Making the decision to start a nutrition and exercise program isn’t easy. And just making the decision to change is only the first step. The hard part is putting in the work over days, weeks and months to start getting results.
My client Kelli came to me not only wanting to change, but ready to do the work. She committed to working out multiple days a week and changing up her diet.
It wasn’t easy and in the beginning she definitely had to push herself. The workouts were hard at first and changing her diet meant paying closer attention to her food choices and being sure to get enough protein.
After a few weeks Kelli was already stronger and seeing changes. She started to enjoy the workouts more and really looked forward to coming to Fit Camp classes because the other ladies were so friendly and made the workouts fun.
Kelli’s lost 20 pounds, dropped her body fat by 4% and is down over 14 inches! Not only does she look better, she feels better both physically and mentally.
One proud moment was showing her young son how to properly do push-ups, which she can now knock out ten of in a row.
Even though Kelli is a busy mom of three young children, she has worked hard to pay attention to what she is eating, tracking her food and even plans healthy dinners at home for her whole family. It isn’t easy when you’re running kids to practices and games in the evenings, but she made the effort and didn’t let that be an excuse.
Friends and family are starting to notice how much Kelli has changed, and asking for her advice because they might want to make some changes, too! Seeing someone close to you work hard and have results can be very inspiring.
Kelli is still working hard towards her goals. I have no doubt she will continue to see results because she knows what she needs to put into the plan in order to get them. She is willing to do the work and knows she’s never going back to where she started.
This is the kind of client I love to work with – not only is she always smiling and talkative, Kelli listens to my advice and applies it. She knows she is going to have to make permanent changes and give up a few things in order to be more fit and healthy, but she is ok with that because she knows it is worth it.
Great job Kelli!
It may sometimes feel as if you’re the only one struggling to lose weight or get fit.
But truthfully, we all have something we don’t like about our bodies and you’re definitely not alone.
In fact, I work with people every day who want to lose weight and after years in this industry I can tell you many of them have the same questions.
Here are four of the most frequently asked questions I get about diet, exercise and weight loss.
1. How do I get rid of “this“?
- It is very common for someone to pinch a certain part of their body (usually the midsection, back of the arms, or thighs) and ask what exercise they can do to get rid of fat in that one area.
- The truth is you cannot spot reduce body fat. You can do exercises to strengthen the muscles in those areas, but that will not reduce the body fat there. Doing 100 crunches a day will make your abs much stronger, but won’t do anything to reduce the fat on your belly.
- So how do I get rid of this? Through overall body fat loss which comes from a combination of a calorie-reduced diet (eating slightly less than you burn), strength training and cardio.
2. I’m working out and eating healthy, why am I not losing weight?
- This is a tough one, because the answer is different for everyone.
- A few possible issues could be eating healthy but without being in a calorie deficit, not doing enough exercise, not doing the right type of exercise, not changing up your program, not being consistent enough or for long enough, or even too much stress and sleep deprivation.
- If you feel you’ve been consistent with eating healthy and working out, be sure you’re paying close attention to portions and not overeating healthy foods like nuts and coconut oil. Check in on your exercise program; is it still challenging? Are you recovering well or chronically sore? By digging a little deeper you can pinpoint the factor holding you back. Or you can go through this checklist to help you determine the cause.
3. How many calories should I eat?
- This, too is very dependent on the individual, and so the answer is “it depends.”
- In order to determine your individual needs, start by using an online calculator to estimate your needs based on your body size and activity level. Then be consistent to eating to that calorie amount to your best estimate for at least eight weeks. Then, see what happens. If you lose weight you’re on target. If you stay the same you need to eat a little bit less. If you gain weight you need to eat a lot less.
- That being said, your body is not a calculator. Listen to your internal cues. How hungry are you? Are you eating when you’re bored, stressed or sad? Are you starving and cravings going through the roof? In order to lose weight you want to eat enough that you have energy for your daily activity while being just a bit unsatisfied. You don’t want to be so hungry you are fatigued, not sleeping or having intense cravings.
4. What is the best type of exercise for weight loss?
- The true answer to this is whatever exercise you will do and do consistently, because anything you’re not going to do long-term is not going to produce lasting results.
