#1: DO CONSISTENT AND EFFECTIVE STRENGTH WORKOUTS
Because…cardio is terrible for long-lasting weight loss.
My cardio friends may throw rocks at me but hear me out…
Yes. Cardio burns more calories while you’re doing it. And that’s the problem.
Your body gets used to it. When you are exercising to burn calories, you tell your body that it needs to get used to this type of activity.
Your body is amazing. Exercise is healthy stress on your body — but still a stress.
And to protect itself against future stress, your body adapts so that the next time you do cardio, it doesn’t feel the same stress.
Cardio causes calorie burn and your body responds by adapting to become more efficient with calories, causing your metabolism to slow down over time. When you get better at your cardio, your body burns less during this time because you’ve gotten good at it. In other words, your body says, "she’s going to run further next time. I better save up energy."
You end up shooting yourself in the foot because you have to do more and more cardio to burn the same number of calories.
Muscle, on the other hand, is not efficient. It takes up a lot of energy.
So when you lift weights, your body says, "Oh crap! I need to build more muscle to get stronger because who knows how much she’s going to lift next time. I need to be ready!"
Yes — you don’t burn much during the workout, but the afterburner effect is to fire up your metabolism. This means that you get to enjoy more food without gaining weight.
#2 BE MORE AWARE OF YOUR NUTRITION
We all basically know that to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat. However, that oversimplifies it. Even understanding this, it’s easy to struggle with knowing what to eat, how much to eat, and which foods are better than others.
The great news is that you don’t need to track calories. Try this instead: eat fewer processed foods (foods in boxes and wrappers), and include more whole foods.
Just reducing processed foods in your diet will naturally cause you to lose weight. It’s been shown that people who eat mostly processed foods eat 500 more calories a day than those eating whole foods, and this is more than you need to get your weight loss going — without having to track a single food.
Instead, focus on whole foods like proteins (meats, chicken, fish) and vegetables and fibrous carbs like oatmeal, beans, and quinoa. These foods will help you feel fuller for longer.
Load up your plate with veggies. Vegetables are super filling and don’t have many calories, so it’s extremely tough to overeat them.
Protein is a fat-burning nutrient. It is the most filling macronutrient (the three macros are proteins, carbs, and fats) you can eat. You need protein to repair your muscles and make them grow — plus it has a high thermic effect (meaning it uses 30% of its calories just to break itself down!). So if you keep your protein and veggies on the higher side, you’ll be losing weight in no time.
#3 PRIORITIZE YOUR SLEEP
You NEED to be getting at least six to eight hours of sleep if you aren’t already. Sleep is important for repairing and rebuilding your body — aka recovery. Getting enough sleep is vital for increasing and maintaining muscle mass.
The best (and hardest) way to increase your sleep is to reduce your light exposure one to two hours before bed. Indoor light tricks your brain into thinking the sun is still up and thus keeps you awake. If you’re living with someone that makes dimming the lights difficult, use blue-light blocking glasses as they increase melatonin production and improve your deep REM stages of sleep.
So there you have three keys to women’s weight loss! The methods are simple but not always easy to execute. That’s where a great coach comes in to guide you through the process and avoid the pitfalls so you can lose weight without giving up the foods you love.