Tag Archives: fit

8 Lies No One Tells You About Weighing Yourself 

Let’s hear the TRUTH – and bin the scales!

Most women weigh themselves daily–and their whole day is dictated by “the number.”  

I’ll give you a number: ONE [the amount of times you should weigh yourself annually/at the doctors office], or how about TWENTY [the body fat % that separates the ultra-fit from the healthy], or even SIX [the dress size that the average healthy, fit 5’5″ woman wears]. Now these are numbers I am ok with!

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If you’re just starting a weight loss program, the number on the scale can be deceptive, making you feel that you’re not making progress even when you are.

Unfortunately, the hard work of diet and exercise isn’t always reflected on the scale for people loosing weight, especially during the first few weeks.

When you work hard at your workouts and diet, you may expect more than your body can deliver, which leads to disappointment.

Here are my 8 reasons why your weight (in lbs, kg, tons, whatever) really means very little in the grand scheme of health, fitness & fat loss:

1) Muscle.

You have heard this before, and yet, you still don’t like it or want to get on board with it: muscle is more DENSE than fat and takes up LESS SPACE. The more muscle you have on your frame, the HEAVIER your weight will be, but the tighter and SMALLER your PHYSIQUE will be compared to someone who might weigh less but also has less muscle or a higher body fat %. 

2) Water weight.

You can literally GAIN up to 5-7 lbs within the same DAY. It’s simple. When you wake up in the morning, you are relatively dehydrated and in a fasted state, and then you hydrate throughout the day and eat food. Understanding this can help prevent melt-downs for people who weigh themselves multiple times a day.

Also, having a super-salty meal one evening can lead to excessive water retention the next morning. You can literally feel that you are holding water based on fluctuations in rings (tighter or looser) or joint swelling or looking at your midsection if you are fairly lean. This does not mean you are destined to keep that weight on…you rehydrate with 3-4L plain water, get back on your clean nutrition plan, eat lots of fibrous veggies and you can shed that retention within a single day.

 

3) Your weight is not an accurate reflection of how you look in clothes or on stage.

Once again, coming back to that muscle versus fat argument, your body fat % dictates what dress size you wear, though two people can wear the exact same size and look completely different. 

Likewise, two women can weigh the exact same (one at 20% BF and one at 40% BF) and look drastically different. Thus, using your DRESS SIZE and how your clothes fit are both much more applicable indicators of your health, fitness & fat loss than your weight in pounds–far and away.

4) Your weight is NOT always an accurate measure of health.

Ever heard of “SKINNY FAT?” (please see my previous post about this). This is someone who tends to have a higher metabolism, stays thin, but might be flabbier with a high body fat percentage. They often have sarcopenic obesity, meaning they are in the “normal weight” range for their height, but their body fat % classifies them as “obese” while also putting them at a higher risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and even cancer, not to mention the #1 most likely: osteoporosis. It is much healthier to be a little heavier in weight but with a lower body fat % than the opposite.

Unfortunately many insurance companies use weight and/or Body Mass Index (BMI, which is a height-to-weight measurement and essentially holds the same comparably inaccurate value to that of weight alone) to set their rates, which is bad for the people who weigh more because of their muscle mass! Yes, Jessica ennis is clinically obese I cording to the scales! What do you think?

So instead, use your body fat % or waist circumference as a more accurate measure of health.

5) Your ego.

Let’s face it, you get an ego boost when you weigh yourself and get a lower number. Not that there’s really anything wrong with that, EXCEPT how do you respond when the number goes UP? Often for people who are chronic-weighers, “the number” dictates how well their day will go: “Is it up? Is it down? This is going to be a bad/good day!” Having an attachment to your weight number is a double-edged sword. When it’s down, you’re up and when it’s up, you’re down. Having to rely on a quantifiable digit to decide your happiness is not a healthy place to be….

6) Playing with your self-worth.

Many people put way too much stock in their weight, their body fat % and dress size. Yes, the latter two can be a great indicator of health, but none of them should dictate your self-worth. “Your self-worth is inherent. No one can take it from you” and that includes a number on a scale. The problem with using any sort of objective measurement is that many times it can get entangled with our sense of self. You are worthy, special and a success right now, in this moment. 

7) Getting to know your body

You can’t lose weight until you exercise consistently and you can’t do that until you build endurance and strength. Take the first few weeks to experiment, condition your body and figure out what you’re capable of. weighing yourself once a month rather than daily or weekly to give your body time to adapt to what you’re doing. Another option is to shift your focus from the minutiae of weight loss and concentrate on what you actually need to do get there, such as:

-Showing up for your workouts 

– Set goals based on how many workouts you’ll do each week rather than how much weight you’ll lose.

