“I’m so frustrated! I’m barely eating, I do a ton of cardio every day, I feel weak and tired, my arms wave like Vlags, my thighs rub together when I walk and I’m still fat! My girlfriend told me about this surgery that removes...” STOP! Does this sound like you? Are you playing the yo-yo syndrome? Have you accepted your “fat” self and given up on the hopes of ever wearing single-digit dress sizes again? Do you change exercise routines more often than boyfriends? If any of this reads you, keep on...
Every day I am approached by women who are confused as to why they are not losing weight, or fat, as I am quick to point out. And though their efforts in the gym are fierce and their dietary practices restrictive, their results have come to an instant and screeching halt.
Day and night I am witness to many women blazing through arduous cardio sessions including spin classes, cardio classes and the like only to wind up heavier as the weeks progress. At best, many women stay the same. But far too many cases exist of women joining the gym who actually gain weight! How is this possible?
Have no fear. This newsletter is for you ladies. I’m here to add light to the darkness and have you looking fabulous…again! Let’s end the madness once and for all. Let’s get you lean. Not “skinny” or “diet” which implies a temporary state but rather lifestyle which equates to ongoing results that are both doable and noticeable.
My mission in this article is twofold: debunking nutritional myths and the application of sports supplementation for the female and her goals: to shed body fat and hold onto precious muscle tissue.
First, let’s examine what’s going on. Many women avoid weight training for a common misconception that it makes one big. (Genetics anyone?) So, you skip breakfast because you’re not hungry and opt instead for a high sugar-coffee, you do cardio until even Lance Armstrong would drop, you eat a salad so calorically dense that the gardener whom originally grew it would cry and you arrive home, frustrated, tired, depressed and ravenous as a result of all that cardio and turn to your only friend…the fridge! So you eat and you drink and then step on the scale the next morning and as it relates to body mass, you’re fatter!
“I’ll just starve myself.” Great idea if you’re looking to rid your body of its precious lean muscle tissue and keep the fat.
“Fine, Lipo then.” Fantastic if you enjoy gaining fat in new places provided your caloric allotment remains a constant.
“I’ll live off those diet shakes, they’re low calorie.” Yes but high in sugar, which equates to more fat!
Remember, the deVinition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.
We are not taught how to eat properly in this country. The old diagrams, charts and indexes of yesteryear are both ineffective and outdated. Multiple servings of cereals, breads and fruits per day will result in one thing only: the accumulation of body fat! The other sphere of thinking has us believing that all carbs are bad and must be severely restricted or eliminated in order to lose weight. At best, this is a quick Vix that almost always winds up with the practitioner heavier than they were upon commencement. This low carb approach is not working. At best you are “skinny” temporarily, which in truth is actually an emaciated state with a loss of muscle that on paper looks good because of the overall bodyweight number but it cannot be maintained for long and you will be heavier soon thereafter. The same for, in my opinion, fasting and other such nonsensical “cleansing” type methods.
The key to fat loss and dare I say, permanent fat loss is in the Glycemic Index or GI for short which is the rate at which carbohydrates effect blood glucose levels. Examples: most cereals rate high, most beans rate low.
No, I’m not asking you to live on egg whites and oatmeal or even to give up your weekly allotment of alcohol (weekly, not daily) or creamer in your coffee. My advice is to put clean fuel into your body most of the time and you will almost immediately tone up. And please stay away from the scale. What has it ever told you that was positive? It reveals but a number, a progressively heavier number is my guess. Use your clothes and the mirror to dictate the actual physical shape you are in.
