One thing that I hate to hear is when women say, “I want to be skinny.” Being skinny does not necessarily mean that you are fit. In fact, many times, being skinny can be associated with many other health issues such as anemia, osteoporosis, and immune deficiencies. The goal should be to be as fit as possible. A combination of cardiovascular endurance, strength, power, and flexibility is what everyone should be striving to achieve in order to be physically fit and improve their quality of life. Balanced nutrition and an effective training program is the best way to achieve these fitness results. There is a lot of misinformation, especially in the media, and most people have misconceptions about nutrition, exercise, and weight loss.
One of the biggest misconceptions in fitness is that doing excessive amounts of cardio is the best way to lose weight. Weight loss has everything to do with metabolism, and the law of thermodynamics, which is calories consumed minus calories burned. With that being said, building and maintaining muscle mass is one of the best ways to increase your resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is the rate in which your body is burning calories when it is in a resting state, with no activity. This is why it is important to have strength training as a part of your workout routine.
Strength training will help you build and maintain lean muscle mass, increasing your metabolism. Many women consider being muscular as being manly or less feminine. Lean muscle mass is healthier to carry than fat mass, and it is healthier to have some muscle mass rather than being underweight. Some women feel that if they lift weights, they are going to get bulky. Let’s be honest; you have to train like a professional athlete, lift heavy weight often, and consume an abundance of calories in order to maintain a good amount of muscle mass. Doing excessive amounts of cardio will not only burn fat, but it will burn muscle mass as well, which can be a detriment to your metabolism.
The foundation of any fitness program should always begin with proper nutrition. If you do not have your nutrition dialed in, then it will make it difficult to build muscle, and lose body fat. Many times, when you feel like you are getting “bulky” from lifting weights, it is actually a diet full of inflammatory foods that are making you bloated. A proper diet should consist of lean meats, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and zero processed sugar. This type of diet will not only help you lose fat mass and build lean muscle, it will also increase your energy levels and have your body’s energy systems functioning at an optimal level.
It will also assist in fighting off chronic disease and illness. If you have a proper nutrition plan, you should have a training regimen that consists of a combination of metabolic conditioning, weightlifting, and gymnastics. This will challenge your cardiovascular system, musculoskeletal system, and your mobility. Being supple is a great way to prevent injury and fight off decrepitude. Being strong and fit will have you looking good, feeling good, and prepared for whatever life throws your way.
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If you are overweight and are looking to make a change, focus on becoming strong and fit, not skinny. Do it the right way, with proper nutrition and a diverse training regimen that will challenge your body and mind. Lastly, persevere, because being fit is hard work. It will challenge you in ways you may never have imagined. Stay strong and push through the tough times.