Training for Your Goals


I realise that I talk a lot more about diet than I do training.

This is partly because diet really IS the most important factor when it comes to changing you body, but also because it really DOES tend to be where people go wrong.

Now I’m going to talk about training for your goals:

HEALTH, FITNESS AND WEIGHT LOSS – If you’re trying to get fit and healthy or lose a few lbs, you should be doing some form of exercise at least 3 days a week for about an hour. Try and get some cardio and resistance training in on these days. Circuits are a really great way of killing 2 birds with one stone, you are resistance training by using your body against gravity which will challenge muscle, and you have to keep up the pace which will burn fat. There are great circuit training classes at most gyms, there are also circuits mapped out in the 12 week fat loss plan at the top of this page.

FAT LOSS – If fat loss is your goal, you need be training 5-6 days a week and you need to try and find a balance between cardio and resistance training. 30 minute steady cardio sessions before breakfast and or 20 minutes of HIIT after resistance training are the best ways to burn into that fat. You need to be doing resistance training to get that ‘toned’ look, so once your fat starts to shift you don’t just look ‘skinny fat’. Building a bit of muscle is also a massive metabolic booster and will put your calories to good use. Again, I got through this all in the fat loss plan at the top of this page.

MUSCLE BUILDING – If muscle is your goal you need to be lifting weights 5-6 days a week, training a different body part a day or doing split sessions where you train 2 body parts a day. You need to be doing about 3 sets of 8 reps, as heavy as you can while keeping your form right. Try to increase the weights every few weeks, if you have to drop a rep in order to do so, that’s fine, just keep trying to work your way back up up 8 reps. I will be releasing a muscle building download at the end of September so keep your eyes peeled.

I won’t be posting next week as I’m away, although I will still be answering emails but be patient with me, it may take a few days to hear back.

 


Carbs and Tricks


If loss is your goal then yes, you do need to be mindful of starchy carbohydrates…

Firstly, starchy carbs should be 100% CLEAN and all natural foods. Cut out the processed white breads, pastas, rice, wraps, pastries etc.

You want oats, sweet potato, brown rice and things like wholegrain rice cakes to be your go to starches.

Secondly, yes, you need to keep an eye on how often and when you are eating them, but you absolutely do NOT need to cut them out, ESPECIALLY if you are training.

If you are following the 12 week plan, which I know a lot of you are, then you will know that I time your starchy carb intake for you. They are included as a breakfast option for energy release throughout the day and training, and are also required in your post workout meals to feed glycogen stores in the muscle and aid growth while you are in anabolic (muscle building) mode.

Here’s a really good place to start when it comes to carbs:

  • BREAKFAST – This is a really good time to get some oats in, or bash up a couple of wholegrain rice cakes with some unsweetened almond milk and make a SUPER healthy, lean breakfast cereal. You can sweeten both with protein powder or cinnamon, agave syrup is also a good option.
  • POST WORKOUT – You NEED clean starches post workout to feed your muscle while it’s in anabolic mode. You need to replenish the glycogen stores so you don’t fatigue in the following days. Do not be scared to eat starches post workout.
  • REST DAYS – If loss is your goal, rest days are the days you can stick to lean protein and veg based meals. You don’t need starches when you’re chillin. If you’re muscle building, this does NOT apply to you. Clean starches and proteins should be a daily occurrence.
  • TRICKS – If you’re like me and your world revolves around carbs, YOU NEED TO LOOK INTO COURGETTI AND CAULIFLOWER RICE! I grate a courgette or 2 every day and fake a pasta dish, the same goes for cauliflower rice. These veg are also FULL of fibre and are very filling, so no it’s not like eating lettuce and pretending you’re full, you genuinely will be.

 

I’m receiving a lot of emails from people on the plan who are losing lbs like crazy and I want to say I am SO proud of you all. It takes HARD ASS WORK to stay committed to daily diet and training when life is hectic enough as it is.

KEEP GOING, what is a struggle now will soon become routine!


Goals and Balance


So, a lot of you ask how I stick to my diet and don’t cave on the weekends or at social events…

First of all, let me express that I only stick to my diet 100%, 24/7, when I want aesthetic results. The rest of the time, my ‘normal’ time, I find a healthy balance.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, aesthetic results and health and fitness are 2 very different things.

If I have some fat to shed, a shoot coming up, a holiday on the horizon, whatever reason it is that needs aesthetic results, I give my diet 100%, 24/7,  for weeks, sometimes months on end, without any cheats whatsoever. I don’t make room for excuses or give myself breaking points. It is what it is and I get on with it.

Last week I was doing an interview and the journalist asked me if the weeks / months of restriction strains my relationship with food, and I replied that yes, it absolutely does.

