A hundred times you have wanted to start doing something about your figure but all that “guaranteed to work” advice from women’s magazines, web sites, forums, Facebook or friends was just so overwhelming and confusing?
Let’s bring some light on the matter and sort things out to find out what really works, what is just plain hearsay or advertising and, above all, why most women fail in their efforts.
Right at the beginning I want to encourage you by saying that almost every woman can shape her figure unless she has a major health problem hindering her from making her dreams come true. Of course, there are women who have to put in much more effort than others to meet their goal. If they do not become discouraged, the outcome is even much more rewarding.
What do I want and what can I accomplish?
I reckon that a vast majority of readers want to have a figure in line with the modern ideal of beauty, including a slim figure, flat belly, and a well-shaped butt and breasts.
All women can achieve the three first things through diet and exercising. When it comes to breasts, one has to understand that beautifully shaped breasts do not depend on the breast muscle (as in men), but the shape depends on fatty tissue surrounding the breast glands.
For that reason many women can attain a slim figure only at the cost of a “flat chest”. That is true especially for women whose fat deposits are primarily in their thighs and glutes (if that is your problem you know exactly what I am talking about, especially when your trouser size is an M and of yourtops are an S).
I also have to note that most fitness models have had breast implants for that very reason. Those who do not need implants and are capable of shedding the last gram of fat from their bellies and have well-shaped full breasts at the same time, have been born with a phenomenal genetic outfit.
We need to understand that fat is not deposited equally in all people. For example, if the first location where you store fat is on your hips, then on your belly and later on your calves, fat will go away in the opposite sequence with your diet and exercise (according to our example it will leavefirst from the calves, then from the belly and last from the hips).
As a matter of fact, my role as an apostle of healthy workoutshas committed me to conclude this section by appealing to your common sense: do not exercise just for the sake of beauty. There are many muscles in our bodies which are not visible from outside and exercising them does not improve one’s appearance. But those muscles are important for the right body posture and general health. You can learn more in the section on Body Core Training.
Too much “good advice”
As I said, women are literally flooded with various shortcuts to the ideal figure: “No tough diets”, “One strange rule to a flat belly”, and “10foods you should never eat” and so forth and so on. These headlines sound familiar, don’t they?
Now listen to me well. There are no shortcuts to becoming rich. There are no magic investment methods and there are no miraculous slimming methods.
Fitness models and regular people who have made it share a single secret: commitment.
Try to become excellent (or at least good) at work or at school by only using tricks from Facebook. If you are ready to devote only 20 minutes a day to your goal, you will attain corresponding results.
To change your body you need to change your attitude. The more compromises you make on your way, the more disappointments there are waiting for you.
An individual approach
We would not need doctors if a single drug worked for all diseases. If each person needed identical kind of training, we would not need trainers and dieticians.
First of all, you need to know your daily caloric needs, the level when you do not gain weight and do not lose it. Use a calorie calculator to start. The result, however, has to be adjusted to your own experience as any such calculator is incapable of taking into account the specifics of your metabolism.
You need to keep a close eye on your daily calorie consumption. If you notice that you do not lose weight even though you are burning the same amount of energy, the only thing you can do is reduce your daily intake of calories. But things are not all that simple because your digestive system may digest certain foods better and draw more calories from otherkinds of food.
But there is no reason to be fearful. Over time, every one who is serious about fitness will identify her or his ideal menu. With a little extra sensitivity you can also find out just what kinds of food do not fit you well.
Another thing I personally would like to recommend is watching your response to alcohol consumption. Alcohol may severely hamper various metabolic processes andmay actually block effective slimming in certain people.
An individual approach must also be observed in the intensity and structure of trainings.
Your training certainly should consist of aerobic (“cardio”) and anaerobic (“resistance training”) components (a detailed explanation follows below).
For example, if you easily tend to develop muscle but are not interested in enhancing your muscle mass, adjust your training by reducing resistance training and doing more cardio. We will discuss this issue in detail later as it is a rather complex topic.
Diet and training
The right diet and the right training are absolutely critical for effective body shaping. We may engage in never-ending discussion about which is more important but the truth is that they are two sides of the same coin. If we want to achieve results, we have to pay attention to both.
The ideal number of training days in a week is 4 to 6. If you exercise every day you may end up over-trained and be at risk of various problems, especially neurological ones (irritability, sleeplessness, fatigue). If you have too little training, your results may not be satisfactory or may be hardly even detectable.
A separate section at musqle.com is dedicated to diet and there you can find hundreds of recipes for meals suitable for athletes (yes, you too are an athlete now :)). There are a couple essential rules that will make your diet different from the diet of most people: more proteins, less saccharides, no carbonated drinks, a minimum of simple sugars (including sweets and pastries; simple sugar is primarily saccharine), a minimum of deep-fried food (mainly because it damages the liver), a minimum amount of alcohol, and plenty of vegetables and fruit. Saccharides should be in their natural form in which they have the highest concentration of fibre and nutrients.
Fats are a specific issue and science has not arrived at a comprehensive opinion on their consumption. That is why we do not avoid fats altogether and we use healthy oils, such as olive oil and others, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
The main difference in our recipes from common diets dwells in higher consumption of proteins. Though this is a simplified, it generally holds that proteins build muscles and saccharides turn into fat deposits.
The most important thing in a diet is discipline and adhering to the recommended menus and food groups as much as possible. If we cheat, we are just cheating ourselves.
Aerobic training (cardio) is intended to strengthen the heart muscle. Alone, it does not shape the figure and it just burns fat. Every activity in which you manage to do more than about 25 exercise repetitions can be considered a cardio activity. Activity like this burns fat equally in your entire body. In this way one hundred repetitions of crunches do not burn fat mainly on your belly and one hundred squats do not burn fat mainly on your legs and butt. As I already said,we (lamentably) are not primarily able to remove fat in selected parts of our bodies.
Resistance training is exercise for enhancement of muscle mass. We use a heavier load and fewer repetitions in this kind of training. The muscle to fat ratio defines the shape of our body and for that reason the ratio of aerobic to resistance training is crucial for body shaping.
What do I really need to acquire my dream figure?
The following are a must:
Motivation and willingness to persevere– joining a community such as musqle.com can help a lot as you get and give support and motivation.
Respecting one’s genetic outfit–being sensitive to the food we eat and knowing that if a certain food does not fit well, I find a substitute. Respecting one’s body type (ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph) when choosing your training plans is also required.
Adhering to the diet program you have developed– of course with our assistance and using the advice from our experts. Our diet system calculates calories as well as the levels of proteins, saccharides and fats. You can compile your daily menu using hundreds of recipes developed for you, with love, by our chef who is an expert in nutrition for athletes.
Combining cardio and resistance training –you need a training plan that has been developed to fit your needs. You can select and adjust your training plan to your requirements at MUSQLE traning plans.
(You can use the services of musqle.com free of charge)