5 Common Women's Health & Fitness Questions Answered
In Honor of Women's Health & Fitness Day, On the last Wednesday in September.
We are addressing the most common women's health questions - Fitness, Weight Loss, and More!
Fitness coaches receive daily inquiries about health and fitness. People, both familiar and new, ask online how to reach their goals. The questions cover various topics, from bodybuilding competitions to travel. Here, we've addressed some frequently asked questions that can benefit a broad audience.
1. How to Lose Fat Effectively?
The most common question is, "How to lose fat?" The answer depends on your current diet and exercise routine. If you're mentally and physically prepared, the best approach is creating a calorie deficit.
To do this, reduce your calorie intake gradually. Try to consume as many calories as possible while losing weight. If you have a high body fat percentage, you can start with a steeper calorie deficit. Make small diet changes weekly, like reducing daily calories by 100 or cutting carbs by 25g. Also, incorporate strength training to preserve muscle during weight loss.
2. Struggling to Reach Goals?
Clients often come to me as a last resort. I ask, "Are you tracking food and activity?" Tracking is vital to measure progress. Many think they eat healthy but overeat. Start tracking for a few days to assess and adjust goals.
If you're already tracking, consider tweaking your calorie and macronutrient targets. Typically, a slight increase or decrease will suffice. Occasionally, those in a long-term calorie deficit need to increase food and decrease activity to prevent further weight loss.
3. What's the Ideal Diet?
Choosing the right foods can be confusing, even with dietary guidelines available3. There's no need for special diets like keto or paleo. Unless you have allergies or specific medical conditions, no foods should be off-limits. Your overall dietary pattern matters most.
For better health, maintain a balanced diet with regular intake of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein3. If you're focused on weight or body composition, prioritize calorie and macronutrient goals over specific foods. There are no magic foods for fat loss.
4. How to Reduce Cellulite?
Many ask about targeting fat or cellulite in specific body areas, but spot reduction isn't effective. Cellulite is fat pushing against connective tissue4. Some body fat is healthy, especially in lower body subcutaneous tissue. To lose cellulite, follow effective fat loss methods mentioned in question #1.
5. Coping with Weight Gain
Managing weight gain, especially for muscle building, can be challenging in a fitness culture that prioritizes leanness. Remember, this process is temporary. Just as constant dieting is unhealthy, so is permanent weight gain. Embrace the different seasons of life and focus on how you feel, not just your appearance.
Bonus. How Often to Work Out?
Your workout frequency depends on your schedule. Don't force daily workouts if it affects your sleep or other tasks. Research suggests training each muscle group twice a week for optimal muscle growth7. This can involve upper and lower body days or combined workouts.
Ignore the misconception that you must exercise for hours daily. If you can manage 3 days a week for 45 minutes, that's excellent. Consistency over time is key, "progress over perfect".
Answers to these questions may vary based on your situation. Consider consulting a professional for personalized guidance if you face specific health or fitness concerns.