Time and time again I remind my clients not focus solely on the scale. Why? Because that number alone doesn’t always reflect the most accurate picture of fat loss. There are a variety of factors that influence fat loss - stress, time of the month, hormone levels, water retention, medications, constipation, elevated sodium levels and more. Rather than torturing yourself with a daily weigh in, learn to rely on the total picture, noting inches lost, muscle gained, health improvements such as lowered cholesterol and blood pressure, and how you are feeling - do your clothes fitting looser, are you noticing muscle definition, do you have more energy, are you sleeping better?
4 tips to help YOU achieve and maintain fat loss:
Tip #1: Know Your Numbers
When working with a client toward their health & fitness goals I begin by conducting a basic health & fitness assessment. This initial assessment includes basic information such as the individual's current weight, waist and hip measurements (and in some cases measurements of upper arms and thighs), cardio, strength, and flexibility stats and discussing their fitness routine and dietary habits. This offers a well rounded picture of their current health and fitness, enabling us see just where the most meaningful changes can be made. After several weeks of working together we can reassess, which allows us to see real measurable progress. By utilizing a variety of measurement tools the individual is able to track not only general weight loss, but fat lost and lean muscle gained as well as other health and fitness improvements.
Tip #2: Balanced Nutrition
A well-balanced diet has the ability to empower our daily activities while supporting a healthy waistline. What we put in our body has the ability to support our daily energy needs, promote healthy brain function, replenish essential vitamins and minerals, and reduce our risk of disease. Believe it or not even small dietary changes can make a big positive impact! Start by loading your plate with less processed foods and more nutrient dense ones. A plate comprised of healthy fats such as avocados, fish and nuts, lean proteins such as turkey, chicken and beans, a variety of colorful fruits & vegetables, and whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, and quinoa will supply the body with what it needs to function healthfully - all while supporting those healthy waistline goals
Tip #3: Engage in Regular Exercise
My clients often ask,“how much exercise should I be getting?” The American Heart Association recommends that adults engage in 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise at least 5 days a week and 25 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise. A fitness program should include a mix of both moderate and vigorous intensity physical activity in order to reap optimal benefits. Cardiorespiratory, strength building, balance, coordination and flexibility activities are all an important part of a fitness program and key to supporting heart health and a healthy waistline. at least 3 days a week
Physical Activity Guidelines:
3-5 days a week of cardiorespiratory activity (in a range of intensities) such as walking, biking, hiking, running, swimming, dancing
2 - 3 days a week of strength training activities such as resistance training, weight training, body weight exercises,
5 days a week of flexibility, balance and coordination activities such as yoga, pilates, static and dynamic stretching activities
Tip #4: Fat Loss vs. Weight Loss
Remember, fat loss and weight loss are not the same thing. As folks implement fitness and healthy eating into their routine they often find weight will fluctuate in ways that can be confusing, such as seeing the number on the scale hold steady or even slightly increasing, yet they may have simultaneously dropped a jean size. What’s happening? The body is adapting to the healthy changes that have been introduced, such as relying on nutrient dense foods and engaging in regular physical activity, which not only supports the body's ability to perform effectively and efficiently, but also it's ability to improve body composition in a healthy way! With a consistent health and fitness routine in place, results will continue to follow.
Bottom line - there are many components of a well balanced health & fitness program. The key to a creating and sustaining a successful one is to rely on a variety of measures that will enable you to monitor progression, support your ability to stay on track, and offer the inspiration and motivation that will keep you coming back for more! A well balanced approach to your goals should emphasize both nutrition and regular physical activity in order to gain the most mind, body and spirit benefit - setting you up for long term success!