4 Best Workouts With Weights To Burn Fat And Build Strength

If you are looking to turn your body into a fat burning machine, then working out with weights can be a great method to that end. Below you will find 4 workouts guaranteed to help you burnKim Barnes Jefferson -- Fabulous Fit Squad fat like never before. Now I say this and want to advise you that you if you want to build strength and burn fat you must lift heavy. So.. toss those pink dumbbells.

  1. The Squat — This workout focuses on the legs. Your feet should be shoulder width apart and planted firmly on the floor. 

You can use 2 dumbbells holding in each hand OR 1 dumbbell holding it in the middle.
  2. Dumbbell/Kettlebell Swings — Dumbbell/kettlebelll swings are great as they incorporate a variety of different muscle groups. To do this exercise you will need to stand with your feet a little bit more than shoulder width apart.
  3. Bulgarian Split Squat — To do this exercise you will need a bench and a pair of dumbbells. Be careful, this exercise requires balance, it might require some practice depending on your fitness level. Stand perpendicular to the bench and place one of your feet on it.  Your other foot should be on the ground in front of you. There should be a dumbbell in each of your hands. Do a squat with your one leg. Make sure your posture is maintained throughout.  Your front toe should always be in line with your front knee.  Your foot should not extend further out than your knee cap nor should it fall short of it.
  4. Dumbbell Curl & Shoulder Press — Start with your hands to your side with a dumbbell in each. The first move is a traditional curl. Once the dumbbells reach your chest you will turn them and continue on to a shoulder press. It is one continuous movement.

Give this workout a try. Let’s start simple. You will do 3 sets 8-10 reps. Try this 2-3 times this week. In the comments below let me know how you did.

Turn your body into a fat burning machine by lifting weights. Tweet: Turn your body into a fat burning machine by lifting weights.  #leanandsexy #fitness #getfitnow


3 Reasons To Join a Weight Loss Group

Starting a weight loss journey is the easy part.  You are fired up with the intention of getting healthy and losing weight.  The hard part is continuing on with the journey until you reach your summer fitness challenge weight loss goal.  A great way to help keep you motivated is to join a weight loss group. Here are some great reasons why you should seek out a group to help you stick with your goal.

  1. Stay Positive with The Support Of Others — if you know that you find it hard to go to the gym on a regular basis or if you find it difficult to fight the temptation of a cookie, then being able to talk to others could help you to stay focused on your health and diet. If you know that there is a group of people who are there cheering you on, you do not want to disappoint them. They can help you see how well you have been doing and how unnecessary it is to go back to your old habits.  A support group will be there for you to celebrate the highs when you hit your weight loss milestones. They will also be there to build up your spirits if you happen to falter at some point.

A weight loss support group will be there to celebrate highs and pump you up through the lows.

Tweet: A weight loss support group will be there to celebrate highs and pump you up through the lows. #getfitnow #leanandsexy

  1. Other People Know Exactly What You Are Going Through — sure you have friends and significant others who mean well, but some times they don’t really understand what you are going through. They might not understand how hard it is to change your eating habits or to stick to a regular exercise plan.  By joining a weight loss group you will find members who have similar hopes and dreams to you. They know exactly how difficult it is to make changes to the way you live your life.

    Members of a weight loss group will know exactly what you are going through and will be able to empathize with you. 

    They will be able to share their own stories and their own coping strategies, which could help you when you are finding things hard to deal with.

  2. Make New Friends — Joining a weight loss group is a great way to meet like minded people.  Tweet: Joining a weight loss group is a great way to meet like minded people. #getfitnow #loseweight #leanandsexy You will all have one thing in common at the beginning. This will be the desire to get healthy and lose weight.  The more time you spend with these people, the more opportunity you will have to find out other things you have in common.  This could ultimately lead to really strong and meaningful relationships.

Starting a weight loss journey can be made a whole lot easier if you surround yourself with people who can help you to stick to your goals. Tweet: surround yourself with people who can help you to stick to your goals. #getfitnow #loseweigthnow #leanandsexy I just started a new group Lean and Sexy. The program starts on Monday, September 1st.  For more information about this group weight loss program, click here. Lean and Sexy may just be the group you need.




