Are you on a fitness journey? Trying to lose weight can be hard. Let me help! Here are nine fitness hacks for women who are trying to lose weight.
Many of you know that for several years now, I have been on my own personal weight loss journey.
It started after I had my daughter almost 5 years ago. I went into my pregnancy assuming that I would bounce right back. I’d read every article on the web about losing weight after having a baby and was confident that I’d lose every bit I gained within a year postpartum.
And although I did lose weight pretty quickly, I never thought that I would experience postpartum depression and gain it all back.
I also never thought that I would gain more on top of that.
I topped out at 179 pounds at 5′ 4.”
Two years passed before I realized just how bad it had gotten. I’d let my health decline in every sense. I was emotionally, mentally, and physically unfit. You can read my whole postpartum story in this post, but for now, I want to jump ahead to becoming a personal trainer.
After struggling with my mental, emotional, and physical health for years, I decided to make the ultimate commitment to myself. I was going to become a personal trainer.
Although it took me almost two years from the moment I decided to become a trainer to actually getting certified, I learned a lot along the way.
I was someone who didn’t grow up playing sports and did not learn about physical exercise and nutrition until my adult life.
So I cam up with these fitness hacks for women based on my own struggles as a mom, wife, trainer, and everything in between.
I just want you to know that I am not someone who has been fit all my life.
I had my second baby in January of 2018. I tell you this in the spirit of transparency. I’m sharing these fitness hacks for women as someone who still has about 20 pounds to lose.
However, I am more confident than ever that what I have to share with you will have an impact on your health.
That’s because I’m more confident than ever that the changes I’m making for myself are going to be life-long. And I’m going to share them with you!
After my struggles as a new mom, I have set out to encourage and support others like me. So today I bring you these fitness hacks for women!
9 Fitness Hacks for Women
As I mentioned, I became a certified personal trainer after struggling with my own health. (I am a NASM certified personal trainer.) I have spent the last 2 years learning about fitness, nutrition, weight loss, and mental health. I’m especially focused on making life-changing, lasting healthy habits. So let’s dive in.
1. Switch It Up Often
My first tip is to switch it up often. Your body needs to be shocked in order for your metabolism to stay moving. This is one of my top fitness hacks for women because it is something that we totally forget about – even though it’s simple.
You could try a new group fitness class – or not! You don’t have to make extreme changes to your lifestyle or exercise to benefit, either. Simply try varying your intensity, speed, time, or weight in any activity. For example, if you typically hit the elliptical machine for 30 minutes of steady-state cardio, try a hill-climb program. Or, if you normally only do cardio, start incorporating a few weight-bearing exercises.
The idea is that scientifically, our bodies adjust and quit responding to various activities. In order to bust plateaus and reach new levels of fitness, we have to keep the body guessing.
2. Use Your Time Efficiently
I placed this among my top fitness hacks for women because we tend to think that more time spent exercising = more calories burnt. While this is true, it’s not always the most effective thing we can do.
The fact is that if you increase the intensity of your time exercising, you can burn just as much in 20 minutes as you can in 60 at a lower intensity.
You may have heard of HIIT, or high-intensity interval training. It is popular in the fitness world because it is known for bringing results. The idea is that you are again shocking your body and metabolism by increasing the intensity and changing it up a lot during your workouts. (Read more in my post about HIIT for beginners.)
Plus, since weight-bearing exercise can be incorporated along with cardio in HIIT-style workouts, you can burn more over time. Studies show that typically cardio burns calories for a short time after your workout, but weight training can burn calories for up to about 36 hours after your workout. I don’t know about you, but I rather workout hard for 30 minutes and keep burning!
3. Failure To Plan Is Planning To Fail
Truer words have never been spoken in the worlds of weight loss and fitness. You already know this, I’m sure.
What happens if you come home after a long day of work and you don’t have dinner planned? You’re ravenous and eat whatever is easiest, right?
And what happens if you plan do go workout but don’t actually pencil it in?
