As a woman, I know that a lot of the time we want to get stronger but are scared of lifting weights out of pure fear of turning into the Hulk or Arnie overnight. Fortunately (or unfortunately), that is not how things work!
Meal prep: something that everyone who is even slightly into health and fitness seems to be doing. And for good reason! Although it may sound a bit daunting to some, it really will save you time & money once you figure it out along with helping you stick to your eating plan. Like they say, practice makes perfect.
Here are my top 5 tips for meal prepping that I have picked up along the way.
Fat loss occurs when your body is in a calorie deficit so that the calories in (ie. what you consume) << less calories out (ie. how much you burn on an average day).
But when in a calorie deficit your body could also be losing muscle mass, so it might not necessarily be just fat that you are losing. Just keep that in mind.
Therefore if your mission is to lose fat, whilst maintaining as much of your hard earned muscle as possible, then try incorporating some of these strategies below into your next training session to increase calorie expenditure, increase metabolism and create more of a calorie deficit:
Abs aka our core. We all have them & we should all train them. Our core is made up of muscles just like our arms & legs yet for some reason direct core training seems to sometimes (often) get neglected during our training week (I wont lie, I used to be one of those people but am getting better!)
So why is it so important to train our core?
Hint: Aesthetics has nothing to do with it!
It's simple really. A strong core means:
Whether you are thinking about starting your fitness journey, just starting out or are a seasoned fitness veteran, group training could be just what you need. Here are 4 benefits of group training you may not have thought about:
Everyone in the group training class is often there for the same or similar reason as you. To get fit. To reach their goals. Training with like-minded individuals, whether it be with people you know or people you don’t (yet) know, often provides additional motivation to turn up to class and give it your all!
2. Its fun!
Group classes incorporate a variety of exercises with no two sessions exactly the same. This is great because its fun, provides you with a challenge each session and is never boring!
3. Extra support
Training in a group environment will provide you not only with support and encouragement from your instructor (as you would also get with personal training) but you also get the added benefit of support from your group training buddies. Everyone will be going through the same hard yards and feeling accomplished by the end of the workout!
If you can’t afford personal training sessions, group training sessions are great alternative because they won’t break the bank but you still get an awesome workout out of it!
The Art of Fitness Australia offers group training sessions - private sessions with your and friends or join our Combination Fit group classes! So get in touch with us today to find out how you can get started :)
Weight training (also known as resistance or strength training) is a type of training that involves the use of weights to perform a certain number of repetitions and sets to improve muscle strength, muscle endurance and/or increase muscle growth. Weight training can be achieved through the use of your own body weight, therabands, free weights, machines, and/or cables.
Why is weight training so important for us?
I’m glad you asked. Around the age of 25-30, our bone mineral density (BMD; aka the strength of your bones) starts to decline and will continue to do so the older you get. The less BMD you have, the weaker and more brittle your bones become and the more susceptible you are to sustaining injuries such as pathological fractures and developing osteoporosis. So this is where weight training comes in. Once you start lifting weights, your bones (and muscles) will become stronger. Research has also shown that weight training may increase your BMD and/or reduce the rate at which your BMD declines as opposed to those who do not weight train. This means your bones and muscles will become stronger and should find every day tasks easier to complete (like taking in 10 bags of groceries at once instead of 1, because honestly who has time for 10 trips back and fourth to the car??)
Want to lose fat but not sure where to start? Unsure about what is fact and what is fiction? With a whole bunch of information out there on the world wide web, things can get a little confusing.
Check out TAOFA’s top 10 tips when it comes to fat loss. They are listed in no particular order below, however I definitely would make point 1 a priority in any fat loss program.
1. Calories in vs calories out
The number 1 and most basic rule. It really is as simple as it sounds. To lose fat, you need to ensure the calories you are fueling your body with (aka calories in) are less than the calories that your body is burning (aka calories out). Which means even if you haven’t yet started training, you can still lose fat. Great, right?!
How do you work out your calories, you may ask? A good site to help calculate your calories is https://www.iifym.com/iifym-calculator/ Just input your information, set your goal and the calculator will produce your estimated calories. Please remember this is a guide only and there is no way of being 100% accurate with calories.
