1. Eating habits matter more than you think

Part of having a healthy physique is eating healthy meals, but what does “healthy” mean anyway? My personal rule of thumb is this:

The quality of energy I put into my body is the quality of energy that I can expect to get from it.

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If you eat rubbish, you’ll feel like rubbish. That will also become apparent as you begin an exercise routine!

So how do you get quality calories anyway?

By eating what Mother Nature provides for us: Fruit, vegetables, whole grains, meat and plenty of water. Purchase as few processed food items as possible (anything in a box, bag, can or package).

Get in the habit of reading the “ingredients” list on these items to find out what is actually in them: if you can pronounce it, it’s probably OK!

If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, go and look it up…

Some ingredients sound scary but are perfectly fine for human consumption. Other ingredients sound scary and should be avoided.

The only way to know the difference is to do your research and become educated on what you eat!

2. More exercise requires more calories

I don’t count calories and I honestly think people should stop obsessing over them altogether!

It seems the word “Calorie” has become a vulgar term, when in actuality, it is a simple unit of measurement to determine how much energy is stored in food. As you begin a new routine, you will need to give your body quality calories from natural food sources.

What happens if you don’t eat enough calories?

The most immediate signs of calorie-deficiency are irritability, mood swings, inability to concentrate, dizziness, lethargy/lack of energy, headaches and obsessive thoughts about food.

If you continue to deprive your body of calories over a few weeks, you will eventually notice bloating, weight gain and fat gain as your body assumes you are in a state of starvation.

Your body is set up with a survival mechanism 

In the event of starvation, your body stores fat and water so that it can use those stored calories when the food runs out. In the event of a true starvation emergency, your body will begin to break down muscle tissue for sustenance.

So if you want to see fat loss and muscle gain with your exercise routine, stop depriving your body of food.

3. Weight training isn’t going to make you “manly”

weight training for women_2This myth is my least favorite conversation to hear among females.

“I don’t lift weights because I don’t want to get big, manly muscles.”

First: your female body creates estrogen, so you aren’t going to become manly unless you start using steroids and estrogen-blockers.

Second: It’s time to stop focusing on looks and start focusing on abilities and accomplishments. Do you want to be able to climb stairs on your own until you’re 95 years old? Build those muscles NOW.

Third: If you want to lose that belly fat, the chunky thighs and jiggly arms, you need to lifts weights. Cardio exercise alone will likely not accomplish your weight-loss or fat-loss goals.

Finally: the way you lift weights is going to dictate how “big” your muscles get. Lifting lower weight at high reps aids in muscle hypertrophy (muscle growth) moreso than lifting heavy weight at low reps.

What does that mean?

Ditch the 10lb weight that you can lift 20 times and go for the 30lb weight that you can lift 6 times.

4. Sometimes weight rooms can be scary

There are often more men than women in a weight room, so I totally understand how it can make you feel out of place. Men seem to congregate in weight rooms so they can take off their shirts and sweat and grunt together!

After years of working out in co-ed gyms, I have discovered a few secrets.

There are a lot of people who have no idea what they’re doing

An experienced eye can tell a newcomer by their flawed form or weight-lifting technique or how they confusingly dawdle about the room. You’re not alone; everyone is the newbie at some point.

The big, hairy men that intimidate you are also intimidated by you!

Why do you think men workout?

To build a physique that will attract a suitable partner! Males have self-esteem and body issues just as often as females do, so go easy on them!

Still scared to go alone?

You will be much better off if you have an experienced friend or coach go with you until you become more comfortable.

It’s important that you feel welcomed by your weight-lifting environment so you are more likely to keep a routine.

Connect with Expert Beverly Chester

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