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I'm a Bikini Fitness Competitor and Here's My #1 Rule for Weight Loss

Here's how you can help build muscle & blast fat.
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

People often ask me, what's my #1 rule for weight loss. And here, I want to share it with you. Hi, my name is Karla De Epstein (aka Coach Karli). I am 45 years old and a mom of two with a Masters in Science. I am also a professional NPC Bikini Athlete, a passion that started after having my second child when I turned 40. I got certified as a Macro Coach in 2021, and that's when I created my own Nutrition Coaching Program: The MacroFit by PeruvianPrincessFit program, a program that provides virtual nutrition and lifestyle weight management coaching programs using the Flexible Dieting Approach.

I teach clients (lifestyle, bride-to-be, postpartum, couples, bikini competitors etc) how to reach their dream body in an effective and sustainable way without crazy diets, or restrictive approaches. I help change lives by creating good habits, losing weight, gaining lean mass, dropping body fat—all of this using a science-based approach, and all without giving up your favorite foods. Read on for my top 5 rules for weight loss—including #1.

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No. 5 Rule for Weight Loss: Cardiovascular Activity

Let's start with my 5th rule for weight loss: cardiovascular activity. But not those type of HIIT classes that will have you jumping up and down and doing burpees and air squats and crazy stuff that will mess up your hairdo. No, no, no. Please stop doing that. Have you ever seen body builders doing that? Exactly. The trick here is to give your body the minimum necessary activity to burn calories without increasing cortisol (stress hormone). I am here to tell you that you don't have to kill yourself with those type of classes‚as a matter fact you should stop! A Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) type of cardio is sufficient for weight loss. Try forms of "pure" cardio such as StairMaster, elliptical, stationary bike or treadmill, as long as you are within your Heart Rate Burning Zone you will be burning calories just fine.

Related: I'm a Celebrity Trainer and This is the Only Smoothie I Can't Live Without

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How to Calculate Your Heart Rate Burning Zone

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It's simple. Deduct your age from 220 and apply 70% to that. For example if I am 50 years old my heart rate burning zone is 119. As long as you maintain that BPM in average throughout the entire cardio sesh, you will be burning beautiful calories. Bonus tip that I give all my clients: Watch an episode of your favorite Netflix show while doing cardio and time will fly!

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No. 4 Rule for Weight Loss: Daily Step Count

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My fourth rule for weight loss is having a daily step count of 8,000 (minimum). Make this a habit. Every single one of my clients tracks their steps daily. Listen, just wearing the Apple watch won't do the trick—you actually have to get up and move, check your tracker constantly, maybe 5, maybe 10 times per day, hold yourself accountable and make it happen. If you are sitting at an office all day, set up alarms every two hours to get up and move around. I pace my apartment when I am on conference calls for example—you'd be surprised at how many steps you can hit on a 30 min call! Can't do that either? Then allot yourself 20 minutes after each workout session and jump on the treadmill to just walk while you text or scroll through IG!

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No. 3 Rule for Weight Loss: Emphasizing Resistance Training

My third rule for weight loss is resistance training. It's simple, the more muscle you have, the less you have to diet. Building muscle increases your metabolism. This won't take weeks or months, this is a process that can take years, but it's the most effective and proven way of losing fat. Those 2 pound dumbbells attached to the back seat of your stationary bike won't cut it either, come on, I know you are stronger than those pink weights. Try it and you'll see!

Related: I Lost 15 Pounds in 6 Weeks With These 3 Things

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No. 2 Rule for Weight Loss: Prioritizing Sleep

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My second rule for weight loss is definitely sleep. You can be doing everything right, eating right, exercising, lifting weights, doing cardio etc but if your sleep is not adequate your body is not in check and will not respond accordingly. Make some time for cat naps or maybe even a relaxation session like sauna or massage as these can help reduce cortisol.

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The #1 Rule for Weight Loss: High Protein Intake

As a Certified Macro Coach who has helped hundreds of clients lose weight successfully, I must say that my #1 rule for weight loss is a high protein intake. At least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight should be consumed. This ratio can be as high as 1.4 depending on the case.

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It's Not as Hard as It Sounds!

Coach Karla De Epstein

The perfect time to start a "weight loss program" doesn't exist. Life will not all of a sudden clear your calendar for 3 months so you can start. Life will always happen, events will always happen, birthday parties, work, children, trips etc will always happen so stop waiting for the perfect moment and just start. It is not as hard as it sounds when you pick the right program and you have the right coach by your side!

Related: 8 Things You Should Be Doing Now, According to Wellness Gurus 

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The Last Word From Coach Karli

Coach Karla De Epstein

As a mother of two in her forties, bodybuilder and nutrition coach, I've learned that age is not an impediment to reach your physique goals. Your metabolism hasn't slowed down and, 95% of the time, the issue is not your hormones either. The main issue is discipline and commitment. And perhaps you are yet to find a diet that works for you. I am here to tell you that you don't have to be miserable on a juice or starvation type diet—you can eat a lot of food and still lose weight. 

💪🔥Body Booster: When you give your body what it needs, that is when the body is happy and responds accordingly. Eat a balanced amount of macro-nutrients, high protein and a balanced amount of carbohydrates and fats, just what the body needs. It's not magic, it's science and the results are real.

Karla De Epstein, M.S., C.N.C also known as Coach Karli, is the founder of MacroFIT by PeruvianPrincessFit.

Karla De Epstein, MS, CNC
Karla De Epstein, MS, CNC also known as Coach Karli, is the founder of MacroFIT by PeruvianPrincessFit. Read more