You know that awful feeling you feel about your body because you’re embarrassed about the way your stomach looks when you take off your clothes?
And how you blame your ‘pooch’ for your drop in self-esteem because no matter what you do it’s stubborn and not going away?
Do you ever get that feeling of regret in the pit of your stomach when you lie about why you can’t go to that event that deep down you really want to but lack the body confidence to do so?
If you answered Yes to any of the questions then you know you're missing out on amazing life experiences like,
Being in a loving relationship. Instead of going on more dates you feel like you’re getting passed over on dating apps because you put on extra pounds and it shows in the pictures.
Being able to wear that sexy, attractive outfit but you don’t because you’re worried about how you’re going to look constantly tugging on the tight fabric.
Or being able to wear that bikini on the beach and by the poolside with your friends but can’t because you’re embarrassed to have a pooch.
Now you may or may not want to wear a bikini but you gotta admit that stepping into that two-piece is the ultimate body confidence outfit. It’s the two-piece that drives women to change their diet and hit the gym so that they can be proud of their bodies when they're on the beach.
So if you want a flatter stomach yourself then you're going to want to avoid the following common traps that women tend to do when they want a beach ready body.
Diets, Diets, Diets – Why They Always Fail
Starting a diet is so commonplace that according to the Boston Medical Center about 45 million Americans go on a diet every year and spend $33 billion dollars on weight loss products.
Don’t get me wrong, diets work and they work well so you see results because otherwise it wouldn’t be a billion dollar industry.
But the goal is to get people to maintain their weight loss in the long run which is where diets fail miserably. Diets have a high relapse rate and people jump from diet to diet simply because they are too restrictive.
This brings me to the first trap women make,
FAT LOSS MISTAKE - EATING A TOO LOW CALORIE DIET
This mistake is what gets people off diets because they're freakin' hungry all the time! A low calorie diet will make you feel like a failure because you cannot stick with the diet long enough to see results.
When you randomly choose to only eat a certain amount of calories (like eating 1200 calories because that’s the popular number) without taking into your body’s metabolism into account your body fights back to ramp up your hunger cues.
You'll find yourself salivating for foods you don't normally eat and also feel more tired and have a lot less energy every day. Here are other reasons why a low calorie diet will sabotage your eating plans.
If you want to lose fat and be able to maintain the results start this is NOT the way to do it.
You want a sustainable eating plan that will make you feel satisfied and nourished after every meal. If what you're doing now for an eating plan is not what you'd be doing six months from now then that's a sign that it's not sustainable.
Get off it and find another way. You should not be on an eating plan where you feel like it's a huge sacrifice in a diminished life quality in order to lose fat.
How You Choose To Spend Your Gym Time Matters
After spending years in the fitness industry most women who exercise fall into two camps,
Camp #1 – The social, group class ladies.
You've got the ClassPass ladies, Barry Bootcamp fanatics, Orange Theory lovers etc.
Camp #2 – The women who love lifting iron.
Here we have the powerlifting competition chicks, the everyday weightlifter, and the Instafamous women on IG.
If you're observant you will find that women in these two camps have very different body types which tells if you want a certain body type then that’s the exercise you should do.
It's like the marathon runner versus the sprinter,
(credit - http://www.gainsthetics.com)
Look at the differences in the tightness and muscle development of their bodies. Most women are afraid of getting bulky and hit the cardio machines instead which is a mistake when you're trying to lose fat.
FAT LOSS MISTAKE - SPENDING HOURS ON THE CARDIO MACHINES
I get it. In order to lose fat you must be burning more calories or eating less to lose fat and maybe you’re afraid of getting hurt with weights (which then a personal trainer comes in handy! ;))
But come to the dark side….
Cardio in excess lowers your metabolism because you're wasting away your muscles on the machine. Not only that but who wants to spend hours at the gym when you're already busy enough as it is?!
Knowing this will save you so much time.
Okay so what happens if you really love cardio but you don't want to lose muscle mass while doing it? I got you covered. Let's make that switch to HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio instead.
There are several benefits to doing HIIT cardio but it's mainly time because it provides the same types of benefits as a long cardio workout but in a shorter period of time like in 10-15 minutes.
Check out these short, intense bursts of HIIT workouts if you're a beginner, no equipment needed just your bodyweight. The key here is to push yourself at a level of about a 7 or 8 on a rate of perceived exertion chart.
Lifting Matters For Fat Loss, Here’s Why…
When I first started weightlifting I felt like a fraud.
I struggled with getting up the nerve to hit the weights and felt like an imposter waiting in line and taking up the machines.
