Yeah, yeah, I know it’s getting towards the end of the year and we’re bombarded with ridiculous amounts of articles, tips, tools, gimmicks, etc. on how to lose weight for good!
Even as a fitness professional, I too get super overwhelmed with all of the diet gibberish so how could you not?!
Alright, so let’s keep it simple and straight-forward shall we? After working with hundreds of women many of them say the same thing. They want to lose weight and actually be able to eat. Yes! I hear you! So….
I want to share with you 3 EXACT tips to help with weight loss and boost your metabolism. You ready? Okay…
- STOP DIETING! I recently wrote about this because it needs to sink in! I don’t know about you, but the times I’ve dieted of course I lost some weight in the beginning, but then my metabolism slowed down, I was cranky, moody and all I thought about was food. You with me here? Sure-when we restrict our calories we’re going to lose weight in the beginning but our body’s are super smart. If we do this constantly, our body says, “Nope. Not doing this again. I know you’re about to restrict calories from me so let me hold on to this fat you’re wanting to get rid of.” So what do we do? We have to stop dieting in the first place! Plus, when we go on these restrictive diets, we’re definitely more inclined to lose precious muscle. Not to mention the first few pounds are always water so the scale is not the best source of measurement. Remember our body is meant to survive, that’s all it cares about. MORE MUSCLE=LEANER FRAME + HIGHER METABOLIC RATE. No more dieting! How can you fix this?
A) Eat enough protein and eat it at every meal. Research has shown that protein is actually more filling than any other macro nutrient. Eggs, meat, fish, beans, cottage cheese and so on are all great sources. Plus, they help keep cravings at bay so don’t forget to get your protein on!
B) Be patient! Changes don’t happen overnight, we both know that, but when we work for something, it’s so much more gratifying isn’t it? Plus, don’t you want to feel like you accomplished something huge on your own? A little action each day goes a long way! Just be consistent, patient and take those action steps everyday and you’re already a big step ahead!
2. Build muscle!! Just like I mentioned above our muscle is our metabolism engine! That’s why when we go on these restrictive diets, our body will often eat away at our muscle to lose the weight. Sure, the scale will be lower but more often than not it’s because we’re losing muscle, not fat. Tons and tons of cardio will also cause us to lose muscle. Our muscle helps with a very healthy body composition, while creating a more lean and toned physique. That’s why when you compare two individuals at the same weight and one is lifting and the other is not, you can definitely see the difference in their body frame. When we lift, we look tighter and leaner, period.
As you can see below this was me in 1996 (16 years old) weighing in at 125lbs and around 24% body fat. No weights, maybe some light ones occasionally, but mainly running.
And these were taken yesterday and a week ago. I’m at 137lbs (37 years old) and 18% or so body fat. Here, I’m doing max 1.5 hours of cardio a week and lifting 3-4 days a week. You can see the difference in the muscle tone and less fat gain with those added 12 pounds. So forget the scale! So make sure to lift those weights! Ideally, you want to be lifting at least 2 times a week in the beginning and then trying to get up to around 4 days a week to really start noticing some significant differences in your body composition. I like to lift around 3-4, depending on the week and how busy I am.
However, I always make weights a priority over cardio. Every time.
3. Don’t over-exercise. I was a habitual offender of this and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t losing weight by doing more. What I quickly found out was by over training, I wasn’t giving my body the rest and recovery it needed to rebuild, gain strength, boost my immune system and kick in a healthy stress response to the activity. When we over train we’re constantly stressing our system (exercise is a stressor too!) so think about it…when our body is constantly in a state of stress, what does it to? It stores fat, goes into a fight/flight response, jacks up our cortisol levels and depletes our adrenal function. Not to mention the hormone issues that go along with it. What can you do? Listen to your body! If you’re tired, back off. If you can go a little more, do it. It really comes down to the amount of stress we’re under day after day. For me, anytime I go on vacay, I’m able to exercise more because I don’t have the everyday stressors going on. However, when I’m short on sleep, working more and running around trying to GSD I’m more fatigued and it shows in the weight room. Again, listen to your body and the signs it gives you. That’s your best indicator.