On to part 3 of our Losing Weight the Healthy Way series. If you missed the early posts you can find part 1 HERE and part 2 HERE.
Ok, now that we’ve covered how to eat, it’s time to learn how to exercise. When you go to the gym you might be thinking, I have to be covered in sweat by the time I leave, or I didn’t get a good enough workout. This is only partially true. If all you do is walk around the entire time, then sure, you’re not going to sweat and you’re not getting a sufficient workout. But those people who sit in the sauna for an hour are really sweaty, did they get a good workout? Nope.
It has been ingrained in our minds that weight loss is all about the calories burned. This is true, but maybe not in the way you think. If you go to a zumba class and work really hard, you have just burned about 500-700 calories. That’s amazing! But what happens when you go back home? Does your body continue to burn a substantial amount of calories the rest of the day? No. Cardio workouts are good for you, no doubt. They exercise your heart and lungs and that is so important. And you do need to burn fat, along with building the muscle. Usually it’s those who only focus on cardio, that struggle with the long-term solution. So here’s where weight training comes in.
When you go lift weights at the gym, you don’t sweat a ton, because your body isn’t moving as much. During the weight-training workout, you won’t burn a ton of calories and you might feel like you didn’t do enough. BUT, the new muscle you are building, if properly fed, will be able to continue to consume calories at a resting heart rate. Meaning, the more muscle your body has, the more food you can eat. The more muscle your body has, the better your metabolism will work. Muscles EAT fat!
I’ve noticed that women get especially worried about lifting weights. They think they will become manly and bulky. I promise you this will only happen if you start taking a bunch of crazy pills/drugs. When you lift weights you will become fit. No more jiggles all over, no more sucking it in all the time. I heard a great quote, ‘skinny girls look good in clothes but fit girls look good naked’. I have noticed a lot of thin women running for hours and hours on the treadmill, they never touch the weights. I have also noticed that they have little definition to their muscles, and they jiggle more than me even though I know they weigh a lot less then I do.
I lift weights 5 days a week and cardio 3 days a week, (two of those days overlap, because I’m only at the gym Monday-Saturday and there aren’t 8 days in a week). I don’t always count my calories, because I get busy and forget. But I try to eat between 1600-2100 calories every day. I’ve found that if I vary my caloric intake, it keeps my body guessing and progressing. I also have one, sometimes two days each week, where I don’t stress so much about what I ate that day and I enjoy a treat. This is usually during the weekend. But the rest of the time, I’m very good about my carbs, fats and proteins in every meal.
Cardio workouts burn a lot of calories, but muscles improve your metabolism and will continue to burn calories even while you’re sleeping. Don’t be afraid to lift weights and do a little less running. It’s all about the long-term solution and muscles with healthy eating, not dieting, is a long-term solution that’s so much easier to live by than you realize. Good luck!
Meals and Snacks I love:
If you have loved this series please let us know! We are going to link up to more of Ayrial’s recipes and plan to have her guest post again. Don’t forget to follow her on Facebook Fit and Healthy With Kids! Thank you for all the positive feedback!
Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and believer in creating your best momlife the way you see fit. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, my hope is you’ll find something here to make your life a little better/easier. Let’s be friends on social!