October is one of my all-time favorite months, because the weather is getting crisper (but not snow-boot crisp) and the leaves are beginning to change. Do you know what else is going to change this month? Your fitness mindset.
There are many myths that have been around for far too long. So, my goal this month is to shed some light on these common — and often restrictive — myths. I’ve always said that your mind is the strongest muscle in your body. If you get your mind right, you’ll get your body tight! Now listen up!
Myth: Weight training will make me look big and bulk.
BUSTED: Ladies, WAKEY-WAKEY! You need to build and tone muscle in order to burn fat, which will leave you TNT — short for “tight and tiny!” This is only done by strength training, or creating resistance with your own body weight. No matter how much you lift, you don’t have to get big and bulky if you’re incorporating enough cardio and eating to stay lean.
This is a fact: your overall size goes back to nutrition. A professional bodybuilder will take in many more calories throughout the day to put on mass. To stay lean, you wouldn’t need to increase your overall caloric intake as much as you would need to simply clean up the calories you’re consuming. This includes limiting carbs, fat and sugar.
I can tell you that you’re probably eating much more than you think. So, take the time to evaluate your food plan and measure everything. Invest in a food scale and food journal. As tedious as it may sound, tracking your intake will always guide you toward your end goal.
In addition to eating a low-carb diet and upping your cardio, be sure you’re getting enough protein and taking muscle-supporting supplements. BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids, are not just for those trying to bulk up. If you’re working hard (and I know you are!), your muscle fibers are breaking down and need these aminos to repair and help you build that sexy, lean muscle tone.
Jennifer Nicole Lee is an international fitness model, best-selling author and motivational speaker who has appeared on Oprah, CBS The Early Show, Inside Edition, E! Entertainment and Fox and Friends. She is the author of the The Fun Fit Foodie Cookbook and was named one of the “Three Top Females in the Fitness Industry” of 2011 by Yahoo Sports. Check out her health and fitness tip videos exclusively on the Vitacost Live Wire.