- That being said, a combination of strength training and some cardio is the best equation for body fat loss.
- If you want to lose just scale weight (read: water) then extreme low carb dieting and cardio will do it, fast. But that weight will come back on just as fast and usually bring more with it. If your goal is body FAT loss that stays off, your best best is three to four days of 45 to 60 minutes of strength training and one to two days of metabolic conditioning cardio for about 20 to 30 minutes.
The simple answer to most of your weight loss and fitness questions is this: what works is whatever you will do consistently for weeks, months and yes, years. In order to get results and keep them you have to make lifestyle changes that aren’t a struggle. If you can make it a habit and not suffer to make it happen, that’s the answer to long-term, lasting success.
Have you ever started a diet or exercise program and a few days in, you’re dreading the workouts or hating the food?
Did it put you in a bad mood?
How long did you stick with that program?
Probably not very long. Negativity is a terrible motivator. Whether it is going to the gym to “punish” yourself for eating something “bad” or choking down “healthy” food that doesn’t taste good when you’d rather be eating pizza, doing something that makes you feel bad isn’t great for long-term success.
Let me offer an alternative to the traditional weight loss methods of adding workouts and removing foods. Here are four unconventional ways to achieve success with weight loss.
1. Instead of taking something away, add something new
- When we take things away we can feel deprived and resentful. Adding something new creates a little bit of excitement. It feels “fresh.”
- The energy of gaining instead of losing creates momentum and that makes getting started easier.
- Example: rather than ditching the can of soda, add a daily glass of water.
2. Instead of stopping a habit start a new one
- Our brains are hard-wired against change. It is easier to learn something new than un-learn something we’ve been doing for ages.
- Again, the excitement of something new and different creates energy and momentum.
- Example: instead of trying to stop late night snacking while watching TV, start reading a book before bed.
3. Instead of following a plan try creating a chain
- Having a plan to follow seems like the best path to success, except that it doesn’t leave much room for reality. Life happens and we can’t always stick to a plan.
- Create a chain by tracking your good habits or changes. This gives us visual proof of the work we’ve put in. Once you’ve created a chain of several days, it will help keep you going because you don’t want to break the chain.
- Example: Set a daily goal, then on a calendar, mark off each day you successfully executed that goal. (I recommend the Commit30 Planner.) Focus all your energy on building then not breaking that chain.
4. Rather than focusing on what you have to do, celebrate what’s done.
- Only thinking about how far you are from your goal can make you feel discouraged and down. This might lead to giving up.
- Even small progress is worth recognizing! Each time you successfully execute your daily goal, get to the gym or even turn down a cupcake that’s a win.
- Example: every time you workout, track how much weight you lifted or how many reps you could do of an exercise such as push-ups. Then look over it a few weeks or months later to see how much progress you’ve made. Buy yourself something nice as a reward!
The best way to achieve long-term results is to find something that makes you feel good so that you want to keep doing it. Not every workout or diet has to look the same. Focus on the positive and doing what you enjoy (within reason, we all would eat cookies every day if we could, amiright?!). Negativity is a terrible motivator. Find the positivity and you’ll be more likely to achieve results.
There is no challenge I can throw at my client Andy that he doesn’t welcome.
This guy is one of the hardest workers I’ve had the pleasure to train, and his results are a testament to that.
Andy started training with his wife, Maggie (be sure to see her amazing transformation too) and at first I think he wasn’t sure if little ol’ me was a good fit for him.
Too be fair, Andy is a large guy and not my typical client as I had previously worked exclusively with women. But I assured he and Maggie I was up to the challenge of training the together and that I was confident I could kick his butt. 😉
That’s exactly what I have been doing with these two and they have kept coming back and loved getting stronger, losing weight and doing things they didn’t know they could. Andy even scored his first ever pull-up!
Besides getting strong as hell, Andy has lost more than 50 pounds and dropped 7% body fat. He’s down more than 25 inches including over six from his waist and five from his hips. I think he looks ten years younger, too.
I am so happy Andy (and Maggie) gave me a chance to show them I could train this big guy as effectively as any male trainer. Watching the two of them conquer their goals, get healthier and improve their lives together has been the greatest reward.