If you want to lose weight, then you need to think like a man!
Yes, I'm serious. When it comes to weight-loss, men seem to have a better grasp on this than the ladies. And no, genetics is not the only advantage a man has over a woman when it comes to losing weight.
First secret is that a man loves to eat! He doesn't care about wimpy salads or watching what he eats. When he's hungry, he eats! Period.
Men aren't "label readers." They don't try to watch their calories. They don't seek anything that says "low fat" or "light" or anything that women would be attracted to. Actually, men seek to consume lots of calories -- such as over 1,800 a day!
If you're a woman that's finding weight-loss difficult, you may be consuming less calories than you need. It's not unusual to hear a female client say how she doesn't like eating a lot. She's afraid that food would make her fat. The LACK of food is what makes you fat. Under-eating could encourage your body to burn your muscles for fuel and keep the fat instead.
Men, on the other hand, don't usually have a problem with eating. If anything, their problem would be eating TOO MUCH. Men love food! Sometimes they love it too much. But since they aren't afraid of food, it's easy to help them adjust their eating so they won't consume too much. It's harder to get a woman to eat a little more.
The second secret is that a man eats to perform. When he's about to hit the gym, he drinks a protein shake or eats a hearty meal. And after he's done working out, he eats for recovery!
Typically, a woman's so-called performance meal is an apple, or a salad, or a granola bar with coffee. She may hit two cardio classes and then hit the treadmill with nothing more than a piece of fruit in her belly. Then after all the hard work, she goes home to eat...well...maybe nothing.
Women are typically VERY concerned with how many calories they burn. Of all the people who have asked me about the amount of calories burned in any class, NONE of them were men. Women want to burn calories! That's fine. But you still need to consume enough calories to perform well in your exercises. So if you only consumed 800 calories for one day and burned 1,000 calories in your exercises, then your body is going to tab your muscles for needed calories.
The third secret is that a man wants to gain muscle. Yes, he wants the fat gone, but he knows that by building more muscle, he could lose the fat.
Women typically focus on cardio classes to cut the fat. Even though cardio does help lose fat, strength training is perhaps the BEST guarantee to slimming down.
Muscles need lots of calories to survive. Fat provides muscles with the needed calories. So, the more muscle you have, the less fat you'll have as the fat is "sacrificing" itself so your muscles could function.
Now you CAN work your muscles in a cardio class such as cycling, kickboxing, step, dance, etc. All cardio classes involve muscle work. However, to make those classes help you gain muscle, you need to engage your muscles more. Kick or punch harder in kickboxing. Increase the resistance on the stationary bike in cycling. Squat a little lower for your dance classes. Jump a little higher for your step classes. Don't just move. Work!
When you lift weights, don't be afraid to go heavy. No, you don't need to lift a tank, but if your weight is lighter than your purse, then you're lifting too light. Don't be afraid to work like an athlete! Losing fat involves hard work. You won't lose it by walking on the treadmill and eating salads all day.
You've heard this term before, right? Get off your butt and exercise! But there's another reason why you need to get off your butt...because sitting on it for too long could actually weaken it.
There was one study showing that too much sitting down could make you more likely to gain weight. The more you sit on your butt, the less active it would be. An inactive butt is a weak butt, and a weak butt leads to bad posture and weight gain.
So, we're not just asking people to just get off their butts to exercise. We want people to stop sitting on their butts too much.
Your butt muscles (gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus) make up the LARGEST muscle group in your body. This means that they need more calories than other muscle groups. Or simply put, it's the butt muscles that burn the most fat AS LONG as they are strong and active. This is why exercises like squats and lunges burn more calories than perhaps any other strength-training exercises -- all because these exercises involves the butt muscles.
Yet, when you sit on your butt all day and do it often, then your butt muscles could literally flatten out. Is your butt flat? Have you seen others with pancake booties? When your butt is inactive, it shrinks and could get flat -- and this is a condition known as atrophy. When your butt atrophies, it requires less calories to function -- or in other words, it burns LESS calories, which ultimately means that it burns less FAT.
Who would have known? The smaller your butt, the more weight you'll gain!
Think about it. How many overweight mail carriers (UPS, FedFex, etc) do you see overweight? Barely any! How many customer service, officer workers, phone operators, etc., do you see overweight? Plenty! They are on their butts all day! Mail carriers aren't.
As a fitness trainer, I know that in order to lose weight, you need to have the right diet and exercise. And sorry to break it to you...but...well...you can't exercise yourself slimmer! BUT, exercise is a great start!
So, you've been attending my ZUMBA fitness classes, and maybe you take other exercise classes on a consistent basis. Great! Now, we need to know what to do with our diet.
