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I think I’m going to start doing these Q&A blog posts more regularly because I get asked SO many questions every day. So if you have any questions you would like answered, please feel free to ask! I’m always happy to help with anything (there are no stupid questions!).

Here are some common questions I receive, plus a few questions I had by request. I hope you find them useful :) xx

What is your advice for an 18 year old that wants to lose weight and be healthy?

I remember what it was like being 18, first living out of home, wanting to be healthy but not exactly sure what to do. My advice to any 18 year olds, or anyone who is looking to become healthier is to:

Do something active 6 days per week. This doesn’t mean that you need to go running or hit the gym 6 days per week. I just mean something that involves getting your body moving and make sure it is something that you really like doing! Whether that’s playing sport, going for a walk with some friends, doing a fitness class, body weight circuit, yoga, mountain climbing, bike riding, or gym if that’s what you prefer! I always thought that I needed to do gym and cardio to get results and be healthy, but that’s not necessarily true. Any form of exercise is great and will burn calories!

Diet is the most important thing for weight loss. I never knew this back then and my idea of a “diet” was starving myself. This is not only unhealthy, but can actually backfire and cause you to gain weight in the future. What I mean is that you need to have a look at your diet and make sure that you’re eating healthy foods, eating typical junk food and processed foods like cereals, packet meals, etc only a few times per week, and also that you’re not overeating. Eating the right amount of food for your body is really the key for weight loss.

Please have a read of this blog post to work out your ideal calorie intake, and also have a look at this blog post for free clean eating guidelines which will help give you an idea on what type of foods you should be eating :)

A few more tips:

  • Planning and preparing your meals makes a HUGE difference and will really help you stick to your healthier diet. Please have a look at my blog post on meal prepping guidelines;
  • Also remember that alcohol counts as calories and will severely limit your weight loss if you drink a lot.

weight loss

How many times should you workout per week? How many times do you workout per week?

I think it’s good to try and workout 4-6 times per week if you can. As I mentioned, these don’t need to be “gym” workouts – it’s good to include a variety of workouts.

I personally workout 6 days per week. I try to go for a walk every day and then I do either a circuit or yoga class 3-4 times per week. So on some days all I do is go for a walk. I am battling a few health issues (i.e. hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue) which prevent me from doing any really intense exercise. But over time I have come to realise that I like this type of exercise better.

When is the best time to go for a run?

The best time to go for a run is whenever you can fit it in! The same goes for any exercise. But if you want to lose weight, running in the morning on an empty stomach could probably help you lose weight quicker, but only if you’ve eaten a low carb meal for dinner. Also the downside with running on an empty stomach means you probably won’t be able to run for as far or go as hard. Honestly I don’t think it would make that much difference to weight loss.

Will cycling make my legs bigger?

This really depends on your body type and how often you do it. I have written an extensive blog post on this so please have a read. In this blog post, I also cover other forms of exercise such as dancing, barre, stair machine, elliptical, rowing, running, yoga, etc and whether or not these make your legs bigger.

What is your advice when the weather is cold and you want to go for a run?

My way around this is getting a gym membership! Then you always have access to a treadmill when it’s too cold, snowing, raining, or too hot.

But if that’s not an option for you, then my best advice is to get some warm and comfortable tights, a wind proof exercise jacket and brave the cold! It could also be a good idea to check the weather at the start of the week and find out which days will be the warmest, and then schedule your runs for then!

Any tips on controlling portion sizes / binge eating / major hunger?

Portion size

Portion size is really just about being realistic. If you look at your meal and think it looks huge, then it probably is, and you’ll probably end up feeling really full and bloated afterwards. And similarly, if you look at it and it looks really small, it probably is, and you’ll probably still be hungry afterwards or end up hungry again after an hour.

If you really struggle with portion size, I would try counting calories for a little while (even 1 week) just to get an idea on how much food you should eat, and then try to spread it out throughout the day. So for example, if you need to eat 1500 calories per day, you could spread this out by having 400 calories at each of your main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), and then having a 300 calorie snack.

Please have a read of my portion size guide blog post for more detailed information.

Binge eating

Binge eating seems to stem from really restrictive dieting, which then leads you to binge. It’s not a healthy relationship to have with food, and can cause significant weight gain. The best way to overcome this is to STOP the restrictive dieting. Make sure that no foods are off limits because thinking something is “bad” and that you can’t have it, will just cause you to binge on this food when you do eventually have it.

