I get this question from women all the time…

“Which workout should I be doing to lose weight?”

When I ask these women what they are currently doing, it typically involves a lot of cardio.

For some reason, us women (and maybe some men) have it in our heads that the more we sweat during a workout, the better it is for us.

Ninety-nine percent of women I talk to are afraid to lift heavy weights. Why?

  1. They feel that it’s not a good enough calorie burn during the workout.
  2. They are afraid they are going to bulk up.
  3. They are afraid to injure themselves.
  4. They gain weight when they lift weights.

Have you felt this same way about weight training? I’m here to tell you that all of those points are absolutely ridiculous and that you SHOULD be LIFTING WEIGHTS!!

Reasons To Ditch The Long Cardio Sessions

Please don’t get me wrong – I don’t think all cardio is bad. There are some benefits of cardio, such as cardiovascular health and strength, but I personally feel that there are some types of cardio that women (especially as we age) should avoid.

As aging women, our bodies tend to react to stress much differently than when we were younger. Stress is much harder on our aging bodies. Anything we can do to minimize stress as we age is going to go a long way in keeping us healthy.

This is why I don’t recommend long distance running for women. The longer we run, the more cortisol (our stress hormone) we produce. The more cortisol we produce, the harder it is for our other hormones to function properly and be in balance. This hormone imbalance ultimately leads to weight loss plateaus and weight gain.

If you are a runner, you may notice that you have to run longer and eat less in order to just maintain your current body weight. But honestly, who has time to workout longer? And who wants to continue to starve themselves? This is very hard to maintain and will eventually lead to burnout, stress, and weight gain.

More Muscle Leads To Increased Metabolism

The majority of calories you burn in a day are not through activity, but instead through your resting metabolic rate.

Most of the calories your body burns throughout the day are not as a result of the activity you are doing. Your body burns calories, even while at rest.

For example, I can burn 1,800 – 2,000 calories per day just sitting working at my desk. That is a heck of lot more calories that I would burn during a workout!

Why?

Because I have a lot of lean muscle on my body.

Weight training is better at increasing your resting metabolic rate (RMR) by preserving lean body mass, which means you burn more calories in a 24-hour period independent of physical activity.

Strength training allows you to maintain a better muscle-to-fat ratio, which not only helps you process food better, but it also insures you burn more calories outside of your workouts!

Let’s look at this in a practical way…

After a weight training workout, the metabolism can be boosted for up to 36 hours post-workout, meaning rather than burning say 60 calories an hour while sitting and watching TV, you’re burning 70. While you may think, ‘Big deal – 10 extra calories’, when you multiply this by 36 hours, you can see what a huge difference that makes in your daily calorie expenditure over that day and a half.

When you figure out that on a monthly rate, it becomes even clearer how regular participation in a weight lifting session will really increase your calorie burning and thus fat burning capacity.

With cardio training, you might get an extra 40-80 calories burned right after a moderate paced session, but this doesn’t last for 36 hours… and this will also depend upon the exact intensity and duration of the workout.

So many women get frustrated that their husbands or boyfriends can workout and lose weight almost instantly.

Why is this?

It’s because men have more lean muscle mass than women.

If you want to lose weight easier as a women, then you need more MUSCLE!! Click To Tweet

Having more muscle as a woman will dramatically make you much more resistant to weight gain as you grow older, making it extremely beneficial.

Muscle Training And Body Composition

Please let me be clear that I’m not saying you can’t lose weight with cardio. You most definitely can.

The problem with cardio is that when you lose weight, you are losing both fat AND muscle tissue, and what you’re left with is a smaller version of yourself.

When you’re losing weight with strength training, you’re typically only losing fat, therefore, you’re able to keep more of the natural curves of your body.

If you’ve ever noticed someone who has lost a considerable amount of weight but still looks somewhat ‘soft’, that’s usually why. They have lost some fat, but at the same rate, their muscles aren’t overly toned, hence they don’t give off the same type of appearance.