{Day 14} Doubt!

Call it what you will. Doubt, self sabotage, fear. What have — at the end of the day it paralyzes you and keeps you from moving forward. A few months ago I read the Slight Edge and the big take away actionquotefrom that book was two fold — easy to do and easy not to.

Not making the changes you want to make that falls into the easy to do category. Looking at yourself with regret, anger and embarrassment, again, easy to do.

Now flip the coin, how would it you feel about yourself, when you are putting forth your best efforts to meet OR exceed your goals.  Now that’s not easy to do, you’ll need to set a plan and take action toward your goals.

Here are 2 great articles I wrote in the past the can further help you with doubt.

Are You Willing?

Doubt can only be removed by action. — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Here we are 14 days in take what has been holding you back?? Have you been following along faithfully, have you been taking action on the homework. Or are you sitting back saying I’ll get to it.

Today’s assignment

  1. Write down the 1 thing that is holding you back from taking actions on your goals you set during this challenge.
  2. Now write down the 2 small actions that you can take in the next 48 hours to get moving forward.

Don’t forget Leave a comment below. Write a facebook post on the Fabulous Fit Squad. If you have a personal blog, write a blog post. Make sure you link back to the site so we can cheer you on and hold you accountable.

Just joining now?? Don’t worry you can catch up.
Day 1 — Intro the challenge
Day 2 — Getting your mind straight 
Day 3 — Goal setting 
Day 4 — What’s on your plate
Day 5 — Lift
Day 6 — Cardio
Day 7 — Living on your own terms
Day 8 — Rest day
Day  9 — Forming a habit
Day 10 — Just Breathe
Day 11 — Fat loss secrets revealed
Day 12 — Can you pinch an inch
Day 13 — Dedicated and Focused


{Day 12} I Can So Pinch An Inch!

Back in the day we could eat what ever we wanted and not gain an ounce. Now it seems like you just walk by certain foods and they adhere themselves to your ass. Am I the only one?? Given the lose weight fast, how to lose thigh weight, a diet to lose weight faststats by the CDC sadly  today, obesity is the single most important health issue facing the United States. More than one-third of adults and almost 17 percent of children and adolescents are obese.
Not surprisingly, according to a 2010 consumer survey, 55 percent of us are actively trying to lose weight. To better help you understand let’s examine body fat–what it is, what it does, and how different types of body fat are associated with health and disease.

Body fat comes directly from our diet. Body fat is divided into 2 categories.

  • Subcutaneous fat is fat accumulated in the lower body, often visualized as producing a “pear shaped” appearance.
  • Visceral fat is the fat within your belly (not the fat hanging over your belt) and is associated with the “apple shaped”. Visceral fat is also known as central or abdominal fat.

Visceral fat is harmful because it’s very active, causing low-grade inflammation within your body. Visceral fat consists of fat cells that stimulate and secrete a variety of potent chemicals that can activate chain reactions in the body that can cause disease. Visceral fat accumulation is also associated with insulin resistance, which is a primary factor in type 2 diabetes and other obesity-related conditions.

Main causes of visceral fat:

  • Diets: High-sugar, high-processed carb, fatty, high-gluten
  • Lack of sleep: Regularly not sleeping or getting less than 7 hours consistently. i can fall asleep but there are times when I cant’ stay asleep. During those those I’m a big fan of this product.
  • Lack of exercise: Living a very sedentary lifestyle
  • Over training: Moving too much can cause your body to never recover
  • Stress: We’ll talk about this later, but stress your body to produce a hormone called cortisol that cause inflammation
  • Mild allergies: Your body may be allergic to some foods that you are in your diet. Some common allergies include — gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, fish, nuts, eggs or shellfish. You could see a naturopath for a full food allergy panel.
  • Toxins — the body is subjected to over 300 toxins daily. It’s just a fact of life these days. From the fertilizers in food, to a jet flying above your heads are bodies are over run with toxins. Click to learn more I say this not to scare but just to bring awareness. To help eliminate toxins on a daily basis I have 1/4 cup of Cleanse For Life
    Enjoy this 9 min video — that explains the importance of nutritional cleansing and whey protein.

