“I don’t want to get bigger, so I’ll focus mostly on cardio to burn fat”
Women often have the misconception that low-calorie diets combined with high amounts of aerobic exercise is how to get smaller and leaner. For women and fat loss, this is a myth. This approach might work in the short term, but regaining the weight is likely and over time will create metabolic damage which can be very difficult to reverse. As women age, the overies reduce production of estrogen and progesterone, which pushes the body more toward estrogen dominance. At the same time, muscle building hormones like HGH and DHEA decline, exacerbating fat gain. When someone has low muscle mass, their body does not look “tight”, skin has a more saggy and wrinkled appearance, and fat gaining is easier relative to someone with a higher muscle mass. Low calorie diets and aerobic exercise make this issue worse by restoring these powerful hormones! In addition, low calorie diets combined with high amounts of cardio will actually burn away more muscle than it will fat. This is the exact opposite direction women with a fat loss goal want to go.
The solution for women and fat loss:
To fix this problem, women should focus on high amounts of organic vegetables and “estrogen free” protein (soy free and organic). Other estrogen factors in diet are coffee, pesticides, and conventional non-organic meats. Women should definitely focus their workouts on weight lifting for 45-60 min, instead of cardio. Work large muscle groups like core, legs, glutes, and back. And please, do not lift light weights in fear of “bulking up”…it’s practically a waste of time. Lift heavier but with proper form. Also highly recommended:
- Reduce or eliminate dairy, grains, and starches.
- Increase water to a minimum of 100 ounces per day.
- Increase vitamin D. Either 20 minutes in the sun (with exposed skin and no sunscreen) every day, or 4,000 IU supplement.
- Take 1-2 tablespoons of fish oil per day. I use Nordic Naturals brand, it’s of the highest quality.
- DO NOT engage in fad diets and/or low calorie diets.
- DO NOT skip meals.
- Ditch all that cardio.
- Ditch all processed foods and sodas — especially diet soda.
- Eat out at restaurants rarely. When you eat out you are no longer in control of your food. If you think the meals you order “aren’t that bad”, quit lying to yourself. If you want to be successful cook your own food, period.
- Be consistent. This is critical. Keep lifting and eating correctly and results will come!
To restore HGH levels:
- Get 8 hours of sleep every night. Make sleep a high priority!!!
- Eat adequate protein. To determine need, use this formula: 0.8 x body weight in pounds = grams of protein needed
- LOTS of weight training, and lift HEAVY. Weight train 4-5 days a week. If you are unsure of lifting techniques or moves, this is when a trainer is invaluable.
Finally, don’t stress out over losing weight or obsess over the scale and tape measure. Results will probably be slow and you have to be patient, because this is a lifestyle change, not a fad. Your results are much more likely to be permanent without regaining weight than quick fix/fad weight loss plans. And remember, stress hormones are very powerful and they will prevent weight loss, even if everything else is in line. If stress is a big issue for you, try yoga or meditation.