I know a lot of women struggle with binge eating and I will admit I have been there in the past too. I have written two blog posts on how to overcome binge eating, and how to recover from a binge. They are older blog posts but have some really helpful tips!

I no longer binge eat and I think the main reason for this is that I am no longer very strict with my diet. I eat gluten, dairy, sugar, bread, rice, chocolate, etc. I just eat everything in moderation. I know that’s easier said than done, but mentally changing the way you think is really key.

Major hunger

If you are experiencing major hunger, it is because you are not eating enough. There could be other reasons such as changes going on with your hormones (i.e. menstrual cycle – I get really hungry a few days before mine; or pregnancy), or a medical condition. But the most likely explanation is that you need to eat more food.

If you are eating the right amount of food but are still extremely hungry, it is very likely that you need to increase your fiber intake. This will make a HUGE difference to your hunger levels.

Please have a read of my blog post on how to reduce your appetite for some extra tips and further explanations about fiber.

Could there be medical reasons that are causing me to gain weight quickly?

If you have gained a significant amount of weight in a short period of time, then yes it is very likely that there is a medical reason behind this.

I have written a pretty detailed blog post about some medical conditions that could be causing weight gain and difficultly losing weight, so I won’t go into more detail here. Please have a read of this blog post for more information on this.overtraining

Do you take any supplements?

I use a protein powder every morning in my smoothies. I love whey protein but sometimes it doesn’t really agree with my body. So lately I have been using a 100% pure pea protein (vegan).

Other than that, I don’t take any fitness type supplements. I take a few health based supplements such as a probiotic, iodine, a few things for my thyroid (which you can read more about here) and also a few adaptogenic herbs to help with my adrenal fatigue.

I have tried things like l-carnitine and fat burners in the past. But honestly they didn’t make any difference and I didn’t like taking them. Most fat burners contain high amounts of caffeine and because I don’t have any caffeine in my diet, I couldn’t handle them. They gave me diarrhoea, shaking, sweating, and I couldn’t sleep.

Do you avoid carb heavy foods such a rice and bread?

Not really. As I mentioned before, I eat everything in moderation. If I have been eating a fair few carbs throughout the day, then I might not have any carbs such as rice for dinner and I’ll stick to protein and vegetables. But if I’m quite hungry or I haven’t had many carbs, I’ll eat rice. In the afternoons, I’ll usually have a quick think about what I’ve eaten that day and if I need more carbs, protein or fats, I’ll try to include more of these for dinner.

I try not to eat too much pasta, but I will probably have it every 1-2 weeks. This is just because I don’t really make many pasta based meals, but I don’t completely avoid it.

What happens to body fat and muscle when we stop working out? Do our muscles turn into fat? What happens to our strength when we stop working out?

When you stop working out, your muscles will decrease in both size. If you keep your diet the same as you did when you were exercising, it is likely that you will gain fat. But if you reduce your calorie intake and still eat healthy, you might not gain any fat. This might also depend on your body type as some body types gain fat easier than others.

Muscle does not turn into fat. Muscle atrophies, which basically means it wastes away. Also, when you stop exercising, you will lose strength. In my experience, I will start losing strength and muscle size within a couple of weeks.

OK that’s all the questions for now! If you have any other questions or blog requests, please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to answer them for you :)

I hope you enjoyed this blog post! xx

40 comments on “Q&A Session – Your Most Popular Questions Answered”

  • Sunita says:

    Hello Rachel,
    I’ve purchased your Lean Program today and will be starting right away. My target areas are arms, back and Bristols. So when I shred over all body fat does that remove fat from bristols and arms too.

    • Diana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,
      Yes, the lean Legs Program has been designed for overall fat loss, so it will help you slim and tone your arms and back as well. :)
      Wishing you all the best! xx

      Love,
      Diana

  • vanessa says:

    Do you have any follow-along workout videos? (I’ve seen your demonstration ones, but I prefer to have a full length video to workout to)

    • Diana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,
      Great news – we’ve been working on creating full length workout videos, so if you’ve subscribed to our emails you will be notified as soon as they’re out (most probably next month). :)
      In the meantime you can try our free Train Like A Model video course, it should also be in your email by now! xx

      Love,
      Diana

  • Britt says:

    I am tempted to start this program, but first have a few questions –

    1) It is common that our family will go to friends family for a meal at least once a week. Will the programme still work if I am not sticking to the diet plan everyday?