I told her that I remember when I would wake up, eat a slice of toast, go to work, eat a sandwich, come home, eat a bowl of pasta, have a glass of wine and a chocolate bar and go to bed. Was that physically healthy? Absolutely not.

But is it mentally healthy when I have to track every single thing I eat? Absolutely not.

Is it mentally or physically healthy that on a ‘cheat day’ after long periods of restriction I will eat pizza, pasta, ice cream, cake and chocolate all in one day? Absolutely not.

It really IS all about finding a balance. I LOVE it when I don’t have to get lean. I still train every day because I love training, and I eat healthy every day because it makes me feel really good, but every few days I’ll go for dinner with friends or family and order whatever I want. Every few days I’ll walk past a cafe and get a coffee and a slice of cake. It’s a very healthy and very balanced life.

If you want aesthetic results, stop breaking your diet and GET the aesthetic results. NO CHEATS. NO EXCUSES. End of story.

If you’re trying to lose a bit of weight, get fit and healthy or gain some muscle, you can absolutely do all of the above by training regularly, eating healthy and having a treat every few days.


The Simple Steps


OK, no word vomit today, here are the simple steps you need to follow to change your body:

1. Clean up your diet – Meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, whole grains, potatoes, and the only sugar you should be consuming is the fructose from fruit. This will take a few weeks to get used to, but keep going, you’ll get there.

2. Cardio – Start with cardio before breakfast 3-6 mornings a week for 20-30 minutes. This will burn fat, get your metabolism firing for the day and start to get you fit for real training.

3. Resistance Training – Whether it’s body strength in the form of circuits, or weight lifting, start to challenge your muscle. It will tear, and it will grow. Why do you want it to grow (I’m looking at you ladies)? Because cardio will only get you so far. You NEED to build muscle for that ‘toned’ look, to get your metabolism firing like crazy and to burn calories even at rest.

4. Calorie count – After a few months of the above, your progress will be evident and may start to slow. This is when you can look into calorie counting. Do NOT go nuts here, look up the Harris Benedict Formula and calculate how many calories a day your body needs (this is 100% subjective). If you want to lose, cut 100 calories off your number, and monitor it for a few weeks. Continue this process but never drop your calorie count more than 500 calories less than your calculated number or you will mess with your metabolism, and life will get very hard for you. If you want to gain muscle, do this process in reverse.

5. PATIENCE – This is where the vast majority go wrong. You are not going to change your body in a week. You are not going to change your body in a month. It takes months of CONSISTENCY, so be patient and don’t give up. Don’t mess up your diet with constant treats, but don’t mess up your life by never treating yourself either. Don’t slow your progress by missing workouts, but don’t slow your body by over training either. Make this a life within your life, find your balance, and BE PATIENT.


Issues


Issues. We all have them, especially with regard to how we look, and I want to talk about mine…

Some days, I look in the mirror or I read a complimentary comment on my social media, and I think, I look great. I’m fit, healthy and strong, and even though I don’t consider myself beautiful, I actually really do look great. In fact, I look so great  I’m going to wear tight fitting clothing today!

Some days, I look in the mirror and think, this is such a farce. I’m not in shape at all. When will I look like my fitness idols? Will I ever? Why am I even trying? I don’t want to anymore. It’s not working. 

If your emails are anything to go by, this happens to most of you guys, too.

I train every day. I do cardio, I lift weights, I sweat and I get DOMS.

I monitor my food every day. I eat clean, I don’t over eat, I don’t under eat, I have a good understanding of the macronutrients and calories my body needs to train and change, and I stay within that range every day.

I’m fit and I have muscle, sometimes it’s under a layer of fat, sometimes it’s not, but either way, I have muscle.

I LOVE what I do.

So why then, at 4.40am the morning of a photo shoot, did I wake up, panic, cry and want to pack it all in? The alcohol infused dehydration probably didn’t help, but the fact of the matter is, I felt like I was full of it and I just couldn’t try anymore.

My boyfriend, who is nothing but honest and just as good at tough love as compassion, told me that while I may not be as lean as I have been, I am ABSOLUTELY, 100% in shape.

Of course I didn’t cancel, I wanted to do the shoot desperately and even if I didn’t look in shape, I could use it to show people that sometimes you CAN be fit and healthy, and NOT be as lean as a little string bean.

So I arrived, stood there naked for a bit and pretended to be a bad ass model. I slowly shifted over to the monitor, and saw what my half naked body ACTUALLY looks like…

I have to say, I was astounded.

What I have done to my body over the last 3 years is nothing short of amazing, and even though I wasn’t SUPER lean, I looked similar to a super hero.

All I could think about is where I started, where I was a year later, where I was in Feburary and where I am now. Screw being lean, I have progressed phenomenally, and I have progressed because I work HARD and I DON’T give up.