Luckily, there are things that can be done to reduce visceral fat, but not without effort. First, is to lose weight. In one recent study, researchers found that aerobic exercise alone significantly reduced visceral fat by 12 percent. Next, modify any high fat or high-calorie food consumption. Add some whey protein. Whey protein helps to reduce visceral fat as well as helping you to feel satiated. My favorite whey protein is Isagenix Isa Pro. I like to mix it with 1 scoop of Want More Energy orange flavor or put in a blend 1/4 c grapes chopped and 1 TABLEspoon strawberry flavored flax oil add in some cubes, water and then blend.

Today Assignment

  1. Which 2 of the causes of viseral fat you can start to remove or add to your daily life.

Don’t forget Leave a comment below. Write a facebook post on the Fabulous Fit Squad. If you have a personal blog, write a blog post. Make sure you link back to the site so we can cheer you on and hold you accountable.

Just joining now?? Don’t worry you can catch up.
Day 1 — Intro the challenge
Day 2 — Getting your mind straight 
Day 3 — Goal setting 
Day 4 — What’s on your plate
Day 5 — Lift
Day 6 — Cardio
Day 7 — Living on your own terms
Day 8 — Rest day
Day  9 — Forming a habit
Day 10 — Just Breathe
Day 11 — Fat loss secrets revealed



Debunking The Myth Of Eating Less To Lose Weight

One of the biggest myths about losing weight is the idea that you need to eat less in order to shed pounds. New studies have shown that this is simply not the case.  As a matter KimJ063of fact, it’s just the opposite. Let’s take a look at why you need to eat if you want to lose weight.

The Scientific Benefits of Breakfast

People who eat breakfast on a daily basis tend to lose weight easier. The National Weight Control Registry performed a study that showed people who eat breakfast have a better chance of maintaining a 30 pound, or more, weight loss for at least a year. Studies in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association showed similar results.

Another research group analyzed government data on over 4,000 adults and found those who ate a regular breakfast tended to take in fewer calories during the day and had a lower fat intake. They also noted that regular breakfast eaters were more likely to engage in routine exercise.

Eating breakfast also jump-starts your metabolism, says Elisabetta Politi, RD, MPH, nutrition manager for the Duke Diet and Fitness Center at Duke University Medical School.  She states; “When you don’t eat breakfast, you’re actually fasting for 15 to 20 hours, so you’re not producing the enzymes needed to metabolize fat to lose weight.” In fact, sumo wrestlers don’t eat until late in the day for the sole purpose of gaining weight.  If you don’t eat breakfast, you are actually following the sumo wrestler diet.  Now, that is a scary thought.

Keep Your Metabolism Going All Day

With the right mechanisms in place, your body will naturally burn fat.  But, what are the right mechanisms?  That’s your job;  to find your body’s balance between energy consumed and energy burned.  Metabolism is the name of the game.  When you eat healthy small meals, starting early in the morning, your metabolism is set in full swing, mobilizing and converting fat stores into energy.

When you eat breakfast along with regular snacks and small meals throughout the day, your body gets the nutrition it needs and goes to work, breaking down your food into energy.  If you wait until you’re starving before you eat anything, that gnawing feeling in your stomach is telling you something. Your body will start by robbing your muscle tissue of anything it needs first, like protein, then it will store fat because it thinks it’s in famine mode. By eating early and often, not only are you protecting the muscle that supports your frame and allows you to walk, sit, and stand, but you are also keeping your metabolism going so it works all day to give you energy.

