How to lose weight fast? Personal trainer Rachael Attard answers the top questions from clients

A top personal trainer known for her women’s leg-slimming workouts and body type-specific programs answers the questions she’s often asked by clients.

Rachel Attard, from Queensland, regularly promotes the benefits of walking for fat loss and urges clients to learn their body type – ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph – before committing to a workout plan.

A sports nutritionist and scientist, Rachael also prides herself on helping women lose excess body fat through her knowledge of the ‘Fat Burning Zone’.

The mom recently answered several questions from her fans on Instagram — how to avoid bulking up while working out on her favorite workout equipment and her top tips for burning extra fat.

A top personal trainer known for her women’s leg-slimming workouts and body type-specific programs answers the questions she’s often asked by clients.

1. Why do you recommend running more than two to three times a week?

‘A lot of running can cause bulkiness, overwork your muscles and cause high cortisol in your body and problems with weight loss,’ said Rachel.

‘No more than two to three times and no more time a week to do walking or resistance training – otherwise you’ll be over-training.’

She advises the same when cycling, sprinting or running on inclines, as it can make your thigh muscles bigger in the long run.

What does your body type say about how you should train?

Ectomorph

Ectomorphs are usually naturally slim (like Victoria’s Secret models) and have a hard time building muscle.

If you are an ectomorph body type, you already have naturally thin legs. So, your goal here is to build lean muscle (or maybe lose some stubborn lower body fat).

This way your legs will gain tone and definition and you will avoid the skinny fat look.

What is the best diet for an ectomorph?

Rachel suggests you focus on healthy, slow-release foods like wholegrain bread, brown rice, wholegrain pasta, quinoa and vegetables.

“An ideal macronutrient ratio is 40-50 percent carbohydrates, 30-35 percent protein and 20-25 percent fat,” Rachel said.

‘For your ectomorph body type, add healthy fats and protein to every meal. It will help you recover from your workout faster.’

Mesomorph

Mesomorphs can be very athletic and respond quickly to exercise, which means they build muscle easily.

They can lose weight very quickly, but also gain weight quickly. Generally, they are of average size.

If you are a mesomorph, doing a lot of exercises like squats and lunges can easily lead to bigger legs. So, your goal here is to reduce body fat percentage and avoid exercises that will bulk up your legs in the process.

What is the best diet for a mesomorph?

From a dietary standpoint, mesomorphs look their best when they eat balanced macros — 30-35 percent carbs, 35-40 percent protein and 30 percent fat.

Mesomorphs should also watch their calorie intake, because they can easily gain weight if they eat too much sugar.

'I'm a mesomorph.  I'm naturally a slim build but I can put on weight and muscle quickly,' said Rachel

‘I’m a mesomorph. I’m naturally a slim build but I can put on weight and muscle quickly,’ said Rachel

endomorph

Endomorphs have a naturally strong build and large frame. They can build muscle very quickly and it is a bit difficult for them to lose weight. But, it is not impossible!

If you’re an endomorph body type, your goal should really be to focus on overall body fat loss and completely avoid any exercise that might bulk you up.

What is the best diet for an endomorph?

Endomorphs should follow a low-carb diet, because their bodies are not very good at processing carbohydrates.

‘Make sure most of your carbs come from fruit and vegetables, and skip starches like pasta, bread and rice,’ says Rachel.

You should also keep your fat and protein intake high. Think lean meats, oily fish, nuts, seeds and avocados.

2. How do you lose weight without being heavy?

Rachel said that diet is the most important thing when it comes to weight loss.

‘If you focus on that you’ll get results and not get bulky – I’d make that the number one priority,’ she said.

‘Exercise wise minimize your resistance training and avoid heavy weight or heavy leg exercises such as squats and lunges.

‘For cardio, walking on flat surfaces will help slim legs and not cause bulkiness.’

Rachel shares what she eats every day to encourage others to stick to their health goals over the winter

'I don't count calories and macros anymore, but I get a lot of questions about how many calories I eat so I add them in here,' she said, adding that her meal totaled 1,660 calories.

Rachel recently shared what she eats every day to encourage others to stick to their health goals during the winter months.

Lunch is a kale and avocado salad with chickpeas followed by a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.

Dinner is a delicious piece of baked fish with sweet potatoes, broccoli, bell peppers and squash.

She starts the day with avocado and feta on toast before finishing a workout, and then meets her protein needs with a smoothie.

Rachael is adamant that it is possible to get a leaner and longer body without changing the number on the scale or ‘bulking’ any of your pre-existing muscles.

‘For me personally, when I walk a lot my legs get very thin but my weight doesn’t change,’ she previously said.

She aims to walk 10,000 steps each day and recommends walking five days a week.

'You can gain muscle just by doing bodyweight exercises, you don't need a gym or weights,' said Rachel.

‘You can gain muscle just by doing bodyweight exercises, you don’t need a gym or weights,’ said Rachel.

3. They say lifting weights is important as a woman ages. Is this true?

Weight lifting becomes important as you age.

‘Women are more prone to osteoporosis and having more muscle mass means your metabolism is higher which tends to decline with age,’ she said.

‘Having lots of muscle and strength means you can move around easily. This doesn’t mean you have to lift super heavy – any form of resistance training will give you these benefits.’

4. Is walking or resistance training more important for fat loss?

‘Resistance training,’ said Rachel.

‘Walking is amazing for slimming your legs but resistance training is the most important for overall fat loss.’

Bodyweight exercises that work your entire body will help you maintain a strong but functional body and a ‘lean body’, says Rachel.

PT recommends light resistance movements like resistance band leg lifts and light squats, which are more likely to burn excess fat.

That said, the only exercise he recommends doing every day is power walking on a flat surface.

5. Is it really possible to build muscle through bodyweight exercises?

‘You can definitely gain muscle with just bodyweight exercises, you don’t need a gym or weights,’ said Rachel.

‘I haven’t been to the gym in about eight years now.’

You don’t need to give up sugar to stay in shape

While you’d be forgiven for thinking Rachel wasn’t behaving herself, this isn’t the case.

She eats sugar every day but ‘in moderation’ and tries to eat ‘healthy’ foods 80 per cent of the time, allowing for 20 per cent of the day to go hungry.

‘I don’t do well on restricted diets so nothing is off limits. It’s hard not to binge on chocolate and binge on chocolate (no I still do sometimes!) and it takes practice and control but it’s sustainable and I never have to go on a diet,’ she said.

Although it is perfectly fine to include sugar in your diet, there is a limit.

‘I think it depends on the food. So for example if it’s chocolate (my favorite sugar) maybe a small bar or two rows of blocks,’ she said.

‘But if you crave sugar there will be a reason. This can be due to hormones, nutrient deficiencies, stress or psychological reasons just to name a few. So it’s better to get to the bottom of it so you can treat the problem.’

6. What is your recommended equipment for home workouts?

Rachel recommends a yoga mat, light dumbbells (one to three kilos) and resistance bands (light and moderate).

‘Knee weights and discs are optional but make things more fun and challenging,’ she added.

7. Do my legs bulk up when I walk?

Rachel said it depends on the level of inclination.

‘If it’s a steep incline, it can be. This is because you use your quad muscles more when you walk uphill/inclined or up stairs,’ she said.

‘If it’s a very slight tilt it probably won’t.’

8. What is your body type and how does that change your workout?

‘I’m a mesomorph. I am naturally thin but I can gain weight and muscle quickly,’ she said.

‘Body type isn’t just about how you look, it’s also about your ability to gain/lose weight and muscle.’

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