My Fat-Loss Pyramid Plan

Nutrition & Good Eats, Workin' Out

Fat-loss is a highly searched topic, where you will find endless opinions and a variety of “foolproof” methods that your head might literally spin with confusion on where to start.

I can’t make any promises, because there are bright sides to every method, depending on each person, their health, and their bodies. However, I can share what I have seen work, and what I believe in.

Losing fat isn’t rocket science, you just have to be persistent, and honest about your goals and the amount of effort you are willing to put forth in meeting them. That’s without a doubt the most important factor, and quite frankly, a big part of why I decided to give up on personal training. The majority of people want results, but aren’t willing to do the work, put in the time, and trust the process.

I think, for me personally, besides the lack of patience people have in their weight-loss goals, my biggest pet peeve is when people assume going for a run is the best route to achieving their abs, or lean thighs, and better butt.

Wrong.

Though, it is true that running can assist in weight-loss, the type of running matters big time. In addition to the lack of promise steady-state running shows for fat-loss, it happens to have a negative effect on muscle mass.

If you’ve done your research you will know by now that muscle helps burn fat!

Also, you NEVER need to assume you have to supplement or take an additional pill or shake in order to achieve your goals. In my opinion, the majority of supplement companies are frauds, or are full of products I could never trust. It is a waste of money to invest hundreds, if not thousands for products that are in many cases, not needed.

So what is one to do?

Here’s my take.

 

FAT LOSS PYRAMID

Most importantly, and at the base of any healthy and fit body is nutrition. Creating a clean diet, full of foods that nurture, heal, and replenish your body after and during exercise. Our family chooses to eat organic, mostly gluten-free (I am 100% gluten-free and have been for over five years), non-gmo, real foods. Sugar isn’t an issue for myself, however my husband has a sweet tooth, so we still have it in the house. Coconut sugar and raw stevia are substitutions we also have available. We do enjoy eating out once in a while, but opt for places who offer grass-fed meats, local vegetables and even then, we tend to order on the safe side…no fatty, or deep-friend platters.

Second, we come to sleep. Rest and sleep are CRUCIAL for not only recovery from exercise, but in general, your health depends on making sure you get enough sleep. Women should be getting 7-9 hours a night, no less. Some men can handle 6-8 and not have any negative side-effects. Some people might say they are “fine” with their routine of very little sleep, and swear it has no impact on their weight gain, health problems, or other areas of their life. Don’t let them fool you.

I used to be a runner. Long-distance. I would rack up 50+ miles a week most weeks. I was also very tiny. I was thin, had no definition, had no butt, had no abs. I was just small. Once I started a more serious weight lifting routine I realized I could have curves, and feel sexy, more womanly. Not only that, I felt strong! Now, weights are my go-to. During pregnancy, weights were my go to. They never let me down. I have seen time and time again the benefit from weight-lifting and strength training, not only personally, but with clients as well as others, and I can honestly say, I’ll never go back to the long-distance running gig.

The best form of “cardio” when it comes to burning fat, without jeopardizing your muscle gains, is interval training. You can use just about any set-up, which benefits both beginners as well as athletes. If you’re just starting out, you can adjust the intervals so that your “rest” period is much longer than your “intense” period. And vice versa for those who may be more advanced. Tabatas are a good example of interval training that you are certainly able to get creative with. Hill sprints, or any other high intensity burst of action can bring you benefits as well.

And at the top of that pyramid, is that darn steady-state cardio. You know, that go out and run comfortably at the same pace for an hour cardio. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll say it again, I have nothing against running. I believe it has it’s place. Just as I believe running is therapeutic, and it can be fun for a challenge now and then. But unless you use it properly, you may be doing your body, and fat-loss goals more harm than good.

And there ya have it.

I’ve just had my third baby, and this is a plan I am sticking to for getting back into shape. It’s a plan I trust, and it’s a plan I feel comfortable with. That’s why I’m sharing it with you. 

 

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Gluteal Importance

Workin' Out

Booty. Hiney. Tush. Fanny. Bum. Rear-end. 

Whatever you call them, they still remain one of the strongest muscle groups in the body, if not the strongest.

The glutes. 

My fascination with the glutes came around years ago, but as I entered the world of body building, my love for them only grew the more I learned. For me personally, watching my glute muscles grow and seeing the changes in performance was enough motivation for me to want more! I realize many people might just see butts as the new boobs…or as another fitness trend… but they are much more important than just being aesthetically pleasing.

So what muscles make up your butt?

glutes1

Training the glutes should be priority for most everyone, especially athletes.

Strong glutes =
1. Better exercise performance
2. Nice, sculpted backside
3. Pelvis to knee and overall hip injury prevention
4. Give you the ability to perform every day movements

Between the gluteus minimus, medium, and maximus, activation varies, and each portion of the muscle group has it’s own functions. Working together, they support the pelvis, abduct the thigh, rotate the thigh when running, stabilize while standing on one leg, and extend the hip. To put that into terms most everyone will understand: Glutes do it all. When you go from sitting to standing, the glutes activate. When you sprint, the glutes are activated. When you walk up stairs, you are using your glutes. Now you see the importance of strengthening this muscle group?

If you don’t have a gym membership, or any equipment at home, there are no excuses! There are plenty of exercises you can do at home to help grow your booty and strengthen those glutes.

For cardio, try hiking steep hills, running stairs, or jumping lunges. As for resistance training goes, try donkey kicks (and the many variations), curtsy lunges, wide sumo squats, and bridges.

glutes10
Single-leg Bridgesglutes9
Fire-hydrantsglutes8
Donkey-kicksglutes7
Straight-leg donkey-kicksglutes6
Swimmersglutes5
Curtsy lungesglutes2
Clamshellsglutes3
Standing Kick-backsglutes4Wide sumo squats
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In my experience, I do not see much growth in my glutes unless I am consistent. When I have a hectic schedule, and know I’ll only be getting in a couple workouts, I make sure I add a little touch of glutes to each workout. Since I have been adding running slowly back to my fitness regimen, I have noticed my pace has been much faster than I was in the past, and I’d like to chalk some of that up to having strong glutes, making the hills easier as well. For me personally, I also enjoy training my glutes with heavier weights, but do not have that option at this time…so I use what I have and do what I can right now.

That’s all anyone can do.

***Note: in order to grow muscle you must fuel muscle properly. Do not forget to feed your body after a workout!***