Can you describe your daily food and fitness routines? I work out at least 5-6 days a week. I change up my routine frequently as I tend to get bored! I always work out from home, however. I have a collection of Beachbody DVD sets which I LOVE, and I create “hybrid” programs. My number one love is LIFTING. The changes I’ve experienced in my body since I started lifting are phenomenal! I’m so strong and I feel empowered, and growing every day. I also love HIIT cardio. My fave programs to play around with (the ones that I usually go back to) are TurboFire, Body Beast & ChaLean Extreme. My daily food intake changes as well. The one constant that remains the same are my vegan protein/whole food shakes – I always have Vega and Shakeology daily. I like to try new things, I love being adventurous and trying to find my perfect balance.
Do you track your calories? YES I DO! While many people believe this is unnecessary, I have found this to be the missing link in my long time of wishing and working for results! I have been tracking my calories since around March of 2012, and have only taken a few days “off”. It becomes second nature and it becomes really easy. Some don’t feel the need to put in writing (or in my case, on my phone) EXACT calories as they have understood how to eat and how much. This may work for you, or you, like me, many need something more concrete. I like seeing my food in a list and I like seeing not only the calories but the nutrients. Check out my more detailed post about calorie tracking HERE 🙂
What EXACTLY do you eat? I usually eat a rotation of the same things every day. It would take me FOREVER to explain, so please just add me on the MyFitnessPal app and this will allow you to check out ALL my diaries all the way back to the beginning of time (LOL). Have fun! My username is gorgeousssleep.
How do you time your meals/how many meals do you eat a day? I’d love to say that I eat exactly 6 meals a day every 2-3 hours but I would be lying. It’s my ideal, that’s what I strive for, but it usually ends up being 5 meals every 2.5-3.5 hours. It can vary depending on my day. The GOAL is to eat smaller meals more frequently rather than 3 big meals a day. The principle is that eating more frequently gives you sustained energy throughout the day, it prevents you from going into starvation mode (which actually makes you store fat), it prevents you from over-eating later on in the day. I’ve noticed a nice difference since I started doing this, so give it a try!
How many calories do you eat? That is irrelevant – the question is, HOW MANY CALORIES DO YOU EAT and do you know how many calories you SHOULD be eating!? Too often we overestimate how much we burn during a workout and we underestimate the amount of calories we eat. There are TONS of factors that have to do with how many calories we should be getting in a day: age, gender, height, weight, goals, etc etc they all play an important role. For a SUPER accurate reading, go see a dietician or nutritionist, or you can even invest in a daily calorie monitor such as the Fit Bit which is accurate at tracking how many calories you burn throughout the whole day.
I started off my fitness journey by creating a MyFitnessPal app and setting my net calories to 1200. This means I ate 1200 calories PLUS whatever I burned that day. I use a Polar watch to track my calorie burn during exercise. Once I reached my goal weight, I upped my calories to maintain. Then, I listened to my body, used logic and TRIAL AND ERROR to end up at the amount of calories I eat now. I can eat a LOT because I have trained my body to burn calories efficiently and I have allowed my body to love and absorb food. I also am very active and am building muscle.
This isn’t to say this will be exactly what works for YOU, but this is what has worked for ME! So keep trying, keep learning, keep reading, keep researching, keep living! 😉
What do you recommend to eat before a workout? My current favorite pre-workout snack is a smushed banana mixed with peanut butter and some cinnamon. But I like to say that this is different for everyone! Some people can’t work out with food in their stomachs, it makes them sick, other people need a bigger meal. I always say to find what works for YOU. Try a few different things out and see how your body reacts! Dates, bananas and other sweet fruit are great for quick energy.
What´s your favorite post work out meal? Immediately after a workout I’ll have a few dates or half a grapefruit. Your body NEEDS carbs right after an intense sweat sesh. My faveeee post-workout meal is my vegan protein pudding! You mix a scoop of protein powder with 1/2 a cup of almond milk, 1-2 bananas, 2 handfuls of spinach (or kale, if you’re feeling adventurous) and 2 tbsp pre-soaked chia seeds. I like to let it set it the fridge for a bit, so it becomes thicker and nice and cold. The more bananas, the creamier it’ll become! Perfectly rewarding after a great workout!
How would you advise someone who is just getting started into fitness to start? My biggest advice would be to JUST GET STARTED! Throw away all your excuses – they’ll get you nowhere. Do your research, contact someone who inspires you and ask for their help and start TODAY. Don’t expect instant results – the results will come, but it takes time and dedication. It won’t happen in a day, or even a week, and sometimes it can take a few months. But always take it one day at a time. Add in exercise, add in healthy foods, focus on ADDING rather than SUBTRACTING – don’t focus on what food you’ll miss or what you “can’t” eat or do anymore. Instead, focus on how amazing you feel when you’re done a workout, how great you feel after eating healthy, how fun cooking can be. Be positive, be happy, know that you will get results and you will reach your goals – it’s all in your mind. You have all the keys to unlock every single lock, you have all the power. Just do it!