Wonder Woman Fitness

Posts Tagged ‘lean

Secrets to Weight loss Is there such a thing? With so many diet plans out there surely some of them have to be right, right? Well to be honest most of the diets are out there are money making schemes and make money they do. In America it was estimated that the weight loss industry would make around $68 billion in 2010, through meal replacements, diet pills, diet plans and programs etc and not to mention the amount people spend on gym memberships they never use or home fitness equipment (don’t get me started on that). So how do we lose weight, burn fat and more importantly keep it off and keep active?

I have put together some simple guidelines that I think may help you. If I am honest it is not rocket science it’s about balance and knowing what to do, I am sure I will not tell you anything new but I may be able to iron out some issues.

life, exercise and diet balance

Its all about finding a balance

As the picture states its all about the right balance, from exercise to the food you consume. I have read a lot of diets and fitness plans over the years like most of us have. Read my 6 guidelines and see where the results take you.

• Smaller more frequent meals: Sometimes having 3 main meals (i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner) can make you feel very full and sluggish. Smaller more frequent meals, every 2-3 hrs, can help maintain more stable blood sugar levels. This is one of the advantages I feel with smaller more frequent meals is that I feel I have more energy and not as sleepy (which is amazing for me). Smaller more frequent meals can help you control your weight because you may be less hungry and less likely to over eat at the next meal. Example of a typical day with smaller more frequent meals: 7 am 1 or 2 poached egg on toast, 10 am snack hummus with some raw veg, 12 noon ham and avocado salad, 3pm snack 3 oatcakes and cooked chicken, 6pm dinner lean meat served with vegetables and some brown rice.

• Cut out refined carbohydrates: There are two types of carbohydrates, the good ones and the bad ones. Refined carbohydrates are the ‘bad’ ones. The body processes this very quickly and causes a high rise in sugar levels like a high followed by a crash. Refined carbs are: In any beverage containing sugar or refined sugar including sweetened fruit juices, beer, wine (Boo!!), soft drinks and sweet tea or coffee. In Fruit, so be careful with it. Stick to berries if you are going to have fruit. Also be careful with tinned fruit as they usually contain sugar if they are covered in syrup also try and pick the tinned fruit with natural juice. Be careful with your grains and opt for the wholemeal or wholegrain version if you can. Stay away from white flour versions of things like your bagels, bread, muffins etc. White flour foods will leave you feeling bloated and heavy and possibly uncomfortable!! High sugar tasty snacks are always tempting but I don’t think I need to tell you that cakes and chocolate and all the tasty treats are not that good for you so limit yourself or if your will power is great get rid of them altogether. Just remember this, that refined carbohydrates are robbed of vital fibre, vitamins and minerals. Stick to a ‘diet’ rich in pulses, nuts, seeds, berries, vegetables, oats, whole grains and wholemeal foods. If you are looking to feel lighter and less bloated then limit the wholemeal and wholegrain foods, like pasta and bread but do not stop eating them, you need them for energy.

• Eat meals based on lean protein: Lean protein can be added to every meal and snack throughout your day, with eggs, chicken, fish, tuna, cottage cheese, feta cheese, etc. Eating more lean protein in our diet can lead to a higher metabolic rate as it requires a higher percentage of energy to process it in our bodies than carbs. It helps with muscle growth and repair and does not increase your insulin levels so having a lean protein diet can control your cravings. I regularly follow this for about a week and I always feel lighter and less bloated. I then include good carbs into my diet the following week so I am getting a good balanced diet for health and for my training.

• Limit your fruit intake: As mentioned in section 2 try and limit your fruit intake. Getting your 5 a day should be mostly from vegetables and try and stay with berries for your fruit. Fruit although very natural is full of sugary and this can hinder your weight loss plans even though you think you are eating healthily. Just as an example here are some of our favourite fruits and there sugar content: banana (5.5g) 1 teaspoon of sugar, 11g golden delicious apple 2 teaspoons of sugar, large bunch of grapes 500g nearly 8 teaspoons of sugar!!!!! Also fruit is packed with fructose which does not make you full as it does not trigger the insulin response of fullness, hence why some people can gobble a whole pack of grapes.

