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Ultimate Beginners Female Fitness Guide

found here: http://www.trimmedandtoned.com/the-ultimate-beginners-female-fitness-guide-what-it-takes-to-build-a-fit-female-body

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What It Takes To Build An Attractive Female Body

If you’re a woman about to embark on a fitness journey aimed to help you get the body of your dreams, there are a wide number of important factors that you need to be including.

Not only must you start putting some time and effort into making sure your diet is in top shape, but you must also figure out a way to structure a proper workout program to help accelerate the rate of fat burning that occurs.

For most women, this challenge can feel quite daunting and overwhelming. With so much contradicting information out there, it can be hard to know left from right – which is the proper strategy for success?

That’s what we’re here to talk about today. We’re going to lay all the cards out on the table and clear away the confusion so that there’s only one thing on your mind: following the straight path to success.

Let’s get started and go over exactly what you need to know to build an attractive female physique.

What It Takes

First things first, no guide would be complete without providing you the basics. If you want to get an attractive body – that is, you want to lose excess body fat while increasing muscle tone and definition, you absolutely must take a two-pronged approach. That approach includes following a proper diet plan along with doing your workout as mentioned in the introduction.

Some women will think that they can just diet their way to a sexy body, but don’t be misled. While dieting can help to reduce body weight, it’s your workout program that will reshape your body and help you create the transformation that you’re after.

Neglect this and you’ll be left looking like a smaller version of your current self.

Is that what you’re after? If not, then workouts are a must.

The problem with this however is that far too many women believe that lifting weights will just make them big and bulky. They have this image in their mind that’s associated with weight lifting and it’s definitely not what they want.

If you think you’ll be the next She-Hulk if you pick up more than ten pounds though, you might want to think again. It simply doesn’t work this way.

Females do not have high enough levels of testosterone to be able to generate that much lean muscle mass and as such, will build muscle at a rate of about a quarter to that of a male. This is about a quarter to half a pound per month – at most – for those of you who like raw numbers.
Nothing to get yourself worked up and scared about.

Furthermore, building up high amounts of muscle means that you must be eating high amounts of calories and let’s be honest here, we both know that’s not something you’ll do willingly.
Most women routinely under-eat, so this again won’t be an issue.

So the very first step to your success is getting past the fear that adding lean muscle will look manly. It won’t. These are the facts.

Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty details now and reveal the secrets to building a diet for success.

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Diet And Nutrition For Optimal Fat Loss And Muscle Definition

Despite the fact that many of you will likely groan when you hear the word ‘diet’, dieting is a must. Don’t think of it as a diet though, think of it as a new nutritional approach to life. This is what will serve you well long-term.

Calories

The very first thing that we need to go over is your calorie intake. How many calories you consume on a daily basis will establish which direction your weight goes.

Eat more than you burn and you’ll gain weight.
Eat fewer than you burn and you’ll lose weight.

It’s pretty straightforward.

The first step is calculating your target calorie intake. To do this, you’ll use the following equation to calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which stands for how many calories you burn to simply stay alive:

BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )
Once you have this number, then you need to factor activity into the mix. Since you do more than just sit around all day, you will need more calories to support your movement.

The Activity Multipliers To Use Include:

If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) – 1.2
If you are lightly active (light workouts 1-3 days/week) – 1.375
If you are moderately active (workouts 3-5 days per week) – 1.55
If you are very active (intense workouts 6-7 days per week) – 1.725
If you are extra active (very intense workouts + active job) – 1.9

So taking the number you arrived at above, multiply it by wherever you stand. This now represents your target daily calorie intake to maintain your body weight.

If you want to lose weight, decrease this by 250-500 calories for a ½-1 pound rate of fat loss per week.

If you would like to build lean muscle mass, you need to increase this by 250-500 calories per week. Most women should error on the lower side of around 250 calories so they don’t start gaining extra body fat while they build lean muscle mass tissue.

If you’re a beginner who’s brand new to exercise, you might be able to build lean muscle mass while you lose body fat, but most women will need to focus on one goal or the other for a set period of time. Since you can’t really eat more than you burn and eat less than you burn at the same time, you can see why this clearly isn’t possible.

