In training circles there is a belief by some people that ‘training until you vomit’ is the way to get results.

This viewpoint is totally off beam, and if you’re attempting to lose weight it can be leading you into a disaster zone. This is overtraining and very stressful on your body and actually counterproductive.

The overtraining causes your physiology to backfire and release cortisol into your system and your stress levels rise. Instead of feeling alive after you work out, your body can move into a state of chronic fatigue and your hormone balance can be affected, especially while you sleep. Sleep is designed to allow your cortisol production to shut off so your body can go into a state of repair, recovery and regeneration.

During REM sleep our bodies set about releasing hormones from our adrenal glands. Human growth hormone, testosterone, and progesterone play a very important role in keeping your body healthy. However, if your body has not switched off its cortisol production, the cortisol spikes which then involves adrenalin spikes also and this side effect causes you an unwanted problems.

Instead of training hard to support you to lose weight, your ‘training until you vomit’ approach also affects the release of leptin and ghrelin. Leptin tells you that you are full and ghrelin tells you that you are hungry. These hormones are released in a different manner into the system and as a result of your over training, this brings about a body hormonal imbalance. The outcome is that you start to feel hungry all the time. This is not good when your aim was to lose weight.

Moderation is one of the keys in stress-life balance and working out hard is fine, as long as it is to your limits.

The goal of exercise is that you enjoy the experience, it relaxes and de-stresses your mind and physical body, you recover quickly after your training session and you sleep well at night.

Tagged exercise, cortisol, overstress, leptin, ghrelin, hormones

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