You’re probably familiar with the term skinny fat and perhaps you’re stuck at that point in your life right now, wondering how you lean out. It was at this same point in her life that Fitmark Ambassador Angela Okon made a promise to herself to change her lifestyle. It wasn’t that she was overweight, she lacked muscle definition. She was skinny fat.
In 2010 I was at a place in my life where I was unhappy, uncomfortable in my skin, and partying a lot. I was tired of looking in the mirror and being unhappy with who I saw looking back at me. So I made a choice. In that moment I made a promise to myself that I would never live this way again, and I kept that promise.
Angela took to the Internet and started researching all she could about eating healthy and training for muscle definition. She says, “The rest is history!” Sounds easy, right? But not so fast. With so many myths and misconceptions out there, it’s easy to get on the wrong track and not see the results you want.
Here are some pointers to get you started on the right path:
Instead of worrying about weight loss and the numbers on the scale, think about changing your body composition. In other words, you want to reduce your body fat ratio so you have more lean muscle than fat. When you focus on weight loss, you end up burning muscle and fat at the same time. Which brings us to our next point.
Get Off the Cardio Machines!
This is probably the biggest mistake people make when they’re trying to get in shape. In an effort to lose weight, spending too much time doing cardio will cause you to burn muscle along with the fat. All you need is 45 minutes of steady-state or 30 minutes of high intensity cardio.
Stop Worrying about Calories
This goes hand in hand with not worrying about the scale. Instead focus on eating a balanced diet and tracking your food with something like MyFitnessPal.com or FitDay.com. With a diet tracker, you’ll learn about counting macronutrients – carbs, proteins, fats – and eating balanced meals. Not only does this set you up for a healthy way of eating for the rest of your life, it helps stabilize your energy and blood sugar throughout the day. For a leaner look, you’ll also want to increase your protein intake.
Add resistance training to your workout 2-3 times a week to start. If you want definition, you need to work those muscles and you’ll be glad you did. Because not only will you start seeing muscle definition, you’ll begin to notice you have more energy to get through the day. With increased muscle tone and strength, you’ll also enjoy improved posture, mobility and balance. The list goes on, there are so many benefits.
Meal Prep and Pack Your Meals
Taking your meals with you in a meal bag so you know what you’re eating during the day is the only way to stay on track. No matter where you are, your meals are taken care of and you won’t find yourself resorting to fast-food options. Angela told us:
My meals are always prepared in advance for the week. If I know what my next meal is, and when it is, it leaves no room for guesswork.
Having an meal bag to carry your meals with you and keep them chilled all day is the perfect solution to staying on track on the go. Angela told us:
They don’t call me bag lady for no reason (I don’t think anyone actually does but I am!) I have three bags I use every day. The Shield I use to carry all my PowerPlate meals around to the gym, meetings, or whatever event I have that day. I use my Sport Duffel to carry around my gym clothes/shoes, and my Envoy Duffel for my gym/MMA gear plus any extra clothes or shoes I couldn’t fit in my duffel. Not sure what I would do without all my bags!
Angela’s fitness journey has taught her a lot of things and she’s now sharing that knowledge with her online clients at Okon Fitness. She was brave enough to step into a gym and learn the ropes the hard way, but she understands that sometimes people need a more guided and personal approach to getting in shape. Two top tips she recommends are:
- Routine is everything. If my routine is off it can throw off my entire day. Having a good schedule makes the difference between a successful day and failure.
- Organization. I have to have my life organized, this goes well with routine, having everything in its place keeps me on track, especially being that I’m scatterbrained!
With a balanced and focused approach to your fitness goals, you can achieve the look you want by avoiding some common mistakes. As long as you have your cardio, resistance training, and nutrition in balance, you’re on the right track.
You can find Fitmark Ambassador Angela Okon on Instagram @amarieokon
Sport Your Lifestyle
The Fitmark Team