One of the things that I have learnt is that you never stop learning! I know that I still have a lot to learn, but these are some of the things that I have learned along the way, that I hope can help you. I wish that someone had told ME all of this years ago!
Having muscle helps you reduce body fat
I started out as someone who didn’t do much exercise, besides walking. I was really skinny but not fit and didn’t eat much because my body just didn’t need it. Then I did LOTS of cardio and was constantly hungry. If I did eat too much, I noticed myself gaining weight (fat) quickly.
When I started doing weight training, it seriously became SO much easier for me to drop body fat and stay lean. I obviously started eating more because my metabolism had increased. This was awesome because this helped solved my problem of being hungry a lot!
Consistency really is key
It took me a while to realize this, but now I know just how important it is. When I first started becoming healthier, I used to eat really well Monday to Friday and then eat whatever I wanted on the weekends. I saw some results but very slowly. Don’t let the weekend or other excuses ruin all your hard work. You need to be consistent! Both with your training and nutrition.
Carbs are not the enemy
Yes I am an advocate for the lower carb style diet (read more about it here). BUT I still eat carbs! I just choose to eat my carbs from healthier and natural sources such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, lentils, and occasional brown bread and brown rice. The carbs that make you fat and contribute to heart disease and obesity are the refined carbs such as white bread, chocolate, cake, etc. Avoid these or eat in moderation. Check out my daily diet here.
Stress can affect weight loss
Stress can be caused by anything – working too much, feeling unhappy or angry, arguing with your partner, overtraining, etc. When you are stressed, your body releases the hormone cortisol. Cortisol occurs naturally in your body, and is temporarily elevated when you are frightened, attacked or there is a threat to your survival. When you are constantly stressed, your body has constantly high levels of cortisol.
High levels of cortisol encourages your body to store fat, especially around your stomach and your vital organs (which contributes to heart disease and diabetes). Cortisol has also been associated with increased appetite, cravings for foods high in sugar and fat and increased blood pressure. Reduce your stress levels and this may help you to get rid of that extra unwanted belly fat!
You REALLY should be drinking 2-3L of water per day
This one is really simple, but easier said than done. A few years ago I would have been lucky to drink 2L of water per day. Now I easily drink 3L, if not more. Check out my blog post on how to drink more water!
Set yourself a goal
Set yourself an easy goal that is realistic for you to achieve. For example, you want to fit into a size 8, fit a certain dress or pair of jeans, lose 5kgs before your holiday or be able to run 5km without stopping. Make it something that you can actually measure and give yourself a timeframe.
You are SO much more likely to stick to your workout and nutrition regime if you are working toward a goal within a certain time frame. I am ALWAYS more motivated when I am training for a specific event such as a triathlon or running event. I train really hard, put all my excuses aside and never miss a workout.
For more info on my workout programs, click here xx
Hi ! Oh you’ve just learnt me something very interesting ! :o I’m in the same case as you were before : I’ve started doing cardio (especially pilates) regularly 10 months ago and even if I’m used to eating healthy, I can’t help but eat more :(
Since sport is really part of my life (3 times a week), I noticed that I gained weight and fat (especially on thighs, stomach and face) >< As a result, I do have muscles but also enough fat to cover them because I can't control myself anymore when I see food. It's a very big problem and although I don't have much to lose, it's definitely hard now ! I don't know how to solve it :/ should I stop sport and eat less ?
The most I care and want to lose, the most I gain…
Hi Laureen, Rachael here. Aww I’m so sorry to hear that you are having these issues! It is hard when you start exercising a lot, to understand that your body needs more food, but also work out what works for you. I don’t think you should stop playing sport because keeping active is great and really good for losing weight. The main issue comes from your diet. Try to slowly decrease your food intake, but make sure you’re eating plenty of protein and fibre. This will keep you feeling full for longer and hopefully you won’t be feeling as hungry! Hope this helps xx