The important thing to keep in mind with this is that eating for muscle gain and eating for fat loss aren’t all that different. Both will require healthy, wholesome foods, timed properly throughout the day.

The only real difference is the number of calories you consume as mentioned above. Those looking to lose fat should also eat slightly more protein and fewer carbs/fats, while those who want to build muscle will need less protein overall and will be eating more carbs/fats. This is what we’ll be discussing next.

Otherwise though, all the same general rules of good nutrition still apply. Let’s look more closely now at the macronutrient side of things.

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Macronutrients

The macronutrients refer to the proteins, carbs, and dietary fats that you’re eating as part of your diet plan. It’s going to be important that you get these right as they are what will determine how much energy you have, how well you maintain your lean muscle mass, along with how hungry you are.

Plus, from an overall health standpoint, each has specific roles in the body.

Proteins

First let’s look at proteins. Proteins are what will support your lean muscle mass, maintaining the tissue, building new muscle cells, as well as repairing broken down cells after a hard workout session. Additionally, protein will help to keep your hunger levels lower as it takes a long time to digest and break-down in the body, and will also have very minimal influence over your blood sugar level.

Finally, protein also has the highest ‘thermic effect of food’ meaning simply by eating it, you’ll burn more calories just digesting it and breaking it down. For every 100 calories of protein consumed, you’ll burn off almost 30 of those calories through digestion. This serves as a great way to boost your overall metabolic rate.

Those seeking fat loss should aim for 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day while those looking to build muscle should aim for 1 gram per pound of body weight.

Since there’s less risk of protein being used as a fuel source when you are eating a higher calorie intake for building muscle, you don’t need quite as much protein overall.

The Best Protein Sources To Consume Include:

Chicken breast
Turkey breast
Lean red meat
Fish and seafood
Egg whites
Low-fat dairy products
Whey protein powder

If you can get one of these protein sources in with each and every meal you eat, you’ll be on track to success.

Carbs

The next macronutrient to go over is carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are going to help provide an immediate source of energy for the hard working muscles so are a must to eat before and after your workouts.

Some women get caught up in the thinking pattern that consuming carbs automatically means weight gain, but this isn’t the case at all.

As long as you choose wisely and be sure not to overeat, you can have your carbs and still lose weight. Carbs are also a must for building muscle since they supply the energy that your body needs to build this new muscle tissue with.

When it comes to choosing carbs, select the ones that contain the lowest amount of processing possible. Think ‘straight from the ground’.

This Includes:

Oatmeal
Sweet potatoes
Quinoa
Brown rice
Sweet potatoes/Yams

These are the more calorie dense forms of carbs, so you’ll eat more of them if you’re aiming to build muscle than lose fat. Furthermore, they should be placed right around the workout periods as much as possible as this is when your muscles will need that immediate source of fuel.

Later on in the day, then you should turn to the fibrous sources of carbohydrates, which are your vegetables. These are so low in calories that they hardly count towards your diet plan, so you can virtually eat an unlimited amount of them. Just do be sure that you aren’t using any high calorie preparation methods with them or you’ll pay the consequences.

Vegetable intake should be particularly high for those looking to lose fat as this will help to keep your hunger under control while keeping your total calorie intake down. Furthermore, these are also loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, so are a must-have for overall health as well.

Finally, fruits can also be consumed in moderation. Some people believe that they should cut fruit entirely out of the picture, but that doesn’t have to be the case.

While they do contain some natural fruit sugar, they also contain fiber, which will help keep you feeling full and prevent the typical blood sugar spike you get from pure glucose.

Fruits are still lower calorie overall, so can be a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth. They do contain more calories than vegetables though, so just be sure that you are adding them to your daily total. Eat too many and you could still gain weight.

There’s no specific recommendation for exactly how many carbohydrates you need to eat on your diet plan and it will largely be determined by how many calories you’re taking in in the first place along with how much dietary fat you’re eating. Once your protein intake is set, then the remaining calories will get divided up between carbs and fats relatively equally.

Remember that there are four calories per gram of proteins and carbs but nine calories per gram of dietary fat.
 
