@canarydiamond: <— great advice!
This is going to be long… sorry in advance! I hope there are at least a few things you can take away from it and make it work for you 🙂
Fitness Advice (not weight loss advice, because skinny does NOT equal healthy!)
DRINK WATER! Eliminate juices, soft drinks, energy drinks, full fat lattes, etc. Eat your calories, don’t drink them!
-I’m not saying to skip your morning juice or milk, but read the serving sizes on the juice container… many of them have so much sugar. Drink coffee black, or with skim milk instead of cream. Small changes add up!
EAT CLEAN! Avoid processed foods. Focus on fresh fruits and veggies. Increase lean protein. Swap out refined carbs like white bread/rice/pasta for a whole grain variety. Don’t eat packaged what you can prepare fresh. Reduce or eliminate all processed sugars. If you want something sweet, have a piece of fruit. If you are chocoholic, that’s ok, but opt for a small piece of dark chocolate to satisfy the craving.
Snack often, but eat smaller meals. Add some kind of protein to every snack and meal. Like oatmeal every morning? Get the plain oats and use almond milk, cinnamon, and honey for a naturally fulfilling breakfast. Pair a piece of fruit with some yogurt or nuts. Dip veggies in hummus or have a string cheese with some whole grain crackers.
-I don’t think people need to completely cut out carbs, vegetables are carbs after all! Carbs are also necessary for energy.
WEIGHTS!!! Lift them. Lift heavy ones. Women are physiologically unlikely to “bulk” up by lifting heavy weights. More weights = more muscle mass. More muscle mass = higher burning BMR. Aim for 2-4 weight sessions a week. You can do upper one day, lower the next, or you can do a whole-body workout with rest days or cardio days in between.
Cardio will help melt the fat off those newly toned muscles. This can be power walking (not taking a stroll through the park, but work yourself to breathlessness), running, elliptical, cycling, etc. Take a spin class, step class, zumba, whatever gets you moving and your heart rate elevated. Swimming is an awesome alternative for those with joint problems.
Interval training is also helpful because you work VERY INTENSELY in bursts, with active recovery in between intense exercises. This allows your heart rate to increase rapidly, but you never fully recover back down to a resting heart rate. By doing things in bursts (or intervals!) you can keep your heart rate higher for longer.
Get a workout buddy to keep you accountable and motivated. Hire a trainer, join a gym, sign up for a class.
Check out MyFitnessPal- it’s free! You can enter in certain information and you get a daily calorie goal. Remember to input your exercise as well, since it will adjust your daily goal based on activity.