How to lose weight without the gym (reader q&a)

by Jennifer on January 12, 2011

I got a great question via email that I would love to take time to answer and hear your suggestions on as well!

Question: Hi Jen! I’ve had 2 kids in the past 3 years and my youngest is 9 months. In the past nine months I’ve lost about 46 pounds (this was not baby weight but plus the baby weight). So now I have stopped breastfeeding and I need to lower the calories and up the exercise. I generally do videos in my home like 30 day shred biggest loser or pilates. I am not sure how much and how often I should be going for. I feel like a 25 min video isn’t enough. Also I can get very muscular esp in my legs so I try to watch what I doing with weights. Any suggestions would be GREAT :)”

So nice to “meet” you! :) First of all, congrats for the 46lbs on top of the baby weight! That is a huge accomplishment and you should know that not many women find the time to do that along with raising young children so I hope you know that you are a rock star! :)

I would try varying your workouts up as much as possible. I think videos are a great idea at home! The length of your workout does vary on what your specific goals are. If you are looking to lose more weight, you can use 25 minute workouts but they need to be HIIT (high intensity interval training), which is something that gets your heart rate up quickly and often, and then returns it to normal. I actually have a great video 200 Tone Up (bad quality but you’ll get the idea). The jumping jacks get your heart rate up, while the strength training uses mainly your own body weight as resistance. Returning to the jumping jack between moves will help vary your heart rate!

As far as your legs go, I would focus on only body-weight exercises and don’t use any additional weight. Resistance bands or yoga could be a great way to work those muscles without building up too much muscle.

Constantly switching up your workout from day to day is a great idea because you confuse the muscles which cause them to work harder and differently, which in turn, burns more calories!

As far as diet goes, eat a balance of health fat, complex carbohydrates, and lean protein. In general, try to do 1/2 of your plate fruit/veggies, 1/4 protein, 1/4 grain. Blogs are a GREAT resource because there are always new ideas, information, recipes, workouts, and suggestions!

What additional tips do you have for our advice-seeker?

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nicole @ Making Good Choices
Twitter: nicoleculver
January 12, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Great tips! I like the idea of switching up workouts between HIIT and strength training. I get bored easy so I try to change things up day to day.

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2 She's a Fit Chick January 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Me too! If I don’t switch it up often, I get bored out of my mind!!

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3 Katy @ A Healthy Shot January 12, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Love your tips! I’ve been doing the same thing- alternating between HIIT and strength training- and I’ve started to see results quicker than anything I’ve ever tried! The Shred was a great way for me to ‘kick start’ a regular workout routine, and I think it’s a great alternative on days that time is short, or the weather is bad.

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4 Lisa
Twitter: lisaeirene
January 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Get a bike trainer! Hook up your road bike to the trainer and workout in the morning in front of the TV before the kids get up.

Use the Nike Training Club App for the iphone!

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5 Amanda @ Fashionably Plate January 12, 2011 at 7:55 pm

I just discovered your blog through twitter! I love your outlook and can’t wait to read more!

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6 She's a Fit Chick January 20, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Aww thanks Amanda! Going to check yours out now! <3

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7 Alycia [Fit n Fresh] January 12, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Love your tips! I would tell your advice seeker not to fear the weights – it would take A LOT for her to get man muscles lol and besides, muscle burns way more fat than anything else :)

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8 Sabine @ thefruitpursuit
Twitter: thefruitpursuit
January 13, 2011 at 5:57 am

Try bodyrock.tv workouts! Very short, very intense, bodyweight only and very effective!

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9 She's a Fit Chick January 20, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Thanks for the suggestion, I am going to go check it out!

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10 Kristina @ life as kristina January 13, 2011 at 8:10 am

Great tips-so many people focus mainly on the gym and not the choices they make outside! When I finally started dropping stubborn pounds it was not from the mileage I was running or the weights I was lifting-it was the type of food i was consuming!

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11 Caree @ Fit-Mama January 13, 2011 at 11:22 am

I used to be completely afraid of weights (not wanting to get bulky). I agree with Alycia that it takes A LOT of weight training to get man muscles. I started to incorporate weight training along with intense cardio and have seen even better results (getting back to my pre baby body) and never thought weight lifting would actually help my tummy fat!

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12 Susan (Oliepants) January 13, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I have to agree that switching it up makes me more motivated to stick with staying active. If I just do the same thing everyday, I feel like I’m doing a chore rather than doing what I want!

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13 Kayla (Little Miss Healthify) January 13, 2011 at 4:27 pm

I like doing short and to the point workouts, like HITT. I also have a beach body 20 min video I like doing.

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