“I don’t want to do weights because then I will bulk up like a man.”
How many of you are with me on this one?
Zero! Or at least that is how many of you should be! While cardio is a very important for improving overall cardiovascular health and preventing heart disease, cardio alone will do very little to help you keep burning fat and calories after your workout.
In all honesty, you need to workout with weights at least two times a week. Studies have shown that doing so for 30 minutes a day burns, on average, 100 calories more in a 24 hour period. Imagine that as 10-15 minutes less cardio to your routine.
What does that add up to in the course of a year? If you did 3 sessions a week, that is 15, 600 calories a year, or 4.5 pounds total (3500 calories need to be burnt to lose 1 pound), with doing absolutely nothing to make it happen.
Furthermore, doing a higher weight for less repetitions (around 8) is more beneficial than doing less weights at more repetitions (15 or more). The Golden Rule? Pick the weight that is 85% of the one you cannot do more than 2 or 3 of.
Try to do exercises that target more than one muscle group at a time. Squats are a great option because they target multiple areas of your lower body.
Keep in mind, however, that muscle weighs more than fat. You might not be dropping numbers on the scale, but you will fit onto that dress or pair of jeans much better.
After your workout, make sure to properly refuel! In a nutshell, this involves consuming protein from healthy sources. After, and throughout the day eating a variety of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
The standard rule for protein is: for ever kilogram of body weight, you should have .8 grams of protein. Individual needs may vary, so consult a physician if you are unsure. Healthy sources of protein are egg whites, quinoa, tofu, soy milk, and protein powder.