Everyone is always looking for quick fixes. No one wants to put in the work that creates lasting changes—which is what you really want in the long run. Right?
So why do we sell ourselves short? Let’s make it happen girls!
I ALWAYS talk about the importance of putting healthy foods into our bodies and the benefits of exercise, but do you really know and understand what causes those benefits inside of us?
The Importance of Your Metabolism
The higher our metabolism is, the more calories we burn. Meaning: the leaner we get!
YAY right?, there are a couple ways to get your metabolism working:
Metabolism Booster #1: Nutrition
Food and our metabolism are connected through what is called the thermic effect of food (TEF), defined as the amount of energy required for the body to use and store food. Protein has the highest TEF, followed by carbohydrates, followed by fats. This makes having protein with every meal key to helping boost your metabolism.
When it comes to choosing your proteins, think of your lean sources of protein: chicken, lean beef, turkey, fish, and eggs. Eating more protein also helps you to feel more full because it takes the longest to digest, hence boosting your metabolism through digestion and absorption. Protein is what builds the foundation of our bodies. If you want a strong structure, protein will help you.
What happens if we don’t eat enough? Well, our bodies aren’t too happy. When we aren’t giving our bodies enough food to eat, everything I talked about above goes right out the door. Our bodies go into more of a survival mode and will store the food as fat instead of burning it for energy.
If you are someone who exercises consistently (specifically weight training), there is pretty much no reason you shouldn’t be fueling your body properly. Ladies, I am calling you out because working with you for over a decade on nutrition, I have really had to get creative in helping you to understand the importance of fueling for fat loss.
Here is an example of what a one-day meal plan might look like for a client. Keep in mind this is a pretty basic meal plan to help get the point across.
Meal #1: Breakfast
3-4 whole egg omelet with spinach, peppers, onions, 1/4 avocado, 1 cup berries
Meal #2: Snack
1/2 cup hummus with 1 cup vegetables of choice, 1/4 cup almonds
Meal #3 Lunch
4-6 oz lean ground beef burger, 1 whole sweet potato, 1 cup green vegetable
Meal #4: (pre-workout snack)
2 rice cakes with 2 tablespoons nut butter of choice
Meal #5: Post Workout
1 scoop protein powder in liquid of choice, 1 banana, or 1 apple
Meal #6 Dinner (Post-workout)
4-6 oz chicken breast, 1/2-1 cup brown rice, 1 cup vegetable of choice
Each of these meals should have at least 25-40g of protein.
Metabolism Booster #2: Weightlifting
As a female Weightlifter, I can assure you that lifting weights won’t make you blow up into the female version of The Hulk. Aside from my love of talking nutrition, my next favorite thing to discuss is muscle.
It is commonly known that muscle burns more calories than fat does.
By adding muscle through weightlifting, you WILL get toned and leaner! If you aren’t convinced that adding muscle to your frame is for you, remember that a pound of muscle burns an average of 3-10 times more calories than a pound of fat, so even if you have the same weight, if you have more fat or more muscle, can modify the way you look.
Aside from the positive effects weightlifting has on the metabolism, it also has many other positive benefits such as helping to make your bones stronger. Ladies, we are more likely to have osteoporosis than men. Please help yourself by picking something heavy up and putting it back down on a regular basis.
One of the questions I am often asked about in my class is if it is CrossFit more cardio or weightlifting based. The truth is that it is a good mix of both, some examples that you will work on in our classes or during Open Gym time (Williamsburg and Bushwick locations have 24/7 access, so if you can’t attend to class, go there to work in some of those) include:
- Barbell work: rows, overhead pressing, deadlifts, back and front squats
- Kettlebell work: deadlifts, presses, swings, rows, squats
- Dynamic strength movements: farmers carry
Why is this type of training so successful? It’s because this type of training adds load to your muscles and this loading is what creates more muscle mass. The more muscle mass you have, the quicker your metabolism will become—which equals more calories burned!
An example of a circuit you can do after our CrossFit classes would look like this:
- 1: Kettlebell deadlift x 10-15 reps
- 2: Double Kettlebell bent over row x 10-15 reps
- 3: Burpees x 10 reps
I typically have this type of workout in a timed circuit, but for this example, you can see that the first two exercises are strength training based and the last exercise is conditioning based. This is just a simple example of what a circuit might look like, but it has all the components of a metabolically effective workout.
The Takeaway for Ladies
So ladies, if you could take anything away from this article, it is this: rip away your old beliefs that food makes us fat and that lifting weights is for The Hulk. Instead, work on adding more protein to your nutrition plan and add more weights to your weekly fitness routine. Come workout with me and take my Weightlifting Class, let’s get stronger, toned, healthier and happier!