Not every personal trainer can be like Joe Wicks, with his floppy hair, exclusive book deal and ad campaign with Uncle Ben’s rice.
Most coaches and personal trainers are working with women who don’t have a million Instagram followers, who aren’t preparing for their next movie role and aren’t planning on wearing spangly bikini’s on a stage with creosoted skin.
Most coaches are working with busy women, with office jobs, kids and demanding husbands, so who better to ask for advice on weight loss than some of the best ‘local’ personal coaches in the world. Most getting incredible results with their clients without needing to record every moment through Facebook Live!
What follows are the tips and strategies from 7 of the best FEMALE coaches out there.
Coaches working with real women, who understand what it’s like to juggle your weight loss goals with a real life.
First up, let’s get super-practical with the
Helen is the business brain and nutrition specialist behind Wright Fitness in Scotland, a busy Personal Training Studio offering Martial Arts, Fitness & Strength & Conditioning Coaching.
"Brush your teeth! I don't know about you, but when it comes to excess snacking, it usually occurs when I'm watching TV or bored.
When you're bored most people start thinking 'what can I eat?' You run through your mental checklist of what food might be kicking about, calling your name.
You then find yourself wandering through to the kitchen & scavenging the cupboards or fridge. Some might say try knitting or start a puzzle book but my advice, go brush your teeth, maybe even floss!
Firstly your dental hygiene will be top notch, your dentist will be giving you a gold star and most people like the feeling of clean teeth. Secondly, it's giving you something to do with those fidgety hands and wandering mind and helping you focus on something else.
Finally, have you ever eaten anything after brushing your teeth? I have and all I can say is yuck!
Nothing tastes good!”
Joanna Regardsoe, founder of “The Fit Hut” - Regardsoe Fitness in Hertfordshire, helps women get in to the best shape of their lives by making fitness fun and creating happiness through exercise, alongside sound nutritional advice.
“As a personal trainer I could probably list thousands of great weight-loss tips. But as a woman who has tried numerous ways and means to control my weight the list is slightly smaller.
Us women are like crazy bulls in a china shop when it comes to our bodies and no matter what anyone says we want that sexy beach body, and we want it now. But we also want wine and cake and we want it even more when we know we can’t have them.
So the number one key that worked for me, is NOT to deny yourself anything! And this approach is now working well for my fit-hut hotties…..
TRACKING is also key as mentioned above by one of my gym members. The best way to do that is by downloading a simple and easy to use app like MyFitnessPal or Fatsecret. Just by simply inputting everything you eat without making any major changes to your current diet, can make you more mindful. And most importantly more knowledgeable about what you eat.
Another great tip is to not categorise your meals into Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner options. Just think of them as meals full stop.
This especially works well for my clients that do shift patterns. It honestly doesn’t matter whether you have chicken casserole for your morning meal or a bowl of cereal in the evening. As long as you are eating a variety of foods and keeping an eye on those portions then make it work for you and your lifestyle.
Have a competition with yourself! Move around daily, whether that’s a boogie to A favourite tune, attending a class or walking your pooch.
New York City based Personal Trainer Nancy Herriman believes food challenges can make all the difference. And that real women should be eating real food!
"Attempting a weight loss exercise program without any regard to food choices will most likely be fruitless (not a food joke :)). There are so many diets out there - some of which promote snacks & treats that are even more processed than what they set out to replace, also leaving the dieter forever hungry.
Disregarding the poor quality of these “healthy” replacements, one of the biggest problems is that crazy restrictions, calorie counting and even tracking macros have a time limit for the average woman who most likely has a job …and a life!
With that being said, I believe that a limited time of closely tracking what one eats should be taken advantage of when motivation is high. This is why I love food challenges that last a set amount of time and revolve around eating unprocessed, whole foods.
I believe that the “perfect” diet will be argued from now until the end of time (I really do!)
But one thing that everyone can agree on is that highly processed foods are neither good for one’s health nor weight loss.
So why a food challenge such as the whole30 as opposed to just eating like a caveman for the rest of you life?
