Weight fluctuation happens to everyone, even Melissa Alcantara, trainer to Kim Kardashian West and overall badass. In a recent Instagram post, Alcantara revealed that she gained 10 pounds over the last month, and she shared how she plans to approach diet and fitness in the upcoming weeks. (Related: Melissa Alcantara Shares Her 5 Commandments for Making a Fitness Transformation)
For one thing, Alcantara's weight-loss plan doesn't include panicking or trying a crash diet. Instead, one thing she's focusing on is "not lifting too much" because her "old ass knees hurt," she wrote in her post (#relatable).
Going all-out without regarding the body's needs is actually a common mistake people make when setting fitness goals, and it can backfire in the end. "Simply put: When you fight against your body, it's going to fight back," Jen Widerstrom, all-star trainer and Shape contributing fitness director, previously told us. "Cravings, fatigue, and a scale that won't budge are all signs of your body rebelling," she added. (Here are some other warnings that you're pushing yourself too hard in the gym—plus how to find balance in your workout routine.)
Next, Alcantara plans on "not eating bullsh*t (specifically not going into the granola bag 75 times a day acting like it's the last time)," she wrote (#alsorelatable).
ICYDK, Alcantara has told us in the past that she's not one to obsess over calorie count, nor does she believe in drastically cutting carbs for weight loss. In general, Alcantara has said she tries to stick with less processed foods. If you're curious what that's looked like lately, yesterday the trainer shared a video on her Instagram Story of a shake she made with frozen bananas, honey roasted peanut butter, blueberries, spinach, nutmeg, cinnamon, unsweetened almond milk, and oats. (If that sounds delish, these 13 healthy smoothies taste like milkshakes but are actually good for you.)
Another part of Alcantara's weight-loss plan involves simply "drinking water," she wrote in her post. It's a straightforward strategy, but potentially a smart one since how much water you drink can play a role in your weight: One study found that people who drank water before meals consumed fewer calories at each meal. Beyond that, staying hydrated helps balance the body's electrolyte levels, which is especially important if you're ramping up your workouts in pursuit of a weight-loss goal. (Here's how sports drinks can help you maintain healthy electrolyte levels, too.)
Finally, Alcantara said she'll be adding more cardio to her routine, but not an "overwhelming" amount—"more like 4 [cardio workouts] a week instead of once every 2 weeks," she wrote, adding that she'll also be following her Built At Home program on the Fitplan app.
Alcantara's approach to cardio touches on one of the most common myths surrounding weight loss: that sticking to only cardio is the best way to lose weight. But in reality, adopting an all-cardio routine can mean burning fewer calories overall than following a routine that incorporates strength training, since building muscle means burning more calories on a day-to-day basis. With that in mind, Alcantara's approach of increasing cardio without adopting a "more is more" mentality makes total sense.
Feeling inspired by Alcantara? Here's our 40-day plan to help you crush any goal.