HIIT – Is it really worth all the fuss?

I am very passionate about this type of routine so get ready for a long-winded post!! HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) has become very popular in the fitness world these past couple years. HIIT lovers rave about it revving up your metabolism long after you work out and blasting insane amounts of calories in a short amount of time. It consists of doing high intensity intervals of 20 (or more) seconds of moves such as burpees, jumping jacks, jump squats, etc. and then taking 10 seconds rest per set. You can mix weight training, yoga, etc. in with the intervals for a total body workout.

I had dabbled in some interval training previously when getting in extra awesome shape for my wedding and honeymoon but never put much effort into it. I was working out in the gym 1 hour almost every single day of the week and losing weight so why did I need to change?

Well, that change came after the wedding when I struggled to keep up with all the hours at the gym and the restricted diet. I didn’t want to spend that much time working out anymore. I grew tired of turning down social opportunities and I’m pretty sure some friends and family grew tired of it as well.

I cut back from 7 days a week doing cardio and/or weights every day to 4-5 days a week. I allow myself the occasional splurge. In fact, I just had the most delicious (and totes worth it) pecan roll from Panera yesterday that somebody split with me! However, I don’t cheat all the time. That is the key as I have said a million times before and will say again: Moderation.

I have gained 5 pounds since my wedding a little over a year ago. Am I freaking out? NO! Why not? Because…

  1. I am the healthiest I have ever been, I am the happiest I have ever been, and I look and feel great!
  2. I have gained more muscle and become stronger than I was last year by cutting back on the long cardio sessions and switching over to HIIT. Who doesn’t love a perky butt? You aren’t going to get that just doing cardio ladies. Sorry to burst your bubble (butts ūüėČ ) but you will get them by doing HIIT and weight training!
  3. I SAVED MONEY by quitting my gym and doing home workouts. I invested in a weight bench and some dumbbells to help for added resistance for about the cost of 2 months gym membership.

If you have a smart tv or Roku type device then go search Youtube videos. There are millions out there that are FREE! A lot require no equipment and last as little as 15-30 minutes.

I have been doing the Fitness Blender workouts which blends a lot of various types of exercises into one short, easy to follow routine. Don’t get me wrong…it is VERY high intensity. As in “I need to hit pause and go lay down before I throw up” intensity (that may or may not have been me last night doing a crazy long HIIT workout). If you really can mentally push yourself you will be amazed at how fast this type of routine can transform your body. I fell in love with this workout style because it is the best of both worlds — you get to have time doing other things you love by only allocating 30min/day working out but yet you get an amazing figure at the same time!

So is it worth all the fuss? Heck yes it is! GO TRY IT! You won’t be sorry when you are looking smokin’ in that bikini by Spring Break!

 

 

7 Day Diet & Exercise Program!

You want to drink wine, eat chocolate, feel satisfied – never hungry – and STILL LOSE WEIGHT?! If you said yes, this program I use is what you should try!!!

I don’t really believe in cleansing or detox programs as a lot of them end up starving you and ruining your metabolism. However, I¬†do think that you can detox your body through healthy eating, more sleep, and regular exercise. I love to stick to the motto “Everything in moderation” but as we all know sometimes things can get a little out of control and you need to reset your metabolism and cravings – fast!

I am sharing my meal and exercise plan with you all in hopes that it helps somebody with a starting point for a healthier lifestyle.This meal plan and exercise program is for¬†7 days. Absolutely stick to it longer than that if you feel so inclined!! You can do it!! I promise you will feel so much more energized and lighter after that week is over with because I sure do! The best part is – you won’t feel starved at all, I promise!

This program is what I ate and the workouts I performed this week. I lost a total of 5 pounds from start to finish!! That type of weight loss may sound unhealthy when out of context but I typically notice my weight changes from Monday-Friday anyways since I eat healthier during the week than on the weekends. I was coming off a bad week of eating/not exercising so I needed to snap back to my healthy ways. It was also probably a lot of water weight and bloat that was lost as well. Typically, your weight will naturally fluctuate throughout the week 1-3 pounds regardless of your diet. 

If you don’t work out¬†regularly this workout plan may be a bit much for you.¬†However,¬†you can always¬†ease into the exercises starting out with lighter weights/less strenuous¬†cardio¬†and gradually increasing as you get stronger.