What I'm about to say is unconventional. You won't hear many "experts" say this. So brace yourself! The right type of diet is...up to you!
Each person is an individual with different nutritional needs. A diet that works for you may not work for another person. One person may need significantly more carbohydrates in the diet in order to function well. But another person may need significantly more protein than you.
My wife and I have different nutritional needs. I function best on a diet that's HIGH in carbohydrates and low in fats and protein. My wife, however, functions best with a diet that's HIGH in fat and protein and low in carbohydrates. That is, we both have different "metabolic types." She would be considered a "protein type" while I'll be considered a "carb type." This also means that I, being a carb type, could do well by eating few meals during the day. But she, being the protein type, needs more food during the day than I do. She also has strong hunger pains while I barely get hungry!
Yes, you've read all the internet articles about how you need a lot of protein to build muscle or a lot of carbs to do high-impact aerobics classes. Heck, I could do an entire high-impact exercise class without eating anything prior. But for somebody else, they need to have something in their bellies before they work out.
I could go for a lenthy period without water. Others can't do that without feeling light-headed. I could tolerate a lot of sugar. Another person, such as my wife, cannot handle a lot of sugar without getting tired afterwards.
So, what is the best diet? That, my friend, is what you have to figure out. But you need to start by seeing if you do best with a diet that's high in fats and proteins, or a diet that's high in carbohydrates. These "macronutrients" are the main players when it comes to figuring out the right diet for you. So, do you function best by eating a lot of fat and protein or by eating a lot of carbohydrates? Do you get hungry frequently (don't mistake CRAVINGS for HUNGER)? Are you not complete until you've had a steak sandwich? You're probably a protein type. But can you go for hours without eating? Do you barely get hungry? Are you not complete unless you've had something sweet to eat? You might be a carb type.
Holidays mean friends, family, day off of work...and FOOD! Lots and lots of food.
And lots and lots of food!
Did you know that when your stomach is empty, it's about the size of your fist? So really, you don't need to wolf down several plates of foods!
When you over-stuff yourself with chicken, mash potatoes, corn, ribs, barbeque pork, pie, cake, hamburgers, and wash everything down with sweet tea, what happens? Not only are you filling your stomach to its full capacity, but you're also causing food to back up into your esophagus. Ever felt food coming back up your mouth whenever you burp after a GOOD meal? Yep, that's food that couldn't fit into your stomach!
When your belly is overstuffed, then your body starts restricting blood flow to other parts of your body and starts increasing blood flow to your stomach. Your stomach needs energy to digest food, and the more food you have, the more energy your body needs. And since your body uses up so much energy to digest your food, you'll get sleepy.
Yes, this would explain why you get sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal. You overstuffed yourself! And we thought it was the tryptophan's fault!
When you eat, eat until you're satisfied, not until you're so stuffed that it hurts. For one, it makes you sleepy. Two, it just does your body no good.
You can't always persuade someone with words. But you could almost always persuade someone by being an example.
I remember one client who said that one of the hardest things about losing weight is not having support from the family. The family would be eating Cheetos and drinking Kool-Aid, or the spouse would be giving her chocolate and alcohol to show how much he loves her. It's hard to be healthy when everybody around you is not.
But this is my best solution for those of you in this situation: you need to be the example!
So, even if everybody around you is "falling by the wayside," you still need to continue on the right path. Even if nobody supports you, you need to support yourself. Otherwise, your entire life would be based on what OTHER people are doing.
Want to exercise? Then exercise. Want to eat better? Then eat better. Want to think more positively? Then do so. Want a better life? Then go get it. As long as you're being an example, the people around you will catch on and follow.
Sometimes, you need to BE the change if you want to see change in others. If you're waiting for others to support you, then you'll never get the support. You'll continue living in your old ways. But if you decide that THIS DAY you will be the example, then you'll see many great things happen in your life!
Of all the reason you choose to the exercise, don't let vanity be the main reason.
Yes, we want to lose the weight. Yes, we want to look better. Yes, we want to lose the "baby fat." And yes, we're tired of our underarms flapping like a flag in the wind whenever we wave.
But ask yourself this question: why try so hard to look good when looking good does nothing more than boost our egos?
Having a visible six-pack belly won't do you any good...unless you're competing in a bodybuilding competition. Having an athletic-looking body where you're ripped and cut won't do you any good...unless you're trying to be a model. If you're not getting paid for your looks, then trying to achieve a better image won't do you any good.
And, of course, if you're exercising for vanity reasons alone, you won't last in your exercise routines. You're not losing weight quickly enough, so you give up. You still have stretch marks. Your abs aren't showing yet. You still have some "fat pads" in your "problems areas."
