Ladies, if you’ve ever struggled with fat loss then follow along closely.
It’s the number one fitness goal for women and unfortunately, there’s so much conflicting information available that it’s often tough to know what to do.
No more fad diets, cleanses or endless hours spent doing cardio.
In today’s article, I want to share the 3 most important tips I can to help you get real, sustainable results.
Are you ready?
Your Recipe For Fat Loss
Before I go into your actionable tips, I want to give you a brief overview of the fat loss process.
Create a calorie deficit
In order to lose weight and body fat you must decrease your calories so that you’re in a deficit. This simply means that you are consuming fewer calories than you expend. This deficit can be created through diet and exercise, but is mainly achieved through diet changes.
Everyone knows that exercise burns calories. My preferred type of exercise is lifting weights. Big shocker, right? Lifting weights will build muscle and strength. Training with high levels of volume during a fat loss diet is paramount to holding onto lean muscle mass. For my clients, lifting weights of some sort is a requirement.
Piggybacking on #1, your diet is a central factor in whether you shed excess body fat or not. Focus on eating mostly whole, unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods the majority of the time.
You’ve got to get good sleep if you want to maximize your fat loss results. It’s pretty easy to tell if you get a good night’s sleep or not. 6-8 hours for most people works pretty well.
These are the main ingredients for successful fat loss. Focus on these first and foremost before worrying about smaller details. Now that you have the general overview of what’s required for fat loss, let’s get into those 3 tips I mentioned earlier.
Women Can Handle More Volume
Despite what you might see in magazines, on Facebook or Instagram, women should train quite similar to men.
Women can and should be training the compound lifts through a full range of motion. Most women are also a lot stronger than they give themselves credit for.
Don’t be afraid to lift heavy. Of course heavy is a relative term, but the point is that you don’t have to only use those 5lb pink dumbbells. Lift as heavy as possible in your desired rep range and focus on increasing your weights slowly over time. This will lead to greater muscle retention while calories drop.
The most significant difference I’ve noticed when training women is their ability to handle volume.
Women look and perform better doing more work. It’s as simple as that.
One of the best things I’ve done to help my female clients reach their fat loss goals has been increasing their training volume.
My online coaching client, Nita, has lost over 25 pounds in a little over a year and a half. The biggest changes came from monitoring her calories, the most important fat loss principle in my free 10 Commandments of Fat Loss manual.
When we first started training, I kept her rep ranges much lower.
But, after learning a bit more about hypertrophy work, and higher volume training, I started to implement those principles into my clients’ programming.
With the higher volume approach, Nita’s built muscle, gained confidence and lost 25+lbs.
With my female clients especially, I almost always have them doing higher volume work to improve body composition. Not only do they end up losing body fat, but they gain muscle and get a heck of a lot stronger too.
The Dreaded Scale, Patience, and Progress
We often measure our progress by the number on the scale.
Heck, I’ve done it.
The scale can be a sensitive subject for many women. And that’s completely ok.
What I tell my online clients is that the scale is just one way for us to assess and track progress. But it’s not the only way to measure your success.
There are many other measures of progress like how you feel, your energy levels, your mood, your performance in the gym, how your clothes are fitting etc.
For many women, a dedicated lifting routine is completely foreign. Sure, maybe they’ve done some group classes here and there, but a set workout schedule?
Not so much.
So when women come to work with me, they begin a lifting program and sometimes their weight doesn’t change for several weeks.
This is completely normal and is somewhat expected. During this initial break-in period, it’s important to focus on how you’re feeling in and out of the gym, rather than just relying on the number on the scale to dictate your mood and progress. You’re likely building muscle, which is a very, very good thing.
As easy as it is for me to tell you to be patient, I completely understand being impatient.
But I can say this: If you understand from the beginning that making changes to your body takes a lot of effort, consistency, and time, then you’ll already be well on your way to getting great results. Don’t set yourself up for failure by having unrealistic expectations from the beginning.
Have patience and embrace the process. Aim to lose between 0.5-1.5lbs of weight per week. It doesn’t seem like much at first, but by the end of your fat loss phase, usually 12 weeks long, you could have potentially lost 18lbs on average.
While I mentioned the scale being just one tool to use, it is important to track your bodyweight 2-3x per week and note the differences in weight from week to week.
Along with the scale, progress pictures are my favorite way to assess progress. Take pictures every 4 weeks or so and compare side-by-side.
How do your clothes fit? Do you have more energy day-to-day? How do you see yourself?
These are better questions to ask rather than only viewing yourself as the number on the scale.
Progress In Action
My online coaching client, Carrie, has made steady progress, although the scale hasn’t always reflected her hard work.
If there’s one thing Carrie has learned it’s that progress takes time. But with persistence and consistency (principle #4 in 10 Commandments of Fat Loss) the results will come.
While there’s only a 12lb difference between these two pictures, she’s noticeably leaner through the stomach and has increased her strength dramatically.
She’s still in progress but is feeling much more confident and continues to build momentum because of the visible results she’s seeing.
The important thing to remember here is that results take time. I can’t promise anyone overnight results. But over time, through hard work and consistency, the results will come, I can assure you that.
Use Your Diet to Your Advantage
A big trend in regards to women and fitness is the notion that in order to get into shape, women should just starve themselves and perform hours and hours of cardio.
Instead, I want you to think of using your diet to fuel your training. The ability to train hard can be a very rewarding experience for females.
I’ve noticed this directly with my female coaching clients.
Because I like my female clients to train with high volumes, this means they need a good amount of carbs to fuel their training.
And women love carbs.
It’s just science.
Kidding aside, I’ve noticed that women tend to crave carbs more than fats. So why fight it?
Making nutrition adjustments for my female coaching clients, I prefer to reduce their fat intake first while keeping their carbs as high as possible until more calories need to be cut.
This will allow them to train harder by supplying energy for tough workouts. You didn’t think easy workouts were gonna cut it did you?
One of my online coaching clients, Laura, absolutely loves carbs 🙂
She puts them to good use during grueling training sessions, that’s for sure. Laura’s competed in two powerlifting meets, and has added muscle and strength to her body, all while getting leaner and more defined. Not to mention her self-confidence is through the roof and she’s truly a meathead now 😉
Here’s Laura, looking lean, strong, and confident:
Skip the diet fads, body wraps, detoxes, cleanses, and miracle pills.
Stick to the basics of nutrition and training and you’ll reach your goals much faster in the process.