“I am trying to lose some weight and have been going to the gym regularly for a couple of months. I either jog on the treadmill or use the cross trainer on a medium level and despite spending around 45 minutes each visit, I haven’t seen much change in my figure, weight or my fitness levels. What am I doing wrong?”
You remind me of where I was a few years ago (Read HERE).
You are getting a lot of cardiovascular exercise but strength training is an important part of your exercise routine.If you’re trying to reduce your body fat, strength training 2-3 times a week is essential. Studies have shown that regular strength training results in lean muscle gain and close to twice the fat loss in weight (exactly what you’d like to see). From what you’ve shared, it seems you could do with adding strength training to your routine (I’m assuming you don’t because it wasn’t mentioned). Squats, Lunges, Bicep Curls, Shoulder Presses, etc.
Before you start to worry – this won’t make you muscular. This is a common misconception amongst women and I’ll explain in detail (from my experiences) another time. The main thing you should be aware of is – women have 15-20 times less testosterone than men, which is the hormone that helps men bulk up.
Strength training will make you stronger, it does exactly what it says. Other benefits of strength training include increasing bone density and lowering risks related to diabetes and heart disease.If you’d like some suggestions introducing strength training to your current routine, I’d be glad to help.
Something else you should add to your fitness regime is interval training. Interval training involves short bursts (distance or time) of high intensity exercise (e.g. running, cycling, cross training) followed by low intensity exercise. This is repeated many times. Research has shown that interval training increases metabolism which results in fat and calories still being burned long after workout sessions.
Interval training will increase your fitness which should eventually result in you being able to jog, play sports or cross train at higher levels. You should aim to do some interval training at least once a week. 20 minutes of interval training is be much more beneficial than 45 minutes of easy jogging.
Also take a look at your diet. Are you eating more because you exercise a lot? I certainly fell into that trap and chances are you may have too.Eating a balanced diet is essential, you need carbohydrates for energy but you don’t need to double your portions because you exercise. Vegetables also contain carbohydrates so these are perfect for bulking up your meals. Proteins are very important, they are known as the “building blocks of life” – they help in the development and maintenance of lean muscle. Try the above tips for 4-6 weeks and you’ll most definitely see a positive difference.
“A friend told me she swapped palm oil and sunflower oil for Olive Oil because she said it has very little fat. So if I cook with olive oil that might be a better option. Agree or disagree?”
All oils are high in fat, the main thing to be aware of is – are they “good” or “bad” fats?
Olive oil is definitely a better option to Palm oil and Vegetable oil. These are high in trans and saturated fats which are “bad” fats.
Olive Oil contains the “good” (monounsaturated) fats. Contrary to what you think, sunflower oil is actually fine because it also contains the good fats.
Although Olive Oil is a better option, it’s not the best for frying (it doesn’t actually fry food, it’s better used as a dressing). Good cooking oils for frying include Peanut/Groundnut Oil, Canola oil and Sunflower Oil.
Don’t be too worried about oils (the good ones) in your diet. As long as you use the oils sparingly, you’ll be fine 🙂
Adura Odesanya is a Fitness Instructor and Trainer who works with Fitter London. Having been overweight in the past, she recognises the challenges that many people face in trying to overcome weight loss and fitness challenges.