Before I opened the studio, I actually had a go at teaching pre and post natal fitness in the Grand Rapids community. I soon realized that screaming babies in strollers was not my thing, but I did learn a few things about patience, which every parent is rudely awakened to, AND to be patient with my own body post-baby. For most moms, we spend nine months accumulating new weight, for a good reason, so we can’t expect it to shed in just 21 days, right?
With any weight loss program, it requires a certain amount of patience, especially if you are going to do it the correct way. Now that Jackson is almost 11 months old, I am FINALLY back to my pre-pregnancy weight and can share some of my top tips for you, in losing that last few (stubborn) pounds! Especially when you get down to the last 5, 10, or 15 pounds you want to lose, the scale may suddenly refuse to budge. You might be tempted to drastically reduce calories or increase the amount of time you spend working out. Don’t do it. Instead, here are some simple tricks to consider…
1) Pump Iron. If you are not already doing it, make the focus of your workout strength training. There is a huge misperception that you need to do lots of cardio to burn calories. Sure, when you do cardio, you burn calories during the activity, but with strength training, you burn calories both during and afterwards for up to 48 hours! This is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) or the more well-know “afterburn”. Resistance training also boosts your metabolism, improves insulin resistance and shuts down the fat-storing enzymes in your body. Just remember that cardio is another form of movement, but you need variety to see results. No one will look his or her best without resistance training, a cornerstone of my training programs. I strength train at least 4 hours a week, including Body Pump, RIPPED, TRX, Pilates and Bootcamp.
2) Bump up the intensity of your workouts. No matter what workout program you’re doing, you will lose weight faster if you kick up the intensity. Jump higher, squat lower, and increase the weight you’re lifting to burn more calories, rev your metabolism, and stoke the fat-burning fire. Don’t just go through the motions; attack your workouts and push harder.
3) Change your exercise routine. If you’ve already increased the intensity of your workout program and still find that your weight loss has slowed, it might be time to try something different. When you perform the same exercises over and over, your body becomes more efficient at them. As a result, you use less energy and burn fewer calories. By starting a new fitness routine, you’ll shock your muscles, reignite your metabolism, and get the scale moving again. Think about which classes you have not tried or what you can do outside of Allegro to compliment your fitness even more!
4) Stand up. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that lean people spend 2 more hours per day on their feet than overweight people. Participants in the study who stood, paced, and fidgeted burned as many as 350 extra calories a day and were much leaner than those who didn’t move as much. Get up from your desk at work, talk on the phone while standing, and stay on your feet in waiting rooms—the simplest effort will yield an extra calorie burn that may help you shed those remaining pounds. As a busy mom, I don’t even know what the concept of sitting is, besides passing out every night when I hit the bed!
5) Drink more water. You may not realize how important water is for weight loss- it’s not just a tool to help you eat less. Being properly hydrated will balance your energy levels, which allows you to exercise with intensity. (Have you ever been so thirsty during a workout that you couldn’t perform as well as usual?) Drinking enough water may also increase your metabolism and promote muscle building—a well-hydrated body can more efficiently repair and build muscles. On the other hand, being dehydrated encourages muscle breakdown. So drink up, especially since you are exercising regularly.
6) Shakeology. It’s not just a fluffy shake or supplement. This stuff is the most nutrient dense meal you will find, ever. Stay fuller longer, reduce your sweet cravings and maximize your workouts. This meal contains your daily dose of pre and probiotics, all your super foods, minerals, vitamins and more. Think of it like 10 fitness classes in ONE workout!
7) Relax. Believe it or not, you may be trying too hard to lose weight. If your workouts are very intense and your diet is too strict, you could overtrain and burn out. Your mind and body will just not respond in the same way when they’re tired. Muscles need rest to repair and grow, and sometimes your brain needs a break from constant calorie counting and worrying about the last few pounds. Instead of becoming frustrated and diving into a box of cookies, try to relax and reduce the intensity for a little while. You may be surprised to find the scale moving again when you give your mind and body a rest.
– Coach Kendra