A Mom’s Quick Guide to Choosing a Fitness/Nutrition Program

It is March now. So, for those of you who have started a new fitness or nutrition program or maybe looking for a new one, you may or may not be seeing results. With so much information and so many different products and services available, it can be difficult to know what is really going to work – causing discouragement for some and providing excuses for others 😉 Choosing a fitness/nutrition program or sticking with one can feel overwhelming. How do you evaluate what’s best for you? What makes a good program. Check out these tips.

For us moms, there is very little energy to be wasted when it comes to that we spend on self-care! Investing in things that do not work? No… Aint nobody got time for that… So, before you continue, or start a new program, let’s evaluate your program with a few basic guidelines. 

Burning Fat is NOT spot specific.

You cannot target specific areas of your body to lose fat. Fat is lost and gained throughout your entire body. Why do I have ¨trouble areas?¨ Answer: Genetics. Genetics determine the percentage of fat that is stored in each area of your body. This is why you may see fat appear or disappear faster or slower in certain areas of the body. Genetics are responsible for our different body shapes. Example – Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a swimming pool. Our fat distribution is like water in a swimming pool. The bottom of a swimming pool typically has different levels. As a pool is emptied, it takes longer to empty the areas that collect more water because of its depth. These areas are where your body stores the most fat. These areas are not incapable of losing the fat [I promise]. They will just take a little extra work!

Cardio results in fat loss, not muscle loss. 

Not training your muscles results in a loss in muscle strength, endurance and/or size. Cardio and weight training should be included in every routine. 

What is ¨water weight?¨  

The termWater weight¨ refers to the water your body retains within your muscles. The more hydrated you are, the more water your body temporarily is holding onto. This weight can be quickly lost and gained and is often sought out as a source to quickly lose some pounds. Some programs sneak mechanisms to make you lose water weight and give you the false impression of true weight loss (from fat or muscle). But the reality is, it is not a life changing amount of weight. And a hydrated body is a happy body. Beware of what I’ll call the infatuation love stage of a new program. It doesn’t last. The water comes back when you eat and hydrate yourself with naturally good food! 

 

Calories are responsible for weight loss and gain.

Not carbohydrates, bread, sugar, or even fat! If you eat more calories than you expend energy, you will gain weight. If you eat fewer calories than you expend energy, you will lose weight. Simple. So if you are looking to lose or gain weight, yes, counting calories (not eliminating parts of a regular diet) is THE answer to ensuring success. But of course, the trick is to also have a wholesome diet because the better nourishment your body receives, the better you will feel (more important the weight) and the better your body will function. Avoid empty calories, calories with little nutritional value. A bad diet could lead to increased hunger for more wholesome calories, leading you to eat more! A bad diet could also lead to diseases and other health complications that make it more difficult for you to maintain a healthy weight. If you need help tracking your diet check out one of these apps

weightsThere are 3 types of goals in weight training: strength, growth, and endurance.

If you want to increase your strength, lift a high weight with minimal repetitions. To increase muscle mass, lift a medium-high weight with medium repetitions. If you want to increase endurance, lift a low weight with maximum repetition. These numbers will vary based on your fitness level and your improvement. To get the exact weight and repetitions absolutely best for you, you may speak to a professional. 

Also, let’s remember that supplements are supplements.

There are no magic pills. There is no one drink or item to eat to make you lose weight. Meal replacements, nutritional supplements, and fat burning supplements do work. There are some really great options for busy moms who have difficulty with time, resources etc. However, not all supplements and companies producing them are equal. Remember to do your research. Real food is always better.

These are just a few tips for evaluating a potential workout/weight loss routine. What tips do you have?

 

Winter is a new stay-at-home Mom and USF Alumni! While Tampa is considered home, her little family lives abroad several months out of the year thanks to her husband’s career. This on-the-go lifestyle has made living mindfully her number #1 priority. While taking advantage of this opportunity to travel as a family, Winter’s goal is to be financially independent. She loves writing and she loves all things active, all things outdoors, and all things health & fitness. Winter holds a BA in Exercise Science from the University of South Florida. Follow her and watch for her new ventures @AbroadIsLife on Instagram and Twitter.