Nowadays most women have a common goal when it comes to exercising – lose weight and get lean. This, of course, isn’t an easy task but with the right mindset and proper guidance anything is possible. This is why I’ve decided to share some of my best advice on how to get lean and cut weight for a woman. Right from the get go I can tell you that if you are reading on this then the hardest part is over. You know that you want to go down that path therefore you’re halfway there. All that is left if for you to learn a few tips and tricks from the ones that have already been through this.
Cutting weight is based solely on the method of calorie deficit. If you give your body less calories and train it harder it will eventually dig deeper into its energy supplies and start using them to fuel your daily needs. Those deeply deposited energy supplies are fat and this is what we will be going after. Still, there are things to take into account such as our nutrition and proper training regimen. If those aren’t followed you might lose muscle mass in the process, which is not what we want. Making your muscles lean and keeping them strong is a matter of knowing what to train and when to train it, as well as how to properly heal and supplement your body.
I’ve prepared a list of tips that are vital to anyone’s success when it comes to cutting weight and getting lean. So, without further ado, let’s jump straight into it!
My 10 Best Tips On Getting Lean
Getting lean is no easy feat and most women get discouraged during that process, as results are often months away from your first trip to the gym. Nevertheless, for those of you who are determined to push through, here are my tips for you:
- Increase your cardio workouts and their intensity
- Do more weight training
- Keep an eye on your nutrition quality
- Focus on your body fat instead of just your weight
- Eat when your body tells you to
- Keep an eye on your calorie intake
- Try to eat clean
- Water is your friend
- Gradually Increase Intensity
- Keep track of your progress
Now, let’s take a look at each of those tips individually and dive deeper into their meaning for you and your goal.
Increase your cardio workouts and their intensity
It is simple – when you are burning more calories than you are taking in your body will start using fat for its fuel source. That is the whole purpose of cardio. It is one of the most efficient ways to get into a calorie deficit thanks to its high intensity. No amount of weight lifting will allow you to burn through 1000 calories in just 90-120 minutes, unless it is part of a HIIT (high-intensity intervals training).
Still, doing cardio should never be left as the only method of burning through fat as it can be damaging to your body’s systems to do lots of cardio on a daily basis. I’ve discussed the topic of cardio and fat cutting in far greater detail in this article.
What I prefer doing is adding 2-3 cardio workouts to my weekly training routine, mixing it up with weight training and strength & conditioning exercises. It is important to give your body a proper metabolic rest after the cardio exercise has passed. That can be done by eating foods rich on protein and a little carbs. Some fats won’t hurt too as they will keep your fat metabolism in check.
Pro Tip: Trying triathlon has been the best thing to happen to my cardio exercises. Having to do long runs, then swimming on the next day, and biking on the day after that has done miracles to my body and to my endurance. I usually do such three-day training marathons once a month. The feeling I get after the third day can’t be compared to anything else.
Do more weight training
As I’ve said countless times, doing just cardio will make you lose weight not fat. You will lose muscle mass, bone density and fat which can hardly be your goal. Lifting weights will help you with that issue. This is why it is very important to add weight training to your regimen no matter if you are a man or a woman. By doing so you will force your body to stick to its muscles and will actually create a leaner muscle mass.
Another important thing is to forget about high reps with low weights. Start at moderate weights and build your way up to the heavy weights by doing fewer reps. Squats, deadlifts, and bench presses are ideal for your body as they are compound exercises and emphasize on more than just one muscle group.
Keep an eye on your nutrition quality
By nutrition quality I mainly want to hit on the protein count. Most people will tell you to eat a gram of protein per pound of your body weight. Still, that is less than what most nutritionists recommend. They want you to intake a gram per kilogram of body weight (1kg = 2.2 lbs). Most Americans are way above that limit thanks to their meaty diet but some people tend to lack protein in their meals.
- Fish (all kinds)
- Red meat
Buying organic, free-grown meat isn’t a must but will improve the quality of the food your body gets, and also have a higher protein count in it.
Focus on your body fat instead of just your weight
Weight isn’t the best way to measure your progress. This is mainly because you might start losing fat and getting generally smaller while maintaining a relatively stable weight. That happens because you will be creating a leaner muscle mass which is heavier and denser than fat, making you smaller but weighing the same.