The odds of it happening drop a ton!
So schedule in meal & snack prep time weekly, as well as your workouts. Make sure these things have designated time slots or they’re likely to be thrown to the wayside. If you do this long enough, you’ll develop new habits that are just a regular part of your life. Click here to get a free printable calendar.
4. Celebrate Non-Scale Victories
I think this is among one of the most important fitness hacks for women. I know it doesn’t sound like a fitness hack, per se, but it really is. That’s because I believe that when you get down to it, weight loss is as mental and emotional as it is physical.
I believe that you will be continually motivated and successful if you celebrate the little things along the way. Your health, after all, is more than just a number on the scale. It’s also how you feel inside and out. So celebrate these non-scale victories and enjoy the process so that you can stay positive and motivate yourself!
5. Don’t Wait Until Monday
Waiting until “tomorrow” is one of the worst things you can do. Raise your hand if you’ve ever messed up your diet or skipped a workout, then said, “Oh well, I guess I’ll screw up the rest of the week, too!”
(We’ve all done it.)
The problem is that this is a mental thing. If you keep saying, “I’ll start on Monday,” you’ll retain the idea that you need perfect conditions to work for your goal. Realize that timing may never be perfect, and neither will the conditions that you’re operating in. You’ll hit snags no matter what – so stop waiting until that perfect situation to happen for you.
If you’ve fallen off the weight loss wagon, move on. Don’t allow it to overcome you. Simply make your next food decision a better one. It will all add up!
6. Build A Tribe
It can be hard to be self-motivated all of the time. I get that! But studies show that people who exercise with others are more likely to stick to an exercise routine long-term. And, people who surround themselves with other people who have similar goals (fitness-related) lose more weight!
So make your fitness journey even just a little bit more social, and you’ll benefit from the camaraderie you develop.
If you aren’t an especially social person, no worries! You can still be social by going to the gym or group fitness class and smiling and chatting with others. Simply surrounding yourself with other exercisers can motivate you and keep you accountable. You don’t have to make gym BFFs, just don’t workout alone 100% of the time.
7. Everything Counts
Don’t think that small decisions don’t count. If you messed up a little on your diet, that doesn’t mean that you should throw your whole week out the window!
Not only this, but don’t assume that something as simple as getting up and walking for an extra 5-10 minutes per day won’t add up. Do it every day and you could burn an additional 40-100 (approx.) calories each time, or up to 700 extra calories per week.
The point is that every little effort is going to add up to overall health. And we know that baby steps toward your goals are going to be more effective (and more likely to stick) long-term than a complete life overhaul.
8. Find Something You Love
Exercise should not be a punishment. It should be fun, and you should definitely enjoy those endorphins! You’re more likely to “come back for more” if you find an exercise style that you enjoy.
You don’t want to have any negative feelings associated with exercise, so please take heed on this one. This is about more than the time you spend working out – it’s about the mental and emotional thoughts and feelings.
Oftentimes, it can take several years to find what you love. Plus, what you love can change or grow! So make sure that you try new things often enough to keep things exciting and positive.
9. Don’t Compare Your Journey
Easier said than done, right? I know it’s easy to scroll through Instagram and see others who are further along than you.
Sure, my fitness business isn’t where I want it to be. And yeah, I still have weight to lose after having babies. But I keep having to remind myself that all of the women I admire didn’t really become successful until their mid-late 30s!
The point is that your story is what makes you unique. Without the struggles you’ve endured, you may have never learned various things about yourself. It’s important to learn from your mistakes and not allow yourself to be victimized by your own life. Learn from them, and if you can, share them with others.
You will find that your story matters!
I find that when I am comparing myself to others, it hinders my progress big-time. Because I am big on practicing self-awareness, I know when I need to take a break from social media and the blog. They can easily take away from the action I take and take joy away from the journey.
If you catch yourself “getting down” and comparing yourself to others, try a social media detox and take that time to refocus.
Do you have any other fitness hacks for women? Share them with me below!