1. Can’t spot reduce.
Targeting specific areas during exercise can be effective to building muscle and will help increase strength and endurance in those areas of your body, it just won’t necessarily burn away the fat from those exact parts. Keep in mind that everybody stores fat differently, and their bodies may hold on to fat in certain areas longer; this is very common for women particularly in their abdominal area. It is important to just stay consistent and be patient. Fat loss takes time.
2. Nutrition is key.
It is important to be mindful of what you are eating. Remember that all those little bites and tastes will add up. Those oils, butters, sauces and dressings can be forgotten when tracking and can certainly rack up your daily allotment of macros or calories. Same goes for alcohol, soda, and those sugary coffee drinks. Try and focus on nutrient dense foods. Drink lots of water. Plan your meals by prioritizing lean proteins, followed by complex carbohydrates, and then healthy fats. These will help nourish you and keep you satiated. But ultimately, you will need to be in a caloric deficit if you want to lose fat. Don’t know where to start? A registered dietitian or certified health and nutrition coach can certainly help!
3. Resistance training is more efficient than cardio.
I am not saying to stop cardio altogether, I just suggest prioritizing resistance training and sprinkling in cardio into your exercise program. If you aren’t sure what exercises to do or how to properly perform resistance training techniques, I suggest seeking out a certified personal trainer! They will ensure that you are doing this safely and effectively.
4. It isn’t a linear process.
Remember, the way we lose fat or weight isn’t a neat process. Our weight changes on a daily basis, for various reasons, but these fluctuations are normal. If you see the scale go up a few pounds from one day to the next, know that it isn’t fat that you gained overnight. Also, keep in mind that as you build muscle, you may not see the scale change much or at all, but you may notice your clothes fitting better or your body composition changing. When assessing your progress, look at the changes happening overall; increase in energy, boost in mood, clothes fitting better, visible muscle definition, or you just feel great. These are all indicators of progress that I think are more important than the number on the scale!