I can attest to this. When I first lost my 90 pounds, I actually got quite thin, and this was in part to doing too much cardio. Once I started doing less cardio and more weight training, I was able to gain some weight, yet still keep my waist and hips quite lean (i.e. I can still wear the same jeans, but I’m able to fill them out better now!)

My initial weight loss

After adding in more strength training

So many women I talk to are afraid to gain weight with strength training. And yes…you may gain weight! But guess what? You are gaining more muscle and losing more fat! You are reshaping your body. This is why I tell women to stay off the scale for good!

The scale can’t tell you what your lean muscle tissue is. It can’t tell you that you’re gaining muscle and losing fat. It can’t tell you that your bones are getting stronger. It’s a piece of shit and should be thrown in the garbage!!

What About Your Eating?

It’s proven that strength training:

  1. Doesn’t put as much stress on our bodies in terms of raising our cortisol levels.
  2. Raises our resting metabolic weight so that we can burn more calories while at rest.
  3. Makes us more resistant to weight gain as we age.
  4. Burns more fat.
  5. Won’t bulk up women because we don’t have enough testosterone.

Even after listing all these benefits of strength training, it would be silly to end this article and not say anything about nutrition.

We can do all the strength training in the world, but without a proper eating plan that’s right for you, you may not see the fat loss that you want.

I’m not going to condone a specific way of eating here. You can read about the way that I eat and how it’s changed my life, but ultimately, it comes down to eating whole foods and getting rid of the processed junk (including those protein bars that promise to fill you up and keep you lean!) It’s about eating the foods that make YOU feel good. Foods that don’t make you tired, bloated, or craving more food.

Once you get your eating in check, that’s when you really start to notice the true benefits of strength training and fat loss.

If you would like to work together on introducing strength training into your routine and learning more about my way of eating and how to incorporate it into your life, consider joining one of my upcoming Drop a Dress Size groups! I would be happy to help you maximize your fat loss and give you the tools to see success!

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How To Make Your Own Healing Bone Broth

by Jen on April 24, 2017

Make your own gut healing bone broth at home – it’s so easy and delicious!

Low Carb, Keto, Paleo, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Soy Free, Dairy Free, Grain Free

How To Make Your Own Healing Bone Broth! It's so easy to make your own bone broth and costs pennies!

For the past few months, I’ve been drinking bone broth!

To be honest, I never really saw myself as someone who drinks bone broth. I thought it was for people who are “tree huggers” or “naturalists.” I didn’t see myself as someone like that. For example, I’ve always hated camping. I don’t see why anyone would want to sleep in a thin little tent on the hard ground and freeze their butt off when I can sleep in my nice cozy bed in my warm house, thank you very much.

Anyway, I digress.

But lately, I’ve been changing the way I live. Not just the way I eat, but also the products I use in my every day life. All of my body care products are all completely 100% natural and organic (shampoo, body lotion, deodorant, soap, etc,) and all of my makeup is the same.

So I figured, why not go all the way and give bone broth a try!

Benefits of Bone Broth:

  • Helps treat leaky gut
  • Improves joint health
  • Boosts our immune system
  • Reduces cellulite (YAY!)
  • Can help overcome food intolerances and allergies

When I first tried making bone broth, I made it in the Instant Pot. I heard it was super quick and you didn’t have to simmer the broth all day long.

In just 2 hours, I had delicious bone broth.

But I noticed it wasn’t as gelatinous as I thought it could be, and after doing some research about bone broth, I felt it was better to simmer it in the slow cooker for 24 – 48 hours to really leech out all of the collagen from the bones. (Think microwave cooking vs oven cooking!)

I found out the slow cooker was definitely the way to go!

How To Make Your Own Healing Bone Broth in the slow cooker.

The bone broth came out golden and delicious, and it became super gelatinous as it cooled.

I also added chicken feet this time!

Now, don’t get all grossed out! Yes, they are pretty ugly and creepy looking..however, they offer a lot of benefits to your bone broth. They contain vitamins, trace minerals, collagen, and calcium.

I order my meat from a local farm that sells their pasture-raised meat and eggs. It’s there that I buy whole chickens and chicken feet! Honestly, the chicken feet make a huge difference to the quality of the broth. Of course, you can make it without them, but it won’t contain as much gelatin and collagen.

