A professional fitness trainer who completely transformed her own figure by committing to a healthy and balanced lifestyle is now sharing her top tips for weight loss – while debunking some of the most common food and workout myths.
When it comes to losing weight, there is no shortage of hacks and advice for overnight success floating around the internet, which can make it hard for people to truly know what works and what doesn’t.
Enter expert trainer and bodybuilder Anjuli Mack, 26, from Auckland, New Zealand, who is lifting the lid on the most common misconceptions about weight loss, while offering up simple, easy-to-follow tips that helped her to achieve her own impressive body transformation
Anjuli readily admits that she has tried every fad diet under the sun and as a result she knows exactly what rules should remain unbroken, and which tricks should be ignored altogether – from cutting out carbs to working out for hours on end.
Inspiration: New Zealand-based fitness trainer Anjuli Mack, 26, is lifting the lid on the most common weight loss myths while sharing her own healthy tips for achieving a ripped body
Then and now: Anjuli says that one of the most important aspects of weight loss is maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes plenty of sleep and consistency
‘There are so many weight loss myths out there but at the end of the day, it comes down to a few key things when you want that end result,’ Anjuli said.
‘The number one thing for fat loss is going to be nutrition, you really cant outwork your diet.
‘Learn more about it, understand the calories you require to achieve the results you require.
‘Getting more sleep is important too, as is managing your stress levels, drinking enough water and pushing yourself during your workouts.
‘And for everything to really work, you need to be patient and consistent, if you fall off track, pick yourself back up and get back on track.’
From skipping carbs in the evening to whether breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, Anjuli debunks five common myths.
Maintain: ‘Getting more sleep is important too, as is managing your stress levels, drinking enough water and pushing yourself during your workouts,’ she explained
Go hard or go home: Anjuli explained that it is important to push yourself during your workouts – but that doesn’t mean exercising for hours on end
Balance: She also said that maintaining a balanced diet throughout the day is key, and warned that cutting out carbs in the evenings is not going to make a difference
DON’T WORRY ABOUT CUTTING CARBS AFTER 6PM
For years, carbs have been given a bad rep – with many diet routines restricting intake, such as Keto and Atkins.
Anjuli explains that it’s not about the amount of carbs you eat or the time of day you do so, but rather the total amount of calories you’re consuming throughout the day or week.
She said: ‘If you know you need to eat 1,700 calories a day to lose weight, whether you eat those calories before 6pm or after, it’s still 1,700 calories.
Keep consistent: Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day, in Anjuli’s opinion. She says that maintaining a healthy balance across all of your daily meals is the key thing
‘While it is more optimal to eat those calories spaced out throughout the day, it really doesn’t matter when you eat them.
‘Carbs are really not the enemy and I’ve shown this time and time again with my own transformation, as well as many other women around the world.
‘We all eat a good balance of proteins, fats and carbs and we use the carbs to help fuel us through our workouts and our busy days.’
BREAKFAST ISN’T REALLY THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY
Multiple studies have shown that if you eat more in the morning, you’re less likely to overeat during the day.
However, Anjuli believes this isn’t the case and instead, suggests people focus on consistency.
The trainer said: ‘The most important thing is going to be what can you do consistently, what works for you and what do you do enjoy?
‘If you don’t like eating breakfast then you don’t have to but if you do, then have it.
‘The most crucial thing isn’t going to be about the time you eat but what you’re eating and the total amount you’re eating throughout the day.
‘The only way to lose weight is going to be with a calorie deficit, by eating fewer calories than your body requires to maintain weight.’
Everything in moderation: Anjuli also said that the key thing with your food intake, is to ensure that you are eating in a calorie deficit, meaning that you are burning more calories than you eat
Advice: ‘The only way to lose weight is going to be with a calorie deficit, by eating fewer calories than your body requires to maintain weight,’ she said
WORKING OUT FOR HOURS ON END ISN’T GOING TO HELP
Often when people start their weight loss journey, they rush straight into working out every day for hours on end.
However, this might be doing your body more harm than good, and can sometimes lead to fitness burnout within the space of a few weeks.
Anjuli said: ‘Often, after going to the gym for hours, sometimes even twice a day, people will take a break and then not go back for another few weeks, which is what we don’t want.
‘We want to make sure we pick some kind of a workout routine with a structure that we can do consistently for a long period of time.
‘So instead of going to the gym twice a day and burning yourself out within the first two weeks, you’re better off having a workout routine with maybe four times a week over the year – including three rest days with a focus on walking or yoga on those rest days.
‘Think of it this way; our bodies don’t grow from the training, they grow from taking the time to rest after our workouts.
‘Rest days are just as important as the workout days themselves.’
WEIGHT TRAINING DOESN’T MAKE WOMEN BULKY
Many people are under the impression that lifting heavy weights in the gym will inevitably lead to women looking bulky and more masculine.
Well, it’s all a lie, according to Anjuli – who says it is actually one of the most important things to do if you want to get in shape.
She said: ‘I often receive messages from women who want to look fit and toned but not bulky and it’s important to understand what actually creates the fit and toned look.
‘In order to look toned, it means that someone has built muscle and lost the fat covering the muscle.
‘I think when people think of weightlifting they think of bodybuilding, they’re thinking of this really extreme level of muscle which takes years to get and most people never get to that level.
‘For a woman to put on that level of muscle, it takes years of hard work and often at an elite level, there are also other substances that come into play.
‘The reason why weight training is so good for women is that it not only helps with our posture, it also helps us burn more calories when resting as lifting weights and eating enough to fuel our bodies can cause us to build muscle and muscle burns more calories at resting than fat does.’
If you don’t have access to weights, Anjuli recommends doing circuit or HIIT training at home, as these can be just as helpful.
Don’t panic: The fitness pro said that lifting weights is actually a great way for women to lose weight – and insisted that it won’t make ladies bulky, as many people assume
Find your pace: Running isn’t always the best thing for weight loss – and actually going for long walks can be better for your body in the long run
RUNNING IS NOT BETTER FOR WEIGHT LOSS THAN WALKING
People often rush into doing cardio workouts when they start their weight loss journey, believing that this is the key to shedding fat.
However, Anjuli notes that running is not the magical solution and won’t always deliver you the results you’re after.
In fact, the trainer believes in this so much that she doesn’t go running herself if she wants to lose fat.
She said: ‘Again, weight training is the key here and I think people would be surprised to know that I never actually go running when I’m looking to lose fat.
‘You can always implement running into your workout later down the line once your nutrition is on point and combine it with weightlifting – but walking is highly underrated and can help burn calories too.’
The fitness coach recommends setting yourself a target of walking 10,000 steps a day and to keep walking throughout the week.
Anjuli added: ‘A workout in the gym that is an hour is only 4% of your day, so for 96% of the week, what are you actually doing?
‘Make sure you keep moving throughout the week, especially with walking, as our bodies are designed to move and you cant expect to lose weight if you’re spending most of your time sitting down.’