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, and my answers.
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 light cardio, like walking.
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 (eating too much healthy food), 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.
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.