Ask Alfonso: One Month In… Is My Plan Working?
I am 22 years old, 5’6″ and 140 pounds. I started working out regularly for about a month in hopes of getting into shape, becoming healthier, and losing about 10-15 pounds, which I tend to carry mostly in my lower regions of the body, like my legs and thighs.
I’ve been doing some cardio, which mostly consists of running 2 miles several times a week, cycling for 10 mins and occasionally the elliptical. I also alternate with weight machines, focusing on arms one day and legs the next. Some days I do barre exercises and some days I swim laps instead.
I heard that the way you look is 40% based on how much you work out and 60% on what you eat, so I decided to cut down on sugars and carbs. However, I don’t know if what I am doing is effective in losing weight as I have seen very little changes in my body/weight.
Is there some sort of a schedule I should follow? How much cardio and weights do you recommend to enhance my desired weight results? Which cardio exercises would you say are most effective?
Do you recommend following a diet plan?
I’m pleased to see you’ve realized the importance of health and fitness at such an early age. That puts you ahead of 90% of the people out there. I have some answers for you too, and they’ll help you with your program.
First, saying that your body is 60% what you eat and 40% exercise is way off. In truth, it’s more like 80 – 90% of what you eat and the rest is exercise. The fact is if you don’t eat right almost all the time, even if you work out for hours, you’ll never see the results that your looking for. It’s like trying to achieve top performance from your car – you’d put the very best fuel in all the time. Well if you want the best performance from your body, you need to eat accordingly. Of course a cheat here and there at social gatherings is fine, but on the whole your lifestyle should included predominantly healthy food most of the time.
You’ll always be able to consume far more calories (very quickly) than you could burn with exercise. A pint of ice cream has over 2,000 calories, that’s about 4 or more hours on the treadmill. A fast food meal from your favorite burger stop may contain even more, so yep, more time on the treadmill. You get my point. Plus it’s not just a question of calories, but what kind of calories? Different foods impact your body in different ways. Some (high sugar) trigger the hormone insulin, which is known as a fat storage vehicle, others may inhibit hormone production, others will promote digestive health and raise your metabolism. In general food is really what helps to regulate how your body runs and its chemistry.
To be honest what you’ve told me you’re doing sounds pretty good. But it’s only been for a month and that’s why you haven’t seen much change in my opinion. Your body doesn’t respond like a math equation to your workout and diet. And it’s certainly never a linear progression. So what I mean is if you lose 1 pound per week for a month, you may lose nothing for the next 6, even if you keep performing the same workout and eat the same things. Isn’t that wonderful?! I’m kidding of course. So my suggestion is that you wait a little longer to assess whether your program is working or not. One of the biggest mistakes trainees make is giving up too soon on either a new fitness regime and or a diet. Especially since you’re new to exercise, I’d give it more time.
Okay one more thing Anna, weight training is cardio! I repeat this all the time! It’s important to get out of your head the idea that ‘cardio’ e.g. the treadmill, bike etc. is what helps you lose weight or the mode of exercises you need to use. It’s all about your diet! View your exercise program as a tool to make you fitter and healthier, not a task to shed pounds. There’s a big difference. If you watch my YouTube channel you’ll find many circuit style workouts that will help get you fit and turn you into a fat burning machine. But to answer your question, I’d say I like circuit weight training best for cardio because it’s multi faceted. It burns calories, builds lean muscle mass, strengthens your cardiovascular system and is best for overall for long-term weight loss.
My diet suggestions are super simple – eat vegetables, lean proteins including eggs, nuts, seeds, healthy fats and a little bit of fruit and you’ll be golden. If you choose to follow this plan, don’t count calories, eat when you’re hungry and I’m sure you’ll get the results you want. This diet promotes low insulin levels, which are ideal for fat burning, contain a lot of fiber for digestive health and support and has limitless options. And stay away from ‘white’ products – no rice, potatoes, breads or anything in a box. I know it seems like a lot, but you asked for it!
Good luck Anna and let me know how it goes.
And if you have a question – please just click here. I’d love to help you!
All information contained within this site, Angry Trainer Fitness.com, is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem – nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. No action should be taken solely on the contents of this website. Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health or on any opinions expressed within this website. Please see your physician before changing your diet, starting an exercise program, or taking any supplements of any kind.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Alfonso on July 11, 2012 at 11:52 am, and is filed under ASK ALFONSO. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
No comments yet.
No trackbacks yet.
about 1 month ago - 3 comments
Hi Alfonso, I just read this article and it really frustrated me: I feel that the article sends conflicting messages to readers about the importance of exercise for weight-loss. The author includes several articles that theorize that exercise actually causes obesity, which sounds completely outrageous to me. I understand that workouts like CrossFit are not…
about 8 months ago - 11 comments
When it comes to reaching their health and fitness goals, many trainees never realize their potential because they just can’t seem to get their diet in check. And it seems like every other week there’s a new incredible weight loss regime to try, most of which just leave their users frustrated – and unfit! So…
about 9 months ago - 1 comment
Hi Alfonso! First off I just wanted to say that I love your site and follow it on a regular basis. I have been on my weight loss adventure for 8 months now and lost 25 lbs. I still have about 10 to 15 lbs. left to lose and I’ve hit a bit of…
about 9 months ago - 1 comment
Alfonso, I’m so confused! I’ve lost 40 lbs. in the past year, with 40 to go. I work out 6-7 days a week (kettlebells, TRX, circuit, spinning, and personal training sessions). I only eat carbs in the morning. Otherwise I eat lots of veggies, chicken, tuna and turkey. I use the Lose It! app to…
about 10 months ago - 6 comments
I’ve been thinking lately about how so many people struggle with food. It’s really quite amazing when you think about it! Many of us have no issues working out for hours on end nearly every day of the week, but when it comes to food many people can’t regulate what and how much they eat.…
about 11 months ago - 4 comments
Hey Alfonso, Do you have a recommended move to target triceps that will really get them firm? My arms are kind of wiggly back there and it drives me nuts. I have mom arms and I’m not even a mom! It’s my main upper body issue. Thanks so much. My husband and I love your…
about 1 year ago - 3 comments
Hi Alfonso, First, I would like to say I really enjoy your site! I have found a lot of great information here. My question is in regards to ‘starvation mode’. I am 30 years old and considered obese. I have changed my diet and have been working out for the last three months and so…
about 1 year ago - 4 comments
Hi Alfonso, I am currently 18 years old. I was wondering if it is any good to try to dramatically cut your caloric intake / restricting macronutrients when you are still a teenager (and probably still growing!) I used to be 110 pounds at 5”1’ with a medium frame, but I shed lots of belly…
about 1 year ago - 2 comments
Hi Alfonso, So I met you at the Fit Blog NYC event and I was thrilled to finally meet you in person. Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me. You are every bit as cool as I imagined you’d be! J And not so angry! I heard the conversation that you…
about 1 year ago - 9 comments
Today’s Fitness Fact Or Fiction is a subject I’ve been wanting to discuss for a while now. You know the old theory right? It’s been a long established ‘rule’ that in order to speed up your metabolism and supply a steady stream of nutrients to fuel muscles, you need to eat every two to three…