Find your ideal weight without relying on a scale. It's good to know how much you weigh when you commit to getting into better shape, and again how much you weigh after you finish, but everything else is irrelevant.
A couple days ago, I taped the final segment for Steve Harvey's Bridal Bootcamp. When I started working with the six women selected to be a part of the Bootcamp, I had no idea who they were or what their goals were. All I knew is they needed to lose weight, both for their health and to feel great the day they walked down the aisle. For this project, I teamed up with Hungry Girl, Lisa Lillien. My job was to train them once weekly, that's it. I can't dish on the results of the program until the show airs, but I can tell you that I finished the project with a heavy heart. Not because the women didn't do a great job, but because we all grew close in the two months we were together.
While losing weight was important to each of the women, it was tough to get them to wrap their heads around a few things, including:
- Less exercise can be more beneficial for weight loss: The women who worked with me trained intensely, but not for hours and hours a day. To me, that's crazy, especially if the goal is weight loss. In fact, I'd say that overexercising is not only incredibly unhealthy, but it's part of the formula that creates rebound weight gain. No one can sustain hours of exercise a day for very long periods of time. Eventually workout burnout, injury and diminishing returns occur.Diminishing returns? Yes, working out at a slow and steady pace for long periods of time actually increases body fat.BOTTOM LINE: Make your workouts worth the time you spend working up a sweat. Don't sweat just for the sake of sweating. Make exercise purposeful. The girls in bootcamp focused on high intensity intervals combined with strength training. It worked…for all of them. It can work for you, too.
- Not all calories are created equal, nor are they treated as equal in our bodies: Just eat less and you'll lose weight, right? Nope, not necessarily. Overeating can and will cause weight gain, even if food is healthy. But to focus on calories alone is a huge mistake. A 200-calorie bowl of veggies and hummus go a lot further than a 200-calorie packet of low fat cookies.BOTTOM LINE: Eat clean, not packaged foods. Eat regularly. Don't eat to capacity. After you have a good sense of how much food you should be eating, try not to over think calories. Counting calories day in and day out is not only mind-crushing, but it shifts the focus on food away from quality to quantity.
- Weight loss on one person may not look like the same kind of weight loss on another person: Everyone will benefit from a good amount of high quality exercise paired with a high quality diet. However, a ten pound weight loss on you might look different from a ten pound weight loss on someone else. In fact, don't be surprised if the scale doesn't move as much as you'd like. It doesn't mean that you're not making progress. Just keep doing what you're doing and eventually you'll see results that make you happy.BOTTOM LINE: Scales are a good barometer for progress, but there are other ways to track how you're doing. In my bootcamp with the girls, we used a scale and a tape measure. It's a good thing we did! One of the greatest success stories was my boot camper, Cindy. She didn't lose as much weight as the rest of the girls, but her body changed dramatically.
Seeing progress when it comes to weight loss can be like watching grass grow. If you're trying to lose weight, be patient. Eating right and moving more will pay off. Some people see progress quickly and in others, it takes little longer. If you're looking for more advice, sign up for my newsletter.
Traci is a nationally-recognized health and fitness coach, and the current coach working with Steve Harvey's Bridal Bootcamp. Traci has also been featured on Dr. Oz, The TODAY Show, in SHAPE, SELF and local news programs. Her specialty is weight loss through clean eating and interval-style training. Traci is available for private coaching and corporate consulting. To contact Traci, please email email@example.com.
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