The best fitness advice I have ever gotten was, “Keep it simple, stupid”. The more complicated your health and fitness routine is, the less maintainable it will be. Find what works for you, and don’t compare it to anyone else. Here’s some Frequently Asked Questions; with hopefully, some enlightening and refreshing answers.
“What’s better: low carb or low fat?”
- This one may shock you: NEITHER. 🙂 Your body needs carbs for energy, brain function, and more. You also need fats for digestion, energy, hormonal balance, etc. There’s a reason why a low fat diet and a low carb diet gain and lose popularity over and over again. People change their mind about what diet is best for them as soon as they see it in a magazine or endorsed by a celebrity. Trends come and go – so make your own rules and find what works for you. Just remember that your body needs both macronutrients to function properly.
“How often should I weigh myself?”
- I don’t know.. never? But seriously, the scale is a poor indicator of health. As if you haven’t heard that before. Instead, focus on the way you feel, the way your clothes fit, comparing progress pictures once in a while, your energy levels, etc. If you have a substantial amount of weight to lose (30 lbs +), then I’d suggest weighing yourself once per week AT MOST, on the same day, around the same time. Most importantly, realize that there are much better ways to measure your progress, no matter how much weight you want to lose, gain, or maintain.
“How many days per week should I work out, and for how long?”
- Take a look at your weekly schedule and be realistic with yourself. If you have days that are more busy than others, plan for a super-quick workout or a rest day on those days. On your less busy days, spend a little extra time in the gym, outside, or wherever you like to get your workout on. There’s no magic number of days or hours per week. Measure your work load, family and friends time, errands, etc… then decide when and how you can get your exercise in. Most importantly: don’t beat yourself up if you don’t hit your goal one week. Sometimes, life happens. Stay positive and hit the next week that much harder.
“What’s the best form of cardio?”
- In my humble opinion, you should do whatever type of cardio that makes you happy. Whether that’s going for a walk, doing sprints, doing CrossFit/circuit style workouts, or walking on the StairMaster. Are there more effective types of cardio as it relates to fat loss? Yes. But even then, I think a variety of different types of workouts, and doing what you truly enjoy, will be most beneficial for you.
“What’s better: lifting for high reps or low reps?”
- Do a little bit of both. And remember – if you lift the same amount of weight, for the same amount of reps and sets every single week, you’re eventually going to plateau. Lift light weights for high reps one week ,and heavy weights for low reps the next week. And don’t be afraid to try something totally new. Monotony is the thief of progress.
“Will lifting make me bulky?”
- Absolutely not. This is by far one of the most common myths in the fitness industry. Some women stay far away from the weight room for various reasons, but this one is probably the most common. Women simply have a different hormonal profile than men, and will not gain lean mass as easily. The only thing that could make you “bulky” is a surplus of calories.
I hope this helps you to find a plan that you can maintain for a lifestyle. When you’re looking into a new diet or workout plan, ask yourself if it’s something you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life. If not, re-evaluate.