Written by Victoria Scott, Fitness Expert, Founder Sixpack Chick Fitness, Certified Trainer and Nutrition Coach, Fitness World Champion 35+
Photography by Paul Buceta
Hair & Makeup by 
Monica Kalra

Recently, I was walking to dinner at a trendy restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada with my fiancé when a woman stopped me. She complimented my physique and asked for advice on getting back into working out after a long break. She also wondered what I would focus on if I were just starting a fat loss journey—as a professional coach who has worked with thousands of women, I think that’s a great question. Many women focus on the wrong things with this, or take on too much at once, leading to quick burnout, and feelings of disappointment and failure. Getting started in fitness—or returning to it—can be a challenge for many reasons, but it is also definitely possible. With a simple strategy, like this.

1. Set Realistic Goals

There are many trendy diets promising fast results in a month or so, often at the cost of your health, well-being, and sanity. Remember, it’s not a race; it’s about getting healthier at your own pace.

But how do you set a realistic goal? For women in a Fat Loss Phase, aim to lose about 0.4% to 0.8% of your current body weight in fat each week. This makes the target very personal to you. Staying in this range allows you to lose fat while keeping muscle, which is key for great body composition.

"Tracking your food helps you to understand your eating habits and guides you to make healthier choices."


2. Focus on Nutrition and Track Your Food

You don’t need to track every bit of food for life, but when starting, you need to know your numbers. Start paying attention to what you eat and how it makes you feel. Tracking your food helps you understand your eating habits and guides you to make healthier choices.

How much should you eat? Don’t worry about that yet. Just track your food without changing it and see what your real daily numbers are. Use an app like My Fitness Pal or MyMacros to track without setting a specific target or calorie limit. Nearly every woman I work with finds this eye-opening. It gives them insight into their eating patterns, emotional eating, and how different foods affect them. Many women are surprised to learn if they eat more or less than they thought. Once you understand your eating habits, you can set targets and choose a few small goals to work on, like eating more fiber, less sugar, or more protein at certain meals.

Create a Routine and Stick to It

Creating a routine is vital. Choose specific days and times for your workouts and stick to them. This helps form a habit. Eventually, it’ll become a regular part of your day, just like brushing your teeth. When women come to me for training advice, they often think I’ll suggest training six days a week for two hours. That’s not necessary, especially for women in midlife.

What is better than more? Optimal. Start with a minimal effective dose: If you’re new, 2-3 days a week for 30-40 minutes is enough to get great results, and you can build from there. Focus on being consistent with your exercise plan—hit those scheduled days and times. Make this your personal time and a non-negotiable part of your week.

Getting back into shape takes time and effort. Some days will be easier than others. Stay consistent and patient with yourself. You’re doing something great for your body and mind! And remember, the most important thing is to take that first step. You’ve got this! 

Cultivate a Growth Mindset

Every week I ask my clients to tell me three positive things they noticed. Essentially, “What went well?” to develop a growth mindset. I encourage you to start this habit weekly, or even daily if you find you’re hard on yourself. Our mind often focuses on negatives. You won’t always feel good or motivated, so actively work on lifting yourself up. Keeping a notebook full of positives is incredibly helpful. 

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