Many new X-Treme Pilates clients set losing weight as their #1 priority, and they want results fast!
XTP classes are a great way to achieve this goal, but there’s much more to a slim figure than a scale reading alone can show. I’m often asked the best foods to eat or avoid, what’s the best diet plan and so forth. My response that I don’t recommend strict dieting and advise staying off the scale gets some pretty incredulous and amusing reactions! It’s simply human nature that when we’re “ordered” to avoid something we enjoy, many of us can’t resist binging on that newly “forbidden fruit”! Creating a balanced, moderate, healthy eating regimen that does not forbid occasionally indulging in our favorite treats is the best long term solution.
New exercisers sometimes wonder why they’re not losing weight as fast as they hoped.
When starting a Pilates exercise routine that involves strength training you will begin to add muscle as you burn fat. Its important to understand that body fat is more “fluffy” and muscle is more “dense and compact”. Muscles take up less space in your body, so body weight may go up as you add compact, tight muscle mass. Because a pound of fat occupies four times the space of a lb. of muscle tissue, it’s possible to look and feel trimmer even if body weight remains the same. This phenomenon causes many motivated new exercisers to get frustrated when they don’t notice an immediate drop in weight. It’s best to avoid compulsively monitoring your weight on the scale at this early stage, for you will soon notice a positive shift in your body and your clothes will begin to fit better. As you continue with pilates the added muscle will boost your metabolism and help burn off more fat, even at rest. Yes, it’s true! Your newly added muscle will help you burn more fat, even when lounging on the couch watching Seinfeld reruns. Soon your weight will begin to drop as well! The key is to be patient, persistent and embrace the process.
Here are a few tips to get you started.
* Set a goal of working out 3 to 4 times per week. Our X-Treme Pilates full body workouts not only add fat burning muscle mass, but also increase your cardiovascular fitness levels. As an added bonus, the increased core strength and flexibility you’ll gain in our classes will noticeably improve your posture. Better posture alone can create a slimmer appearance and help your clothes fit better!
* Consider carrying a small cooler filled with healthy alternatives to empty calorie junk food snacks. Why be held hostage by the office candy bar/soda vending machines? Free thyself!
Instead Of This!
* Go for walks or hikes with loved ones (or by yourself) and get some fresh air. Even a short walk to the corner store instead of driving is beneficial. Walking is an enjoyably simple way to burn excess calories without heavily exerting yourself.
* Climb the stairs instead of taking the escalator or elevator when you’re out and about and the opportunity presents itself.
* Avoid moving walkways at the airport if possible. After a long flight your body needs to move and get your blood circulating, so why not take this opportunity?
* Consider drinking a glass of water before you eat. Water can help you feel fuller while adding zero calories, aside from its many other well known health benefits.
Remember – The little things all add up!
Be easy on yourself as you make moderate, incremental changes to your food choices. Simply begin to notice your eating patterns and what you crave when you’re hungry. You don’t need to be fanatical or beat yourself up. Remember that when you’re just starting your Pilates program, the scale is not your friend!
If you have some “little things” that work for you, please feel free to share in the comments section below!
Julie Bond Rhyne – Founder of X-Treme Pilates