I get asked constantly what I eat, how often I work out, do I lift weights, and how do I find the time.
I work hard to maintain in my present shape and I love every second of it. Nothing tastes as good as I feel when I slide on my skinny jeans and they fit like a sexy glove!
I am living proof that if you’re willing to physically practice the tips I have given you n my blog, you will have a better body, more energy, less fat, more confidence and you will feel fantastic!
Practice Calorie Control
This is the hardest part of all my suggestions. When I got started in my quest for physical improvement I didn’t even really know that I had to be so disciplined and specific about what I ate. Here is a basic formula to create a caloric plan that will help you lose fat and reduce cellulite.
Bodyweight x 10 = total calories per day
Example: 125 lbs. x 10 = 1250 kcal / day
Divide this caloric intake into a 40 / 40 / 20 split. Break the 1250 calories down into 40 percent carbohydrates (CHO), 40 percent protein sources (PRO) and the rest from fat (FAT). It looks like this:
40 percent CHO / 1250 = 500 calories
40 percent PRO / 1250 = 500 calories
20 percent FAT / 1250 = 250 calories
And since there are four calories per gram of CHO and PRO, and nine calories per gram of FAT
This all seems simple on paper, but how do you really know how many calories you’re consuming, and how many grams of each are in the foods you are eating? Initially, this can be difficult. I chose to consume foods providing nutrition fact labels, thus enabling me to calculate how much of each was in what. You’ll be amazed how easy this becomes after awhile, and how much you learn about nutrition in doing so. You can use the Bodybuilding.com nutrient database to find out what is in your foods as well.
Practice portion control
Another tactic I used – and still use – is measuring a portion of food to the equivalent size of your fist. I believe “portion control” to be the biggest obstacle to overcome and the biggest threat to a weight loss program. A serving size for most women should fit into your open hand. That’s about how much you can digest in a couple of hours without gaining fat.
Eat Five Small Meals a Day
If our daily caloric intake is 1250 kcal with 125g CHO, 125g PRO and minimal FAT, by breaking up this daily allotment into five meals spaced evenly throughout the day, each meal should consist of no more than 250 kcal with approximately 25g CHO and 25g PRO. By doing this you’ll be providing your body with consistent energy throughout the day without overloading your system. You will keep your metabolism burning smoothly without allowing your body to switch into “starvation” mode. This is very important.
Drink a Gallon of Water Every Day
Eliminate all sugary drinks from your diet. They are useless. Sugars – especially refined, simple sugars – elevate insulin levels dramatically (a storage hormone) and turn into fat when not used immediately for energy. This is exactly what we are trying to prevent. I believe sugar to be just as much an enemy in the war against body fat as fat itself.
Try to keep your intake down. Use sugar substitutes in coffee and tea. Do not drink more than one diet cola a day. They rot your GI tract. Water cleans your digestive system of toxins and hydrates your cells. That keeps your skin hydrated and smooth.
5. Concentrate on nutrient-dense foods as opposed to empty calories
Okay, so we’re restricting calories now, right? It is therefore important for us to get the most out of what we do eat. So would it make more sense to consume a 150 kcal sugary soda or 150 kcal can of tuna fish containing protein? My belief is that the closer foods are to their natural state, the better they are for you.
With this in mind, I recommend foods such as brown rice, plain oatmeal, potatoes (not mashed!), tuna fish, chicken breast, turkey, steamed vegetables, and fruit. I realize this sounds boring, but you’ll be surprised how much better you feel eating these types of foods and how much more sustained energy you’ll have throughout your day.
I find this to be the hardest part of the equation for most women, and it baffles me. Weight training is the easiest and most enjoyable part of the program, in my opinion. You will not “bulk up”. You will not get big. By lifting weights you will firm the muscles underneath the fat and build new muscle tissue (and remember that muscle is the “active” part of the body that burns fat. Therefore, the more muscle you have, the faster and more efficiently you will burn fat and develop the body you really want.
Muscle gives us shape and contour. Here is an easy-to-follow beginner’s program that I used when I got started.
Day 1– Shoulders, Chest and Triceps
Push ups – 3 sets of as many as you can do w/ knees on the
Shoulder press (Dumbbells or machine) – 3 sets of 12reps
Lateral raises – 3 sets of 8 reps
Front raises – 3 sets of 8 reps
Single bench dips – 3 sets of 8
Rope pull-downs Tricep extensions- 3 sets of 15 reps
Day 2 – Legs and Lower body
Leg extensions – 3 sets of 15 reps
Leg curls – 3 sets of 12 reps
Lunges – 3 sets of as many repetitions a side as you can! If you can perform 20 reps then increase the resistance by holding dumbbells. Start with 5 pounds in each hand and add more as the exercise becomes easier.
Seated Leg press – 3 sets of 20 reps (Try different foot positions of this to target different areas – toes pointed in, pointed out and straight forward.)
Glute / Butt kickbacks (machine or on your hands and knees on a workout mat) 3 sets of 15 reps – Concentrate on getting a good squeeze at top peak contraction of the movement by maintaining a moderate speed through the whole range of motion and holding at the top for one second.
Day 3 – Back, Biceps and Abdominals
Seated row – 3 sets of 12 reps
Lat pull down – 3 sets of 12 reps
Back extensions – 3 sets of as many as you can do – extend through the whole range of motion and squeeze the glutes and hams together to kill two birds with one stone!
Seated biceps curls – 3 set of 12 reps
Hammer curls – 3 sets of 12 reps
Basic Crunches – 3 sets of 15 reps
Reverse Crunches – 3 sets of 15
Crossover Crunches – 3 sets of 15 reps per side
Stay Motivated and Practice Discipline
There are so many obstacles to overcome when attempting to adhere to this program. I’m not going to lie; it isn’t easy. You must be strong and stay focused on your goals. Sticking to your goals and following through with the plan allow you to exert your personal power and take control over your body and your life. The reward far outweighs cheating and staying unfit.
I know that when I succeed and reach my established goals, I feel powerful and strong. When I have a television appearance and I am fit, there is a feeling of exhilaration and I feel honorable knowing that I was authentic and did my very best to represent women of beauty and strength in the world!
You can do live your dream and have the life you desire if you get focused, do the work and stay committed. Do something great this week!