• Introduce interval training into your exercise regime: By mixing burst of high intensity work with low intensity periods of recovery, you’re overloading both the aerobic and anaerobic systems at the same time, getting the benefits of both aspects of training simultaneously. This type of training saves you time, it can be done in 20 – 30 minutes, it is a great way to relieve boredom and pass the training plateau, and most importantly it can help you lose weight. This is because you are challenging both training systems in your body and improving your bodies ability to burn more calories. Your adding new muscle groups to your training which speeds up your metabolism of fat, your getting an aerobic workout that burns calories, you’re pushing yourself beyond your limits, so your body is becoming a fat burning machine. But trust me when I say that interval training is hard work, sometimes uncomfortable and you never look sexy doing it but you can reap the fitness and fat loss benefits from doing it. General rules of interval training can be done on any machine in the gym or outside. Train intensely for 1 minute to 2 minutes then actively rest for 1 to 2 minutes. You are looking to feel the burn and repeat this process 4 – 10 times depending on your fitness levels. I will be adding a few interval training blogs for you to attempt soon so keep an eye out. With interval training it is also important to weight train to accompany it and get the overall lean look that you are looking for. Remember with weights try to lift heavier and use more full body movements. This will increase your fat burning efficiency and also give you a sleeker look if you use exercises for all your muscles.

• Most importantly listen to your body: This is the one I usually forget. It is important to listen to your body and not over train. Remember to stretch after your training, helps you look leaner and less sore, perhaps try yoga or pilates. Also treat yourself, this does not have to be food or alcohol based, for all your hard work maybe buy some new clothes a night out, a massage or a trip away. I always feel that if you have something to look forward to the training and the diet regime seems slightly easier. I also find that entering an event will boost your motivation and your training for example a 5k or 10k run, a walk, or even a triathlon!!! Anything that will keep you motivated, keep your training intensity up, keep your diet in check and keep you training hard will help you lose weight and burn fat.

A wee point to remember I am no saint when it comes to training or my diet. I enjoy food and red wine way too much but I also enjoy training. I understand the benefits of a good diet and a planned training session but I also like to enjoy my life and treat myself. My advice is find something you enjoy and make it part of your life, train hard, get the benefits and you will see results from all your hard work.

Any questions on diet or training leave a comment and I will get back to you

Keep active folks……………

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Want to slim down ladies?

 

Toned and lean look

If you want to change your shape or slim down or achieve a sculpted look you will not achieve it through cardio alone ladies.  You have to lift weights.  When I am working in the gym or training myself most women I see are on cardio machines for most of their workouts and most women that I train have not done much weight training.  I feel that this is due to inexperience and lack of knowledge and possibly a little bit of fear.  But I am going to put your minds at ease about weight training and show you the massive benefits from lifting weights.

I personally love strength training with weights for the pure reason that I get to train indoors in the warmth of the gym oh and ladies you get to train next to some good looking men.  Sure cardio training has its advantages but combined with some weight training you will really notice the difference.  When I do any kind of training with weights I feel stronger, leaner, more toned, I walk taller and more importantly I feel better about myself and I feel more confident.

So this blog is aimed to dispel some of the rumours about women and weights.  If you want to change your shape forever and slim down then read on.

So what will adding weight training into your programme do?

