Friday 19 January 2018

Fat loss: Could your obsession with 'skinniness' be why you're not getting results?

Ditch the scales, don't starve, and forget about being 'skinny'

Siobhan Byrne: 'you will look better maintaining muscle in your body'
Siobhan Byrne: 'you will look better maintaining muscle in your body'
Split squat 1
Split squat 2
Split squat 3
Split squat 4
Hip raise 1
Hip raise 2
Quad hip abduction 1
Quad hip abduction 2
Glute kickback 1
Glute kickback 2

Siobhan Byrne

Fat loss is a tough thing to get right. I say fat loss rather than weight loss because, if you are a regular reader of my column, you will know that weight loss does not necessarily mean fat loss.

One of the key mistakes people make is constantly checking the scales after being on a 'diet' for a period of time. In actual fact, hopping on the scales every morning is an epic fail if you are trying to reduce your fat levels. Our bodies can fluctuate with weight due to water retention, and this is the main reason I suggest people lose the scales.

After a day of healthy eating you may find you have lost a little 'weight' but that figure may just increase because of water retention three days into your diet. This makes you feel like giving up entirely. So bin the scales to begin with, and start looking at tape measurements and how your clothes feel on you.

If you are not eating enough food and instead starving yourself and, perhaps, only having dinner, the only thing I can guarantee you are doing is causing metabolic damage, thus making it harder to lose weight in the future.

The first thing I say to all of my clients is that you need to be able to live and eat - a rule that I stand by. You cannot sustain starving yourself and where you might once have got skinny in your early 20s from this bad habit, it certainly will not work in your 30s, 40s and 50s. Which brings me onto my next point: what is skinny anyway and who wants to be that?

As a woman in my late 30s I don't want to be skinny. I want to have shape and balance and to have a relatively decent amount of muscle, so that everything sits neat where it did in my 20s, or as close as possible to that.

There is nothing worse than a skinny, collapsed body which may look slim and small, but has hardly any muscle, leaving it wide open to conditions like osteoporosis and bone-density issues. Apart from the obvious - you will just look better maintaining muscle in your body as this will help against the dreaded skin sag.

Do each exercise 12 times before moving on to the next one. When you have completed each exercise, that is one set. Catch your breath before moving on to the next set, and do three to four sets, three to four times a week

Legs & glutes: Part 1

Split  squats

1/ Stand upright with your feet split from back to front.

2/ Lower your body down towards the ground like a lunge position.

3/ Push off the front foot and jump into the air.

4/ Land with the opposite foot forward. Repeat.

Advance this exercise further by using a weighted ball or dumbbell, holding it at chest level.

Glute kickback

1/ Start on your knees and hands with your straight back.

2/ Raise one leg up with the foot pointing towards the ceiling and the leg bent at a 90° angle. Bring the leg back down towards the start position and then repeat.

Hip raises

Hip raises are brilliant for engaging the glutes. So often women find it difficult to really engage the glutes, even on deep squats. This is a very effective exercise.

1/ Start by lying on the floor with your knees bent and your feet placed flat on the floor and arms by your side.

2/ Bridge your hips up to create a straight line and then come back down towards the grouwnd. Repeat.

Quad, hip abduction

1/ Start by kneeling on all fours with knees and hands on the floor.

2/ Then raise one leg up and out to the side keeping the knee bent and your back flat. Bring the leg back to start position then repeat all reps on one side before changing sides.

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