A personal trainer has answered the weight loss and fat burning questions she’s often asked by clients – and explained why resistance training is the key to fast results.
Sports nutritionist and scientist, Rachael Attard, from Queensland, is famed for her leg slimming workouts and has been responsible for countless body transformations across all three body types.
The mum posted a Q&A on her Instagram page, covering the benefits of walking, why monitoring your hormones is important and why running isn’t always the key to weight loss success.
A personal trainer has answered the weight loss and fat burning questions she’s often asked by clients – and explained why resistance training is the key to fast results
DO YOU NEED TO DO INTENSE WORKOUTS TO LOSE LOTS OF WEIGHT?
‘Not at all, you can lose weight without doing any exercise at all and just focusing on your diet,’ Rachael said.
‘You can’t lose weight if you just exercise and don’t eat well – diet is the most important thing when losing weight.
‘Exercise will help you get results quicker and of course it has so many other benefits. You can really do any type of exercise you want, with a good diet, and lose weight.’
Caterina (pictured) is an endomorph who struggled with finding a workout program that wouldn’t bulk up her arms and legs and transformed with Rachael’s Lean Legs Program
What are the fat burning zones?
1. Very light (50-60%) Exercise: Walking slowly, moving around the house
2. Light (60-70%) Exercise: Power walking (This is ideal for slimming, toning and burning fat)
3. Moderate (70-80%) Exercise: Jogging, cycling, swimming
4. Intense (80-90%) Exercise: HIIT
5. Very Intense (90-100%) Exercise: Sprinting
Source: Rachael Attard
HOW DO I NOT MESS UP MY METABOLISM WHILE IN CALORIE DEFICIT?
‘In order to lose weight you need to eat healthy but also in a calorie deficit (meaning you eat less calories than you burn),’ Rachael said.
‘Eating a calorie deficit will reduce your metabolism over time so the best way to avoid a damaged one is to not go the extreme – a 500 calorie deficit is the maximum. Don’t starve yourself.
‘Take a break after eight weeks – have a week off and eat whatever you want – and have two higher calorie and carb days during the week (carb cycling).
‘Don’t cut out any foods, having balance will help you long term.’
‘In order to lose weight you need to eat healthy but also in a calorie deficit (meaning you eat less calories than you burn),’ Rachael said
WILL RUNNING EVERY DAY + A CALORIE DEFICIT HELP ME LOSE WEIGHT?
‘Yes but there are better exercises than running every day,’ Rachael said.
‘Running every day can cause more problems (over training, injuries and high cortisol which leads to weight gain.
‘I would recommend three times per week maximum for running and be sure to always include resistance training. A 300 calorie deficit.’
I CAN’T LOSE WEIGHT, IS THIS HORMONE RELATED?
‘If you are eating the right amount of food and eating healthy then yes there is a 99 per cent chance that it’s hormones,’ Rachael said.
‘All hormones affect weight loss and if you have one hormone imbalance it’s likely the others are out as well.
‘I would highly recommend seeing an integrative doctor for some testing.’
What are the most common hormone imbalances that impact weight loss?
– High or low cortisol
– Thyroid issues
– Estrogen dominance
– Gut health problems (can cause weight gain and high cortisol)
Glennon, Rachael’s client, transformed in just six weeks with Rachael’s program
SHOULD I DO CARDIO TO LOSE WEIGHT?
‘Cardio can definitely help with weight loss. High intensity cardio especially burns lots of calories,’ Rachael said, reminding her client to keep running to three times weekly maximum.
‘I would also include resistance training, this will make a huge difference to your weight loss.’
What does your body type say about how you should train?
Ectomorphs are usually naturally slim (like Victoria’s Secret models) and they find it difficult to build muscle.
If you are an ectomorph body type, you probably already have naturally thinner legs. So, your goal here is to maintain (or perhaps lose a bit of stubborn lower body fat) while building lean muscle.
This way your legs will get tone and definition and you’ll avoid the skinny fat look.
Mesomorphs can be quite athletic and respond quickly to exercise, which means they build muscle easily.
They can lose weight very fast, but can also gain weight quickly too. Usually, they are of average size.
If you are a mesomorph, overdoing workouts like squats and lunges can easily result in bulky legs. So, your goal here is to reduce body fat percentage and avoid exercises that will bulk up your legs in the process.
Endomorphs naturally have a strong build and larger frame. They can build muscle very quickly and it’s slightly harder for them to lose weight. But, it’s not impossible!
If you are an endomorph body type, your goal is to really focus on reducing overall body fat and to completely avoid any workouts that may cause you to bulk up.
Rachael’s workouts have help thousands of women sculpt their dream bodies fast
DO YOU HAVE TO COUNT CALORIES TO LOSE WEIGHT?
‘You don’t have to count calories – you can eat intuitively and eat when you’re hungry and eat when you’re full,’ Rachael said.
‘But this is hard for a lot of people and most of us don’t realise how much (or how little) we’re eating until we actually count it.
‘I recommend putting your calorie intake into My Fitness Pal app just for one to two days to get an idea of how much you’re eating. Then you can decide if you need to eat more or less and eat intuitively from there.’
HOW MUCH WALKING IS GOOD FOR RAPID WEIGHT LOSS?
‘Walking is amazing for slimming down your legs but it’s not the best exercise for weight loss,’ Rachael said.
‘Resistance training is and then high intensity cardio. You can definitely still do walking (and I encourage it) but I would add in other types of workouts too.’
‘Walking is amazing for slimming down your legs but it’s not the best exercise for weight loss,’ Rachael said
Rachael’s ideal workout for targeting ‘love handles’
Do each exercise for 45 seconds without any rest. Do all exercises on one leg before the other. Complete two to three rounds.
MOVE ONE: LYING TRIPLE TAP – Lie on your side on a yoga mat and sweep one leg to the sky before tapping it to the floor and then towards the other leg on the floor.
MOVE TWO: SIDE PLANK LEG LIFT – Get into the position of a half side plank with one leg on the floor, and lift the other up and down.
MOVE THREE: MOVING DONKEY KICK EXTENSIONS – Kneel on your front with your arms and hands outstretched in front of you, and then kick one leg right back so it straightens before tucking it into your front.
MOVE FOUR: STANDING SIDE LEG LIFT – Stand with two feet on the ground, and lift one leg to the side repeatedly.
MOVE FIVE: INNER AND OUTER THIGH BLAST – Stand on your mat on both feet and lift one leg out to the side, in front and then behind you.
Source: Rachael Attard