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Dietary Fats

Speaking of dietary fat, this brings us to our last nutrient to discuss. While some people may fear carbohydrates in their diet, others fear dietary fat.

As long as you’re choosing wisely though, there’s no need to feel this way. Dietary fat is more calorie dense, so you do need to be careful how much you eat, but some fat should definitely be included in your diet plan.

This is what will help to keep you feeling satisfied after each meal and less likely to go in for a snack shortly afterwards. Since dietary fat takes so long to digest in the body by adding it to the meals and snacks you eat, you increase the total length of digestion, reducing your hunger.
Dietary fat is also important for keeping your hormonal levels up where they need to be so that you feel great on your diet at all times. Those women who choose to eat fat devoid diet will often complain about a lacklustre complexion, brittle hair and nails, along with a hunger level that never seems to let up.

Dietary fat can fix all this.

When adding dietary fat to your program, you want to turn to unsaturated and polyunsaturated sources. Stay as far away from trans fats and saturated fats as possible as these will only do your health harm.

Also remember to eat fats away from the pre and post workout period. During these times dietary fat will only slow down the deliver to the muscle tissues, which is precisely what you don’t want.

Keep your pre and post workouts strictly carbs and protein and then make the other meals focused more around protein, healthy fats, and vegetables.

The Top Choices Of Healthy Fats To Consume Include:

Olive oil
Safflower oil
Flaxseed oil
Flaxseeds
Sunflower seeds
Nuts
Natural nut butter
Avocados
Fatty sources of fish

If you can choose most often, you’ll be doing your best to promote a lean body composition and optimal health.

Flaxseeds, walnuts, and fatty sources of fish are especially important because these are the main sources of omega fats, which is the type of fat most powerful for enhancing your health and promoting a leaner body composition.

Again, there’s no minimum or maximum recommendation for dietary fats as they have to fit in with your total calorie intake target. For reference sake though, aim to consume no less than 15% of your total calories from dietary fat.

This is the minimum amount you need to help keep your hunger under control and hormones at an appropriate level.

So that covers the main macronutrients that you must be eating on a daily basis. Take some time now to figure out your targets so that you know what you should be getting.

Once you’ve done so, then you should utilize a calorie and nutrient tracking program such as one of the many phone applications out there or internet sites (www.MyFitnessPal.com for example) to help keep track of everything and ensure you are eating what you need to be.

These sites make things highly organized and easy so that you can be sure that you do reach the goals that you’ve set out for yourself.

Hydration

Another important thing to think about and make sure you’re well aware of is hydration. If you’re not properly hydrating, this can result in a slowed metabolic rate, higher levels of fatigue, and just a general sense of being unwell.

When it comes to hydration, make sure to choose low-calorie or calorie-free options that contain no caffeine.

The best choice is water, followed closely by herbal or Green tea. Coffee can be okay in moderation as it does have that caffeine, but be careful not to add high amounts of sugar or full fat cream or you’re going to increase your calorie intake significantly.

Active women should be drinking at least ten cups of fluid per week, if not more to ensure they are getting what they need after their workout sessions.

Factoring In Body Type

Finally, also remember that you should base your entire program – not just your diet, but your workouts as well, around your body type. This is important because in some cases, you will need to use a slightly different approach than in others.

For example, if you have 20+ pounds to lose and would describe yourself right now as quite overweight, then you can take a more aggressive approach with your diet than someone who is already quite lean and looking to get to the very lean level with a defined abs and so on.

Someone who is much leaner will find that their body fights back a lot harder as they continue on with the diet process, while someone who isn’t as lean will be able to use a higher calorie deficit and sustain that diet for a longer period of time before having to take a diet break.

This all mostly relates back to how much of a threat your body is going to view that diet as. Your body doesn’t like to be in a state of exceptional leanness. If it had its way, you’d say slightly heavier as to it, fat is protection.

So, any time you threaten to remove this protection, it’s going to put up a bit of a defence to try and stop you. The less protection you have, the stronger its lines of defence will be.

Taking this into account as you choose the nature of the program will be important so that the program is indeed something that you can stick with as time progresses onwards and is a healthy approach for your body.

