You've decided to change your life and make your health a priority ~ congratulations!
Taking the time to invest in you is incredibly important and often times the hardest steps come first. To help you through the beginning of your fitness journey, let's talk about how you can monitor your progress, stay on track and still enjoy life.
Let's get started!
Monitor Your Progress
Most people use the scale to determine how well their fitness goals are being accomplished.
While the scale is one tool that can be used, you should also take progress pictures once a week in addition to measuring your waist. Use a tape measure and measure your waist at the belly button and track this number.
The reason why visual aids like pictures and measurements are helpful is because as you lose body fat and gain muscle, your weight might not change much. This doesn't mean you've failed - it just means that your body is adding muscle mass which is leaner and healthier than fat. Weigh yourself once a week at the same time, on the same scale and preferably in the same spot. Keep all variables the same so that you can get the most accurate reading.
Balance Your Diet
Whether your diet is as 'clean' as a whistle or you're a junk food queen, it's important to track what you're eating. Many people eat so-called 'healthy' or 'natural' foods and still struggle to lose weight. Why is that? If you are eating over your body's maintenance level for calories you won't lose body fat and it doesn't matter if those extra calories are in almond butter or french fries!
Pick a website like My Fitness Pal and track a few days worth of food. You might be surprised to see where you're spending most of your calories - even if they're in protein bars, salads or smoothies, they all add up!
Being aware of what a portion is can also help you on your quest to gain muscle and lose fat. Purchasing a digital scale and using it when you prepare food at home is one way to be 100% sure that you've got your portions right. Weighing food when you're at a restaurant or with friends isn't necessary - simply go for an item that has lean protein with vegetables. Ask for no oil or sauce on the side and inquire about how the protein is cooked if it isn't stated directly. There's no need to deprive yourself but when dining out, it's best to stick to the basics when you're committed to losing fat and jump starting your fitness goals!
Sweat It Out
If you're thinking about doing house of cardiovascular activity a week... think again! While cardio is essential to maintaining a healthy body, most people rely on it too heavily when they are trying to lose weight.
The key to losing body fat is changing your diet and eating below your maintenance level. If you are on track with your nutrition, workouts will give you the boost you need to gain muscle and lose fat. Building muscle is the key to reshaping your body, revving up your metabolism and keeping your bones healthy - a big priority for women of any age! A pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat but muscle is lean, takes up less space, and burns more calories to exist. Sculpting sexy curves and losing inches isn't possible with just cardio - so head into the weight room at least 3 times a week to see the best possible results.
Total Body Transformation
Check out the total body routine from "Summer Body Secrets" - my new e-book about staying lean all year. These exercises will help you get stronger and more confident in the gym and beyond. Focus on perfecting your form before using weights - lifting with your muscles and not your ego is important to stay injury free!
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About the Author
Lily lives in the Bay Area of California with her husband. She loves to lift heavy, watch vintage movies and cheer on her fellow warrior queens!