  • Make you physically stronger.  Increasing your strength will make you far less dependent upon others or assistance in daily living.  If you’re maximum strength is increased daily tasks and routine will be far less likely to cause injury. 
  • You will lose body fat.  An average woman who strength trains 2 to 3 times per week for 2 months will gain nearly 2 pounds of muscle and will lose 3.5 pounds of fat.  As your lean muscle increases so does your resting metabolism, and you burn more calories all day long
  • You will gain strength without bulk.  Unlike men women do not typically gain size from strength training because compared to men women have 10 to 30 times less of the hormones that cause muscle bulk.  You will however develop muscle tone and definition.
  • You decrease your risk of osteoporosis.  Weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density by 13% in 6 months.  Strength training not only strengthens your muscles but also strengthens your bones decreasing the chance of breakages and fractures.
  • You will improve your athletic performance.  Any sportsman can increase their performance with adding weight training into their programme.  Golfers can significantly increase their driving power, cyclists are able to continue for longer periods with less fatigue, skiers improve technique and reduce the chance of injury etc.  Whatever sport you play or whatever your fitness goal is strength training has been shown to improve all overall performance as well as decrease the risk of injury.
  • You will reduce the risk of injury, back pain and arthritis.  Strength training as said before not only strengthens muscles but also builds stronger connective tissues and increases your joint stability which in turn reduces chance of injury and will help as your body fights the aging process.
  • Like all aspects of exercise, strength training will reduce your risk of heart disease and reduce your risk of diabetes.
  • It is never too late to lift weights.   Women in their 70’s and 80’s have built up significant strength through weight training and studies show that strength improvements are possible at any age.  However you should seek help from a fitness professional if you decide to take out an exercise programme.
  • Weight training will not make you bulky or masculine.  As said before it is almost imposible for women to gain huge amounts of muscle mass by merely touching a dumbbell.  This is due to our decreased amount of testosterone in our bodies.  However you will have seen pictures of professional female body builders unfortunately most of these women will be taking anabolic steroids and spending hours in the gym lifting very heavy weights to look like that it is no accident that they look the way they do.  Women who follow a good structured weight training programme get the firm and fit (almost) cellulite free body that most women would like.
  • Exercise with weights does not increase your bust size.  Women your breasts are mostly made up of fatty tissue therefore, it is almost impossible to increase your breast size through weight training.  However you may slightly increase your back size through weight training and this may increase your bust size.
  • Weight training does not make you muscle-bound and stiff.  If you perform all exercises through their full range of motion your flexibility may increase.  Make sure you balance your body and train your back muscles as well as your front muscles as this will help with your natural movement.  Make sure to train every muscle group to achieve an overall toned body. 
  • Your muscles do not turn into fat if you stop training.  Muscle and fat are two totally different types of tissue.  When people decide to stop training they start losing muscle due to inactivity (the use it or lose it rule) and their training diet usually drops also.  Therefore bad habits and lack of training lowers their metabolism giving the impression that the person’s muscle is being turned to fat where in reality the muscle is being lost and the fat is being put on. 
  • Weight training does not turn muscle into fat.  Very similar to the above.  The way your body transforms is by gaining muscle through weight training and losing fat through aerobic exercise and diet.  Again muscle and fat are two different types of tissue we cant turn one into another. 
  • Beware – Just because you train does not mean you can eat whatever you want.  Oh how I wish this was true though.  Our individual metabolism determines how many calories we burn at rest and while we exercise.  If we eat more calories than we burn on a consistent basis our bodies will accumulate these extra calories as fat regardless of the amount of exercise we do.  So be careful try and follow a healthy nutritious diet that will help you maintain your weight or help you lose a few pounds. 
  • Women should not be afraid to lift heavier weights.  If you only do cardio then muscle and fat will be burned for fuel.  You need to lift weights in order to prevent any loss of muscle tissue.  Women that only concentrate on cardio will have a very hard time achieving the look that they want.  Try not to lift light weights as muscle responds to resistance and if the resistance is too light then there will be no reason for your body to change shape. 
  • And lastly women do not be frightened to train hard.   I train hard with weights and I have trained my female clients hard with weights and they look nothing but feminine. 

 

 

 

So start lifting - what have you to lose except body fat!!!

The main thing is to get help designing a weight training program.  Most of my weight training is done with free weights (dumbbells) as they work more muscles (more muscles worked = more calories burnt) and I am unlimited in my choice of exercise so I never get bored.  My best piece of advice is give it a go – what do you have to lose.  If you are wanting a defined, firm, feminine, strong figure then you’ve got to start lifting – but lift right.  Keep active folks…..


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