So this now wraps up the discussion on diet. Let’s turn our focus now to the exercise side of things so that you can get the other half of the equation in place for optimal results.

Exercising For A Better Figure

In addition to making sure that you’re eating right, you’re also going to want to make sure that you’re following a proper workout program.

The diet is what will get the fat loss coming off, but it’s the workout that will ensure that it stays off and transform your body entirely throughout the process.

Dieting alone will likely lead to both fat loss and lean muscle mass loss, while diet plus exercise leads to just fat loss.

So to get things started, let’s quickly go over perhaps one of the biggest myths around that women are led to believe, which is the myth of spot training.

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The Myth Of Spot Training

One of the biggest mistakes that you could make as you go about your training is falling for the myth of spot training or reducing as it’s often called.

What this myth essentially states is that you can pinpoint exactly where you’re going to lose body fat.

For example, some women will think that if they perform an endless series of crunches over and over again, they’ll be right on track to getting the stomach of their dreams. This is hardly the case.

In order to get a flat stomach, you must first remove all the fat covering the stomach so it will be possible to see the muscles underneath. As long as that fat is there, it doesn’t matter how strong or defined those muscles are, they’ll still be hidden.

And, crunches do very little to burn off calories so won’t really have any type of influence on whether or not you lose body fat. So that approach is a horrible one if getting flat abs is your goal.
Strange as it may sound, you’d be better off performing interval sprints and a session of squats, deadlifts, rows, and bench presses. That would lead to greater flat ab success than performing crunches for an hour.

Spot training is completely untrue because you will lose fat from all over your body as time progresses on. You don’t get to pick and choose which area of the body you burn off body fat from, so you must just focus on doing whatever you can to speed up the entire fat loss process.
This includes eating the right diet (which we’ve already outlined), along with using a workout program that not only burns as many calories as possible during the session, but also boosts your metabolic rate so that you burn more calories after the workout is complete as well.

If you can do that, then you’ll really be on your way to success.

You’ll see fat loss coming off of all the main areas of your body, including the ‘trouble’ spot that you were trying to tone in the first place.

So now that you know improving your body is a full body effort, this leads us to our next discussion, which is the cardio versus weight training debate.

Cardio Versus Weight Training

One of the biggest mistakes that so many females make is thinking that the fastest way to their success is to perform loads and loads of cardio each day.

They figure that since they are burning calories while doing that cardio training, this must mean that they’re making progress.

Only, that’s furthest from the truth. Cardio training is not going to change your body – not the way weight training will.

The problem with doing an overabundance of cardio training while simultaneously having a lack of weight lifting is the fact that cardio training does nothing to strengthen the muscles and prevent lean muscle mass loss.

When dieting and using that reduced calorie intake, you are already at a risk of lean muscle mass loss. If you go off performing exercise that doesn’t require much muscular challenge (just an aerobic challenge for your heart), you’re doing very little to convince your body to keep its lean muscle mass tissue.

As a result, it may start to burn some of it off, meaning you’re still losing that fat and muscle combo.

The end result is that you may become lighter and smaller, but you become a smaller version of your current self or worse yet, a smaller version of yourself that has more body fat and less muscle. This means, all in all, you’ll actually look softer and flabbier.

Is that the result you’re going for?

Keep up hours of cardio training and you’ll be well on your way if so. If you add weight training, on the other hand, now you’re telling the body that it must keep that lean muscle mass tissue. It needs it on a daily basis to perform what it’s supposed to be doing. That sends a very strong signal to your body.

As a result, you lose more fat and less muscle. Your muscle stays intact, getting more and more defined as the days go on. This is the method to creating an ideal body. Now, there is one form of cardio that you can do to help enhance your figure. Let’s look at that next.

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Cardio Varieties To Know

The main point to know with cardio training is that not all varieties are the same. If you want to build a dream body, you need to choose wisely.

The two main types of cardio activities are interval cardio training and steady state cardio training.
Steady state cardio training is the type of cardio training that will lead to lean muscle mass loss, very little increases in your metabolic rate, and hardly any change to the way you look. What’s more is that it is b-o-r-i-n-g.

