Korrie Martinez, bikini.com

In my search for the secrets to being beach-ready yearlong, beWELL founder Kelly LeVeque was kind enough to answer some of my most pressing questions. Last week we dove into the dirty word "diet." Today we’re talking fitness—why eating less ruins your metabolism, how lifting weights will transform your body and what secret health benefits yoga has been holding all along.  

Bikini.com: What is the number one mistake you find women make when trying to lose weight?

KL: Restricting calories or worse, starving themselves because the body then responds in “fight or flight” and releases the stress hormone known as cortisol. Once our body is done using glucose (blood sugar) for fuel, it begins to burn away our lean muscle. Unfortunately, this lowers your body’s overall need for calories. If your body eats away two pounds of muscle, your daily calorie need is reduced by 100 calories. For example, instead of burning 1,600 calories a day naturally your body now only burns 1,500. Therefore, to continue to lose weight you’d need to further restrict calories in an unhealthy way.

Bikini.com: If you had to recommend one positive change everyone make to their fitness routine right now, what would it be?

KL: Weight training! There are so many benefits from weight training including an increase in metabolism, better sleep and increased bone density. Women love to see they have burned 300 calories in 30 minutes on an elliptical but what they don't realize is that the burn stops when they step off the machine. On the other hand, lifting weights creates EPOC (Excessive Post Oxygen Consumption), which keeps your body burning calories long after you leave the gym.

Bikini.com: You are a certified yoga teacher and a devotee to the practice. What is it about yoga that you find so beneficial?

KL: Yoga pairs breath with movement. Whether you take a power yoga class or a slow restorative class, breathing is a form of meditation that slows your mind down allowing you to release stress and anxiety. Breathing is also a form of constant detoxification and 70% of your waste products are eliminated through your lungs. Incorporating yoga into your life can help you manage stress, detox through sweat and breath, and gain strength that helps you maintain weight naturally.

Bikini.com: I’m always hearing from friends that working out is the last thing on their to-do list. What do you tell your clients with busy schedules?

KL: We schedule workout meetings in their calendar at the beginning of the week or month and they don't cancel on themselves; they are, after all, their most important client!

Kelly LeVeque, with more than a decade of experience as a holistic nutritionist, health coach, yoga instructor and fitness expert, founded beWELL to share her passion for clean and holistic living. For more information visit bewellbykelly.com and follow Kelly on Instagram @bewellbykelly to grab more healthy tips.