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How much more exercise do I need?

by Cass

Hi Monica,

I love your workouts and advice, it has been so motivating for me! I have a question about stepping up my workout or diet to improve my weightloss and overall toning goals.

Below is a sample of my lifestyle.

I run on the treadmill for 45 minutes a day, 6 or 7 days a week. I start at 3.0 for 5 minutes to warm up and then I run at 5.0 for 5 minutes and then do intervals for the remaining time. The intervals are 2 minutes at 5.4 followed by 3 minutes at 3.6, and repeat until I hit 40 minutes with the last 5 minutes at 3.5 - 3.0 for a cool down. I also walk my dog daily for an average of 20-30 minutes a day at about a speed of 3.0.

I lift weights 2-3 times a week, not much, just 5lb dumbells and do some work with my exercise bands.

I eat an average of 1500 calories a day and this includes healthy balanced meals. Every meal includes about 2-3 cups of veggies (raw or steamed), 1 1/2 servings of protein (fish, skinless chicken breast, an egg or beans) and sometimes dairy, but not usually. Mainly just veg, fruit and a protein source. I do not eat a lot of whole grains except maybe a slice of toast at breakfast or with lunch. I eat no white bread or pasta and limit potatoes and rice to 1 serving once a week. I eat some dairy, maybe 5-6 servings a week, and it's always fat free and sugar free. I also enjoy coffee with skim milk and green tea throughout the week. I indulge in one glass of red wine each evening and one chocolate. I count every calorie and log eveything I eat. I followed weight watchers and have a very good idea about portion control, measuring food and counting the exact calories.

I have had a difficult time with the remaining weight I'm carrying around and wondered if you see any major flaws in my workout and diet or if there's something I can tweak to get better results. I was losing roughly 1-2lbs a week and it has since slowed and I'd like to keep up the results.

I'm 5'0 and weigh 140 lbs. I was 186 lbs at my heaviest and I am generally between 120 and 125. This has been my average weight for the last 10 years, execpt with the major spike in my weight which was medication related.

Please help me if you can, I feel like I'm doing everything right, but just can't get the belly fat and overall pudge to move.

Thank you in advance,

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How much more exercise do I need?

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Reduce Cardio & Focus More On Total Body Fatloss Exercises
by: Monica

Hi Cass

I don't think it's a question of how much more exercise you need, but a case of what type of workouts you need to focus on more.

It looks like your body needs more intense strength training workouts 3-4 times a week and more challenging cardio intervals only 2-3 times a week. Sometimes flipping things around is all your body needs to get results.

Your cardio workout is good but you can make it a a lot more effective by cutting it back to about 30-35 minutes and doing 5 min. warm-up then 22 minutes of more intense intervals. Increase your intervals and make them harder each round. So first round you'll be at 5.4 mph second round 5.5 third round 5.6 and so on (increase your incline and you've got an even better workout). You may have to lower recovery speed but this will take your fatloss to a whole other level. Then finish up with 3-5 min. cool down. Only do this 2-3 times a week.

In addition to this try 4 days of the bootcamp workouts listed below.

upper body bootcamp workout

total body bootcamp

butt makeover bootcamp

best core exercises (add this workout at the end of your cardio or end of any bootcamp workout).

Remember to work hard the entire time you strength train. Losing fat and looking toned is a product of how much lean muscle you have and that can only be accomplished with challenging strength workouts with moderately heavy weight (not light or super heavy somewhere in between).

Your diet is pretty perfect but like exercise you can also mix it up so that your body won't know what's going on and it will be forced to use fat as fuel. Check out the carb cycling guide for tips and ideas. I think if you cycle your calories and carbs a bit you can easily get back to 125 lb in 4-6 weeks.

Let me know if this is helpful. As always be sure to modify any exercises to your fitness level, limitations, etc. (just don't forget the intensity).

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