This is the form of cardio that you do for 30-60 minutes at a time, going at one moderate pace the entire time through.

For faster results, turn to interval cardio training. This variation of cardio, since it is so intense, will have you burning up calories for hours after the workout is completed, really accelerating the rate in which your body burns off body fat.

In addition to that, it’s also going to reshape the body better because it requires more muscular strength to perform it.

With interval cardio training, you’re going to alternate between a very short burst of all out exercise for 15-60 seconds (how long you make these is up to you) and then perform an active rest period for twice the length of the interval.

Repeat this process 5-10 times per workout session, starting with a warm-up and cool-down. If you can do this form of cardio 2-3 times per week, that is what will get you changing the way you look.

So have a good look over your current cardio program and make changes as needed. Drop those moderate intensity sessions because they really aren’t going to get you very good results for your time invested.

Constructing A Proper Weight Training Program

Moving along, the next element of a good body changing program to discuss is weight lifting. Weight lifting earns top marks on the exercise front because it’ll help to increase muscular strength, improve your resting metabolic rate, add more muscle definition and tone, and help to improve your functional physical capability as well.

When designing a weight training program, there are two main things to note:

Take the full body approach where you work each muscle group in the body with every single workout

These are the most effective workouts because you’ll burn more calories during the session and have to spend less total time in the gym.

Utilize as many compound exercises as possible.

Compound exercises are those that work more than one muscle group at once, so they’re your squats, bench press, lunges, deadlifts, shoulder presses, and bent over rows.

Spend more time on these and less time on isolation exercises that work just a single muscle group such as bicep curls, tricep extensions, lateral raises, hamstring curls, leg extensions, and so on. Those burn few calories and will produce little result.

Aim for 8-12 reps of each set you do, doing 2-4 sets per exercise. Perform your full body workout three times per week and you’ll be seeing results in no time.

Now let’s take a brief look at the top supplements to consider.

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Supplements To Enhance Results

As you go about your diet plan, you may start to consider using some supplements at some point or another. Supplements can be a great way to take your results one step further and help enhance the overall fat burning taking place in your body.

Here are the primary supplements that you may want to think about. Remember that these should only be used after a good diet is in place however.

Protein Powder

Most women struggle to get in enough protein, so this supplement can really save the day. Get a whey isolate for right before and after the workout as these are designed to be digested rapidly and a casein protein powder for before bed or between meals.

That variety will break down more slowly, providing a steady release of amino acids to the muscle cells.

Fish Oil

Moving on, fish oil is another must have. Fish oil will ensure that you get your full intake of omega fats each and every day, making it easier than eating fatty fish seven days a week.

Aim for 3-6 caps per day and you’ll reap all the benefits that the omega fats offer that we discussed earlier.

Multi-Vitamin

On those days when you just can’t get in enough fruits and vegetables, having a good multi-vitamin for back-up assurance is a wise move. Take these and you can feel confident that you aren’t falling short on any major vitamins or mineral and will sustain good health.

Glutamine

Finally, to speed up your recovery from those intense workout sessions, consider glutamine. Glutamine is a particular amino acid that works hard in the body to boost your immune system. Without enough glutamine, you may find that you feel very run-down between workouts, which definitely will have you putting in less effort.
Take five grams both immediately after your workout as well as before bed.

If you can get these supplements in your arsenal, you’ll be cutting out the pricey supplements that you really don’t need while focusing on the ones that will actually offer you results.

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The Next Stage

A wise person once stated, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” But beauty has become less about the “beholder” and more about the projected image of what beauty is. Today the media projects images of emaciated models and rail thin cover models telling us that is beautiful. The image of what we portray a woman’s body and what we think is beauty has drastically changed over the past decades. Marilyn Monroe was by far the biggest sex symbol of the 1950’s. There was not one woman out there that did not want to have the body of this blonde goddess. In the 1980’s Denise Austin was the face of women’s fitness. I can recall watching my mother workout in the mornings to Getting Fit on ESPN and hearing her say, “If Denise can do it, so can I.” This lady coaching my mother through the television appeared as though she had the total package; sculpted legs, toned arms, and a booty that you could bounce a coin off of. Today we have a host of beautiful fitness models and role models for young women to look up to and aspire to be. However, our self image and what we accept about our bodies has become distorted. We are on a quest for the perfect body.

