Hello lovely hearters,
This article is about fitness and especially why I would encourage you to start weightlifting and healthy eating habits.

It has come to my attention that many people are misinformed about effective fitness workouts and how to finally get their desired body type. It broke my heart seeing people go after unhealthy habits and dangerous exercises and still not getting proper results. In this article I will go over a few topics and hopefully you find this helpful.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not a fitness coach but I've started my fitness journey 2 years ago and all of my statements here are personally supported by my 4 professional coaches.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. Breaking down myths and misconceptions
2. How to properly lose weight
3. How to properly gain weight
4. Getting fit
5. Weightlifting
6. Nutrition insight
7. Eating disorder recovery
8. Final words of encouragement

➺ BREAKING DOWN MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS

- THERE IS NO EASY WAY to lose or gain weight. All those products, simple workouts and such are not working. The healthy way to do these things is through proper nutrition and working out. Consistency is the key.

- Online and at home workouts aren't the most effective. Some workouts aren't tailored to you and might not lead you to your desired goals. I understand if you don't have any other option, but don't expect results within weeks. Workouts you do should reflect your goals and be healthy and safe to do.

- Weightlifting won't make you bulky if you're a girl. Rather you will get muscle tone and definition but it will not make you bulky or manly.

- THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS "CERTAIN SPOT WORKOUTS". By these I mean like "Workouts for belly fat, arm fat... etc". You can't lose fat on a certain body part. You can only lose fat over your whole body by doing cardio based workouts and being in a calorie deficit. (Explained later in the article.)

- Hip Dip workouts DON'T EXIST. Hip dips are essentially a gap between your upper and lower body. They exist only because THAT'S YOUR BONE STRUCTURE. By doing certain workouts to build muscle on that specific part (Gluteus Medius) you can create an effect of no "hip dips".

- Workouts for smaller waist DON'T EXIST. To achieve a smaller waist look (in a healthy natural way) is to lose body fat over your whole body and work on your back and shoulders. Stronger back and shoulders and chest give off an illusion of a smaller waist and it looks a lot nicer. (No, you will not be too big or defined.)

- Booty workouts aren't easy and made up of squats. To grow those muscles you can do workouts to active them first and build them by using weights or doing weight based workouts. Activation workouts: Donkey kicks, Fire hydrants, Glute bridge, Plain squats. Building workouts: Squats with weight (barbell, weights, or any heavy item at home.), Glute bridges with barbell, Deadlifts, Lunges (with kettlebells, weights) and some more.

- Diets are dangerous and harmful. NEVER GO ON A DIET. Rather you should make smaller lifestyle changes and learn about your body's needs. How much fat, sugar, protein and carbs you need to eat throughout the day. You should be able to eat whatever you want moderately within your caloric limit which depends on your body and goals. YOU SHOULD NEVER BE STARVING.

- Rolls on your body don't always mean fat. In case you forgot, you also have skin which rolls and adapts to your body's positions. :))

- Certain workouts can be dangerous if not done properly. Planks are dangerous workouts and should be done with supervision and carefulness.

- DON'T TRUST INSTAGRAM MODELS. Your body can't be perfect. Having rolls, a little belly, no thigh gap, not a small waist, cellulite, stretch marks - all of those things are completely normal. Health comes first.

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➺ HOW TO PROPERLY LOSE WEIGHT

To effectively lose weight there are a number of factors that count (your goals, health, genetics, eating habits, activity level, restrictions...)
My recommendations here are general but I encourage you to learn more about your body and do your own research and consult professionals.

- Know that progress takes time and especially consistency. Your main goal should be to be healthy and lose body fat before you dream of abs and everything else.

- To lose fat your body needs to be in a caloric deficit. That means that you burn more calories than you eat. A regular female person should eat between 1500-2000 calories, and male person between 2000-2500. Now you shouldn't restrict your eating but remember the goal is to burn more than you eat. Our bodies naturally burn between 1000-2000 calories, depending on your daily activity level. We burn calories through sleeping, talking, walking, standing, doing some work and chores. By working out (still depending on your own body) you should burn between 300-500 calories. Cardio and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts burn the most calories.

- Working out consistently and hard will get you the results faster. I recommend going to the gym but if you can't that's understandable. For starters you should have 3-4 active workout days and other days you could go for a walk or do yoga. You can increase your activity level later once you get used to it.
- Your gym routine should consist of cardio (running, walking up the stairs), body based workouts (simple ab workouts, muscle activation workouts, HIIT workouts), and using machines and weights (lifting, using weights in workouts, different machines that target the muscles.), stretching.
- The goals should be to lose body fat and build some muscle and structure along the way. Minimal activity should be between 30-80 minutes a day.
- Home workouts need to be tailored to your possibilities and accessibility. Cardio based and HIIT workouts will take you a long way. You would need to be consistent and do between 45-60 minutes of active working out.
- Changing your workouts, reps and pace every week will be the most effective. After a while our bodies get used to certain exercises and they need change.
- Don't trust the scale. While you lose weight you will also gain muscle, which is the ultimate goal to be fit.

Take it easy, be consistent and learn what works the best for you body. Remember calorie deficit is the key.

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Image by 𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐚𝐬𝐚 abs, fit, and gym image

➺ HOW TO PROPERLY GAIN WEIGHT

For effective weight gain, just like weight loss, there are number of factors. Knowing your body will help you immensely. For most people, they have a fast metabolism that burns through food fast and doesn't store fat. Gaining weight shouldn't consist of trying to eat more.

