Weight loss can be a double-edged sword for women. Most weight loss regimes result in a reduction of overall fat, even in the areas where we want to stay plump and curvy. The good news is that there is a way to shed weight while still staying shapely—here is how.
Turn Up the Cardio
Cardio exercises are essential for losing accumulated body fat. Quite simply, the more you exercise, the more calories your body exhausts, and the fewer calories your body ends up storing as fat.
If you exercise more than you eat, your body will additionally tap on its fat stores for energy. According to a study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, exercise is more effective at reducing abdominal fat than pure dieting.
To get the best results from your cardio, be sure to up the intensity of your exercise. Try to get 300 minutes of moderate exercise or 150 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week for optimum weight loss.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises are a great way to work your heart, burn a large number of calories, and engage your muscles. By working on key areas such as your glutes and core, you can keep your shape while losing fat.
Train Specific Areas
Strength training, or weight lifting, is gaining popularity among women. Contrary to popular belief, strength training will not make you look ‘manly’. That sort of bulky bodybuilding physique takes years of dedicated training to achieve.
For the average woman, strength training helps to burn fat while strengthening your muscles and toning your curves. When paired with cardio, it allows you to lose weight and maintain shape in the long run.
The good thing about strength training is that you can target specific muscle groups like your chest, thighs, glutes, or abs. When you perform targeted lifts for these areas, you create a firm foundation for defined curves that show as your fat drops away.
Aim to incorporate at least two weight workouts a week into your exercise regime and lift weights that are challenging enough to build your muscles.
Joining a gym and getting expert assistance on your weight training can be helpful. However, you can also train your strength with resistance exercise bands or body-weight exercises at home.
Outside of strength training, other exercises can help you train certain areas of your body. You can practice yoga routines that focus on problem areas or pick up belly dancing to tone your tummy.
Count Your Calories
Counting calories can sound complicated but it is an integral part of any successful weight loss plan. Your daily calorie requirements depend on several factors such as your age, gender, and activity level.
In general, women aged between 19 and 30 need 2,000 to 2,400 calories to maintain their body weight. The idea is to create a moderate calorie deficit that meets your basic nutritional needs while encouraging your body to burn excess fat.
Online calculators and apps can help you to determine the optimal number of calories for weight loss. Some apps can also help you to track what you eat so that you do not exceed your daily calorie budget.
Be mindful that reducing your daily calorie intake to less than 1,000 calories a day can have detrimental health effects. For an extra boost, try fat burning supplements for women that help to suppress your appetite and increase your energy.
Eat the Right Food
Choosing the right food to eat is just as important as eating within your calorie budget. You could easily fill your caloric needs with ice cream but that would be far from healthy.
That is not to say that fats are off the table. You should consume fats such as avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds to maintain cardiovascular health and to ensure that your body has enough fat to use as fuel instead of burning muscle when you exercise.
In addition to healthy fats, you should consume plenty of high-protein food such as lean meat, eggs, legumes, and seeds. Try to include protein in your breakfast as it keeps you full for longer and boosts your metabolism.
Carbohydrates are also needed to provide the glucose that your body craves after a workout. Be sure to choose complex carbs such as whole grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables instead of refined carbs like white rice or pizza.
It took a while for you to put on weight and it will take just as long—and probably longer—to get it off. Your weight loss and body sculpting journey can take months to come to fruition. It can be discouraging at first when you do not see immediate results.
However, steer clear of crash diets and over-exercising. Be sure to provide your body with its basic needs by eating well and allowing your muscles to repair themselves between workouts.
Balance is the key to long-term, sustainable weight management. You need to eat consciously to fuel your body and combine cardio with strength training to turn your fat into muscle in the right places.
This way, you keep all your attractive curves while dropping unwanted fat.