Sometimes, I like to order beef marrow bones from the same farm to make beef bone broth. It has a slightly different taste than chicken bone broth, but they are both delicious and offer the same benefits. So feel free to use whatever types of bones you have. If you do use beef bones, it’s best to roast them at 400F for about an hour in your oven before making the broth. This helps bring out the flavour.

The only thing I highly recommend is using bones that come from pasture raised animals. Animals raised in concentrated animal feeding operations tend to produce broths that don’t gel. Not only that, but you’d also end up ingesting all of the nasties that they’ve been fed into your broth, which is not ideal.

How To Make Your Own Healing Bone Broth

Once the broth is done, I like to scoop out the bones and vegetables with a slotted spoon and place them in a strainer set over a large bowl to collect the excess broth. You can then strain all of the broth through a fine mesh strainer to catch the really small debris.

Once the broth has been cooled in the fridge for a while, you may notice a layer of fat on the top once the broth has completely cooled. I didn’t notice this with the chicken bones, but I definitely noticed it with the beef bones. It’s called tallow and it tastes amazing! You can scrape this layer off and use for cooking (which I STRONGLY recommend as it adds so much flavour to your food!) Or, you can leave the layer of fat on like I do and drink it with your broth!

You can then spoon the bone broth into your individual containers, place the lids on your containers, and put in the fridge or freezer.

I like to freeze mine in individual glass containers.

How To Make Your Own Healing Bone Broth

I usually get about 12 – 14 cups of bone broth from one batch, which lasts me two weeks.

I love to drink a cup of bone broth each day. I like to have mine in the morning while I’m fasting, but it’s also great in the evening instead of having tea. I just take one of those containers out of the freezer the night before and place it in the fridge to thaw. Then I put the thawed broth into a coffee mug and heat it up in the microwave. Another way would be to heat the broth in a small pot over the stove and then pour into your mug.

Delicious!

How To Make Your Own Healing Bone Broth

Slow Cooker Bone Broth

51

Prep Time: 60 minutes

Cook Time: 24 hours

Yield: 10 - 12 cups

Serving Size: 1 cup

Enjoy the healing benefits of bone broth at home for pennies a jar!

Ingredients

  • 3 -4 lbs of bones (chicken bones, chicken feet, beef marrow bones, whatever you have!)
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 medium celery stalks
  • 1 medium white onion, skin on
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 - 1 Tbsp Himalayan salt (depends how salty you like your broth)
  • 10 - 12 cups water (enough to cover the bones)

Instructions

  1. If using beef bones, preheat your oven to 400F.
  2. Place the beef bones in a single layer on a baking sheet or roasting pan. Roast for 1 hour, flipping the bones over halfway through cooking time. (Skip this step if using chicken bones)
  3. Chop the vegetables (don't bother peeling them) and place them, along with the bay leaves and apple cider vinegar, into the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the bones and fill the pot with water, making sure to cover the bones.
  4. Set the slow cooker on high, and cook for 18 - 36 hours.
  5. Remove the larger pieces with a slotted spoon and place them in a strainer set over a large bowl to collect the excess broth. Then, strain the broth that's still in the slow cooker through a fine mesh sieve into the same large bowl. You can put this broth in the fridge to cool and allow the fat layer (tallow) to float to the top. Scrape off the tallow, if you like, and use it for cooking.
  6. Spoon the broth into jars and place in the fridge for 5 days, or else freeze for future use.
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Cheeseburger Zucchini Boats

April 17, 2017

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How to Get Through The Easter Holidays

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Low Carb Coconut Oil Fudge

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Whole30 Banana Muffins

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Spring Clean Your Fitness and Nutrition

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Low Carb Crack Slaw

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Busting The Common Myths About Fasting

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Are you one of those people who believe fasting is detrimental to your health? If so, then please read this article because I’m busting the common myths about fasting. I grew up in a traditional Catholic household. This meant that whenever I heard the word, “fasting,” I thought it was only for religious purposes. It […]

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