When I started out on my journey to earn a fit body, I did a lot of things wrong. I think it’s only fair that I share my experiences so that you can learn from them. Usually it’s just a few small changes that can lead us to our best results.
1. You are Under-Eating or Over-Eating
Nutrition determines 80% of your results. With that being said, you should know that under- or over-eating in any nutrient department can cause you to gain or hold weight. That’s the case for proteins, fats and carbs.
If you aren’t sure how much to eat but you’re not quite ready to hire a certified nutritionist or registered dietitian, follow these simple rules at each meal:
Protein: palm-sized portion
Complex carb: fist-sized portion
Veggies: two handfuls-sized portion
Fats: one thumb-sized portion (once or twice per day)
Ladies, it does not matter how healthily you are eating, if you eat too little throughout the day, it’s not going to fuel your activities and you’re likely to feel starving at night.
2. You are Skipping Meals
I hear from frustrated women every day that explain they are eating healthy and can’t figure out why they are not dropping body fat. When we dig in deeper to their habits, 99.9% of the time, they are skipping meals throughout the day.
I have found my best results come when I stick to a schedule of eating every 3 hours, at least 5 meals a day.
In my opinion, this is quite possibly the most important part of your nutrition plan.
It’s when I skip meals and go 4-5 hours between them that I feel starving and will reach for anything to eat. Yep- donuts, cheeseburger, pizza, you name it. It’s best to keep that “starving” feeling at bay and focus on eating frequent meals throughout your day.
If you work a hectic job that makes it tough to sit down to eat, I highly recommend a healthy meal replacement shake to help you meet your goals. I typically drink 1-2 meal replacement shakes a day with my work schedule and being home with my baby girl during the day. It just makes life easier and I still meet my fitness goals.
Feel free to email me at email@example.com and I will be happy to recommend a shake.
3. You are Over-Training
Over-training your body can hinder your results. That’s right, hours of cardio and weight-lifting is NOT the answer to build a lean and toned body. You have to find the perfect balance. Typically, I try to get my workout in under 45-60 minutes. That’s about 30 minutes of lifting weights and 20-30 minutes of cardio. When I brought my newborn baby home, my workouts ranged from 20-30 minutes around her nap-time.
Lifting weights and building muscle creates a nice, toned body. Doing cardio-only workouts just makes you a smaller version of yourself, it doesn’t tone you. Stick to a balance.
4. You are Doing Way Too Much Cardio
Personally, I see my best results from HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) for cardio. I like to do 40 second sprint intervals either outside or on a treadmill. It consists of walking 1 minute, followed by a 40 second sprint, repeating for 20-30 minutes.
Another personal favorite is jumping rope in between weight lifting sets. I typically do 50-100 jump rope rotations after each weight set and this keeps my heart rate up for intervals as well. It makes my workouts go by fast.
Steady-state cardio is great, too- but I have to say, I get better results with HIIT. If your preference is steady-state cardio, try the elliptical, stairmill or walk uphill on the treadmill. All are great options. I would aim for about 30 minutes of steady-state cardio.
On that note, I would just like to add that I quit running years ago because it can burn muscle. I first noticed at a triathlon that there were lots of participants, but few had the lean and toned body I wanted. How could that be?
They were training for hours and working their butts off to prepare for their race. Once I hired a nutritionist, she explained to me that running keeps your heart rate up well above your fat burning zone for a long period of time, so your body starts burning muscle. When she told me that, I quit my 30 minute running sessions on the treadmill.
5. You are Afraid of Lifting Weights and Bulking Up
As women, our bodies don’t make the amount of testosterone that men do. Therefore, we will NOT bulk up from lifting weights. The only time I’ve experienced a problem is when I first started lifting. I was eating junk food and lifting weights, so it made my body bigger. My clothes fit tight because I was adding muscle to fat. Don’t make the same mistake I did.
Focus on your nutrition first and foremost. You will love your results if you eat clean and lift with moderate amounts of cardio added in.
6. You are not Drinking Enough Water
important to stay hydrated. 60% of the
human body is made up of water. So why
do you need to drink it?
will benefit your body in the following ways:
Helps you avoid fluid retention and bloating
Improves your metabolism
Maintains body temperature
Allows nutrients to flow freely through the body
Increases your body’s ability to burn fat…and
The average sedentary adult should consume 2.2
to 3.0 liters, which equals about 75 – 101 ounces. This is approximately 9 to 13 cups per day.
According to NASM, an athlete who participates in a workout
program should drink about 8 additional ounces per 25 pounds of body weight. As an athlete, I personally
consume a gallon of water a day (128 ounces).
I find that by drinking my water and keeping my body hydrated, I am less
likely to get hungry before it is my meal time. As long as I keep my
meals on schedule and stay hydrated, I meet my weight loss or maintenance goals
of staying fit.
7. You are Indulging Too Often
When it comes to “cheat meals” or “treat meals,” whatever you like to call them, over indulging is a common problem that can hinder your results. When my husband and I started out eating healthier, we aimed at having one CHEAT DAY a week. Notice I said “day” and not “meal.”
It was bad. We would eat anything and everything we wanted on that day. A cheeseburger, pizza, ice cream, etc. We would literally feel sick after that day and the following day we would make not-so-great eating choices. This downhill spiral went on for several weekends before we decided that was not working. It was hindering our results.
Then we decided to stick to a couple of cheat MEALS a week. Notice we switched from an entire cheat day to a MEAL. Made all the difference. We would eat the meal, feel satisfied and we were back at our healthy eating habits the next meal.
We have found that our personal balance is 1-2 treat meals a week. Otherwise, we eat healthily every 3 hours, at least 5 meals a day.
Another huge mistake people make is when they know they are going to indulge in a treat meal that night and they decide not to eat all day leading up to it.
That can slow your metabolism. It’s best to keep up with eating every 3 hours up until your cheat meal. Even afterwards, if it’s early in the day, have another healthy meal 3 hours later. Keep your metabolism high and your body won’t skip a beat.
Life is all about moderation but you have to find what works best for you and your goals.
I hope this article keeps you from making mistakes that I made early on. Please share it with a friend who can benefit.