But what defines the “perfect body?” And who is to say what is perfect and what is not. And why do you workout? Do you workout for self confidence? To justify some of the “comfort” foods that you eat? Or in order to relieve stress. While these reasons are common, by far the most common reasoning for working out is because of that one stubborn part that you are not happy with.

As a fitness professional, I will tell you that no matter what your reasoning is for working out, there will always be those stubborn body parts, but you can always improve them and strive to achieve what YOU want out of your body.

Stubborn Body Part #1: Cellulite

Let me start off with explaining what this dimply thing they call cellulite truly is. Cellulite is fat deposits that are underneath the skins surface which can cause a dimpling effect and usually targets the abdomen, thighs, and glute region on women. There are numerous factors that come into play when looking at the reasoning behind cellulite with the main ones being a woman’s genes, hormones, lifestyle, smoking, and diet.

Fix:

The best way to get rid of pesky cellulite would be through diet, exercise, and not letting stress get the best of ya. A healthy well balanced diet and a minimum of30 minutes a day of some form of exercise will help you reduce the appearance and fat content in the cells that produce this unwanted cellulite. Fruits, vegetables, and fiber are some of the best choices when it comes to preventing and reducing. Avoid sugary and fatty foods as much as possible and limit your alcohol consumption.

Stubborn Body Part #2: The Arm Wave or Bingo Wings

When I first heard someone refer to their tricep/arm as bingo wings I was definitely interested in knowing what the heck this meant. I have heard the term arm wave, and the example I usually get is that of someone waving the hand and their arm proceeds to wave with it, but never bingo wing. So I had to do some research and this is what I found as the definition, “The fat that swings from a woman’s arm such as that of an obese woman when they raise and shake their hand while shouting “Bingo!”

WOW! The terms people will come up with to explain a body part.

Fix:

In order to get rid of these flappers, you are going to have to incorporate some weight training into your every day routine. There are 3 main exercises that will help to tone and strengthen this target area; tricep push-ups, dips, and medicine ball slams. I strongly believe that as long as you can use your limbs and bodyweight, than this is by far the best form of exercise out there. And the best part is, you can do it ANYWHERE! You don’t have to be at a gym to perform these 3 exercises. All you need is yourself and an 8-10lb medicine ball.

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Stubborn Body Part #3: Muffin Top

I can remember the first time I heard someone refer to their abdomen area as a muffin top. I laughed so hard and had absolutely no idea what she was referring to. After discussing what she believed was a muffin top here is the conclusion I have came up with. A so called muffin top is when a woman wears too tight of clothes and her skin tends to flow over the top of her waist band resembling that of a muffin. Now honestly, who doesn’t like muffins? I can say I do, but only healthy ones and not on my body.

Fix:

The first fix for getting rid of this unwanted muffin top is by far the easiest…MOVE! By exerting more energy, you will in turn burn more calories. An example would be, instead of taking the elevator to your office in the morning, take the stairs. Another great way to burn extra calories is to go on daily walks. Don’t sit in front of the TV, get outside and get a 20-30min walk in. This will not only start to reduce the appearance of your muffin top, but it will also produce endorphins which help to improve our overall happiness.

The second fix would be to change up your eating habits. This doesn’t have to be done drastically all at once, but slow and steady. First step would be to start limiting your portion sizes. So instead of eating a whole bowl of cereal in the morning cut it back to ½ cup. Next you will start to cut different foods out of your diet such as sugars, fats, etc. If you are one of those many women that like to drink soda, you need to cut this out NOW! This absolutely has to go. I don’t care if it’s diet or not, it has to kick it! Find a healthy alternative such as Green Tea, Propel, Crystal Light, etc. This will make a huge difference! Start incorporating more whole grains, lentils, and lean meats. You will notice that muffin top melting right off ☺

Stubborn Body Part #4: Thighs

So being a trainer for over 6 years now, I have come in contact with numerous women who have come to me in hopes of looking like a Victoria Secret Model. They want the skinny legs that go on for days. Well guess what ladies…I am here to tell you that if you are not 6 feet tall or taller, you aren’t going to get those tall stems like you see in the magazines or on the Victoria Secret Fashion show. And while yes their legs look long and lean, they really appear to have no muscle. Who wants to have twiggy stems? A lean muscular leg is much more appealing.

