Most of us think that if we weigh less, we will be fitter. But fitness is not a number on the scales – in fact, you may be strong and have a high cardio endurance, yet weigh more because you have built lean muscle mass. To become a the fittest and most confident version of you, it's time to stop trying to weigh less and get to work on burning fat.
So how do we lose fat the best way? My formula is simple...
1. Fuel your body with the right diet
There are too many girls out there that think they need to eat less to lose fat. Although having a calorie deficit can work, too often these deprivation diets do not work well. You see, you restrict calories enough to start losing fat at the start, and yes you are seeing results – but it doesn't last in the long run. Depriving your body of the right amount of fuel leaves it running on half empty, meaning you will never perform at your optimal level. Restricting calories can do damage to your metabolism, and can leave you feeling lethargic and not functioning properly. This is usually the time you will crave bad food and if you give in will turn into a binge session.
Instead of crash-diets that don't last, train your body to strive on lots of good nutritious food that will provide enough fuel to get you through your workouts at your optimal effort and that will help your body recover and build lean muscle. As you add muscle, your body will burn more fat.
2. Ditch the long cardio sessions
I used to think that I needed to do most of my training on the treadmill. I'd spend ages running trying to get lean. Then I realised I wasn't getting anywhere. I spent so long doing cardio and neglected training with weights. I actually thought that if I lifted weights I'd get too bulky. I had it all wrong. I found the key to burning fat and building lean muscle is to use strength training and HIIT circuits. HIIT (high-intensity interval training) delivers shorter but more effective workouts, with little to no rest in-between exercises. You'll be doing your core, cardio and resistance training all at once, putting your body in fat-burning mode and increasing flexibility, endurance and building strength.
Rest is actually more important than you think. If you don't rest enough, your body ends up storing fat as it thinks it will need it for backup energy later. Your body needs time to heal and regenerate cells, repairing tissue and building lean muscle mass. Give yourself a rest day at least once or twice a week, and get plenty of sleep each night.
Emily Skye is a strength training expert and the face of FIT, the digital fitness app that helps women worldwide build strength and confidence, stay active through pregnancy and rebuild post-pregnancy. Emily holds a Certificate IV in Fitness and Master Trainer qualification from the Australian Institute of Fitness. She is also co-founder of James Cosmetics and a mother of two.
Get results you can see and confidence you can feel with internationally renowned trainer Emily Skye.