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  • Writer's pictureKourtney McCullough

Should You Be Focused On Counting Calories In Your Workouts? The Truth About Losing Fat & Gaining Muscle

If your goal is to lose fat and gain muscle (ie body recomposition), stop focusing on the calories burned in your workouts.

Over stressing your system with lots of HIIT and overdoing the cardio in an attempt to burn calories causes your adrenals to release hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which can lead to things like insulin resistance and blood sugar deregulation, which can make it even more challenging to lose weight. More important than calories when trying to lose weight is to consider the state of your overall metabolic health and whether or not you are insulin "sensitive".

Instead of calorie cutting, focus on muscle building.

The more muscle you have, the better your metabolic health will be. Why? Muscle has more insulin receptors than any other tissue in the body, so it’s the most efficient and quickest organ at utilizing glucose to the body’s advantage. The more muscle you have, the more metabolically flexible you become, meaning your system is better equipped to “flip the metabolic switch” between burning glucose and burning fat. You become more insulin "sensitive" overall.

If you’re not an athlete training for a specific sport and your goal with exercise is simply to look good and feel good, here’s my exercise recommendation:

  1. 3-5 days of resistance training/week through structured programming on KORE | KINECT.

  2. 150 minutes of zone 2 cardio/week. Think low intensity, steady state cardio like walking, hiking, elliptical, or swimming.

  3. 2 (optional) 15 min HIIT sessions a week (with a break during your late luteal phase ie the week before you period starts). I like jump rope, sprints in the sand, or sprints in the pool/swimming.

Learning to train smarter, not harder through gentle consistency is the key to building good movements habits not only through the new year, but throughout the rest of your life.

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