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When Doing Less Is More - Exercise & Weight Loss

When stressed our natural instinct is to overthink strategy and make solutions to our problems more complicated than necessary.

When clients aren’t getting the results they want they tend to leap to the ‘do more workouts’ conclusion. In my experience as a Coach, I often find the solution is the exact opposite. Chances are, what you are doing outside of the gym needs your attention.

How You Can Do Less for More As a 20 something year old on a weight loss mission, I used to smash myself in long gym sessions and do every fad diet including the 1,200 calorie diet. At 176cm tall that was barely survival for me, I was always ravenous and vulnerable to diet binge cycle. The end result was inevitably fatigue, craving and being mad at myself for failing yet another program. Now I’m almost in my mid 40’s, I’m much wiser, healthier, fitter, stronger and more capable than I have ever been in my life. I do less and I can afford to, because I have made changes both outside and inside the gym.

I do 5 x 30 minute varied training sessions, so that’s 2.5 hours per week (I’d have done that in a day in my 20s). The calories I burn are always irrelevant as the sessions I do ensure I build muscle and my metabolism is more active for hours afterwards.

It seems counterintuitive, but I focus less on calories now and eat a lot more yet I’ve been at a healthy weight for over a decade. How? I moderate my portions, keep temptation out of the house, I eat more fresh wholefoods and I never cut anything entirely out - I still enjoy pizza, ice-cream, donuts, alcohol and chocolate.

Key Changes

  • Exercise – Here I changed my meaning. Instead of being a calorie burning session I saw it as an opportunity to get fitter, feel great, build muscle, enjoy food and improve my mental health.
  • Everyday activity - I looked at how many steps I was doing per day. I was sedentary between gym sessions (5000 steps or less) and back then I was in a desk job for 40 hours a week. So I added in daily dog walks, parked further away, took the stairs and always aimed to get up from my desk every half hour.

  • Nutrition - I decided I was never going to fail a diet again so I gave up dieting completely. Instead, I refined and tweaked my existing diet. I’d add a small change, get good at that until it became a habit then add a new one. For example, my first rule was to eat protein at every meal (I still do this and it was a game changer for me but that’s a blog for another time).

In a Nutshell - So if you’re already training lots and not getting the results you want, try looking at your everyday activity and nutrition. Make one change, nail it until it becomes a habit then move on to the next. Before you know it, you’ll have an entirely new lifestyle.

Coach Ange Gawthorne

  • BBus (Accounting)
  • Fitness Australia Level 2 Exercise Professional
  • Nutrition Coach: Precision Nutrition Level One Certified
  • CrossFit® Level 1 Trainer
  • Australian Weightlifting Federation Level 1 Coach