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Month / January, 2013

Reader Question: How do I Lose Weight Without Losing My Breast Size?

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losing weight without losing breast sizeI got my first blog reader mail this morning! The question is a good one, so I thought I would share my answer here for others with the same question/struggle to benefit.

Before we delve into the question of the week, if you have a question you would like answered, please head over to our facebook page and post it. I will only be fielding questions from there from now and I hope to knock one of these things out a week!

Reader Question: (Edited to address the main issues)

…My main concern is losing weight off my bust and still not being able to achieve a thigh gap (I tend to carry weight in my lower body). The only area I want to reduce fat is my inner thighs. This is why I was interested in liposuction. I know you cannot spot reduce and when losing body fat you lose it everywhere. My question is can I achieve an inner thigh gap naturally without losing too much off my breasts? Your help is very much appreciated! Plus you’ve got a great blog!

My ANSWER:

Hello! (Waving frantically!) Thanks for reading and great question!

When it comes to losing stubborn body fat, there are some sacrifices that need to be made. For one, you have to give up unhealthy, albeit tasty, foods that contain lots of sugar, salt and carbs. This can suck when you go out to eat with friends and everyone is looking at you and your salad with judgment while they enjoy the yummy foods you used to eat on the regular, or when you have to pass on a cocktail and settle for water because everything at the bar is super sweet or super high in carbs.

You have to sacrifice your time; allocating blocks of time for working out, logging meals, reading labels instead of just throwing any old thing in your cart, etc.

And another big thing you may have to sacrifice in your quest for sleek thighs, especially if you are pear shaped, apple shaped or hourglass shaped, is your breast size. You see, they don’t call it stubborn fat for nothing. The hips, waist and thighs want to hold on to fat for child rearing purposes – blame it on the oestregen and so when you start losing weight you will typically find that the fat from the upper body will disappear while the fat on the lower body stays put!

Targeting only the hips/thighs in exercise routines won’t work to reduce the fat! If you don’t believe me, do your floor mat routine where you knock out leg lifts, circles, etc. and feel how fast your heart is beating. You will probably find that it won’t be beating too hard – which means that you aren’t expending enough energy for the workout to be considered cardio and to be burning massive calories. Don’t get me wrong, those exercises still have their place is firming up the muscle  – but the FAT LOSS is the most important component for thin thighs.

So, if you continue to attempt to lose that stubborn thigh fat by engaging in cardio/resistance training, the good news is you will eventually achieve the legs of your dreams. The bad news is you will probably continue to lose fat in other parts of the body. Unfortunately, since breasts are just fatty tissue, there may be some decrease in your bust size DEPENDING upon the pattern which your body loses weight. In other words, you MAY or MAY NOT have a significant decrease in your breasts.

Generally, you can tell the pattern your body has for losing weight in your body type.

female-body-shapes-01If you naturally have a bigger bust and smaller lower body, as you lose weight your body will generally retain that proportion. The same is true if you have a smaller bust and bigger lower body. Thus, the chances of losing weight without losing breast size are lower if you are pear shaped and banana/rectangular shaped, and higher if you are hourglass or apple shaped.

Thus another sacrifice for sexy, thin legs is that you may have to give up your full, glorious rack!

Thanks for reading!

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How Many Calories Should I eat to Lose Weight

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how many calories should i eat to lose weight?If you are starting your weight loss journey, you are probably asking yourself “how many calories should I eat in a day to lose weight?”

Well, Wonder no more. In the below slideshare presentation, I go through step by step how to calculate the calories you need to eat to lose weight

How Many Calories Should I Eat to Lose Weight – (From www.ThighGapHack.com) from thighgaphack
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On a Diet and Still not Losing Weight? – Have your Diet Reviewed for FREE!

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Dieting but still not losing weightAre you on a diet but still not losing weight or body fat? If your diet isn’t working, I’d love to evaluate it for free.

Some people say losing fat is 80 to 90% diet and I agree that is is high up there. It is much easier to eat a little less every day than to try to work off 500 calories. Let’s face it, most people just aren’t working out that hard.

