weight loss

Why Eating Less Can Cause You to Store More Fat

A common problem I see with female clients is that the minute they want to lose weight, they cut calories drastically. And by drastic, I mean anything under 1200 calories is way too low, if you are over 5 feet tall. What makes me crazy is that there are articles out there saying “1200 calories” is the perfect amount for many people – that make no sense! Everyone has different metabolisms.

But, at the same time, I get it. I went through this myself — if you want to lose weight, you create a caloric deficit. You can do this by eating less or working out more. Some people choose to do both at once (which I don't recommend but that's a whole other topic).

However, when you eat less than ideal for your body weight, the problem most people run into is that after a certain amount of time, it slows down your metabolism. Your body is smart- it is always trying to be efficient and saving energy. If you eat a lot, your body is like, “Hey! Food is plentiful so we can keep using the energy stores!” But if you eat less, your body thinks, “Oh crap, survival mode so let's slow down the metabolism to store the energy as fat for later!”

How do you know when you are eating too little? Some potential signs:

  1. You don't feel hungry a lot. When your metabolism is slow you don't feel as hungry as frequently or at all. (Keep in mind you can also eat too MUCH and never feel hungry so this is varied from person to person).

  2. You workout frequently and feel tired. If you are active (do some physical activity everyday) but you feel tired a lot, then your body is telling you you may not be eating enough.

  3. You track your foods and are under 1200 calories a day.

How to Change Your Metabolism to Lose Fat

  1. Lift heavy weights with compound movements with appropriate rest intervals.

  2. Lift consistently – at least 2-3 times a week.

  3. Eat enough calories to support your heavy lifting. On days you lift, you should definitely be upping your calories with healthy carbs and protein.

  4. Get your calories up to a decent amount before cutting. Decent amount should be at least over 2500 calories for a woman. (Yes ladies, I am blowing your mind that you can eat this much and not gain weight). This strategy is called reverse dieting.

  5. Get a trainer to help customize the best food and training program for your goals.

Contact Helen to help you with changing your metabolism to a roaring one, to a point where you can burn calories while sitting on your butt at work! Email HelenLinFitness@gmail.com for your free phone consultation today.

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WHY WOMEN SHOULD STRENGTH TRAIN - Benefits of Lifting Heavy Part 2

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WHY WOMEN SHOULD STRENGTH TRAIN - Benefits of Lifting Heavy Part 2

Last blog discussed the mental hurdles women have to get through to show up in the weight room.  This issue I will discuss the benefits of strength training for everyone, no matter what stage of fitness you are at. 

Are you someone in any of these categories? 

1) Trying to Lose Weight / Change Body Composition - I'm sorry to break it to you but cardio sucks at changing body composition.  Any new stimulus will change your body in the beginning but cardio sends an adaption signal to your body and not muscle building, which means overtime, your body will adapt to any cardio you throw at it.  Women always tell me they want to "tone" their body; that toning is muscle and to build muscle you need to strength train.  

2) Improve Athletic Performance -  Most athletes know that strength training increases power, agility and even endurance. Yes, even endurance athletes need strength training to improve their performance. 

3) Prevent Injury - Everyone has muscular imbalances.  Whether you sit at a desk all day or are a fitness addict, strength training will correct those imbalances from bad posture to overuse from your athletic pursuits.  
  
4) Combating or Recovering from Illness - Exercise helps speed recovery from illnesses and diseases and strength training is necessary to get your body back in proper range of motion and mobility.  Cancer, Parkinson's, Ehlers-Dahlos...all need some sort of strength training program. 

5) Improve Quality of Life / Combat Aging - We ain't getting younger but we can feel like we are! Improve your mood, libido, sleep and overall daily function.  From personal experience, everyday I strength train, I feel stronger and younger.  If you have kids, you want to be able to pick them up without pulling your back, or even move furniture around with having to pop an ibuprofen after.  

Strength Training doesn't have to some long, tedious, scary-looking workout in a weight room at a gym with huge dudes.  To start, you can do it in the comfort of your own home with bodyweight exercises or something like a TRX.   As a trainer, I will always recommend doing the major compound movements with a barbell but if you really can't get to the gym, I recommend getting a TRX and doing some basic movements I will outline in my newsletters or on my Facebook page.  Once the TRX becomes too easy for you for resistance levels, then you can consider getting some weights or maybe get to your nearest gym!