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Exercising too much could stop you losing weight, according to nutritionist

Resting is important

Rachel Hosie
Friday 19 May 2017 10:29 BST
Jessica Sepel
Jessica Sepel (Instagram/jshealth)

Increasingly, research is being published which suggests exercising won’t help us lose as much weight as most people think.

And to reinforce this point, a nutritionist has now spoken out to say that exercising too much can actually stop your body burning fat.

It’s understandable that if you want to lose weight, you’re going to hit the gym, go to dance classes or pound the pavement, but according to Jessica Sepel, working out too often could be hindering your weight loss efforts.

The Australian nutritionist and best-selling author has explained all in a new post on her blog.

“From clinical and personal experience, I can tell you that over-exercising can do more harm to your weight than good,” she says.

“I see clients all the time who exercise everyday (sometimes twice) and still can’t lose the weight.

“When you work out too much, your cortisol levels spike (remember, your body doesn’t know the difference between exercise stress and normal stress).

“Then, when you stress out about working out, your cortisol levels go CRAZY. And high cortisol means your body can’t burn off fat – it’s too busy trying to balance out your parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems.”

Sepel found that by cutting down the high intensity exercise (such as spinning, running and boot-camp) she was doing, she regained energy and felt refreshed in the mornings rather than tired.

Instead of such intense workouts, she recommends people do restorative exercise like walking, pilates or yoga.

And this has led to great results for Sepel’s clients: “They would come back into my office and their clothes were looser, their energy levels were higher, and they were sleeping much better,” she says.

If you’re exercising a lot in a bid to lose weight and not seeing the number go down on the scale - of course, you could be gaining muscle and you’ll need to be eating healthily too - but Sepel recommends cutting down your workouts a bit:

“Overdoing the exercise may be making it harder for you to lose weight,” she says.

“If you haven’t shifted your weight by now with high intensity exercise, try cutting it back like I did and see if that makes a difference. A rested body is a healthy body – and it is incredibly important to commit to resting daily.”

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