You know that feeling of like everyone is looking at you and giving you the side-eye? That’s how I felt. My worst fear was someone approaching me at the gym for having bad form or doing something wrong and being judged for it.
(if you’re brand new to the gym here are 3 mistakes to avoid)
Fast forward years later lifting weights helped me to shed almost 10% bodyfat that cardio and healthy eating just couldn't touch.
This brings me to the next fat loss mistake,
FAT LOSS MISTAKE - NOT GETTING ON A STRENGTH TRAINING PLAN
When you're reducing the amount of calories you're eating to lose fat your body goes into super efficiency mode.
It'll find a way to make up for the lost energy that you're not feeding it whether it is to get you to sit more, crank up the sensitivity of your nose for food, and also burn up lean muscle mass, any method to get extra calories that you’re not feeding it so that it doesn't have to tap into its fat stores.
Your body will not preserve lean muscle mass unless you use it. Especially on a low calorie diet your body will keep the bare minimum muscle mass that it needs to function.
What if you're not on a strength training plan while eating fewer calories then guess what?
You'll lose weight but end up with more bodyfat. Now who wants that?!
Get on a well-designed strength training plan and it will help give you more tone and definition as you're leaning out.
Skip strength training and you'll end up to be an exact lighter version of yourself with more bodyfat.
Don't know where to start with a lifting routine?
Get my simple 2-day beginners by joining my free Rapid Results email course.
Want to learn how to build your own? GirlsGoneStrong has a great workout plans for women and if you want to have fun with your training but still get results check out my article which movements to include.
How To Feel Full When You’re Eating Fewer Calories
One of the concepts I absolutely hate about dieting is that you have to eat less and cut back.
There is only ONE THING you must be eating less of to lose fat and that is calories not food.
First, of course you must be eating fewer calories than your body needs in order to start losing bodyfat. This principle MUST be followed no matter what diet you're on or what you're eating.
This is called eating in a caloric deficit.
Find out exactly how many calories you need to eat to lose weight by using a calorie calculator like the one here.
But what you eat is up to you as long as you're in a caloric deficit.
Sure you can go for that milkshake, your favorite nut butter, or donuts. You'll find yourself starving by eating that because those foods contain a lot of calories so it won't go very far.
So how do you get to eat MORE food and still be able to lose fat?
By eating food that is less processed and actually that looks like food.
Everything you eat has calories and different amount of calories but not all calories are the same.
(courtesy of Pinterest)
Eating a skittles worth of calories in chicken breasts will fill you up faster and make you stay fuller longer than a bag of rainbows.
And how many bananas do you have to eat to get the same amount of calories as a bag of rainbows?!
5X more bananas.
This is how you can EAT MORE food and still lose fat.
Which bring me to another fat loss trap that we forget to eat enough of,
FAT LOSS MISTAKE - NOT EATING ENOUGH PROTEIN
The fat loss diet is not about switching your diet to eating salads, fruits, and smoothies, you must be eating a sufficient amount of protein as well.
Protein helps keep you full, slows down your digestion, and preserves muscle mass. Not eating enough means hunger which leads to snacking and extra calories will cause you to stall and stop losing fat.
There are many sources of protein but animal sources are considered the best quality because they are considered a complete protein. Join my Rapid Results email course to get my preferred list of lean protein.
If you're vegetarian, check out Top 5 Vegetables Highest in Protein for non-animal options.
Fat Loss, Weight Loss – Do You Know The Difference?
I find it ironic that we're such a diet focused nation and yet obesity is rampant.
In 2016 almost 40% of Americans are considered obese according to the Center For Disease Control. And so this brings me to my next mistake that people make when trying to lose fat,
FAT LOSS MISTAKE- THINKING THAT WEIGHT LOSS IS THE SAME AS FAT LOSS
Weight is the number you see on the scale. Fat is a percentage relative to your total weight.
Very different concepts!
Unless you have a scale that will take bodyfat measurements (check Body Fat Scales on Amazon) you will have no idea what your bodyfat percent is. But even then a bodyfat scale is not 100% accurate like getting a DEXA Scan.
Here’s the deal, you can weigh a lot, have a low bodyfat percent and be perfectly healthy.
And the opposite can happen too --- You can be skinny, have a high bodyfat percent, and be at risk for diseases that are associated with obesity even if you wear a XS in tops and a zero in bottoms!
Take it from my former skinny fat self who was 5’ 4”, 116 lbs but considered obese with a 30% bodyfat back in college!
There is definitely a whole lot more to being healthy than a number on a scale but in the end obesity and its related risks comes down to bodyfat percent, not BMI and not how much you weigh.
If you want to learn more about losing bodyfat, hate the same old diet advice, and want to get leaner and stronger then join my email course Rapid Results.