Goldilocks and the three bears of exercise… Once upon a time Goldilocks went to a nice doctor in Louisiana because she had a serious muffin top and no matter what she did, she couldn’t budge it. Goldilocks told the nice Doctor, “I used to not exercise at all, and I got fat! But then, I started running marathons through the woods, and I still stayed fat! I exercise more than I ever have in my life, and nothing helps! Tell me Doctor, what can I do?”goldilocks2

The Doctor replied, “Well, Goldilocks, just like the best porridge is neither too hot nor too cold, the same goes for exercise. You do have to ‘move it to lose it’ but you don’t want to over-do it with sustained exercise. You see, exercise makes the muscles release a compound called IL-6. This IL-6 goes to your brain and signals it to tone down your hunger. It goes to your liver and tells it to balance out your blood sugar fluctuations better. It goes to your fat cells and tells them to burn more fat. But life is not all comfy begs and toasty porridge. There are two key types of exercise – A) Sustained duration exercise, like your running through the woods, and B) short duration, high intensity exercise. Like those 5-10 minute microburst sessions where you have to get away from those scary bears!. Long periods of exercise induce chemical reactions which negate the benefits of IL-6, and they increase stress hormones, like cortisol, which can make it much, much harder to burn fat. It is the short microburst activity, like High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or weight training, that shuts down the production of the inflammatory compounds and aging compounds your fat cells produce . They also elevate your metabolic rate, and even stimulate your thyroid health. HIIT is MUCH better than sustained exercise if your goal is to burn fat! So Goldilocks, we need to find the ‘just right’ level of exercise for your body. This means when you exercise, you are going to give it your all for very short periods of time, 45 seconds! then work slowly for a minute, then do another 45 second burst of intense activity. Do this 5-10 times, so you end up doing 10-15 minutes of physical activity, and do this once a day. You can do this twice a day if you really want to. This will make your body burn fat for hours and hours! Bye-bye muffin top, hello skinny lederhosen!”