When I turned 40, and my kids were 5 and 7 years old, I finally decided that I would get healthy and fit…and lose the “baby weight” (can you still call it baby weight when your baby is 5?!). Like everyone else, I had tried and failed to lose weight, eat right and start a workout routine MANY times. Maybe every Monday?! So I thought I would share what I did this time, and what I did DIFFERENTLY.
In the past, I’d tried every “fad” diet and workout product/video/routine. No carbs, no fat, no sugar, no eating after 6pm, measuring out my food in little containers, doing tons of cardio…I’d start great and very motivated, but I’d always fall off the wagon, start eating a ton of junk and stop working out. Every.single.time.
I finally realized that none of that works for me. I can’t go extreme. I love carbs. I love sugar. I hate cardio. I had to start slowly, be realistic and have BALANCE. Everything in moderation.
(1) Number one is BALANCE.
So instead of going hard all in, cutting things out, and trying to workout for hours a day, I cut NOTHING out. I committed to working out (at home) 5 days a week for as much as I had time for, ideally 30 minutes, but sometimes 15 or 20. I did free FitnessBlender workouts at home. Usually I did a 25-30 minute video, but sometimes I’d do an hour, or if I felt super busy that day, I’d do 15. But I always made myself do something.
And here is my secret. The thing I think made a huge difference and completely changed my body composition. WEIGHT LIFTING. I did have some basic knowledge because I had worked with a personal trainer in college, but to start, I just did weights-based workout videos at home. (I also started researching a ton about weightlifting which I used when I started working out at the gym). I fell in love with weight lifting. You don’t have to fall in love with it, but I do think it’s very important (even necessary) to incorporate it into your workout routine!
(2) So number two is WEIGHT LIFTING.
Why do you need to weight lift though? There are so many benefits. Besides the obvious building muscle and getting that awesome looking definition, it helps burn fat and maintain weight loss, you gain bone density, it boosts metabolism and supposedly lowers inflammation! You will literally burn more calories throughout the day from lifting than you will from steady state cardio.
Now what about food? You have to be in a caloric deficit to lost weight. I repeat, you must burn more than you eat. It’s calories in vs. calories out. There is no way around this, and if someone tells you otherwise, you should run.
So what did I do? I installed the MyFitnessPal app and started counting calories. I feel like people never want to do this and say it’s too much work- you guys, it’s so easy. Say you’re making tuna- you scan the tuna can, you scan the mayo container, you scan the olive can and it’s automatically there. Then it will be saved into your “recent” or “frequent” foods. Seriously, there just isn’t an excuse not to do it if you’re serious about losing weight.
I ONLY tracked calories at the beginning, not macros (macros are fat, protein and carbs). I eventually started tracking protein for muscle gain purposes, but unless you want to track macros, and it won’t stress you out, tracking calories only will work great!
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