- For weight gain, you should eat more calories than you burn. This doesn't mean that you should never workout, because you should. The key is also to eat healthy and not overeat and make yourself sick. This should be a healthy process. I've already mentioned how calorie intake and burning works (In text above) so for gaining weight you essentially do the opposite of that.

- Working out should naturally be included. Workouts should be focused more on building muscle and gaining strength rather than doing cardio. That doesn't mean that cardio is excluded.
- Gym workouts should consist of cardio (faster pace runs, uphill runs or walks, walking up the stairs), body based workouts (simple abs workouts, body weight), weight lifting, stretching. Your focus shouldn't be on gaining body fat but rather muscles. This will help with your overall looks and health.
- Home workouts should be tailored to you. Using props from your home as weights should help. Some workouts require your body weight to build muscle so go with those. Changing up workouts and figuring out what works for you is the key.

Be consistent and motivated.

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➺ GETTING FIT

Fit is a concept we created. To me, it means being healthy and strong. To get those abs and defined muscles you need to focus on many things. Lowering body fat and gaining muscles. (Simple but hard to do). To work on many different parts of your body, you change up workouts and do a certain muscle group each day (such as legs & butt, arms, chest, back & shoulders, legs).
Doing these you're getting the most out of looking and getting fit. Working on your strength is the key.
All the workouts should consistently change and adapt to your fitness level.
For all of this I strongly encourage weightlifting.

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➺ WEIGHTLIFTING

Weightlifting is often seen as hard and bad. I promise you won't get bulky and manly. In fact weightlifting is what makes most of your workouts effective and progress faster. And trust me it's not as complicated as it seems.

Beginning to lift weights can be scary but I assure you it's not. Before you start anything always make sure you're properly warmed up and stretched to prevent injuries. To begin I would recommend diving your workouts on muscle groups.
You should start off simple by having upper and lower body day. So one day you do upper and next day lower body workouts. Before starting weight training on some parts, they would be the most effective with activation workouts before them (you can do your search about that). Start with machines at the gym that show you how to use them already. If you want to lift weights start by smaller weight and work your way up. Before going on huge barbell lifting, try only using the barbell itself without additional weight.

Lifting weights shapes your body, makes you stronger and may I say more confident. It boosts your progress so much, I highly recommend it.

For more detailed information I recommend this video by Shelley Darlington:

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➺ NUTRITION INSIGHT

I already mentioned this, but what you eat is very important.

Females eat between 1500-2000 calories per day, and naturally burn 1000-2000 depending on the person.

Calorie deficit is what makes you lose weight. Burning more calories than you eat.
Calorie surplus is what makes you gain weight. Eating more calories than you burn.

Diets are a no go. They are dangerous, unhealthy and unsustainable.

Your eating habits should be based on your bodies needs and they should be healthy and sustainable for life. Picking healthier options and understanding how much of everything your body needs is the key. How many carbs, proteins, sugars, fat and all of that your body needs if completely based on individuals themselves.

Keeping track of what you eat is helpful. Look for healthy alternatives to certain foods, try to eat at the same time each day, don't starve yourselves, and of course be free to eat whatever foods you like (moderately and within your personal calorie intake, of course).

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➺ EATING DISORDER RECOVERY

Before you or anyone else says anything, if you're getting over an eating disorder, just know that I'm so so so proud of you and happy that you decided to overcome it and become healthy.

Eating disorders are a tricky things, anorexia especially. Every body type can have an eating disorder and it's not just directed towards skinny people. EDs are mostly about mental health and self body image.

IF YOU'RE RECOVERING FROM AN EATING DISORDER YOU'RE ALLOWED TO EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT AND WORKOUT HOWEVER YOU WANT (OR NOT AT ALL)

Deciding how and when to recover from an eating disorder is up to you completely. It's a mental challenge and having a support system is important. No matter how far you've come I'm proud of you. Don't ever put yourself in a restrictive position.

You've got this and you can do it. Getting out of your comfort zone is okay. Health should be prioritized. The scale or mirror don't define you at all.

I'm not an expert on this but I can show my support and tell you to not follow regular weight gain or loss plans. This is your special journey.

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FINAL WORDS

I'm sorry if I haven't explained some things thoroughly, that's why there are professionals and specialized people. I gave some of my advice and feel free to research everything.
Having a perfect body isn't a thing, the real thing is being healthy and strong. Mental health and physical health are the most important. Don't ever feel the need to change yourself for society or anyone. This is your journey and your choice.
Every information you read online, make sure to do your own research and don't give into false claims and workouts that can possibly harm you or slow your progress down.
I hope I've helped some of you and make sure you share this with someone who's also struggling with their fitness journey.
Remember, fitness is about you (not looking a certain way or feeling bad). Fitness is there for your health, pleasure and confidence. The way you feel is more important than the way you look.
Never trust things you see online, don't compare yourself to others and don't be harsh on yourself. People online aren't often what they seem. You're human and your body is amazing the way it is. Not everyone has the same goals, but health should be always prioritized.

I'm proud of you no matter what. You've got this!

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Thank you so much for reading, hopefully I've helped some of you.

Amina Bogilović
Amina Bogilović
@AminaBogilovic  
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