Trying to Lose Weight? Then Get Off the Treadmill and Pick Up Some Dumbbells.

Women are notorious for spending hours doing cardio to shed extra pounds.  Thinking that if only I walk or run a little further I will burn more calories and lose this damn weight.  You couldn't be more wrong.  Think about it, we have all seen a marathon or a 1/2 marathon and/or known someone training for one that we thought, really, how can "they" be doing that.  They are overweight and simply do not look "fit enough" to be able to complete the task.  This is not to discredit the work that these people are doing.  More power to them.  However, case in point, lots of cardio is not a secret weight loss pill.   

Ok, if that image is not enough to convince you here are a few more reasons.

1.  Muscle burns more calories than fat.  Every 1 lb of muscle will burn approximately 35-50 more calories per day then a lb of fat.  So, think about it.  If you add 5 lbs of muscle you could be burning an extra 250 calories everyday without doing anything.  (well you have to lift weights a few times each week).  This could amount to 91, 250 calories per year.  HOLY SHIT that is a lot of room for extra glass of wine or a brownie (HA HA, just kidding).  

2. As women age, we lose muscle mass naturally.  Every decade starting at age 30 women will begin losing muscle mass. In fact, up to 3-5% each decade.  However, lifting weights even 2x per week for 20-30 minutes can reduce this from happening.  So, say you lose 5 lbs of muscle between age 30-40 in muscle.  Now, even though you might be doing cardio and eating healthy all of the sudden you are gaining weight. Remember Reason #1?   So, now instead of burning that extra 250 calories you are burning 250 calories less.  Now you are losing 91,250 calories per year and at 3500 calories for 1 lb of weight gain that is a potential gain of 26 lbs.  OUCH no wonder women gain weight as they age.  

3.  But hold on it gets worse. Women can lose up to 20% of bone density in the 5-7 years after menopause.  I am not going to bother with the math here.  You get the picture.  

Ok, if that math lesson doesn't convince you think about all the other benefits like looking stronger, feeling more confident, having an easier time carrying the groceries into the house, getting up and down off the floor is easier, the list goes on and on.  

You can start a strength training program without much or any equipment.  Plug in a few squats, lunges, pushups, and planks and you will be on your way to not only a stronger and leaner body but also a stronger and improved mental state.  Reach out to me or watch this blog for more posts about how to incorporate strength training into your routine.  


Weight is Not the Best Indicator of Progress or Success

So often we get hung up one the numbers on the scale.  We set goals to lose 10, 20, 30 lbs and while this is tangible it is not always in our control and can be a very demotivating and misleading way to measure progress. 

Here are some questions to consider when getting hung up on the numbers on the scale.  What does that number really mean?  What is going to be different about your life when you lose that 10, 20, 30 lbs?  Weight loss takes time.  What will you do to stay motivated during the process?  What will your motivation be to maintain those changes once you lose the weight?

Here are some better ways to decide if your nutrition and exercise plan is steering you in the direction of your goals and leading you to sustainable long term success.

1)  Do you feel satisfied after meals?  Processed foods will leave you wanting more, it will force you to use "willpower" to avoid overeating.  If you are eating healthy and nutrient dense food your body will know when to stop and you will feel full and satisfied.  When was the last time you over ate carrots??  When was the last time you couldn't stop eating the potato chips you were only going to have 1 of?  

2)  How is your energy?  Do you need caffeine or sugar to keep your energy stable.  Do you need to use the snooze button in the morning.  Being nutrient deficient and not moving enough will drain your energy.  If you do not have to rely on caffeine and sugar for energy this is a good thing!!

3) How are you sleeping?  Poor sleep can be caused by stress, aging, hormonal changes , being a new parent, and so on.  Caffeine, sugar and alcohol can impact your sleep. If your sleep improves you are making progress rather or not the scale is changing.  

4)How do your clothes fit?  Muscle weighs more then fat but takes up less space.  So even though that number may not change as you would like you still are making progress. Bonus: muscle burns more calories, as much as 50 calories per lb.  So, pick up those dumbells!! 

5)What kind of mood are you in?  If it is a sustainable plan you will be happy, you shouldn't feel hangry, crabby, or like a party pooper.  A good nutrition and exercise program will leave you feeling confident, empowered to keep going, clear headed and positive.  You will be motivated to continue regardless of the number on the scale.  

My goal is not to simply help clients lose weight but to help you live your life to the fullest.  To be happy, confident, and excited about life, and proud of your progress even if that number on the scale isn't giving you the answer you were hoping for.  .

Contact me today to find out how wellness coaching might be able to help.   





Healthy and Happy

The road to health and happiness isn’t a straight line.  There are many bumps, twists and turns in the journey to living a healthy life. I know that it isn’t always easy to make it to the gym or there can be many food temptations along the way.  Sometimes, you really just have that craving for a piece of chocolate cake! Or, that glass of wine!

Everywhere you go, there is so much pressure to look, dress, feel, or even act a certain way. These feelings can leave you feeling defeated, exhausted or stressed.  By exercising and eating healthier, you will be on your way to a happier version of yourself. Our moto at A Better Me Fitness is, “The better that I take care of myself, the better I am suited to take care of the one’s I love.” So, start loving you!  Start loving your body! Start being A Better You!

If you are dissatisfied with your current nutrition and/or fitness situation and you want to transform your life, we have a program for you!  Start to think positively and stop the negativity in your life.  Both of these things will help you become more confident and give you the strength to overcome your insecurities.  Exercise should be enjoyable, not a punishment. Happy people don’t waste time complaining.  They focus on the good and they accomplish more in life. Here is a “Happy” Activity to try:  Whenever you have a negative thought, ie. This workout sucked. My jeans are too tight.  Counter that thought with at least one (or maybe three) positive thoughts.  The weather was perfect for a run,  I had a delicious breakfast after my workout, I feel more energized throughout the day.

Here at A Better Me Fitness our goal is to help guide you on your transformation journey by giving you support, encouraging you and by holding you accountable.  We will customize a program that will give you the information and education that you need to be helpful.  We will also help you set goals and motivate you on your journey to a healthier you.

Our personal experiences and our passion for helping women to be happy and love themselves is what motivates us.  Work with Amy, a certified NASM, ACE, ProCoach and Personal Trainer.  You will receive individually-tailored support to help you manage your life.  Contact us today and join us on this mission.