A couple of things to note if you want to follow exactly how I did it:

  1. The salad dressing mentioned was Simply Dressed low-fat balsamic or Simply Dressed light Italian vinaigrette. These are my favorite go-to dressings that I have found to be lower in sugar, calories, and fat than most other dressings. Plus, it’s so yummy!
  2. The bread used is Ezekiel bread. This is one of the healthiest bread items I have found and use nothing else now. You may opt for whole wheat instead if this isn’t for you.
  3. The peanut butter used is no-salt added organic peanut butter. I didn’t mention the brand on purpose because it truly doesn’t matter as long as you make sure to watch the sodium and sugar content on whatever you buy!
  4. The strawberry preserves I use are organic Trader Joe’s. I love all the flavors they have so feel free to experiment! Make sure to use sparingly though as it does have a lot of sugar — but it’s mostly natural so it is allowed in small amounts.
  5. All of the recipes for the avocado tuna salad, pancakes with berry compote, sweet and spicy salmon, sweet potato stew, chili, eggplant parmesan, are all on this website. For the ones not listed Рlook for them in upcoming posts =). They are all quality tested and approved for tastiness and wholesomeness!

NOTE: I am NOT a doctor. This is simply what works best for me when trying to lose fat and tone up. Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise regimen or “diet” You may substitute almost any of the meals listed for something of equal nutritional value.

7-day-diet

Click the link below for a printable PDF version of the diet and exercise program:

Diet and Exercise Program   

Comment below if you will be following this program along with me! It helps to have support!!

Exercise, Who Has The Time? 5 easy steps to help you stay on track!

I know I’m not the only one in the world who struggles to fit in exercise everyday. It only takes up about an hour’s worth of time, give or take, so why is it so hard to find the time?! It used to be one of my go-to excuses for not working out when I was just starting my weight-loss journey. I put social obligations above that of my health. Looking back now, I find it quite ridiculous that I could find time to go out to eat/for drinks with friends, go shopping, see a movie, etc. but somehow couldn’t find one hour out of the day to work out.

In my humble opinion, exercising should be one of the top-most priorities in your life. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind and spirit. I truly believe that because I have experienced it first hand. When I exercise it helps me deal with daily stressors in my life, makes me feel more confident, helps me to sleep better, and makes me more conscious about what foods I am eating. You only get one body in your lifetime so why not make sure it is a good, fit body? One that will let you go all the places you want to go and do all of the amazing and active things you want to do!

Below are some tips that I have found to help me find time in my schedule, every single day, to workout. I may not go to the gym everyday and workout for an hour, but I always workout in some capacity be it walking my dog or doing stretches at home while watching tv.

5 Steps to Fitness:

  1. Get your workout in before starting your day. I have found this to be SUPER helpful in keeping me on track with my workout regimen. If I get it in before going to work I have no excuse later in the day to miss it (such as being tired, plans coming up out of the blue, etc.). Yes, it is hard to wake up early but I always feel so energized by the time I get to work that I am far more productive and alert! This may even lead to you getting that promotion you’ve been eyeing!
  2. Try to get 10,000 steps a day. I have a fitbit that helps me to track my daily activity which I find very motivating and awesome! I try to get 10,000 steps a day in, even on gym days. I happen to have a semi-active job that has me walking all around the lab which is helpful in getting to the 10,000 mark. If you have to sit at a desk all day, get up and walk at lunch or take mid-day breaks to walk around the office parking lot. Park farther away. Take the stairs. Every little bit counts!! Note: 10,000 steps is equivalent to 5 miles!
  3. Track your calories and macros daily. I have found that when tracking my food intake it makes me more conscious just how much, or how little, I have moved throughout the day. Many food diary and fitness tracker apps you can get for free on your smartphone. This will help you stay on track with your diet as well as your fitness goals!
  4. Grab a buddy to workout with. Working out with a partner is great, especially for those just starting out. It provides motivation and accountability even when the last thing you want to do is be active. Plus, it makes it a lot more fun!!
  5. Head outdoors or to the pool. Working out doesn’t have to be boring all the time. Heading outside to try a new sport or hiking trail not only is good for the soul (and vitamin D levels) it will help you to be more versatile in your workouts thereby making you stronger and more fit overall. If hiking isn’t your thing try tennis, swimming, biking…they are all great workouts! Switch up your routine and you will break through that plateau in no time!

Let me know in the comments what tips you will be trying and if you have any other fitness tips to share!!