So, change your reasons for exercising. Exercise because, well, it's fun! Exercise because it keeps your blood pressure down. Exercise because your heart is getting stronger. Exercise because you're getting better sleep. Exercise because it makes you feel good. Exercise because your overall quality of life is improving. No more stiff knees. No more being depressed for no reason. No more feeling sleepy throughout the day. No more getting out of breath when you're walking up stairs!
Okay, I know, I know! It's foolish to think that we're not just a LITTLE concerned about how we look. When we strip down naked, we want to like what we see! Heck, we want our spouses to like what they see, too! But understand that your image may change quickly or slowly. You may not lose weight as quickly as the next person. So whatever physical changes you see is a BONUS. What's more important is the quality of life the exercises are giving you.
When someone new comes to my fitness classes, I always ask how they've heard about us. More and more I'm hearing this answer: "Oh, someone told me about this" or "I've heard from someone who knows someone who took this class."
I guess I'm not too bad of an instructor if people are spreading the word!
Believe it or not, class participants have reported some significant changes in their lives since taking this class. Here are some stats:
People's lives are being blessed through these classes. When you bring someone to these classes, they are exposed to a great group of folks, great music, great work-out, and a great spacious facility. You could truly bring hope to someone's life by bringing them with you.
Just think about it. What if you had a friend who is always depressed and lived as if the world will end at any moment? You bring this person to class and now he or she is more excited about life. I didn't do that! You did by bringing them to class.
What if you had a friend who just can't seem to get the weight off? You bring this person to class and they've dropped weight in a matter of weeks. Not only that, but they've improved their eating habits! I didn't do that. You did by bringing that person to class.
You know, you don't always have to have the answers to everybody's problems. Sometimes you just need to know where to send the person. So, the next time you're talking to someone, just briefly mention that you're attending a ZUMBA fitness class, a body-weight fitness class, or whatever classes that I have.
And you know what? Maybe YOU may not attend my classes for very long. You might find that the classes aren't for you. BUT it just might be right for the person you tell. Later on, that person will thank you for inviting them to class.
I've seen it several times as a group fitness instructor. You'll have two new people who come to class together. One is usually the "leader" while the other is the "follower." These are your "exercise buddies."
But when the leader decides to not come to class, then the follower won't show up either.
What's sad is that several times I would see the follower enjoying class. This person would give great reviews and tell me how much they love coming. BUT if the leader doesn't show up, then I also won't see the follower. And I thought this person really liked my class! But apparently the only thing that matters is if the leader shows up to class as well.
There is nothing wrong with having an exercise buddy! Having a buddy is a way to encourage each other to stay on the right road. However, when one buddy becomes the "leader" while the other becomes the "follower," then it's not a good relationship. One person would determine the outcome for the other, and this shouldn't be the case. An exercise-buddy system is designed to hold each other accountable.
Or in other words, if one person decides not to show up to class, then the other person ought to show up to be an example to the other. Remember: it's YOUR health, not your partner's. It's YOUR life, not your partner's. Just as your partner needs to encourage you, you need to do the same.
So, go ahead and take a look at your butt. Go on! Take a look! Turn to the side. Is your booty so flat that it looks like you have one long back with legs?
Now do another test. Squeeze your butt cheeks together and feel them. Does your booty still feel soft after squeezing your cheeks together?
And finally, do another test. Turn to the side and look at your overall posture. Don't try to stand up straight, but just stand naturally. Does your pelvis seem to tilt forward? Do you seem to be leaning back?
If you have weak butt muscles, then you'll have bad posture -- believe it or not. Your gluteal muscles (gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus) make up the largest muscle group in your body. Your butt helps you do everything from squatting, kicking, running, walking, and standing.
But your butt muscles also help keep your spine in correct alignment. Your butt works together with your back to keep your spine from tilting too much forward or too much backwards. A strong back goes with a strong butt.
But (no puns intended), if your butt is weak, then your spine would go out of alignment and your back would have to compensate. So, your pelvis would tilt forward and your back would lean backwards. You probably see this a lot in the elderly when they walk around with their hips thrust forward.
A big problem with spinal misalignment is that it causes lower back issues. Once again, you see this a lot in the elderly population. They walk around with hips forward, back bent backwards, and their hands on their lower back.
So, how could you fix a weak booty? Squats! And you thought all the squats I've been doing in class were just for show! No, I designed my moves specifically to improve daily functionality.
All information in this blog are for inspirational purposes only. Unless otherwise stated, all content is written and copyrighted by Aiyo A. Jones.