A good measurement of the fats in your body is the body fat percentage. There are some scales out there that will calculate it (roughly) for you. The old fashioned way is to use a tape measure and use it to measure your waist, chest, thighs, arms, and neck circumferences.
Keeping track of all these factors will give you a relatively good view of your weight cutting progress.
Pro Tip: Nothing is more powerful than our eyes and taking a look at the mirror with your clothes off every once in a while will give you the best idea of whether you are on the right path or not.
If you want to read more about a program that is quite good when it comes to fat burning, I suggest checking out my Fat Diminisher Review and see whether it is a good place for you to start from.
Eat when your body tells you to
To me this is the most obvious tip out of them all but yet people tend to ignore it most of the times. My best advice is to tell you to stop trying to eat in certain hours or try to have certain intervals between your meals. Take a moment to listen to your body, it is the one that needs the food. Eat when you are hungry. When your body is hungry it means that it has depleted its energy sources.
Of course, there are certain exceptions to that rule, like for example when you want the body to dig deeper into its energy sources (the fats). Waiting to eat when you are super hungry will only lead to overeating. Another tip is to never eat past the point in which you feel full. Even if the food tastes delicious, have some control and stop eating once you feel full. Eating slow will help you realise when that point has come, as opposed to eating fast and surpassing it without even realising it for a good few minutes.
Keep an eye on your calorie intake
No matter what you eat or how much of it you are eating you need to monitor your calories. If you want to get your body into “lose fat stay lean” mode, you will need to put it into a slight calorie deficit. You can do that only by knowing what you are ingesting.
Try to eat clean
Eating clean isn’t a necessary tip you need to religiously follow but it is a good supplement to your path to a healthy body. As a whole, try avoiding sugary foods and drinks, as well as unhealthy snacks. Increase the intake of fruits and vegetables, as well as meat and other high-quality protein foods such as almonds, beans, and lentils.
Not only you will have greater results but your body will thank you by having less stress in it and better control over your blood sugar levels which are directly responsible for your daily mood.
Water is your friend
Water is your purest source of energy and life for your body. Apart from water there are few other beverages I consume. One of them is my morning coffee but that is about it. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, I suggest spicing things up with a quarter of a lemon squeezed in your water in the morning combined with 1 ounce of sea salt to replenish your mineral supplies.
Fresh juices out of squeezed fruits are delicious and healthy as well but keep in mind that fruits contain a lot of sugars (mainly fructose) and can easily make you miss your calorie limit.
Gradually Increase Intensity
As you get stronger, leaner, and build more endurance try upping the level of difficulty of your exercises. Run more, cycle further, swim for more time, and lift heavier weights as you go deeper into your cutting phase.
Check out my Phen 375 Review as it is a good program for beginners and intermediates.
Keep track of your progress
Having a diary of a personal training blog will do you a lot of favors. Apart from writing down all your progress and what worked and what not, you will be able to have a written step-by-step guide on how to make your body lean and fit for future references.
Can you get lean with diet alone?
Simply put – yes. Still, even though you can lose weight and stay in relatively good shape just on a diet, your body will be much more thankful if you add some light exercise to the mix. When losing weight solely on a diet you will undoubtedly lose that weight not only from fat but from your muscle and bone cells, ultimately losing muscle mass and bone density.
Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to run marathons in order to lose that weight properly, just add a few easy training sessions to your week’s to-do list if still you want the diet to be the main focus of your weight loss.
What should I avoid eating to get a flat stomach?
Try to avoid foods high in calories, as they will disrupt your calorie balance and might put you in the surplus area in which your body will have no other choice but to store that energy into its fat depots. That storing process begins with the lower belly’s storage compartments and moves on to the legs, hands, neck, etc.
A few foods on top of my mind that would throw you off balance with their high-calorie count are cookies, chocolate, potato chips, ice cream, and other sweet goodness that you might crave late at night.
How to get lean and cut for a woman isn’t the easiest thing but then again it is way harder for men. Women generally don’t have to put much effort to notice changes in their bodies as we are more reactive to our surroundings and adapt better to changing conditions. This is why weight cutting isn’t hard when we follow certain steps and well-established tips. To achieve great results all you will have to do is draw out a plan and follow it strictly until you are satisfied with yourself.