THE STRUGGLE IS REAL: THE WOMAN’S JOURNEY TO WEIGHT LOSS
By Chademana K Donold
Lifestyle magazine is part of the change makers that has the responsibility to tackle the unfinished business of empowering women through KNOWLEDGE, health, wellness and fitness.
‘Knowledge is the new currency’. Anon
One of my clients, Cheryl and Deleen always have something to say when we have one of those health and wellness talks after our workouts, ‘The struggle is REAL coach’, they always say. The struggle is that of weight loss and many women (girls) are constantly tying to find ways to keep their tummies flat especially after those baby-booms depending on how many children ‘pop out’ in their lifetime. When they get pregnant, we say congrats, and they start by massive weight gain, which sometimes manifests to Gestational Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, not forgetting all kinds of shapes their bodies take. Getting back to their normal teenage bodies becomes their own STRUGGLE as we celebrate our bundles of joy.
This article looks at evidence based lifestyle changes for women and girls with the aim of empowering them in their journey (struggle) towards healthy weight loss, Lean Body Mass (less fat mass, more muscle mass). Why muscle, you ask? Muscles boost metabolism, the process by which the body converts what we eat and drink into energy. A slow metabolism means weight gain as well as depression. Kickstart your metabolism by;
1. Drinking water
2. Eating protein
3. Safe heavy Lifting during chores when you have to or weights.
4. Sleeping well, 6 – 8 hours is good for you.
5. Avoiding starchy and sugary treats.
6. High Intensity Workouts.
Back to muscle; muscle weighs more ,yes, it however burns more calories (if you are to achieve a calorie deficit = calorie in – calorie out). Lean muscle means a tighter more toned body that will leave you looking breathtaking in that summer outfit you have been meaning to show off all winter!
So where do you start? Diet at the beginning, and limit physical activities to some light house work as you will definitely be low on energy in the early days of your carb restriction. As you get more confident, embark on light activities like walking for 15 minutes around the block, take the stairs instead of the elevator, join your kids for a game of ‘pada’ or start cycling. To meet lifelong weight management goals, exercise is key. So accumulate at least 150 minutes of earobic activity per week for starters. Start strength training to build more muscle as you get more confident with working out on your own. In short, build confidence and create lifelong habits for your wellbeing.
The most effective strength training program is one that uses body weight, why, because its functional and functional body weight exercises are compound exercises (work multiple muscles at the same time). Maintain muscle by doing what you know and are comfortable with for an safe and enjoyable workout. Be sure to check in with a physician before jumping into a weight loss program.
Consistency; if you are a weekend-warrior, this is for you. Be sure to workout frequently, a tough 2 hour weekend bootcamp will not make up for the 5-6 days we spent lounging. Complete at least 30 minutes daily for at least 5 days per week for better results.
Intensity, How hard you work. Limit time to 20 – 30 minutes per session and work hard throughout the routine and keep the heart rate up (safely) till you finish.
Do not be afraid of failure, perform an exercise until you struggle completing the last 2 or so reps. If you want your body to change for the better, try working past your comfort zone.
Do supersets as you work using compound exercises. Supersetting means two exercises that target the same muscle group and going compound means work that targets multiple muscle groups in one movement, like the squat, lunge, pushup etc.
Circuit Training is a great way to incooperate multiple total body exercises. Move quickly (with minimum rest) from exercise to exercise then rest for 60 seconds in between each round. Get some rest mid set if you have to , recover quicky, and jump back in and continue.
‘Failure is the point at which growth and change occur’.
Here is a one week workout which will boost your metabolosm, burn those calories and add some muscle for a well toned functional body;
CIRCUIT TRAINING: ODD DAYS 1, 3 AND 5
20 Jumping Jacks
20 Split Squats (10 each side)
20-second Banana hold
20 Glute Bridge (10 each side)
10-m Bear Crawl
10 Butterfly Crunches
20 Prisoner Forward Lunges (10 each side)
20 Russian Twists (10 each side)
10 Burpees (No pushup)
5 – 10 minutes, Static Stretches.
EVEN DAYS 2, 4 AND 6 (DAY 7 IS REST DAY)
Cardio and Core
Warmup: 10 minute jog
Main workout: 12 Jog-Walk Intervals 30 – 30,
(30 seconds on and recovery walk for 30 seconds)
Core (30 -15) 3-5 Sets
1. CrossBody Mountain Climber
2. Advanced Birddog
3. Core Activation
4. Alt. Handtaps + Half Burpee
5 – 10 minute jog/walk
Be sure to feedback on the workout experience. Follow this link for more workouts.