How I Achieved Weight Loss (Without Cardio!)

As a former indoor cycling instructor and marathon runner, my days were filled at once with hours and hours of heart-pounding, endless workouts that left me sweaty and tired. breath. Endorphins are real, and adrenaline is amazing. Yet, no matter how much time I’ve spent on a bike, treadmill, or running around the world, my body hasn’t changed. While I wasn’t necessarily looking to lose a ton of weight or make any significant changes to my figure, I thought the hard work would have paid off. But, no matter how many calories I burned, I didn’t feel any different.

It took me many years, a few job changes, and some self-discovery, but all my cardio queens are out of place: I finally figured it out. Do you know women who spend less time in the gym than you and look as confident in their bodies and straight as they are at work? I discovered their secrets and I will share them with you. Here are five changes I made that made a huge difference in my body and confidence.

1. I prioritize strength training

Most of us grow up believing that cardio equals weight gain. However, while cardio has many benefits, overdoing it can put stress on your body and have other side effects. A good secret to getting toned is to start exercising. Afraid of gaining weight? Don’t be. Women don’t have enough testosterone to support that type of body, so women with a strong body must eat and train very hard. In other words, unless you leave your job to train for several hours a day and eat a well-calculated caloric intake, exercising will not be a problem for you. (And also, let’s stop worrying about taking more chances, shall we?)

If you don’t know where to start, start with the lifts: squat, deadlifts, bench, overhead press, and rows. Start with a weight that feels difficult but manageable, and increase by 10% as the weight becomes easier. When in doubt, always check with local teachers, tutors, classes, or online programs. Having the right form is the most important part of focusing on the right muscles and preventing injury.

2. I am more interested in the food I eat

Although unhealthy foods and nutritional information are still prevalent in social media, this tried-and-true formula of proper nutrition (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) better) is always a good bet. Protein helps repair body tissue and keep you fuller for longer. Carbohydrates provide the body with fuel to perform bodily functions and the basic functions of life—such as breathing or thinking. Fat helps the body absorb vitamins and provides fatty acids that provide energy and support cell function. For your body to function properly, these three macronutrients must be present in your diet in the right way.

The golden rule that changed everything for me: If it won’t help my body perform, improve my training, or aid recovery, it’s not part of my daily diet. Although there are always exceptions, 80% of the time, I eat for oil, and I have never felt (or looked) better.

3. I place importance on sleep and recovery

We all have those moments when work is too stressful, social work disrupts our sleep, and things like stressing out are important. Stress, lack of sleep, and not enough focus on physical recovery (such as stretching, foam rolling, Epsom salt baths, and other self-care) really affect how our body works and, in ‘Finally, the impact we have on them. When we don’t sleep or recover properly, we can’t perform at our best in the gym. In addition, we are more likely to reach for junk food, alcohol, or food when we are tired.

If you want to improve your body shape, you have to improve your body shape. Getting 8-10 hours of sleep every night and giving your body what it needs to recover after a long day or a hard workout will be the most important thing. Also, rest days are just as important to your health as exercise days.

4. I spend time with good people

In the past, my friends were mostly into drinking, gossiping, charcuterie boards, and dinner parties. These days, the people I admire are eating healthy, thinking positively, supporting each other, and taking care of themselves, making them feel good. The old adage is true: It really is the number of people you hang out with, so make sure your friends are pushing you in the right direction.

I saw a big change in myself when I started following people whose qualities I wanted to emulate. Now, instead of drinking and partying, I meet my friends at the gym for a fun workout, a run, followed by a delicious and healthy lunch. While we don’t rule out the occasional movie night with chips and popcorn, we like to make good decisions more often. If your friends aren’t helping you be the best version of yourself, it might be time to rethink your friends.

5. I learned that persistence is key

You don’t always have to be motivated. You won’t always feel the best. You won’t be happy all the time, but you will probably have many days where you don’t feel like it. However, real change takes real time, and staying consistent—through your health, nutrition, and good habits—is the only way to see results. Nothing happens overnight. So, if you really want to see changes in your body, you have to stick with it. Of course, bad days are inevitable. No one can be perfect all the time. But if you can commit to being consistent at least 80% of the time, you will see change.

I asked teacher Shay Mitchell how to get more vocal