch to some positive comments instead, and here’s why.

“An article from the Journal of Sport Psychology in Action explained that self-talk, both your words and your thoughts, affects your behavior. The research showed that positive self-talk increases motivation, satisfaction, desire to improve and general well-being. Negative self-talk, on the other hand, had the opposite effect. It discouraged people from continuing an activity, decreased their desire to start an activity and generally increased negative feelings. Negative self-talk deflects attention from your workout by causing you to focus on what you can’t do.” Julia Merz

So if you aren’t reaching your fitness or weight loss goals take a good look at your exercise regimen and make sure you’re not sabotaging your workout.

  • Make sure you incorporate some weight training with a protein snack before you work out.
  • Get rid of the negative self-talk. Your brain, your body and your neighbors will appreciate it.

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