Nothing is more frustrating than reaching a plateau where even more exercise and a stricter diet don’t result in weight loss. If you’re like many people, it’s easy to become obsessed with fitness programs, searching for helpful methods to increase weight loss and fitness, and more.
At this point, it’s not uncommon for people to be convinced that working harder and eating less is the right choice. That results in a “doing more” attitude to gain the results you want.
However, the result usually is that you wear your body down through excessive exercise and strict dieting. Training harder can even mean it’s not possible to reach your fitness goals. All of this can harm your health and wellbeing.
This is a common problem with those who focus on reaching their fitness goals. However, we’d like to let you know there’s another way to get the results you want.
Setting Your Goals & Remembering You’re in Charge
The first thing we want to say is that when it comes to setting your fitness goals, you’re the one in charge. You determine how much and what type of exercise you do, as well as what and how much to eat. These are your own personal goals and are valid.
The goal of this article is to provide you with information:
- When you feel stuck, burned out, or are struggling to reach your goals
- Believe that pushing yourself to the limit is the only way to go
The Problems with “More is Better” Thinking
Meeting your fitness goals is a great way to lose weight, improve your athletic ability, and reach your fitness goals. However, it’s easy to fall into thinking that you’ll never reach your goals. In the beginning, you see results, and over time, you believe doing more will result in faster results.
From there, you go on to add more time to your workout sessions or add on to your strength training workouts. But the next issue is that this often leads to your kitchen, where you may decide that eating less will result in even faster results. The normal response is to make meals smaller and smaller, cutting calories wherever possible.
However, the problem is this process doesn’t usually work. It results in your body being exhausted and ravenously hungry. And your body, mind, and spirit may develop burnout. When this happens, you may feel:
- Intense soreness from exercise, leading you to believe you’re working harder
- Triggers hormonal issues
- Makes you even more hungry and you may find it difficult to stop eating everything at hand
- You may also develop appetite entitlement, which causes you to feel you deserve to splurge on treats for working out so hard.
Problems with Doing More Mindset
There are several problems with the “doing more mindset,” including:
- Working out even more isn’t sustainable (you have to work and have a life, too)
- Caloric intake begins to work against you (eating less can cause your body to go into starvation mode, which causes you to hold onto weight rather than lose it. It can also cause a host of other health issues)
- Overuse or repetitive injuries are more common
The doing more mindset can wreak havoc with all areas of your health and wellbeing. That’s a fact many of us don’t understand until it’s too late. What’s more, many people choose to ignore the body’s signals that indicate there’s a problem.
Pushing yourself too hard when your body is overtaxed results in a range of health issues that affect your mind, body, and spirit.
How to Determine the Optimal Amount of Exercise for You
The amount of exercise each person needs varies—what’s optimal for another person isn’t right for you. What’s more, as you go through life, the optimal amount of exercise can change over time. So, it’s essential to find that “sweet spot” that’s the optimal amount of exercise for you.
You can determine this by using the minimum effective dose (MED) calculation to achieve your fitness goals. This is a safe method for most healthy people who are struggling with busy schedules and chronic stress. MED is the minimum amount of effort needed to move you forward.
The maximum tolerable dose (MTD) is the highest amount of effort your body can handle before it experiences negative consequences. MTD is usually the level of exercise for professional athletes that work with a professional trainer. This is also a full-time commitment that most regular folks don’t need to achieve (unless that’s their fitness goal).
Your optimal amount of exercise is somewhere between the MED and MTD, which is called the optimal effective dose (OED). This provides your body with results in a timely manner if you’re working hard and consistently while still living your normal life.
What are the Benefits of Finding Your Optimal Effective Dose?
The ultimate goal is to achieve results without overburdening your body or eating too few calories. Following the OED approach offers the following benefits:
- You have better control of your hunger and appetite while making the right nutritional choices
- Recover appropriately between training sessions
- Achieve your goals without compromising physical and mental health
- Avoid burnout
- Expose your body to less exercise-induced stress
- Reduce the risk of injury
- Improve consistency and sustainability
- Free up more time and mental energy to live life and meet your daily responsibilities
How to Find Your Optimal Effective Dose
We’ve created four easy steps to help you find your optimal effective dose:
- Set clear goals and priorities
- Identify your current fitness level
- Be consistent with training, nutrition, and recovery time
- Adjust as needed
We said we’d keep it easy to find your OED! And we weren’t kidding. It’s this easy. Of course, the process involves being mindful and staying in the present. It means measuring your outcomes as needed (maybe it works well to weigh in once a week, for instance).
The key is to keep everything manageable and consistent while staying aware of signals from your body. Use this method to keep yourself from obsessing over your workouts and not eating a healthy diet.
When you’re making progress, your body will feel rested and energetic in between workouts. When a workout becomes easy, it’s time to work out a little more (emphasis on “a little more.”).
Summing It Up
Using the OED method can do wonders to help you manage and achieve fitness goals. The method is a great way to stay healthy and energised as you become more fit without causing damage to your health and wellbeing.