Once you have determined your calories, you can use a food tracking app like My Fitness Pal to input and track your food intake for the day to make sure you are on the right path!
2. Commit to a new you
How bad do you want to lose 10kg, 20kg, 50kg, improve your health and potentially lower your risk of metabolic disease? Are you 110% committed? If so, then congratulations! With any program, whether it be fat loss, muscle gain, marathon training or whatever, you NEED TO BE COMMITTED to see results. Without that commitment, you may be just spinning your wheels. This leads me onto the next point below.
3. Avoid fad diets like the black plague
Yo-yo, fad, diets are out. Creating a sustainable lifestyle change in is. Quick fix diets often leave you craving foods and often create bad habits, only to find yourself piling on the kilo’s again once you go back to a normal style of eating.
So if anyone ever advertises a “quick fix” or claims a magic berry is the key to melting the fat away, then you should be weary. Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes or magic berries. The sooner you understand this, the sooner you can start your journey of a healthy lifestyle. Nothing worth having ever came easy.
4. Stress less
Research has shown that stress can be a contributing factor inhibiting your fat loss due to an chronic overelease of the horomone Cortisol, leading to a whole arry of side-effects such as altering your sleep patterns, feeling "hungrier" and causing inflammation in your body.
5. Set SMART goals.
Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Timely. These characteristics are all a must when goal setting. Setting a goal means you are much more likely to achieve it as it gives you something personal to work towards and a sense of achievement once achieved! So set some SMART fat loss goals and get losing!
6. Stay hydrated
Our body’s are made of ~50-60% water so its no wonder drinking water is so important! We need to consume at least 8 cups of water per day, however if you are training and sweating you will need more! Don’t like the taste of regular water? Try add some lemon or cucumber slices to your water for a bit of extra “flavour”. Also investing in a large drink bottle is a great way to drink more. Take it with you and sip throughout the day. I love my 2.2L Big Bottle (it literally goes everywhere with me!) and often go through 2-3/day. You can purchase some online here at https://www.thebigbottleco.com/
7. Minimise the fizzy stuff
As nice as they may taste, drinking soft drinks will often make you more thirsty and lead you craving more, causing a viscous cycle! Not only that, but they are also FULL of sugar, and really provide no additional nutritional benefits. You will actually be surprised at how much of a difference reducing and/or cutting out fizzy drinks all together will make on your fat loss journey.
8. Move more, sit less
Ahh good old exercise. You really can’t underestimate the importance of movement. As mentioned above, although you can achieve fat loss through nutrition alone, adding regular exercise into your weekly routine will speed up this process and leave you not only looking good but more importantly FEELING good. Do something you love and stick with it. There are so many options, and you can even work out from home (there are heaps of youtube videos to help you) and literally all you need is your body weight to get started! Walking, jogging, running, sprinting, burpees, circuit training, boxing, swimming, Zumba etc etc. The options really are endless. I would recommend starting with a minimum of exercise 2 times per week.
9. Lift heavy to build muscle mass
This one is more directed towards you ladies, who may be afraid of “lifting heavy” and turning into a “she hulk” overnight. Believe me it doesn’t happen as I am still trying. Pick up that barbell. Put on those weights. Squat, deadlift and bench press till your heart is content. Lifting weights will increase your muscle mass, which in turns raises your metabolism (and who doesn’t want a faster metabolism?!). In addition, focus on the big compound movements to get the most bang for your buck.
10. Incorporate HIIT into your workout.
Hate long endless bouts of cardio? I hear ya. Instead, research has shown that high intensity interval type training not only burns more fat (vs. steady state cardio for the same amount of time) but also elevates your metabolism upon completion of training. Play around with different tempos and exercises and see what works best. Eg. Airdyne bike for 20s work: 10s recovery for a total of 8 rounds (4 minutes) straight. In saying that, if long steady state cardio is something you enjoy, then go for gold!
Of course, there are many more tips however I believe the above are a good starting point in your fat loss journey and something to consider if you find yourself not seeing results.
Here at The Art of Fitness Australia we can help you on your fat loss journey so feel free to contact us to find out how we can help :)
Happy Easter and happy training everyone!
Website update April 2018