Because it’s actually attainable!
Cutting all the crap in your diet for an entire month forces you to realize how much of it you were eating before.
The first two weeks might be REALLY hard but once you get used to, subbing out rice for seasoned broccoli or a side salad for chips becomes seamless to translate into your diet past the initial challenge.
In my experience with coaching other women, starting with a whole foods challenge helps to kick start healthier habits and shed some extra pounds!”
Glasgow Personal Trainer, Louise Cochrane, helps her clients to make healthy changes to their lifestyle that are realistic, achievable and maintainable.
“When it comes to your health and fitness goals, there is ZERO point in working hard in the gym and eating healthily all week if you’re just going to undo it all at the weekend…
If you are really serious about achieving your goals, especially if thy are big ones, you need to work Monday to Sunday.
While I’m not suggesting that you lock the doors and pull down the blinds and turn into a hermit at the weekend, you will need to make some modifications to your usual habits if you’re not progressing as quickly as you’d like.
This may mean having a coffee instead of the large popcorn and large drink at the cinema…
This may mean you ask for a salad instead of chips when out for dinner.
Maybe you need to have spirits and sugar-free mixers when you go out instead of your much-loved wine or beer.
I can promise you that every positive choice you can make all adds up. And you won’t even remember that time you felt hard done by because you passed on dessert.
You won't remember all that because you’ll be so happy with the results you’ve achieved.
Feeling healthy and happy in your own body is surely worth more to you than the brief taste of some sweet popcorn or that extra large meal when you know a regular would’ve been plenty.
When it comes down to it, deep down you know what you need to do and how you should be eating. This is easier said than done which is why getting some outside support, such as a personal trainer, can be of great benefit.”
Jessica Botte, in New York has simple training philosophy of gradual changes over time.
"Erin!" I shouted, "Did you just eat some pancake!? ... mid-training session!?"
My client was a first time mom to twin boys who were just around the 18th month mark at the time. I trained her in her closet sized, New York City apartment so that she could get a workout in despite her obvious obligations.
We had limited space and minimal equipment but we made it work. Erin hustled. We saw massive strength gains and vastly improved her cardio capacity but there was little progress on the fat loss front. Erin's food log was pristine and we tried every combo of calories, carbs and meal timing I could imagine.
Frustration was starting to settle in, but finally some clarity in that chocolate chip pancake infused moment!
Normally the boys were gentlemen and let us get to work. This particular day however, they were mini Tasmanian devils. In an effort to keep them content, mom plopped them in their highchairs and put some toys and treats on the trays. That's when she did it. She mindlessly ate a giant chunk of pancake.
She jumped when I yelled her name as if I startled her back into reality. "I'm so embarrassed - I can't believe I just did that!" EURIKA! Mystery solved...
Few bites of bacon at breakfast .... hand full of goldfish at the park ... some Mac and cheese while cooking and some more while clearing the dinner plates.
You see where I'm going here.
Although Erin's meals were on track, she was adding hundreds of calories to her weekly intake by mindlessly nibbling all day long. The best/worst part is that she didn't even know she was doing it!
Erin didn't mean to be deceitful. She honestly didn't realize that she formed this habit, let alone exactly how many calories she was racking up. That was the good news though! Just shining a light on it and paying attention helped.
We hit the habit with a one two punch of mindfulness meditation with the R.A.I.N. method and some action steps. We brainstormed ways to keep her mouth occupied with gum or mints, extra brushing and flossing and oil pulling.(Am I a dentist's bestie or what?)
She splurged on designer lipstick that she didn't want to "mess up" by munching or polishing off juice box. Post-it's decorated the kitchen with a funny yet pointed mantra she created - YOU ARE NOT A GARBAGE DISPOSAL!
With all that focus came results. Peace out muffin top and mom jeans!
Not a mom?
This still applies to you and the calories you're collecting off other people's plates. Have you got a bitch of a best friend that demands you order apps and dessert at dinner then eats only a bite of each leaving you licking the plates clean mindlessly while she talks and talks??