But, the problem a lot of women face when trying to lose fat when going on a diet is that they don’t accurately track WHAT they are eating. It has been proven in study after study that women who track what they eat (by writing it down) consume way less calories than women who don’t. It makes sense to me that when you are more conscious of what you are putting in your mouth – you make smarter choices.

It has also been proven that many people underestimate the amount of calories they eat (as well as overestimate the amount of calories they burn through exercise). For example, I have a new client who did not exercise frequently but claimed she walked a lot so she was probably burning a lot of calories from that. By her estimation she was burning 500 calories or so from walking on the job! A GROSS OVERESTIMATE when we had her wear a monitor! Most people’s jobs are sedentary and doesn’t involve a lot of energy expenditure. As an aside; walking around for a short period of time to go to the fax or SNACK machine does not constitute exercise. Your heart rate doesn’t get elevated and the length of time you spend doing the activity is very short!

But, I digress! lol. Back on topic; I am offering one reader per week the opportunity to have their “diet” reviewed by me. Simply, document what you have eaten for ONE FULL DAY and submit it to me. Don’t omit anything!!!

To enter first you must like our fanpage on facebook here or click the like button on the right sidebar. Then create a photo album where you will upload a full DAY’s worth of pictures of every meal/snack/beverage (Yes, everything you eat AND drink, including alcohol) and tag us in the picture along with the hashtags #thighgaphack.

Be sure to label the pictures by day.

If you are chosen for the review of the week (Yes, we will do this every week!) you will be notified via a facebook message and asked to provide your age, height, weight and type of job (the default is sedentary) to me.


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Weight Loss Plateau Tips That Really Work!

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bathroom-scaleYou’ve been working out for a few months and suddenly find your weight loss gains have significantly slowed, all out stopped or even recessed (you’re gaining weight). Ugh. There’s almost nothing worst and a huge motivational killer than putting in the work to not reap any results. I know, because I’ve been there and done that!

If you can honestly say you’ve been working out intensely or at least just as much as you were before, as well as watching what you eat, what could be the cause of your fat loss success coming to a screeching halt otherwise known as aweight loss ‘plateau‘?

What are you doing wrong?

The answer is a lot simpler than you may realize…

When you first started working out, you probably calculated your Basic metabolic rate (BMR), resting metabolic rate (RMR) and determined your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). You then set your caloric intake based on those numbers since you know that in order to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you take in (calories in – calories out).

Logically, what follows is you lose weight.

But, the more weight you lose, the higher the chances are your basic metabolic rate, resting metabolic rate and total daily energy expenditure has shifted – downard. You see, not only do lighter people have lower BMR’s and RMR’s, they also burn less calories during exercise. It drives me crazy when I read about someone burning 500 calories from a workout video when I have only burned about 200 or so calories from doing the same workout routine, probably at a higher intensity. The reason for this is that our body adapts incredibly well to the changes we put it through.

Let’s look at an example for further clarification. I picked a random BMR/TDEE calculator on the internet and plugged in the following numbers for our fictional example:

A 140 pound, 25 year old female standing at 5’5″ has a BMR of 1446 and a TDEE of 1735

A 130 pound, 25 year old female standing at 5’5″ has a BMR of 1402 and a TDEE of 1682

Let’s say our fictional example ate around 1700 calories per day in order to lose fat/weight and get to 140 pounds. She was able to do so because she was eating under the TDEE required to do so. However, now she wants to get to 130 pounds. Notice a 5’5, 130 pound, 25 year old female who maintains our fictional example’s activity level, has a TDEE of 1682 calories. So, while consuming 1700 calories may have gotten her to 140 pounds, it won’t get her to 130 without something changing: her diet, her energy expenditure, her metabolism *which needs to increase* or a combination of all three. Instead, she will stay the same (plateau) or be gaining every so slightly.

The solution? Continuously being aware of how many calories you are burning as you get lighter (bmr, rmr and tdee) and adjusting for the changes by either increasing the intensity of your workout, walking and moving around more, eating a little bit less/tailoring your diet to include more filling/low calorie foods, employing a bit more advanced dieting strategies or a combination of all of the above.