Fix:

No matter what shape of leg you have, you can always tone and improve the appearance. It might not be a Victoria Secret Model leg, but it will look that of a Fitness Model leg. Who doesn’t want that right? There are 3 main exercises I have found to produce the best results when it comes to toning and leaning out the legs; the first one being a squat. No matter which way you choose to do a squat, it is going to create great results. You could try a sumo squat which is going to target more of the inside of your leg. Then there is a plain old bodyweight squat which is going to target the glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. The second exercise to strengthen and lean the leg would be a lunge.

There are many different forms of lunges out there. You choose which one best suits you depending on your fitness level. You could start off with a stationary lunge, progressed to a walking lunge, followed up with a Bulgarian lunge. All 3 of these will definitely get you feeling the BURN! But by far, my favorite leg sculpting exercise would have to be box jumps. Now this is absolutely not for everybody, but if you have some ups, then you should give this a try ☺ For you beginners, you can start off with stepping up on a box or bench. This will do just as well.

Problem Area # 5: The “I don’t want to get bulky” lady

I am not ashamed to say this, I was one of these girls at one time. I can remember thinking that weights were the devil and would only make me look like a man. I didn’t even want to think about stepping into the weight area of the gym. To me the cardio area was for women…this is where we did our working out. But let me tell you, the minute I started lifting weight, it gave me a high like I had never felt before. I had POWER!

Fix:

For those of you ladies out there who believe the myth that if you lift weights you will get big, this is absolutely 110% not true! As long as you are not producing testosterone or taking it for that matter, then there is no way that you are physically able to get big such as a man. We are women produce estrogen which tends to make it harder for us to lose bodyfat and men produce testosterone which is why they shed bodyfat quicker. They don’t have that annoying estrogen slowing them down.

Here is why lifting weight works for us as women. When you lift weights, you start to build lean body mass, which in turn helps to burn that stubborn bodyfat. For you cardio queens, sad to say, but you might be hindering your fitness goals because you are not lifting weights. When doing too much cardio you start to burn your muscle which then slows down the expanding bodyfat process. Lifting weights will only make you stronger and give you that lean look.

Beauty is not skin deep, beauty is what YOU define it as. You are the judge of what you want to be. We all have problem areas that we want to fix and change. Let these suggestions be your guide to your problem spots but be realistic and don’t sweat the small stuff. What is vitally important is we accept ourselves for who we are with the intention of always improving. And as I always say, “Love Your Body.”

Conclusion

So there you have your guide to perfecting your workout and diet to develop your ideal physique. If you work hard and eat right, success can be yours. Don’t be afraid of lifting weight as it really is the key to transforming your body.

Remember that no one is perfect and there will be slip-ups throughout your journey, but, if you can continue to put in a good effort, it won’t be long before you are seeing remarkable changes taking place.

found here:  http://www.trimmedandtoned.com/fat-loss-motivation-4-the-most-amazing-female-weight-loss-transformations-30-pics

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You know what, my blog isn’t even really about weight loss, its not.  Sure I need to lose a few pounds, or more honestly, I would like to lose a few, just to get to my best ever me, but I like to see these kinds of pics occasionally just to prove that transformation is possible.

Ok, I haven’t transformed by any means as dramatically as these girls, but any transformation is worth celebrating.

Whether it be ten pounds or two hundred, it changes you.

None of them are now ”skinny”, but they look toned, fit, happy and healthy, that’s what this should be all about.

Well done to them, they have done something amazing for themselves, and if you are slowly progressing and getting where you need to be to be healthier and fitter, then well done to you too, whether thats losing a hundred pounds, fifteen pounds, exercising more, running up the steps instead of struggling up them, going for a run instead of going for a pizza……keep going, it really isn’t as difficult as some people like to make it out to be, and lets face it, if it were easy, where would the pride be in that?

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