Let’s rewind a bit… New year, new resolutions :) Forgot to tell you guys about the fitness-related one I’ve set for myself for this year: 15% body fat. This is the lean framework I would like to build on… and by build I am referring to a Brazilian-inspired lower body :D We all know that fat burn/muscle gain is hard to do simultaneously. Therefore, I will try to take it easy and sequentially, one goal at a time.
3 months in… things are going pretty well. Started the year with 19.5%, currently somewhere close to 17.5% and feeling quite proud. Since I am starting to see results, I wanted to take a step back and analyze what happened there, in practice. There have been things I’ve tried across the years and things I’ve stuck to now. Thought it might be a good idea to make a summary for you guys, help out if you’re aiming for similar goals. We’ve all heard all sorts of myths about weight loss, here are the ones I am looking forward to breaking.
Cut carbs completely
Every nutritional group has its purpose and contributes to a balanced diet. There are of course good carbs and bad carbs but about that difference we’ve spoken before – always go for sweet potato, taro root, chickpeas, beans, oats, quinoa, brown rice instead of bread, pasta & white rice. Carbs are necessary as they will be mostly fueling your workouts but this does not mean stopping by your nearest donut shop (I am watching you!). I’ve even read a study mentioning that carbs are a reason why the human brain has grown across years and made us as smart as we are today :P For more healthy carbs check out this link.
It might seem like you’re cutting on calories by doing this but you’re only slowing down your metabolism. Not to mention that one night when you cannot stand the hunger from skipping dinner and you go for the midnight snack. Big no-no!
Starve yourself (!!!)
This could be called the “ultimate chick strategy”. I’ve heard way too many times ladies “making up” for that n-th chocolate with a few days of eating 3 peanuts. The only thing that can happen in this situation is that you’ll set your body to “survival” mode and when it will actually get some food, it will stock up on fat like there’s no tomorrow. Apart from the stomach growls you might also risk becoming cranky and annoying. That’s how I am when I’m hungry :))
Exercising is the most important thing to do
You won’t get too far without exercising but equally as important is nutrition. 3 hours in the gym won’t save you from the fatty foods you ate for lunch :) I know it’s a tough one to handle but the only way to achieve results within a month or two is to be moderate in your actions and achieve balance. The most important balance is the one between exercising and nutrition so keep them both in check. Going for one or the other will maybe give you some results but much slower and harder to maintain, a critical trigger for losing motivation.
Endless cardio exercises will get you there
Cardio at a steady pace is definitely good for your heart and stamina but won’t get you too far when trying to lose weight. If you’re gonna do cardio then go for HIIT. It will give you the previous benefits + help regulate cholesterol levels, blood pressure and metabolism. It will burn twice or three times as many calories and make you stronger in the process. Now… once you’re done with the cardio part, we move on to weights. The myth of weight lifting making you “Hulk like” I’ve already tried to break here and here :) No worrying about that! This type of exercising has a longer calorie expenditure (up to 24h after the workout). If you manage to add some muscle mass, you’ll be looking at better fast burn at rest. This whole point might seem counter-intuitive but it is the part you need for a balanced workout schedule.
I’ll wrap up by mentioning that I’ll keep you posted on how the fat percentages are evolving :D After that, we’ll be starting a new challenge-post on building that Brazilian bottom, looking very much forward to it! Let us know what your experiences have been with regards to the above points, your feedback is very important. In the meantime, have a nice energetic day!