Following on from our Myth Buster Part One post, PT Carly Yue continues on the topic of diet and exercise for women, this time focusing on spot reducing, calorie consumption and finding the right plan…

myth-buster-part-2-spot-reducing-eating-cleanYOU CAN'T SPOT REDUCE FAT

Put simply, your body cannot reduce fat in specific locations. If for example you have what you'd describe as ‘bingo wings’ or a bigger stomach, doing thousands of bicep curls and thousands of crunches won’t mean you suddenly wake up with impressive biceps or enviable abs, as sad as that reality is.

Your body is genetically predisposed to storing fat in certain locations, in a certain order, so when you start to lose weight, your body will lose the fat you currently have in a certain order as well. For example it might come off your arms first, then your legs, then your stomach, then your chest, and THEN your butt. Or in a different order, depending on your personal genetic makeup. No amount of targeted exercise will change how that fat disappears.

Want to make it disappear faster? Eat better. Your diet will be responsible for 80-90% of that fat loss. Strength train not with targeted exercises, but with big compound movements that recruit lots of muscle and thus force your body to rebuild lots of muscle, which requires extra calories burned, even after the workout is done.

If you never run another mile in your entire life, there’s no reason you cannot be incredibly healthy and look amazing. Despite what you might think and what you might see in a gym, you will never need to step foot on another cardio machine again.

EAT MORE NOT LESS

A calorie is a calorie is a calorie, right? If you want to lose weight, just eating less will get you there, right? And eating even LESS than that will help you get there even faster… right? WRONG. This prevailing attitude is responsible for people all over the country being weak, miserable, irritable and frustrated. Yes, eating less will help you lose weight, however that is not the whole story. Surviving on 1,200 calories (or less) a day is a miserable way to go through life. Always hungry, never happy. Our bodies need real food, and they need enough of it in order to operate at optimum efficiency.

Not all calories are created equally, which is the foundation of clean eating. Our bodies can react differently to the consumption of protein, healthy fats and vegetables in comparison to processed foods, grains, and dairy. Some trigger positive reactions in our body: rebuilding muscle. While others trigger negative reactions: spiking your blood sugar levels, pumping out more insulin, storing more fat.

You need to eat real foods, and you need to eat enough of them. Honestly, unless you are incredibly small, I would never recommend ever putting any woman on a diet of 1,200 calories. In fact, I don’t recommend women ever dip below 1,800 calories per day if they are exercising regularly!  I understand that every woman is different and every woman processes calories differently, but I can’t emphasise enough that quality of food is so important!

As long as these calories consist of the right kinds of food and this diet is combined with a fun workout that gets your muscles exercising and your heart pumping, you will have success. Conversely, if you only consume 1,200 calories per day and you try to exercise, I’m going to guess that your body will hate you. You won’t have any energy, your body will potentially revolt against you and you will not last long in this routine. This is exactly what we’re trying to avoid.

THERE IS NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL

You might be out shopping for that ‘master workout plan’ that works for everyone. You might read ten different books on diet, each presenting a contrasting style that promises amazing results. You might have read our posts on The Paleo Diet and Intermittent Fasting and wondered: “Will this work for me?”. It seems too good to be true but still you ask yourself “Is this the plan that will finally get me results?”. The truth: I don’t know.  Everybody, both men and women, react to foods, training, and different stimuli differently. We are all genetically different, have unique characteristics, different lives, different preferences and different struggles. The only way to know what works for you is to TRY IT OUT, and then TRACK YOUR RESULTS.

Yes, I am a big fan of clean eating and strength training for both men and women. Will these things work for everybody? Nope. However, during my years of experience as Rebel Leader, observing hundreds of people working to live better, I believe that a healthy diet and strength training give the greatest number of people the greatest chance for success with the best results.

It’s for those reasons that I champion these diet and fitness strategies. You are different. Different motivations, genetics and lifestyles, which is why I prefer programmes that suit individual needs and preferences.

[caption id="attachment_641" align="aligncenter" width="150"]Carly Tierney Personal Trainer Guest post by PT & Media Fitness Expert Carly Yue.[/caption]