6 Things Women Should Stop Doing If They Want To Get Lean

When I talk to my female clients about their body composition goals they want to achieve, they want to add shape and definition, drop body fat, look great by the pool in a bikini and in clothes and have the heightened confidence that comes with improving your physique.

To do this it takes two things you can't just try to lose weight. What you want is body recomposition which means you need to reduce body fat and build muscle tissue. To help you on your way here are six things you may want to stop doing.

Focus on building the body you want not destroying the one you hate.

The mindset that many women have when it comes to getting the physique they want is to reduce calories and often those calories don't come from the best sources. Then do as much exercise and activity as possible to burn more calories. What you're doing here when you think about it is trying to break down the body you don't like and hoping it turns into one you do like.

A much more successful approach is to build the body you want. You do this by

1   Nourishing your body with the most nutritious foods possible, meaning you focus on the nutrients in and quality of the food not just calories. Calories are a factor yes but focusing only only calories and not food quality is a recipe for failure.

2 Training with weights to get stronger and improve week to week and month to month. For most women to get the body they want they will need more muscle than they think. Just exercising to burn calories doesn't do this.

 

Ditch the large group classes Pump, RPM, Zoomba

If you are just starting out in doing some training then these sorts classes are fine for a start and can help you improve your fitness and drop some fat. But the results will often quickly come to a halt.

How many people in these classes actually look great and are lean? Not many, even the ones who have been doing the classes for months or years. There is no progression to improve (see no. 1) and if there is any weight used it is very light. People like these classes because they make them feel comfortable being around those the same as them.

But you have to get out of your comfort zone and be around other people who get results if you want to make changes in your body. Where are the women who are the leanest and get the best results? They are in the weight room.

 

Spend Less time doing cardio

When you go to a gym and you are not 100% sure what to do jumping on a cardio machine is a safe and easy way to get in some exercise and feel like you've done a workout. But it is not the way to the figure that you want. Spending a large amount of time doing cardio without weight training is a one way ticket to becoming skinny fat. When over done it will also break down your muscle tissue when what you want to do is build more.

 

Cardio does have its place and doing some cardio or intervals in conjunction with your weight training can help you get even better results. But when you are starting out and haven't done much weight training at least three quarters of your training should be spent lifting weights.

 

Lay off the free of everything raw treats and smoothies

Just because the funky cafe you are going to sells caramel slices, chocolate smoothies and cakes that are gluten free, dairy free, raw, vegan and blessed by a monk from the Himalayas doesn't mean its still not full of sugar, fat and a whole heap of calories you don't need.

Im not saying you can't have treats like this every now and then. If you are gluten and dairy intolerant like myself being able to have something like this once in a while is great because the regular version would leave you feeling bloated, brain foggy and lousy. But if you think they are healthy and have them all the time you are kidding yourself.

The ingredients they are made from - like dates, nuts, agave nectar, cocoa, rice malt syrup, coconut sugar, coconut oil, sweet fruits like mango and banana and chia seeds. Have a high calorie density (lots of calories in a small amount of food) and contain either a lot of fat or sugar. Plus the sugar is made up of a high percentage of fructose, which is much worse than glucose when it comes to fat loss.

 

Focus on food quality not just food quantity

Food quality is so so so important. Don't just focus on calories. Calories are just a unit of measurement to get an idea of the amount of energy in food. You can't see a calorie just like you can't see a meter.
If you are going to have any long term success with getting leaner you need to learn how to feed your body nourishing foods that keep it healthy and make you feel great.

 

When clients are just starting out we get them to first focus on eating high quality whole foods foods though out the day. Lean meats, vegetables, fish, eggs, some starches, fruit, nuts and drink more water. Don't obsess over the amount, just have 3 to 4 meals a day made up of these foods. Then once those habits are built in we can look at amounts of calories, protein, fats and carbs.

 

Spend less time doing fluff exercises

Fluff exercises are exercises that many people spend a lot of their training time doing but actually produce very little results. Things like lots of direct ab work, using bands for 50 exercises, anything on a swiss ball or boss ball, tricep kickbacks, ankle weights, the inner thigh machine at the gym and pretty much 90% of the exercises you see fitness chicks doing on instagram.

 

These types exercises can have their place. But if you are doing them you better know exactly why you have it in your program. If you don't know why your doing it it probably shouldn't be in there. The majority of your training should be made up of multi joint compound lifts that produce the best results. Things like squats, deadlifts, presses, rows, pull-ups or pulldowns, some single leg work like split squats or weighted step ups and maybe some interval or conditioning work if your need that in there.

 

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