Simple Weight Loss Tips to Get You Started:

  • Eat slowly. It takes twenty minutes for your stomach to tell your brain you are full.  Don’t eat and run.  You’ll be looking for your next meal way before you need it.
  • Pick out foods you need to chew. Try apples, whole grain hearty breads, celery, and other raw vegetables. These foods will slow down your eating and satisfy your chewing instinct. Raw nuts are another option. Just be sure to monitor the serving sizes as you snack.
  • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of cold water per day. This helps to feel full and as your body works to raise the temperature of the water, you are burning calories.  Keep bottles of water filled in the refrigerator and sip, sip, sip.
  • Eating whole fruits are much more satisfying than just drinking the juice. Keep this thought when choosing other fruits and vegetables.  Whole is usually better.
  • Have a healthy snack before you start cooking dinner. This will help with overeating while preparing the meal, and after.  Munching on celery is the perfect way to keep you satisfied while cooking. I like to munch on romaine lettuce leaves or carrot sticks.

The less you eat, the more your body protects itself and begins to go into starvation mode, holding on to more food, storing it as fat and robbing your muscles of nutrients. Make sure you eat a good breakfast to start your day right. Then, keep your metabolism working throughout the day with small meals and healthy snacks.

Stop starving yourself so your body can relax and start to lose that weight.  Adding foods instead of subtracting foods?  It’s so crazy it might just work.


Beach Week Day 5

Add protein to every meal. Successfully committing to a reduced calorieThe Four Food Groups diet can be difficult when you are bombarded by cravings and hunger pangs. Ravenous hunger will only encourage overeating and weight regain. Research has shown that diets that are higher in quality lean protein causes a feeling of fullness, leading to lower calorie intake. Sustaining weight loss over the long term is challenging but not impossible. A higher protein diet offers numerous metabolic advantages that will not only help a person lose weight, but may also prevent regaining pounds, or worse, surpassing your starting weight. Need some protein ideas? Shoot me an email and I’ll send you a list of lean protein sources.


The Thyroid: Little Gland Causing Big Weight Problems

Over the past few months it seems as through a number of my clients are struggling with hormonal and/or thyroid problems. I’ve found myself doing a ton of research on this just to brain scan educate myself and to help my clients find some answers. If anyone has encountered the same, I’d love to hear about it.

Would you know if your thyroid gland slowed its production of thyroid hormone? The symptoms of decreased thyroid hormone synthesis, known as hypothyroidism, are hard to spot. About 10 million Americans have thyroid disease and many others are undiagnosed, under-diagnosed, or under-treated.  Many times the symptoms—including weakness and fatigue, weight gain, persistent constipation, or thinning hair—are often mistaken as other illnesses or simply the progression of aging.

Our thyroids stores and produces hormones that affect the function of virtually every organ in our bodies. The hormones produced by the thyroid gland, T3 and T4, regulate the body’s metabolism by providing cells with energy they need to function. When your thyroid does not produce enough of these hormones, the balance of chemical reactions in your body can be upset and many times results in a slowed metabolism.

If levels of thyroid hormones are low, you burn fewer calories per day AKA clients will begin to put on weight and have no idea what’s happening even if they have been consistent with their eating and work out programs.  An underactive thyroid makes every calorie count more, sometimes double. It makes losing weight a slower and more challenging and frustrating process.

When helping your client(s) manage thyroid challenges here are 6 tips.

  1. Check in with their doctors —  If they are experiencing the symptoms of hypothyroidism, it’s essential to they get proper treatment from your physician or naturopath. Diagnosis through a blood test will determine if what is needed to help normalize your thyroid. Your client may also want to ask to have their c-reactive protein and cortisol levels checked out  It’s important to note that doctors may help your clients normalize hormone levels, but they won’t necessarily cause you to lose weight. Diet and lifestyle changes must still be followed to help shed the pounds (more about this below).
  2. Avoid foods that hinder thyroid hormone absorption — When taking thyroid hormones, it’s important to avoid certain foods and nutrients that can interfere with absorption. For example, dietary calcium or iron can inhibit thyroid hormone absorption. For this reason, many doctors recommend taking thyroid medication immediately upon rising and two to three hours apart from consuming calcium- or iron-containing foods. Be sure to do your research as some calcium- and iron-containing foods and supplements may be surprising such as antacids, calcium-fortified orange juice, and multivitamins.

    It’s also important to avoid foods that can interfere with thyroid function, which are designated as goitrogenic foods. Common goitrogenic foods include non-fermented soy foods, legumes such as lima beans, and raw cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Preparation methods, such as cooking or fermentation, reduce the amount of goitrogens in these foods.

  3. Eat balanced meals with quality protein — The greatest contributor to basal metabolic rate (BMR)—the rate that your body burns calories—is muscle tissue. Even when you are at rest (such as sleeping), muscle requires energy to rebuild and restore. For this reason, it’s beneficial to preserve muscle when you’re trying to lose weight. Meals higher in protein compared to other macronutrients (carbohydrates and fats) have shown to help maintain muscle mass resulting in a higher BMR, faster metabolism, and greater energy expenditure (1;2). The thermogenic effect of food aka  the digestion and absorption of protein—requires more calories than both fat and carbohydrate combined (2).
  4. Choose calories wisely — When trying to lose weight, every calorie counts. This is even more emphasized when dealing with a sluggish metabolism. It’s important to limit “empty” calories such as sugary drinks, white-flour pastas and breads, and other sources of refined carbohydrates that can quickly spike blood sugar and leave you feeling hungry and fatigued.

    Instead of refined carbohydrates, choose portion-controlled meals that are higher in dietary fiber to help satisfy your appetite and keep you feeling fuller, longer. In addition to curbing cravings, a high-fiber diet can help avoid hypothyroidism-induced constipation as dietary fiber is an important bulking agent for solidifying and softening stools.

  5. Get moving, even if it is only for a short time — The fatigue that often accompanies hypothyroidism can hamper motivation to exercise; however, physical activity—especially resistance training— is a major contributor to metabolic stimulation and muscle growth, which can fuel weight loss. If time and motivation to exercise are challenging for your clients have them give high-intensity interval training (HITT) a try.
  6. Make sure you are getting sufficient vitamins and minerals dailyA diet supplying sufficient amounts of minerals such as iodine and selenium is important for thyroid health. Sources of iodine include iodized salt and sea vegetables such as kelp. It may seem like we should be getting enough iodine from a typical salty Western diet; however, many processed foods do not use iodized salt. Sources of selenium include animal products, seafood, dairy, and Brazil nuts.

    Evidence has been showing that vitamin D is particularly important for those with thyroid problems and other autoimmune disorders. Those with thyroid disease may be at greater risk for low vitamin D levels (4,5). Because of the many roles vitamin D plays in the body—from  bone health to brain health—it’s important to be sure you are getting enough through your diet, supplementation, or by soaking up the sun’s UVB rays. If you choose the latter, be sure to practice safe sun exposure.

  7. Get enough quality shut-eyeGetting enough quality sleep is important for anyone attempting to lose weight, it’s especially important for those with hypothyroidism. Too often, people who are sleep-deprived try to increase levels of alertness by eating and those foods tend to be high-calorie options. This cycle of fatigue and self-medicating with unhealthy foods can be disastrous for your clients waist line and health.

    In addition to feeling tired and making bad food choices, sleep deprivation can decrease insulin sensitivity and essentially cause a metabolic meltdown. On average, adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night.



  1. Soenen S, et al. Normal Protein Intake Is Required for Body Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance, and Elevated Protein Intake for Additional Preservation of Resting Energy Expenditure and Fat Free Mass. J Nutr. 2013 Feb 27. doi: 10.3945/jn.112.167593
  2. Westerterp-Plantenga MS, et al. Dietary protein – its role in satiety, energetics, weight loss and health. Br J Nutr. 2012 Aug;108 Suppl 2:S105-12. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512002589.
  3. Shiraev T, Barclay G. Evidence based exercise – clinical benefits of high intensity interval training. Aust Fam Physician. 2012 Dec;41(12):960-2.
  4. Kivity S, Agmon-Levin N, Zisappl M et al. Vitamin D and autoimmune thyroid diseases. Cell Mol Immunol 2011;8:243-7. doi: 10.1038/cmi.2010.73
  5. Bozkurt NC, Karbek B, Ucan B et al. The Association Between Severity of Vitamin D Deficiency and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Endocr Pract 2013;1-14.