Additional tips:

If trying to lose fat give yourself some wriggle room in terms of the amount of calories you have calculated are safe to consume based on your tdee (total daily energy expenditure), so that there is less likelihood for you to be eating at a caloric surplus if your metabolism slows from your fat loss. Instead of having a calorie deficit of only 100 calories, shoot for 300 to 500 calories.

Update your numbers as you lose weight. I would say a safe benchmark would be every 5 pounds, until you get to your goal weight. Also, don’t freak out if you haven’t lost a pound for the week. Losing inches is a better indicator of whether or not you are progressing. If after 3 to 4 weeks, you notice no movement on the scale or movement in the wrong direction (up), as well as no change in your inches – then by all means, check your BMR, TDEE, RMR numbers and adjust your calories accordingly.

Double check different calculators and go with the lowest numbers or an average to be safe. Unless you are going to be using one of the more advanced/accurate techniques I recommend to finding out your body fat, tdee, bmr and rmr, you have to get multiple opinions. Double check at least 3 calculators and then choose the ones that spit out the lowest numbers. So, if one calculator says your tdee is around 1500, another says 1550 and another says 1575, go with 1500 to be safe. It is better to be safe than sorry!

Continue to do some form of resistance training exercise 2 to 3 times per week. This does not mean you need to pick up huge dumbbells and “lift heavy”, especially if you do not want to gain muscle mass as many of my clients and customers who will read my new book, The Thigh Gap Hack, probably won’t want to do. Low weights, resistance bands and isometric exercises are golden. The point of this is that you want to maintain your muscles because they will help to keep your metabolism elevated, and your metabolism is your best friend when it comes to burning calories.

Do you have a girlfriend or family member who has hit a weight loss plateau? Hit the share button below and help them out. This could be just the right information they need to get over that hump.

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9 Reasons Women Want a Thigh Gap!

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Not that you need any convincing, but some people out there are wondering why anyone would ever want a thigh gap, so I thought we could indulge them AND just in case you need some motivation to stay the course of your diet and fitness plan, here’s 9 Reasons to want a Thigh Gap!

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1. Skinny Jeans – Let’s face it. Skinny jeans were made for skinny thighs and legs and if you don’t have them, your butt and thighs only look bigger.

leggcross

2. Crossing your legs – There is nothing sexier than sitting crossed legged. That can be hard with bulky/thigh thighs. I prefer the look where you cross one leg over the other and tuck it behind the calf of the other leg. This is darn near impossible and very uncomfortable to do with thigh thighs.

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3. Mini Skirts – Mini skirts tend to look quite vulgar on women with thicker thighs. However, with thin thighs and a thigh gap, it is much easier to pull off.

chafingthighs

4. No more chafing skin – Thin thighs / thigh gaps make the issues of chasing skin from touching thighs obsolete. Read More

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Does Running Make Your Legs Bigger?

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The effects of Running on Legs

The effects of Running on Legs

My first attempt at working out to lose weight had me jogging in the park for about an hour. After some time, I wasn’t feeling as challenged so I began running faster and longer.

However, I soon grew dismayed that while I was losing some weight, my thighs appeared to be getting bigger! At 5’1 inches, my goal was to reduce fat in my legs as opposed to building muscles/mass. Since my legs weren’t trimming down, I started to look into whether running caused legs to get bigger.

But do any research on the web and you will be confused for days. What you’ll find is that there are a lot of people who swear that running is the only thing that will actually make their legs smaller, while another set will have exactly the opposite effect, like me. So what exactly is going on here?

Cardio exercise will burn calories for sure, so one would think running, which is a great form of cardio, would melt the fat off your body. And this is actually true. Even ectomorphs will find their upper bodies responding quickly to this form of cardio, but the magic question is will running effectively target and get rid of the stubborn fat most women hold on to in their legs? Unfortunately, the answer is not so cut and dry.

Read More

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