Q and A with Shawna

female fat loss over 40

Hi Shawna

I am an apple shaped woman. The narrowest point of my waist is now 78 cm. My goal is 72 cm and I’m ready to work hard and eat right! I am almost pleased with my thighs. I don’t want them slimmer. Would it be possible to develop the muscles of the thighs and at the same time burn fat and get narrower waist? Should I use weights for example when I  do squats?
I’m so excited and grateful that I found your program.

All the best,



Dear P.

A common misconception is that many women think that they will ‘get bigger’ with adding resistance (weights) to their routine. I lift very heavy weight and I’m not a big person.

Indeed you can lift weight and reduce fat all at once. In fact, this is the most effective method. Many women think they’ll do ‘cardio’ to get rid of fat, then start to lift weight.


Do HIIT at the same time as adding resistance training to bring the fastest results. In fact, here’s a cool workout that you can try that does just that.

Muscle will take up less space than fat (it’s much more dense) so a woman will not necessarily ‘get big’ from lifting heavy weights. In fact, she’ll fit into her jeans MUCH better when she adds some shapely muscle to her legs. It’s quite difficult to gain a significant amount of muscle without purposefully eating a specific kind of diet (or turning to pharmaceuticals). Imagine a slab of one pound of beef, adding that to your thighs is tough work.

However, a woman WILL get big from overeating. Appetite often increases with training and when a nutrition plan goes unchecked, a woman lifting weights can put on size, just as if she weren’t weight training. This weight or size gained is most likely NOT all muscle but predominantly fat.

It’s actually  poor nutrition that should be taking the blame for beefy looking girls in the weight room, NOT the heavy weight lifting.

Muscle is helpful in keeping fat at bay since it’s metabolically active. When the diet is sound, muscle is built and fat doesn’t necessarily accumulate. It takes more calories to maintain muscle as opposed to fat which is pretty much dead weight. Getting and keeping muscle on your body is the fountain of youth since it keeps your metabolism running.

The key then, is to do resistance training, but also modify your diet. Don’t starve yourself, but reduce the junk and increase nutritional density of everything that goes in your mouth.

I hope this helps,