Take A Look You Are Beautiful!!

I do most of my coaching virtually which means I most of clients take pics of themselves and send it to me. One of my newer clients had trouble with this and told me that she avoids mirrors and cameras at all costs. I’ve been doing this for a few years and this is the first someone has said this to me. So, I did a small poll at my gym this week I found that there were many women who really didn’t look at themselves in the mirror. There were some women in my class that had a positive body image, but the majority had poor body image and would rather not see themselves.
I was like Whoa!!

Take a look at this Dove Real Beauty Sketches commercial and you will see just differently women view themselves. Most of the women in the commercial had a distorted body image. What I like about the Dove commercial is that is shows women of different body types and shows that there is no perfect female body type.

Now I look at myself in the mirror not in a vain way, but how would I know if I (VPLs) visual panty lines, put in my contacts or make sure my make up looks right. Now that days I don’t look in the mirror — let me tell you, I’ve put my shirt on backwards and worn 2 different sneakers. I teach classes and train clients in person, so you can imagine how embarrassing that can be especially when you don’ t notice for a few hours.

So I ask two questions.
1. What makes you feel pretty?
2. Do you not look in a mirror and why
Please leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear


Stop Singing The Bikini Season Blues

Spring official starts on March 21st, my fingers are crossed that we are going to start to see a nice warm up. Now is the time to start your fitness spring cleansing!
You declutter your closets, so why not declutter your fitness routine and your eating habits?  Taking these 5 steps will get you reach for bikini season.
Here are a 5 things to do right now to get ready for spring fitness cleansing and achieve that beach-ready body just in time for warmer temperatures.Kim Barnes Jefferson

  1. Get rid of the junk. Have a stash of cookies, chips, empty-calorie liquid losers aka soda or other tasty processed treats hanging around calling you from another room? Toss or give them away and replace it clean eating healthier alternative: replace them with whole foods, nearly calorie-free treats, veggies, lean proteins, low GI starches and low fat dairy.
  2. Set small goals. While it may be really exciting to set a large goal like running a marathon or going to the gym every day, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to actually achieve that large sometimes overwhelming fitness goal. The solution? Set smaller fitness goals. For example, if your goal is to go to the gym every day, just go to the gym one day a week for three weeks. Once you’ve accomplish that goal, step it up. Decide to go to the gym twice a week for three weeks. Once you’ve accomplished that fitness goal, step it up again. Soon you’ll be going to the gym every day.
  3. Get a Buddy. Making a change can be challenging, but research shows that having an accountability buddy or someone who’s also making the same change can encourage even better results. Find a friend, your spouse or colleague at work who wants to achieve similar goals and ask if they will support you.
  4. Create an Action Plan. To make this happen you need to map out your strategy. I tell all my clients break their goals into 3 stages 30, 60 and 90 days. What are you going to eat, who is going to help you, what will you do if an obstacle comes in your way. What will you do to reward yourself for hitting your mini goals. Breaking a habit means being aware and making conscious choices that are different from what you’re used to. By creating an action plan for, you’re setting yourself up for success.
  5. Mix it up. It’s easy to get into a rut when you’re beginning a new workout routine. In order to keep things interesting and maintain your motivation, consider a few exercises or sports you enjoy. This can make it easier on your body too. For example, if you’re running two or three times a week, consider walking or riding your bike on the other days. Maybe add yoga to keep your muscles flexible.  Mixing up your routine you will begin to shaping muscles you never thought possible.

Bonus — Eat 4-5 mini-meals. When you eat at regular intervals during the day you minimize your insulin spikes. This minimizes the potential of you binging. Each meal you should include at least a protein and veggies. Enough with this having a carrot sticks or nuts and that’s a “snack” not filling enough. Enjoy mini-meals — they won’t make you fat. Have trouble fitting in all these meals? I have some suggestions, shoot me an email or call and I can help you configure a menu that works for your busy life.