I believe you that you truly do not eat a lot but a calorie is not a calorie. In a nutshell, my suggestions for getting lean are this: 3 full body weight training workouts per week, 4-5, 30 minute cardio sessions weekly and 4-5 small (low GI) meals per day. Follow these principles and you will be lean. I hear you. “You want me to eat more? Are you crazy Hollis. I will be a balloon.” I want you to eat more frequently, small, clean meals and cut the intensity on the cardio, which will only result in a ravenous state. Remember, cardio makes one leaner but not Virmer. Weight training is the best stimulus that will tone and sculpt your body as well as increase bone density and help prevent osteoporosis. For those of you whom I can’t seem to get through to, I ask you to give my program 2 weeks. What do you have to lose? How about a few dress sizes for starters!
“I don’t have time for this. I barely have time to eat as it is, let alone prepare healthier choices.” I hear you, believe me I hear you which is why sports supplement technology is so great today. But first a quick word on eating out.
We all eat out during the week and I am here to tell you that no matter the locale, no matter the time of day, there is always a healthy choice on any menu. Remember, you are the consumer and absolutely have the right to have it your way. For a more detailed analysis of dining choices please visit my very first newsletter in the Archives section of www.holliswashere.com
Additionally, I absolutely do advocate at least once per week relaxing the reigns and indulging in a little cheat meal. This will not only act as a reward physically as well as mentally, but also help to keep you honest during the rest of the week. Remember one pebble placed on a treadmill will not derail you but a handful will. Have your naughty meal and move on!
What follows are the top 6 supplements I would personally choose if I were a female, given that my two main goals were fat loss and muscle preservation. Please keep in mind that I do not advocate nor endorse the taking and/or overdosing on sports supplements.
THE TOP 6:
1. ULTIMATE WOMAN DAILY PACK FROM VITAMIN SHOPPE offers an easy and convenient way to prevent against a vitamin deViciency and thusly insure one is taking in all the right vitamins and minerals for proper bodily function. I have always believed in taking a packet of vitamins daily as no one vitamin can possibly contain all the essentials and in the proper amounts.
2. LEAN BODY FOR HER or OH YEAH! RTD's (Ready to Drink) are good examples of a meal replacement shake designed to keep one’s energy up as well as to preserve lean muscle tissue and utilize stored body fat as energy. Although the calories are relatively low, the carb content, speciVically sugar content is near nonexistent and the majority of the calories are derived from protein making this a much better choice than traditional “weight-loss” formulas, which, although low in calories are both high in sugar and low in protein.
3. NUTRITIONAL BARS’ greatest strength lies in their durability in travel and reliability as a quick energy fix when food and time are not an option. Although there are many choices on the market today both low in calories and high in terms of “diet” it still amazes me how many of these products are not only high in sugar, but derive most of their calories from simple carbs making them passable as a quick energy Vix but a failure in terms of long-term fat loss. It is for this reason that I recommend a bar that is both high in protein and low in sugar: WORLDWIDE SPORT'S PURE PROTEIN bars pack a muscle-toning 31 grams of protein and 3 grams of sugar making this product a no-brainer for the fat-conscious female gym-goer.
4. JOINT SUPPORT is crucial in getting the most from the human body in regards to the daily stress placed upon your joints and tendons and in keeping good joint health and mobility. In addition, COSAMIN ASU has shown to reduce arthritic pain and tendonitis.
5. CAFFEINE has been shown to improve mental clarity as well as enhance thermogenic fat loss and it is for this reason that its inclusion in one’s workout regimen coupled with food can result in dramatic results. My choice is EXTREME CAFFEINE from PROSOURCE with one pill supplying 200 mg of the highest-quality natural caffeine as well as 250 mg of L-Tyrosine for added focus and performance.
6. OMEGA 1250 from PROSOURCE is a composite EFA (essential fatty acid) that has been shown to have a positive effect on cardiovascular, skin, joints and overall health. These are essentially good fats derived from the highest quality deep-sea cold-water source that’s even available in lemon Vlavor hence no more Vishy aftertaste.
Please keep in mind that there are many wonderful products designed to enhance your physique goals. If I haven't mentioned your favorites here, by all means seek them out but remember that supplements are merely supplemental to a good diet.
Although the cold has set in remember to train consistently.