Or maybe your significant other can get away with pizza three nights a week but you find yourself eating his left over crust.
All those calories count so PAY ATTENTION and don't forget YOU ARE NOT A GARBAGE DISPOSAL.”
Louise Worboys is head coach at The Factory Fitness in Nottinghamshire
“First and foremost, I’m a normal person with no super powers. I don’t bend steel, fly or run faster than the speed of light, but I do love working with people and helping them define their health and fitness journey.
Everyone is going to tell you not to obsess about the scales and not to measure your self worth by them BUT if your goal is WEIGHT LOSS you are going to have to climb aboard the scales and track that.
How do you progress if you don't know if what you are doing is working? My thoughts are find a frequency that works for you that helps you stay motivated and run with it. Some of my clients weigh daily, some weekly, others monthly.
While we are on the subject of scales, change the setting to a measure that doesn't mean anything to you, if you are less emotionally attached to what you see it's easier to be objective.
Once you can be objective about what you see you can hop off the dieting merry go round. You will have less bad days because the scales told you something you didn't like and as a result you will make faster progress.
There is a time and place to go hard. I know moderation is something I talk about a lot. But moderation doesn't always see quick results.
In the early phases of dieting and losing weight, while your motivation to change is really high you can make some really big changes. You almost don't mind being hungry or fitting in an extra training session because the results are coming and you feel fantastic. Make sure you plan for what happens when you don't have a great day or your motivation starts to stall.
Motivation is a fickle thing and can desert you in the blink of an eye.
Have a plan B.
Here's where the magic happens. When your motivation fades, what do you do? The answer if you want to continue to make progress is not backflipping into a tub of Ben and Jerry's 😉.
Make sure you always have the basics in place such as
That needs to underpin your lifestyle change on your way to achieving your goal. Make yourself a check list and tick off the basics every single day. Be consistent with the basics.
These will become habits that will help you make a long lasting lifestyle change.
Write stuff down!
There is nothing as powerful as seeing your goals written down in front of you.
Most importantly once you've gathered momentum - keep going 😀
Claire Hendy, owner of Figureout Fatloss based in South Wales has been successfully helping busy working mums to balance work, family and lifestyle change to loose weight and get their lust for life back, for the last 5 and a half years.
“For me its about keeping stuff simple and knowing what works for you."
Here is my personal go to list of essentials and why...
1. Eggs - an excellent source of protein, quick and easy to cook in a variety of ways for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.
2. Flavoured rice cakes - both sweet and savoury to fill a need for carbs without blowing your daily allowance.
3. Low calorie hot chocolate - when you have the need for something sweet in the evening but don't want to blow a good day
4. Skyr Yogurt -excellent as a substitute for mayo in salads as well as an excellent breakfast idea and smoothie addition, plus packed with protein.
5. Vegetable protein powder - super easy breakfast if you’re on the run or to bulk up smoothies, especially if you struggle to get enough protein in your day.
6. Tin of tuna - just like eggs, an excellent source of protein, quick and easy to cook in a variety of ways for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.
Notice something in common with all this advice?
It’s more about what happens in the kitchen than what happens in the gym.
Yes, training is important, and there are so many benefits to getting up of the sofa and getting active.
But if weight loss is your goal, it’s about getting your nutrition RIGHT. Solid foundations in optimising nutrient intake with unprocessed, natural foods.
But it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, keeping things as simple as possible could be the key to success for most people.
Most of us will eat the same breakfasts and lunches every day, and our dinners probably don’t vary that much either. We all get in ‘food ruts’, yet as soon as we talk about ‘nutrition’ or ‘diets’ we get stressed out about lack of choice, or getting bored.
Notice that none of the coaches we spoke to suggested calorie counting, macro tracking or cutting out major food groups?
Just eat real food!
To sum up their great advice, here’s our Top 10 Tips for weight loss…..
Quick thanks to all the contributors to this article, without their expertise we'd not be able to produce this. Also a huge thank you to the "Lift The Bar" personal trainer community and Chris Burgess for their support in what we do.
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