6 common mistakes that women make when trying to transform their bodies and achieve their goals!

I have been in the fitness industry for a very long time now and I have learnt a lot over the years. I really want to try and help as many women as I can understand that the things they are currently doing could actually set them back and stop them from achieving their goals.

These days there are so many experts and people out there preaching what to do and what not to do, so I can totally understand why so many women are confused and just end up going around in circles and yoyo dieting!

I am here to keep things as simple as possible and to help you understand things so that hopefully something clicks and you ‘get it’ and you can finally start to move forward with your training and your goals!


1)Over training

While everyone is different and no certain amount of exercise is automatically ”too much,” it’s recommended that you take one to two rest days a week, especially if you’re working out at a really high intensity or with heavy weights. In general, exercising for up to 90 minutes (at a moderate intensity), most days of the week is reasonable and healthy, but you should take into account your fitness level, health status and how your body responds.

You might already be aware of some of the common signs of overtraining, but sometimes the body sends more subtle signs that you’re working out too much. 

These signs can sometimes be so sneaky that you may not realise your workouts are causing them.

Signs you are Overtraining:

  • Exercise leaves you exhausted instead of energised
  • You get sick easily (or it takes forever to get over a cold)
  • You have the blues or feel down a lot
  • You’re unable to sleep or you can’t seem to get enough sleep
  • You have ”heavy” legs
  • You’re regularly sore for days at a time

Please be careful if any of the above symptoms resonates with you. Rest is so important. I suggest around 4-5 training sessions a week max for overall weight loss and health/fitness goals.

2)Doing too much cardio

Cardiovascular exercise is great. I’m not trying to discourage you from going to the gym or throwing on your running shoes and heading out the door. But before you start getting your heart rate up, try to erase everything you learned about the “fat burning zone” you heard about in spinning class, or the more-is-more attitude you had when it came to the amount of time you spent on a piece of cardio equipment.

Recent research has shown:

  • long, slow cardio sessions actually burn muscle, not fat
  • decrease human growth hormone
  • suppress hormones needed for burning fat 
  • increase cortisol

If cardio is what you want, then keep at it, but not for 60 minutes of slow and steady. Spice it up by starting with a good warm up for 5 to 10 minutes. After that increase the intensity for two minutes, to the point where your breathing heavy, then back down to an easy pace for one minute. Repeat this 2-minutes hard: 1-minute easy for 30 to 40 minutes and you’ll get a much greater bang for your buck than if you went slow and steady the entire time.

3)Repeating the same training program/exercises over and over

Common mistake this one is that women do the same training routine every week, day in, day out, it is like living on repeat!

Once your body recognises “routine,” it plateaus in terms of progress.  Your body simply learns what you teach it. If you continually ask it to learn something new, it has to continually “adapt” and learn it.  These benefits go even a step further in keeping you mentally upbeat for a new variation of your “routine” when you hit the gym.  Change it up and get double the benefits and enhance your results.”

You can of course do the same program for a while as long as you are changing up the intensity i.e.. lifting heavier or changing volume and tempo. I would always change the actual program every 8-12 weeks though, that way your body will not have enough time to plateau and you won’t get bored!

For your body to change, you need to keep it guessing. And that doesn’t mean you have to do all sorts of different training programs, it simply means you can shake things up by adding volume, more weight, more reps, less rest and changing tempo. Following a structured training program works, if you follow it how you are meant to and pushing your body or strength levels. If you aren’t feeling a burn or feeling fatigue in the muscles that you are training at any given time, you aren’t training with enough intensity!

4)Being too scared to lift heavy as you don’t want to get bulky

Undoubtedly, you’ve heard the horror stories: lifting heavy weights makes women bulky, it’s dangerous, it’s bad for your joints, and once you have muscle, you can’t stop lifting or it will all turn to fat. It’s all laughable, and it feeds into stereotypes that are keeping too many women from experiencing the profound benefits of resistance training.

It’s time to put that fear and uncertainty aside. The fact is lifting weights does none of those awful things. What it does is help you to live in a healthier, stronger body.

Fit Healthy Mums - Justine Switalla

Here are 7 reasons you should prioritise strength training in your fitness regimen:








Moral of the story ladies…LIFT WEIGHTS!

5)Under eating or cutting out food groups

It is so important to get into the habit of eating whole foods, your body knows what to do with real food! These days eating has become so dam confusing, it really isn’t meant to be this complicated! Under eating when you train is very dangerous for many reasons, the most important one being that you will mess up your metabolism and you will end off a lot worse off than when you started!

I like to live by the 80/20 rule, after a few years of trial and error I have found that this works well for me and my clients! I like to eat well through the week and then on the weekends I splash out a bit and treat myself and I do this guilt free! I believe that this helps me bring balance into my life and it also keeps me sane. I never feel deprived or feel the need to binge! Under eating can be dangerous on so many levels, it leaves you feeling very miserable and you could end up with an eating disorder or body dysmorphic disorder! Please be careful and do your research before you take nutrition advice from anyone and more than anything listen to your body and give it what it needs when it needs it!

Remember that food is designed to be enjoyed; delicious and nutritious. Your body knows what to do with REAL food, you don’t need to be scared of calories or food. Food is good for you, food is fuel for your body! Depriving yourself of food only leads to binge eating or some form of emotional eating. I think around 80% of my online clients have suffered from emotional eating that I have had to help them overcome. It is very common among women to eat their emotions!

Following a healthy food plan that makes you feel satiated is the way to go. Also remembering to eat all food groups and to eat healthy fats. Stay away from ‘low fat’ foods as they are usually highly processed and full of sugars!

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6)Trying to be Perfect and comparing yourself to others

Remember that consistency always wins. Put one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. Try not to look too far down the barrel or you will start to feel overwhelmed. We live in a ‘I want it now’ generation, and people don’t give it long enough before they find it all too hard and give up!

Stop comparing your journey with everyone else’s, you are not them, you are not living their life. You can not compare yourself to others, it really just leaves you feeling unworthy and not good enough. People love to share their highlight reels on social media and not their struggles. Take what you see as a grain of salt and learn to focus more on you and those close to you!

Strive for progress not perfection!!

Motivation will drop from time to time, trust me, I have days where I can’t fathom dragging myself to the gym. So I don’t! I simply allow myself to feel the slump and ride it out. No point beating myself up over it, tomorrow is a new day!

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Here is a quick reminder of what you get when you invest in my FitMum Program:

  • You get access to our super supportive Facebook forum where I will help guide you on your journey.
  • Amazing tasting healthy recipes that are good enough for the whole family to eat
  • Training Programs for the Gym and for Home
  • 24/7 support and encouragement from the other ladies in the forum, be prepared to make lifelong friends!
  • You gain access to the members area of this site where you have access to an exercise library with 100’s of exercises plus core & stretch routines.
  • Mindset tools!
  • Vegetarian and Vegan food plans available
  • Loads of ongoing tips and assistance to help you stay motivated and on track!

I am currently running a FLASH SALE for Natural Parenting Mag readers, so you can join and get lifetime access for one easy payment of only $47 instead of $97.

I have helped mums from 6 weeks post to 9 years post baby close their separation and flatten their stomachs, it is not too late for you to do the same~

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Justine xx

P.S Below are some other Blogs that you might be interested in reading: