You’ve taken the first step to losing weight by beginning the diet. Now you could be wondering how to lose weight faster on the HCG diet and if exercise would help. It’s a fact that we burn more calories when we exercise and we lose weight by taking in fewer calories. But is it actually a good idea to combine HCG diet and exercise? While it’s tempting to hit the gym right away, it’s best to understand the pros and cons of exercising while on the diet before making a decision.
Combining HCG And Exercise - What To Expect
The main risk with HCG diet and exercise is that while you are running a calorie deficit, the additional calories you will burn when you exercise might not be fat but muscle. This might not sound too bad but keep in mind that muscles burn more calories. In other words, decreasing your muscle mass can lead to your metabolism slowing down. So, if you choose to exercise, especially intensely, then you should increase your calorie intake a little bit. Of course, this could translate to slower weight loss.
Another thing that might occur when you exercise on HCG diet is that you will have less energy than usual during your workout routine. This is because on the HCG diet you will largely eat proteins and few carbohydrates. This will cause your body to enter a specific metabolic state, which is called ketosis.
Ketosis is the process that kicks in if your body doesn’t have enough carbs. Basically ketosis is the process that will allow you to get energy from fat instead of carbohydrates. This process can have side-effects such as tiredness and headaches. This is why, as you can read on this page, especially in the beginning of the HCG diet you might want to focus on letting your body adjust to your new eating habits instead of jumping into a new exercise routine.
Lastly, you need to keep in mind what actually happens to your muscles when they are sore. Simply put, exercise breaks down muscles. When you have sore muscles, your body will retain more fluid to help your muscles repair the tears. This might lead to a short-term weight gain of a couple of pounds.
Recommended Exercises For Each Phase
Let’s take a deeper look at the phases of the HCG diet and which type of exercise you could include during each phase. During Phase 2, when you’ve just started the HCG diet, it’s best not to overdo it. A good guideline during this phase of the HCG diet is not do exercises that raise your heart rate above 100 bpm.
Going for a long walk or cycling around the neighborhood are two recommended activities during this time. Or, you could try a series of yoga exercises that ends with a long stay in the pose often referred to as ‘dead-man’s pose’ – shavasana. This will help you calm and relax your mind. Since you are eating a very low calorie diet and your body is undergoing big changes, it’s important to incorporate activities that allow your body and mind to feel relaxed and refreshed.
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Once you’ve finished Phase 2 and move into the Phase 3, the stabilization phase, you can increase the amount and intensity of exercise. Exercise is a great way to release stress, increase your stamina, and will help you become more self-confident. In the second phase of the HCG diet you can start with a balanced exercise routine. For example, you can visit group training classes at the gym, run outside or even try hot yoga.
Although there are technically no real limitations of what you can do, keep in mind that your body has undergone some major stress while you were losing weight in phase 2 of the HCG diet. Give your body time to adjust and don’t overdo your exercise with any sort of high-intensity training. In other words, focus on exercises that don’t bring your heart rate up to its maximum level.
If you are unsure as to what is considered a high heart-rate you can check out the recommendations from the American Heart Association. Keep in mind that those are bench marks and not absolute values, meaning depending on your personal medical history these values might differ. In general, it is recommended to consult a physician before starting to exercise regularly.
You’ve accomplished your weight loss goals and now is the time to create a lifestyle built around healthy habits. Eating a variety of nutritious foods and exercising regularly are important parts of accomplishing this. During Phase 4, or the maintenance phase of the HCG diet, you can begin to incorporate high-intensity workouts into your exercise routine. Weightlifting, running, Crossfit or any other vigorous exercise you’re interested in is well suited to this phase.
But, as always, moderation is the key. Don’t go from zero to hero in a week. Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts as you feel healthier and stronger.
Is HCG And Exercise Right For You?
In conclusion, you can exercise while on the HCG diet but it’s not mandatory and should be done with caution. When you are just starting the HCG diet and you are eating very few calories per day, the best suggestion is to listen to your body closely and don’t put it under additional stress by exercising. Give your body time to adjust to the new diet before beginning any new exercise routine.
If you are already accustomed to exercising, decrease the intensity or shorten your workouts, especially in Phase 2, to make sure your body has the time it needs to recover. Decide for yourself if the combination of the HCG diet and exercise will help you accomplish your weight loss goals.