I received this question recently and wanted to share it with everyone. This is a very common question that I get from clients and members of the gym that I work at. Here it is (I erased the name for privacy):
I’m a female in my 40’s. I want to tone up and lose about 10 to 15 pounds. I just started going to Zumba at the gym. And sometimes I get on the treadmill. What would I need to do. All of my weight is going to my butt and legs. I would also like to work on my stomach. I’m not working to get abs. One more thing my eating habits it not great. I eat a lot of bread, pasta, rice and I know that’s not good. What can I replace them with. Thank You!
I’m glad you reached out! So, allow me to offer some words of encouragement first!
Zumba is a great cardiovascular exercise that helps to burn calories, so keep it up! (And it’s tons of fun!) What is important to remember about Zumba is that you’ll only burn calories while you’re exercising. So, as soon as you go home and eat – you’re replenishing the calories you’ve just burned.
That being said – do NOT get discouraged!
There is a delicate balance that you need to strike in order to lose weight safely and permanently. A calorie deficit works well in the short term, but for long term weight loss you should be lifting weights and building strong, toned muscles. I’m not talking about “The Rock”-sized muscles, but strong, lean muscles.
For women, our muscle mass begins to decline in our early 30s, so maintaining strong muscles by implementing resistance training helps to maintain a healthy weight (muscles burn calories – fat stores calories) and allows you to live a more active lifestyle longer.
As far as your diet – definitely cut back on your carbs. Here are some suggestions:
- Choose breads, pastas, etc. that are made with “whole grains.” The first ingredient on the package should be a whole grain. And make sure the 2nd and 3rd ingredients are not sugar.
- Increase your intake of whole foods. Instead of a serving of rice – eat an apple. Instead of a sandwich at lunch, eat a salad with extra vegetables.
- If you LOVE carbs – try eating the healthier versions: beans, quinoa, lentils, and barley. Many times you can fix them the same way you would fix rice or pasta.
- Eat a sweet potato instead of a white potato.
I’ll leave you with a general workout routine for the week:
Day 1: Upper body – chest and triceps, Zumba
Day 2: Upper body – back and biceps, calves
Day 3: Zumba
Day 4: Lower body – hamstrings and hips
Day 5: Lower body – quads and glutes
Day 6: Zumba
Day 7: Rest
You can repeat this routine every week.
There you have it! If you have specific questions about your weight loss goals, please feel free to message me on Facebook or leave a comment below!