Deconditioning occurs once we stop exercising and it is unavoidable among everyone. The only way to deal with it is to continue working out and provide sufficient nutrient for your body to maintain the physique. However, there are still some remedies that could help minimize the lose for individuals that needs to stop working out due to different circumference.
Hey, tough soul. I’m Alyssa.
‘Use it or lose it’ is the reason why we keep working out. However, there are times when we are no longer able to catch up with the consistency due to busy routines or upcoming events. Injuries are another reason that sometimes we had no choice but to stop the training temporarily.
Here raise the question. Is it possible to do minimal work, while still maintaining the physique until the next time you are able to build it up again?
The good news is, yes. Although it requires hard work to reach where you are now, maintaining itself is easier than you imagine.
In this post, I will be discussing how to deal with body deconditioning and how we lose our fitness. Furthermore, I’ll be providing remedies to maintaining your physique for two different goals: muscle strength and body fat.
Why Deconditioning Happen?
Our body is constantly adjusting itself to what’s happening in the near present to become more efficient in doing things. Although this ability is great to make humans adapt to nearly everything, it also causes a dilemma of ‘use it or lose it’ in fitness. To run each function (including skills, physical ability, strength, flexibility etc.) requires effort. Your body needs to always be in sync with what’s happening and check whether the function is in demand. It will reserve more energy to support those functions that are the priority, and ‘err’ on those that are seldom used.
A piece of good news for every weight training person, the time for your muscle to fade will be slower than you build it.
According to this study, even with a minimum of 1-2 sessions per week is possible to maintain muscle. That’s why sometimes we are surprised to know a ‘weekend warrior’ that possesses massive strength. Well, here’s the catch. You still need to work out to defeat deconditioning. But you can find the sweet spot to do minimal work and avoid losing your gains.
Don’t get me wrong. You still need to train properly. But the aim here is no longer breaking new limits, but just repeating the same thing that you are doing. This time, you can temporarily stop progressive overload and break the limit (less painful work!). As your body knows you This is sufficient to provide biological cues for your body to maintain the physique.
For people that are packed with schedules, it is hard for them to fully concentrate and devoted more time to the gym. However, it is It’s pretty easy to just show up in the gym with the minimum amount of sessions.
To function every one of the cells and tissue requires a huge amount of energy. It takes even more energy to ‘feed’ the muscle. Given if you are doing enough exercise but you eat poorly, there is still a risk of muscle loss due to insufficient nutrition available. Muscle breakdown is more likely to occur when an individual is in deficit. Therefore, you need to make sure you have sufficient energy to maintain it.
You still need carbohydrates even you are not working out, if you wish to maintain your muscles! Aim for around 4 grams of carbohydrates per kg body weight is good enough. This is a good amount to provide enough energy for maintaining your muscles, while still minimising extra weight gain. Of course, if you are a hard gainer or an ectomorph body type, you should consume more carbohydrates than the recommended 4 grams per body weight.
When it comes to maintaining your physique, the most important one is protein. Everyone’s protein requirement would be different based on your goals and body weight. However, the rule of thumb for maintaining muscles is to consume around 2 grams of protein per kg of your body weight.
Protein helps you repair muscle cells and replace the old muscle tissues so that you won’t lose muscles. Especially for those that found themself losing weight on a busy schedule, more protein should be vital to keep you on track.
If you wonder how could someone lose weight even if they did not workout, this is totally possible. The fact is that they are losing muscle mass. This happens in individuals that are weight training and had built up some amount of muscles. And also since these individuals tend to have a higher metabolism due to more lean mass, their body used up energy more easily which leads to weight loss.
For those that found themself falling on the lower end. Try to consume protein at the minimal line of 1.6 grams per kg body weight. Here’s what you can do: bring along a protein drink along with you. As each serving of protein drink contains about 25 grams of protein, it could possibly help your overall daily protein consumption getting near to the requirement.
Fearing Out Of Shape?
For those that work out to get their lean body, you might afraid that stop working out will make you out of shape. However, after you get to know the set point theory of how our body adapts to calories, this is actually not a concern. The fact is that the workout that we do actually just affect a small amount of your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). Many people have an illusion that they started getting fat when they stop working out, but this is not the case.
Why We Gain Fat
Fat gain is just because there is extra energy that our body is unable to spend throughout the day. However, the fact is that your body just adapts to the energy when you work out every day. Therefore when you stop working out, you don’t need as much energy as before.
There will be two possibilities, if the extra calories aren’t a huge amount, over time your body will adapt to it and even if you eat the same, nothing will be changed. Another possibility might happen if you really eat a huge amount on your workout day, you might gain some weight, but the weight gain will eventually stop due to adaptation too. For those that happen, the reason might be that working out often suppresses the appetite. Once you stop exercising, you return to the appetite that you are supposed to have.
Another reason might the indirectly correlated with your daily life. It is because when we get busy, there are more stressors surrounding us, and most of them are mental stress. To defeat it, our mind often will release a hormone and at the same time, cortisol will be raised. This will often affect overeating and therefore causes weight gain.
How To Deal With It
For the concern of leanness, it is much easier to maintain than preserve muscles. Because leanness itself did not cause as much demand for energy as muscle. Therefore the only thing you need to make sure of is to eat at your maintenance. Practice mindful eating and be alert to emotional cues that trigger overeating.
If you are afraid of overeating, then you can track how much you’re eating and notice whether you gain any weight after you stop working out. You can further progress into intuitive eating when the weight had stable.
Of course, the first thing is not to stop exercising entirely, there are so many benefits to exercising and it is not only for your looks but also for your well-being. Even if you are unable to exercise, at least staying active is also a good way to feel good.
Everyone has a time when we can’t continue to train as harder as we usually can, and that’s okay. Often time, we tend to have some illusion that we lose everything due to stopping working out for a time. Often time it is just a psychological effect. Remember it is not the end of the day and you always have the chance to maintain as you can.
Let us grow together,