-Learning how to exercise – If you’re a beginner, there’s a learning curve that may take you awhile to overcome. Give yourself space to learn good form, solid technique and effective methods of training before you put too much pressure on yourself to lose weight. 

8) Instead of watching the scale, focus on creating a healthy lifestyle.

Living well almost always leads to weight loss. This is one instance where the scale can lie, especially for new exercisers beginning a strength training program. I often hear this question from readers who mention losing inches while the scale doesn’t move. They wonder, “Why haven’t I seen any results?” If you’re experiencing this, one question to ask yourself is: Why do you believe the scale over your own experience? If you’re buying smaller clothes, you’re losing fat no matter what the scale says. 

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I’m upset about hearing from/of people who believe that the scale is telling them rather than what’s in front of our own eyes, leaving them discouraged and frustrated rather than celebrating their success ! BIN THOSE SCALES !!!!

 

 

9 Reasons Women Should Do Weight Training  

Strength training is an important part of improving your overall fitness, and for women, it can mean much more. In addition to numerous health benefits, adding weights to your routine can become a form of personal development that builds strength in all areas of life. 

1. Muscle increases metabolic rate and boosts your metabolism naturally.

The more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate. You read that correctly; by doing absolutely nothing, you can actually burn calories thanks to your mighty muscles. One pound of muscle uses about six calories a day to sustain itself, while one pound of fat burns just two calories daily. And after a session of resistance training, you’ll burn even more since your muscles all over your body are activated. 

Want to burn even more calories? In a study from the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, it was found that women who lifted 85 percent of their maximum load for eight reps than when they did more reps at a lower weight burned twice as many calories in the two hours after their workout. 

By adding muscle through strength training (even just a little bit), your resting metabolic rate (i.e., the amount of calories you burn daily by just existing) increases. Weights temporarily lift your metabolic rate, thanks to a handy process called excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which means your body continues to burn calories at a higher rate even when resting. That’s why, in a study at Penn State University in the US, dieters who lifted weights as well as doing cardio lost 6lb more fat than the group doing aerobic work alone. Athletes are calorie-burning machines even when they are not exercising.

MORE THAN JUST CALORIES:

2. Lifting weights strengthens muscle and bone, which helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis or brittle bone disease

Building muscle mass helps strengthen connective tissues, which increases bone density. By doing this, you’re reducing your risk for injury, and your chance of getting osteoporosis later in life which women are more at risk of than men.

Due to dropping levels of estrogen, postmenopausal women are prone to osteoporosis. Numerous studies show a positive relationship between resistance training and bone density. When bone feels the “pull” from the muscles, bone growth is stimulated. Not only can strength training offset bone loss, it can actually cause an increase in bone density in women who regularly lift weights.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have also found that exercise, which build muscles (here’s how to start your own strength training routine), can actually help to improve balance, improve blood-sugar control, and improve sleep and mental health.

3. If weight loss is your goal, muscle is your mate.

Cardiovascular exercise WILL burn a higher percentage of stored fat but, as Liz says, “A muscular body is a more efficient body. For every additional pound of muscle you gain by lifting weights, your body burns around 50 extra calories every day.” 

4. Shape without the bulk.

If I lift weights, I’ll bulk up like Arnie“- The Truth: Due to their lower levels of testosterone, it is very difficult for women to develop large, bulky muscles. Instead of the bulk, most women tend to build a nice hourglass figure—curves we can be proud of!

On a moderate training plan, building up excessive bulk is impossible. Muscle growth is very dependent on testosterone and women tend to produce 10 times less than men, so you can’t build big bulging muscles naturally. Add to that bodybuilders spend pretty much all day, every day, lifting HEAVY weights and eating large amounts of protein every couple of hours to achieve that look. Unless you put in that kind of time and effort, you’re not going to turn into Popeye.


5. Elevate mood.

Women are twice as likely to develop clinical depression as men, yet two-thirds of these women do not do anything to combat these feelings. The release of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin during resistance training chemically helps exercisers acheive a feeling of well-being. Weight training also leads to an increase in energy, better sleep patterns, and a feeling of accomplishment and control.

6. Lifting weights also has a positive effect on insulin resistance – so your body can convert carbs into energy more efficiently. It raises your metabolic rate by as much as 15%, reduces blood pressure and improves your mood. These are factors that reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

7. Improve posture.

Combat a kyphotic (hunched over) posture by strengthening the backside of the body. Proper posture leads to injury prevention and better power transfer in athletics. And let’s face it, you just look better when you stand up straight (your mother was right!).

8. Move better for longer.

By strengthening muscles and improving bone density, women who spend time in the weight room are typically active for longer periods of time. Increased hip and leg strength aid in mobility and balance, and upper-body strength helps combat postural issues that can lead to back and shoulder injuries.

