Slim Secrets: Our Expert Kristin McGee Speaks Out
Slim Secrets: Our Expert Kristin McGee Speaks Out
1. How many times a week should I work out if I want to lose weight?
I recommend doing something active every day if possible. Mix it up so some days are intense and cardio related, other days are strength training and then the other days are either yoga, Pilates or stretching. If you can do 6 days a week of physical activity and spend the 7th doing a fun leisure activity, you will be well on your way to losing weight. It's all about calories in versus calories out and I think it's more fun to be active and not overly restrict your diet. Incorporating activity in to your lifestyle is a long term habit that will make you feel better and live longer regardless of weight loss. And at the very least 3 days a week if you are really short on time; but make sure those days are intense add intervals or circuit training or power yoga.
2. Diet>Exercise or Exercise>Diet, when it comes to slimming down?
Hands down diet. You cannot negate a banana split in 30 minutes of walking! You really have to watch what you eat and your portion sizes but also let yourself live. If you eat healthy you will feel better and have more energy for activity. Diet isn't denial...it's about nourishing yourself with delicious, nutritious foods. It has to become a lifestyle not a temporary crash fix. Start eating 5 to 6 small meals a day. Add fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, low-fat dairy and healthy fats like nuts, olive oil and avocados. When dining out make a choice either you eat the bread, the dessert or have the glass of wine but not all 3! Just start to be aware of how much you are eating and look at simple ways you can cut back without feeling deprived. Listen to your body as best you can. Eat when you are hungry not starving and stop when you are comfortable not stuffed.
3. How many calories do I need to burn per workout in order to shed pounds?
You need to burn 3500 calories in order to lose 1 pound. If you cut out 200 calories a day and exercise to burn 300 you will have a deficit of 500 calories a day and lose 1 pound a week. Or you can cut 300 and burn 200 or play around with what works for you. If you cut out too much too fast, your body goes in to starvation mode and wants to hold on to calories. I know it sounds like a slow go but it's really the healthiest way to lose weight. If you want to up the exercise you may end up losing 2 to 3 pounds but don't ever go below 1200 calories and really I prefer 1500 because it's more reasonable. Even dropping to 1700-1800 calories a day and exercising, you can lose weight.
4. We all know that muscle weighs more than fat, but does that mean I should be gaining weight even though I’m eating right and working out?
Not really. It takes a lot of strength training to put on muscle. Yes muscle does burn more calories than fat and it's great to add strength training and to build as much lean muscle as you can but what should really happen is as you lean out you lose more weight and your body fat % goes down.
5. What is the ideal cardio to strength-training ratio for slimming down?
I think you have to add at least 2 to 3 days of strength training while slimming down and try and get your heart rate up daily or at least 5 days a week...but that doesn't mean an hour on the elliptical. You can do 20 to 30 minutes of intervals 3 days a week and 2 times a week a 45-60 minute cardio session with 20-30 minutes of strength training 3-4 days a week or yoga and Pilates the alternate days.
6. How can I achieve tone without bulking up?
It takes an awful lot for a woman to bulk up, she'd have to lift super heavy and eat a lot to get really jacked! We just don't have the testosterone or genetic make-up that men do. If you are lifting weights that fatigue your muscles and pushing your body when you work out, you will tone up great without adding bulk. The only bulk that is there is the extra layer of fat hiding the lean you underneath, so don't worry about getting too muscular...I promise you, it just doesn't happen. If you do have a propensity to build muscle quickly look at that as being lucky and strong and adding to your metabolism burn. If you want to back off do one day of strength training and incorporate more yoga, Pilates, stretching, dance, barre method type classes and do cardio most days of the week.
7. Apart from body-fat percentage, how can you accurately measure slim results?
The way your clothes fit is the best indicator of them all! You can also use a tape measurer to see how many inches you've lost in your hips, thighs, arms, waist, etc. The best measurement of them all, though, is how do you feel now? Do you have more energy? Are you more confident? Does it feel good being active and eating healthy? Try as best you can to quit comparing yourself to anyone else and listen to your inner voice. If you turn in to a raving starving gym obsessed person on the quest for super slimness, then maybe it's better to enjoy life a little more, give yourself a day off, have a small scoop of ice cream or extra glass of wine. We workout to live life not live life to workout. Remember to be kind to yourself and keep honoring the way your body helps you hike mountains, go skiing, play with your children, etc. Those are the main motivating factors that will help you stay naturally slender within your own body type and live life to its fullest.