While Revenge Body star and celeb trainer Latreal Mitchell usually deals with a lot of unmotivated clients who need help just getting to the gym, she's also seen the opposite end of that spectrum: being so healthy that it's actually unhealthy.
In your quest to get healthy and fit and lose weight, there is such a thing as too much. Diet-and-exercise regimens have their limits, but said limits are not so easy to spot sometimes — the negative side effects can manifest in different ways.
"There are people who become very obsessed [with healthy living]," Latreal told POPSUGAR. "On Instagram, especially. It is a good obsession and good addiction, but some people can take it to the next level."
There are certain things to keep an eye on, particularly if "your doctor is telling you it's unhealthy," so regular doctor's visits are going to be important during your weight-loss journey. Latreal knows this firsthand, too. "I experienced [overtraining side effects] myself when I used to body build," she said. "Whenever I would get close to the end of the show, I would be training two to three times a day. It's one of the most unhealthy things you can do to yourself."
She said in most cases, if you've gone too far, you're likely overtraining (doing too much exercise), not eating enough, or a combination of the two. "You're losing too much weight, and you're depleting your body." She noted that one of the ways you'll notice this is in how you look. "You can see it in your skin," she said. Your skin might look dry, sallow, and dull — and the cortisol from excess exercise can agitate eczema and psoriasis.
Another sign? "You'll get sick because your body isn't getting the nutrients it needs," she said. So keep an eye on how frequently you're catching a cold or the flu and for how long you're under the weather. This can all be the result of going too far with your healthy lifestyle.
If you don't stop yourself, "in most cases, your body will make you stop with injury; your body will break down and tell you you're doing too much." She emphasised the importance of "finding the balance" and noted that body building taught her about her limits. "I've had doctors tell me, 'You're overtraining; you need to stop.' Knowing what I know now, when I was competing . . . I would've never done it."
In terms of staving off malnutrition? In addition to eating more vegetables, Latreal said, "I'm a huge, huge, huge fan of supplementation. I have my clients on a multivitamin, a probiotic, fish oil, and a digestive enzyme" in order to ensure that their bodies are getting enough nutrients. She also noted she's a fan of vegan protein supplementation.
Despite being a superactive trainer, she still keeps her schedule in check. "I believe in being active every day, but I'm not in the gym every day. I take my dog to Runyon, and we go hiking; to me, that's my every day 'get air, stay active.' And I'll be in the gym maybe three days a week doing my personal weight training, and once a week I'll take a Spin class. To me, that's perfect balance."