9. Become a better athlete.

Gone are the days when coaches worried that lifting weights would build bulky muscles that would weigh down athletes. Strength training can lead to better functional movement, explosive power, durability and, of course, greater overall strength.

The bottom line.

Let’s face it: As often as I spout out all of these benefits, I still hear 9 out of 10 women saying they want a better butt. What is the best way to achieve a better butt? Squats. Lunges. Strength training.

Foods to Eat and Avoid to Stay in Shape

I read this article and loved it so much I wanted to share with all of you!

Eating the right foods will help you to stay in shape, build muscle and burn fat. It can be hard to decide what foods fit into your diet plan so we’ve come up with a simple list!

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There are three major food groups: proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Your diet will come from a mixture of these three macronutrients and there are good and bad choices for each group! To help you decide which foods you should eat, we have split up the items in each food group into three categories:

Eat – you can eat these every day

Eat in Moderation – eat these once or twice a week if you like

Avoid – try not to eat these

The bulk of your diet should come from the ‘Eat’ section, with a few items from the ‘Eat in Moderation’ section each week. Try to steer clear of foods labelled ‘Avoid’ – they are labelled that way for a reason and will slow down your progress!

Proteins

With protein, choosing the highest quality sources is of top priority. We especially want to avoid getting our protein from processed foods such as burgers, hot dogs, fried chicken and any other fast food or junk food. Whilst the protein in these foods may come from the same place as a lean cut of meat, they also come packed full of fats and unhealthy additives such as preservatives, rusk and batter.

The majority of our protein should come from lean cuts of meat, fish, eggs, low fat dairy and whey protein (obviously if you are vegetarian or vegan this may not be possible!). Fattier cuts of red meat and poultry can be eaten occasionally but these tend to be high in saturated fats and omega 6 fatty acids, which we don’t want to consume too much of (more about this later).

Eat – All fish, chicken/turkey breast meat, eggs, greek yogurt, low fat cheese, lean red meat, whey protein powders, tofu/meat substitutes

Eat in moderation – fatty cuts of red meat, chicken/turkey leg meat, full fat cheese, whole milk

Avoid – processed meats, burgers, hot dogs, anything deep fried or battered, chicken/turkey skin

Carbohydrates

With carbohydrates, our priority is avoiding foods with a high glycemic index as these are more likely to cause us to put on body fat. Carbs with a high glycemic index such as sugar and white bread also tend to be devoid of any nutritional value, which is not very useful to anyone who wants to be healthy!

Try to eat 5-10 servings of fruit and vegetables per day to ensure you are getting the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. The other carbs in the ‘Eat’ category all have a low glycemic index but less nutritional value than fruit and veg. This is not really an issue and these carb sources do not have the same disadvantages as sugars and baked goods.

Eat – rice (basmati, brown, long grain), white potato, sweet potato, yams, oats, all vegetables, salad leaves, low sugar fruits (berries, melon, lemon, lime, apples, grapefruit)

Eat in moderation – brown bread, rice (short grain, risotto), rice cakes, brown pasta, sugary fruits (banana, mango, pineapple, orange, cherry, grape, kiwi)

Avoid – sugars, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, ice cream, fast food (pizza, fries, etc.), sugary drinks (soda, fruit juice, energy drinks, milkshakes), white bread, white pasta, sugary cereals

Fats

Not all fats are equal and some are really good for our health. They are often demonised by mainstream nutritional guidelines, but we must look at fats individually and not bundle them all into one group. We want the majority of our fat intake to come from healthy monounsaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids. Foods we should try to avoid are those containing large amounts of saturated fat and omega 6 fatty acids.

Omega 6 fatty acids can promote inflammation and omega 3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation. If these are in balance then all will be well within our bodies, but if we take in too many omega 6 fatty acids this can lead to an increased level of inflammation in the body. We should try and reduce our intake of omega 6 fatty acids because they are contained in so many of the foods we eat, especially vegetable oils and animal products like meat and dairy (also nuts excluding macadamia nuts can be high in omega 6). This makes it very easy to consume a lot more omega 6 fatty acids than omega 3 fatty acids.

There is a great deal of debate about whether saturated fats are bad for our health. Since eating a large amount of them is not essential to achieving our goals, it makes sense to limit our intake but not cut them out entirely. The saturated fats in coconut are an exception to this rule as they are primarily made up of medium chain trigycerates (MCTs), which are more easily broken down by the body and can readily be used for energy. The foods in the ‘Eat’ category are packed with good fats and should form the majority of your fat intake.

Eat – avocado, raw macadamia nuts, coconut, olive oil, oily fish, olives

Eat in moderation – all other nuts, nut butters, butter, dark chocolate

Avoid – vegetable oil, sunflower oil, vegetable spreads, mayonnaise, anything deep fried.

Check out http://traineatgain.com/ for more brilliant articles like this on fitness, diet and health.

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