My younger sister recently asked me for some help losing weight. She had joined a local gym and was exercising almost every day. She had lost a little weight initially but was not getting the results she wanted. When I asked her about her gym routine she said she was spending 30-45 minutes on the elliptical trainer, followed by some core and arm exercises. Sound familiar?
Throughout my career I have seen countless women make the same mistakes that prevent them from reaching their goals.
Mistake #1 CARDIO SLAVE
Spending hours bent over the elliptical or stair master won’t help you burn more fat. In fact, this is the slowest way to burn calories.
FAT BURING SWAP > Less is more when it comes to cardio! Focus on high-intensity interval workouts. Interval training not only burns more calories in less time, it also gives your body a metabolic boost after your workout is over. That means you will keep burning fat longer than with traditional aerobic activity.
Mistake #2 SKIPPING THE WEIGHT ROOM
I understand the fear of the weight floor. It is filled with grunting men and all those machines can be intimidating. Weight training is the quickest way to flat abs. And NO, you won’t bulk up. Women don’t have the same hormones as men, making it extremely difficult to build big muscles.
FAT BURING SWAP > Focus on large muscle groups (legs, back, chest and shoulders). The more lean body mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate. Translation, you will burn fat outside of the gym – while sleeping and even watching TV.
Mistake #3 BELIEVING THE SPOT REDUCTION MYTH
Everywhere you turn is an advertisement for a workout that will melt away belly fat. Gyms are filled with classes for your abs and rear. The truth is you can’t control where your body burns fat. While there is no doubt core work is important, spending an hour on crunches won’t cause your body to burn abdominal fat. The same is true for your thighs, butt and under arms.
FAT BURING SWAP > Try a fat melting full body circuit workout. Circuit training workouts are strength building and challenge your cardiovascular system at the same time. The best of both worlds!
Mistake #4 FEARING FOOD
Most of us think that if we eat LESS NOW we can eat MORE LATER. In an effort to keep your calorie count down, you skip breakfast and hit the salad bar for lunch. By the time dinner rolls around you are famished. Your gas tank is on empty so you grab anything in site and scarf it down.
FAT BURING SWAP > When you are hungry you are more likely to overeat and to consume foods you won’t otherwise. Every successful diet begins with breakfast. Eating six small meals around 300 calories each will keep your body running at its peak. Not only will you make more conscious choices, you will have energy to hit the gym after work!
Mistake #5 FOCUSING ON THE SCALE
Women have been slaves to our scales since their invention. A scale can give you some perspective but it’s not the best tool for tracking your overall progress. The scale may not reflect changes in lean body mass even if you are losing fat.
FAT BURING SWAP > Get your body fat measured by a personal trainer every 3-4 weeks. If you don’t have access to a personal trainer, try tracking your progress with circumference measurements.
Hi I'm Coach Laura. I am a lifestyle and weight loss coach.
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