    2) I already am tied into a contract with my current PT who I will do weight training amongst all other types of exercise. Again, will this impact on my progress with this program if I continue this exercise? (Will I bulk up with this extra exercise)

    3) I seem to be a loooot bigger than any of the before/after leg pictures that are shown on the website and this makes me nervous. Do you still think this program will work for me?

    4) what makes this program stand out from all the other programmes out there?

    Look forward to hearing back on this x

    • Diana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,
      You don’t have to follow the meal plan perfectly, you will still get results if you follow the workout plan and eat healthy. :)
      If you combine the Lean Legs Program with a HIIT and heavy weight lifting style you will still get bulky, so it’s best to start the program after your contract has ended. The workouts in the program are 5-6 days per week so it would also be difficult to fit in another type of training.

      Our program has been designed to include the perfect type of resistance training and cardio to give you a lean and toned look, without making you bulky.
      It’s an 8 week workout and nutrition plan that will help you slim down your legs, but will also help you slim and tone your upper body and core too (the workouts are full body).
      It also includes a full meal plan, a separate recipe ebook and demonstration videos.

      If this is what you’re looking for, I would definitely recommend giving our program a go. You can find out more about it here:

      Lean Legs Program

      Love,
      Diana
      xx

  • Mouli says:

    Hey.
    I’m an endomorph body type. Is it fine for me to do Power walking for 45 mins and elliptical for another 15 mins.

  • Mouli says:

    Hello Rachael,
    I’ve recently purchased lean legs program for endomorph body type. My legs bulk up easy when I run and walking doesn’t help me burn enough calories even though I do it twice of run. Is it ok for me to do cardio in elliptical for slim legs and overall body.

    • Diana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,
      The elliptical machine may not cause bulkiness, but it won’t slim down your legs like running and walking will. The pushing down motion means you engage your quads more so it will build more muscle here.
      I would recommend doing more resistance workouts (3 days per week) and power walking for at least 45 minutes. You can also substitute running with some extra power walking. :)
      If you can’t walk or run for some reason, the elliptical trainer is the next best thing. xx

      Love,
      Diana

  • Erin says:

    Is your program a whole body program or will I need to incorporate more exercise? Also is there a full diet guideline as well?

    • Diana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,
      The Lean Legs Program is an 8 week workout and nutrition plan designed to help you get lean and toned without bulking.
      It will help you slim down your entire legs, but will also help you slim and tone your upper body and core too (the workouts are full body). The workouts are 5-6 days per week so you don’t have to do any other exercise. :)
      It also includes a full meal plan, a separate recipe eBook and demonstration videos.

      You can find out more about it here:

      Lean Legs Program

      Love,
      Diana
      xx

  • Kylie Bricknell says:

    I recently purchased the Lean Legs Program for a mesomorph body type.
    I dislike running as I feel it bulks my legs too much. Can I substitute the running parts with the HIIT workout you recommend? (run fast pace for 90sec to 2 mins, then walk for 60 secs)?

    • Diana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,
      If running makes your legs bulky, increasing the intensity won’t make a difference. That’s why we recommend substituting running with some extra power walking. You can still do a HIIT circuit once a week. :) xx

      Love,
      Diana

  • Rina says:

    Is the Lean legs programme safe for pregnant women?

    • Diana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,
      We’ve had women say they’ve been doing the program while pregnant, but it hasn’t been designed for pregnant women. The workouts are mostly low impact, so they should be safe to do during the first trimester. However, I would recommend checking up with your doctor to be 100% sure. Wishing you all the best! :) xx

      Love,
      Diana

  • Fleur says:

    I’ve just purchased the Lean Legs program but don’t eat eggs. What can I swap these for please? Thanks!

    • Diana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,
      I recommend replacing whole eggs with sliced veggies and hummus dip as a snack or an oatmeal and nuts (if you can eat them).
      You could also add applesauce or a mashed banana as a sweetener.

      As an ingredient, you could replace eggs with tofu, tempeh or flaxmeal combined with plant based milk or water (the basic ratio is 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed and 3 tablespoons of liquid to replace 1 egg).
      If you’d like to make it simpler, maybe you could find a store bought vegan egg replacer (flax egg).

      If you have more questions please feel free to send an email to info@rachaelattard.com, I would be happy to help! xx

      Love,
      Diana

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