As a health and fitness professional and studio owner, my clients often ask me questions like, “What do I need to do to feel stronger and look better? How much do you workout? How do I get flat abs? How do I get rid of jiggly arms? How come I can’t seem to lose these last 5 pounds? Why do you have so much energy? Do you take any workout supplements? What do YOU eat? …”
First, there is no one thing that will make you both look and feel more fit. It’s a combination of a balanced exercise program, healthy nutrition and proper rest, so here are a few things I do to look and feel my best.
How do you work out? Of course I work out, but not as much as some people think. I work out about 5 days a week, for about 40 minutes a day. But I work HARD when I exercise. If you’re phoning it in at the barre or the gym, forget results. And I never do steady-state cardio like running (but only because it’s simply not my jam!). Unless you’re training for a sport or endurance event, you do not need to exercise 10+ hours a week!
What do I eat? I’d tell you I “eat clean,” but what does that really mean? Clean eating can mean many things. I try to limit overly processed foods (things in bags and boxes), and I eat tons of raw vegetables and lots of fish (I’ve been otherwise vegetarian for 38 years). Fish on a salad is my favorite meal and I eat that every night! I don’t keep junk food in my house (harder for those of you with kids, I know). I also don’t eat pasta or pizza. Ever. I’m not knocking it, that’s just what works for me. I drink a lot of water and keep healthy snacks (nuts, Quest Bars, fresh veggies with almond butter) with me when I am on the go (in my office, in my car and in my purse).
Do you have a “Secret Sauce?” I only mention this when clients ask me directly, but I LOVE my Beachbody products. I use two daily: Energize (pre-workout) and Shakeology! For the past 5 years, nearly every single day, I have fueled my body with a dense, super-foods protein shake. I have tested many (many) products over the years, and I feel (for me) this is hands down the best on the market – I call it “Liquid Gold”! I have tons of energy, and I am never sick! At about $4 per meal, I feel Shakeology is a reasonable investment in my health, and I LOVE the flavors. I like Vegan Vanilla best, because I have a sensitive digestive system, and many other products make me feel bloated. I always add fun stuff to my Shakeology meal, like pumpkin, flax, PB Fit and frozen berries. I deserve to feel good, and my family deserves a healthy me. If I don’t take care of myself, someone else will have to. I truly feel it is worth every penny! You can read more about it (and even order it) here: SHAKEOLOGY
My pre-workout product of choice is ENERGIZE I find that it boosts my energy, endurance, strength, focus and helps me to push harder during my workouts.
Some people like cleanses, fasts and the like. I feel the science there is weak, and I’ve never found them to be successful for me. But, if they work for you, then go for it!
As for the rest of the questions, the answers pretty much point to NUTRITION. Can’t see your abs? Nutrition, not crunches, is where to turn. Exercise accounts for only about 20% of reaching your goals. Nutrition is the other 80%. And it’s the 80% we most struggle with!
Here are a few things I know:
- Exercise alone doesn’t work.
- Dieting alone doesn’t work.
- Both exercise AND nutrition are CRITICAL to the body transformation process.
The most effective plan is to follow a solid nutrition program while exercising properly.
The key to maintaining a fitness regime is: VARIETY, INTENSITY, and CONSISTENCY. If your workout feels like a punishment, find something you LOVE (like Barre!). Mix it up. Go hard, but smart. And COMMIT to it … do SOMETHING 5 times a week. Even 10 minutes a day can help. 10 minutes several times a day, even better.
Don’t FIND the time, MAKE the time. YOU matter! You deserve to be fit and healthy. Your FAMILY deserves you to be fit and healthy, too. Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish. NOT taking care of yourself is.
There is a lot of pseudo-science and uninformed advice floating around out there. Everyone has an opinion! But I know this: Nutrition is bio-individual. What I do works for me, at this time, for my goals. They may not work for someone else. There is no one right diet for everyone (paleo, low-fat, low carb, keto, intermittent fasting, etc.). Find what works for YOU.
Make healthy choices 80% of the time, and treat yourself by having the foods you like the other 20%. And ENJOY that 20%! Nothing undermines a nutrition plan like the feeling of deprivation! Don’t call it a “cheat” – it’s a treat, a reward for good performance.
Focus on feeling STRONG and HEALTHY with loads of ENERGY as goals. You are NOT a number on a scale or a jean size. Numbers lie and a scale is a poor barometer of health and fitness. In fact, throw out your scale.
You can workout as hard as you want, but without attention to your nutritional intake, you won’t achieve the noticeable results you are looking for.
Eat, Move, Live … Better.
Start “Living Bolder®!”
Rita Jenkins-Wolcott, CPT/NASM
Founder, Bolder Barre® & Fitness
Regency Square, 2468 SE Federal Hwy, Stuart, FL
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