How did you get going losing all the weight? What inspired you to really start?
For me, motivation and inspiration came when I was just DONE looking and feeling like I did. I think you really have to be ready, and you have to want to do it for you.
What diet do you think works best?
I don’t believe in “diets” where you cut out whole food groups. I think that’s unhealthy, unless you have an actual allergy. I believe in moderation, or else you burn out. I believe in eating in a healthy way that’s sustainable for the rest of your life. I think lots of fiber is good for you, and will help keep you full. I think more fruits and veggies are always better. (I love this book.) I think the more whole and the less processed you can keep your diet, the better you’ll feel. I think logging helps you get a good idea of what’s enough food for your body, and I think “If It Meets Your Macros” is awesome…as long as you’re usually eating healthy foods.
Because I have Insulin Resistance, I do have to pair up my foods in a really specific way, or I don’t lose weight. So I get that some people can’t just shove healthy food in their faces, meet their macros for the day, and drop weight. I envy you if you can! I had to do a little research before I found what really clicked for my body. Sometimes what works for that girl on Instagram is not going to work for you.
How many calories should I be eating?! Everything I look at says something different!
If you’re brand new to this, try logging everything you ate yesterday (or on an average day). See how many calories you usually eat, and try subtracting 300-500. That’s a good place to start.
If you’re not so new to this, or you’re plateauing, it’s a little more tricky. There are lots of calculators out there, and most of them come up with completely crazy numbers for me.
(Please remember that I am not a doctor and use good judgment and please don’t hold me accountable if you decide to do crazy things. Love you!)
What workout or exercise will burn fat the fastest?
I can tell you what’s worked for me, but my one caveat is this: I feel really strongly that if you don’t find exercise that you enjoy, you won’t stick with it. So I think that’s key–what do you like to do? Go do that a few times a week. Start there, maybe, and see how you feel.
That said, heavy weight lifting has changed my body the most. But I still love yoga, I’ve gotten back into ballet, and I run sometimes. I think they’re all beneficial, for different reasons.
How do you work out at home? What equipment do you have?
I have a set of plate dumbbells like these. I started out with just the plates they came with, but eventually I did go to a local sporting goods store and buy some 10-pound plates. Weight plates usually cost $1/pound.
I have this weight bench. I’ve had it for almost two years now and my husband and I have used it several times a week in that period. It’s held up nicely. It’s fabulous for women under about 5′ 8″. If you are tall, you might want something larger. If a bench is out of your price range right now, a sturdy chair or bench will work, or even a stability ball.
For yoga, I like this good thick yoga mat from Target. I also recently started workouts that require a crossfit box, which is ridiculously expensive, so I bought a 12″ sprinkler valve box instead and it’s awesome!
How do you keep track of your workouts?
I have a post on the apps I use here!
How did you get started lifting so you felt comfortable with the exercises? Did you have a trainer?
I started lifting, a tiny bit, in junior high school with circuit training machines with someone to help show me how to use them. If you’ve never lifted before at all and have no experience with it, circuit machines might be the best place to start. There is probably a gym near you that will let you pay month to month with no commitment and set up a couple of sessions with someone to walk you through how the machines work. I do think it’s worth it to have help familiarizing yourself with the motions of weight lifting, just because it can be so easy to injure your joints and tendons if you do things incorrectly–especially once you make the move to free/heavy weights. For one month at $19.99 or so and an hour or two with a trainer, you’ll have a foundation that’ll last you a lifetime. That said, if you just can’t swing it or gyms & trainers make you cringe, bodybuilding.com has excellent videos for every lift you can possibly imagine. Watch closely, pay attention to form on both lift and release, and you will likely be OK.