Jogging is one of the most common forms of exercise that people embark on when they begin their fat loss journey with nothing but good intentions. Unfortunately I have some pretty bad news for you, all that painstaking jogging could actually be making you fatter, not thinner. No I am not joking, running at consistently the same speed could be causing your body to release hormones which encourage your body to preferentially store fat around your midsection as well as burn through lean muscle tissue as a survival mechanism.
Sounds like a pretty bad trade-off considering you are jogging to unveil a new, leaner, and ultimately happier you. What if I told you there was a better way? A quicker way? A way where you still feel great afterwards but with better results? I would like to think you would bite my hand off, but more on that shortly. Let me explain briefly why steady state jogging could be making you fatter not thinner.
Cortisol is the enemy of a lean or muscular physique. This hormone is the bodies main reaction to stress originating way back to prehistoric times where it was required to hormonally react to potentially life threatening situations (basically prepare us to fight or run) which thankfully we do not have to deal with these days like getting eaten by a wild animal! The negative flipside of this is that we now have countless stresses which cause our cortisol to shoot up on a daily basis which has a host of nasty side affects including:
- Increased fat storage
- Decreased libido
Because the evolutional purpose of cortisol is to keep us alive in life or death situations the side affects are quite extreme because the body is wired for survival not optimal health. This is why chronically elevated cortisol levels through lifes new stresses is such a huge problem for our physical and mental health.
For this article we are focusing on how jogging can make you fatter so back to that. All forms of exercise cause an increase in cortisol as a response to the stress on our bodies but the more time we spend exercising the more cortisol we are releasing and therefore the more we open ourselves up to the negative effects of cortisol. Because cortisol is a hormone which tells us that we are in a life threatening situation it triggers an increase in fat storage as a survival mechanism, not the intended result from 60 minutes of jogging.
The simple truth is that jogging may be a very unefficient way to burn body fat as you are elevating cortisol levels for a prolonged period of time which places the body in to a situation of survival which is not a position that it will willingly relinquish its protective layer of fat.
The solution is simple, increase your intensity and reduce the duration of your exercise to minimise the negative effects of elevated cortisol levels. This is why we recommend High Intensity Interval training (HIIT) over steady state jogging because it not only burns more fat in less time, but it protects your whole system from prolonged exposure to the stress hormone cortisol! So if you have been jogging with the intention of losing body fat why not give HIIT a go as a more convenient and more effective alternative to steady state jogging, it might just be the missing link in unveiling the body you dream of.