So to those of you who work your socks off and have yet to see results, or have had results in the past, I say this…

You are not ALWAYS going to be in the best shape of your life. The best, by its very nature, is temporary. It will come and it will go. It will come again, and it will go again. KEEP WORKING FOR IT, BECAUSE IF YOU DO, WHAT WAS ONCE YOUR BEST WILL SOON BECOME YOUR SECOND BEST.

Maybe, the reason you are panicking is because your goal posts of success have shifted, and that NEW goal is STILL a work in progress…which is exactly how a new goal should be.


12 Week Fat Loss Plan


First of all, I want to say BRAVO to the girls in the above image, Caroline and Abbie, who gave and are giving 100% to the 12 week fat loss plan and look absolutely incredible for it.

I say this in the download itself and I want to reiterate it here – the plan will ONLY WORK if you are 100% committed to the diet and training involved. If you decide to take a day off and eat whatever you like, miss a day of training or train within your comfort zone, the plan will not get you as far as you want to go, if anywhere at all.

Body transformation works when the subject is committed to the cause, does everything the PT tells them to do, and does it with every fibre of their being.

It’s NOT a prison sentence! It’s 12 weeks of 100% effort, so give it that!

When I need to shed fat, you better believe I’m up every morning doing fasted cardio, in the gym every evening lifting weights, pushing myself with every workout and monitoring every morsel of food that goes into my mouth.

Within 2 weeks of relaxing the above, I lose my abs completely.

The thing is, and I say this time and time again on this site, aesthetic results take HARD ass work and a hell of a lot of sacrifice.

You CAN maintain abs and a low body fat, of course you can, but to be honest it’s not entirely healthy to never give yourself a few days off – certainly in terms of training – and women in particular need to monitor how low their body fat drops in order to avoid fertility problems.

The 12 week plan is a 12 week plan for a reason. I have had clients do it for 20 weeks at a time and of course they have seen incredible results, but by that 20 week mark, I order them to take a week off and think about gaining muscle as the next step.

If you have achieved amazing results through the plan, please email or social media your progress pictures over to me. If you are intimidated to give 100% for 12 weeks, don’t be. 12 weeks is not years, and if you’ve always wanted to change your body, it WILL work.

Good luck to all my Fat Loss Fondues! IF I CAN DO IT, YOU CAN!

 


Back on the Grind


My time is finally up…

There’s a shoot on the horizon, and I have 10 days to shift some fluff!

To be totally honest, I can’t do a lot with 10 days, realistically I need triple that, but I’m still excited for a kick up the a**!

Over the next 10 days:

  • My gentle fasted cardio sessions are now going to be longer and more intense – from 20 minute incline walks to 30 minutes on the dreaded stepper
  • I will now add 20 minutes of HIIT post weight lifting
  • My calories will start to STEADILY drop today – down to 1500 in the days before the shoot
  • My daily starches will now be a carb cycle instead, so I will have a high carb day on day 5, and the rest of the time I’ll be on a high fat, high protein macro split

I doubt I’ll make a huge dent in my current fluff, but hey, every day counts!

After the shoot, I’ll probably stay on the grind until August, when I go away for a few days to celebrate my birthday.

When I’m back, I’ll start a mini bulk again. Some people find this constant bulk and cut a little confusing, and while it’s true that my time lines don’t allow me to do the process properly (months of gaining and months of cutting is how it SHOULD be done) I do it because I want to keep gaining muscle as best I can, before I have to shed for shoots.

I could maintain a look that fell somewhere in the middle, but then I’d never progress.

 

 

I spoke about this on my Instagram feed this morning, but I’d like to mention that I’ll be releasing a muscle building download in September. If you have the luxury of bulking over Autumn/Winter, and cutting over Spring/Summer, you will be amazed at the changes you can make to your body.


Abs


I’ve received some pretty nice messages over the last couple of days, and I want to say ta very much for all the love and support!

Once upon a time, I was sending my fitspos questions about abs, diet, cardio etc, and now I’d like to answer some of your questions…

First of all, everything I am about to say you already know, especially if you frequent this site. If you keep going and keep researching, these facts will become ingrained in your brain, and you will scramble less trying to get a grip on them.

ABS ARE A TRIPLE THREAT – DIET, CARDIO AND RESISTANCE TRAINING REQUIRED!

ULTIMATELY, THEY ARE ABOUT A LOW BODY FAT %.

So the next question is, how do I get a low body fat %?

  1. DIET – Diet is key and absolutely the MOST important thing when it comes to weight loss, fat loss, muscle gain…your diet has to be ON POINT if you want any kind of body transformation. If abs are your goal, you need to make sure you are eating a 100% CLEAN diet, and watch your starchy carb and fat intake. THIS DOES NOT MEAN CUT EITHER OUT COMPLETELY! We tend to be sensitive to one or the other though, so some trial error will probably come into play.
  2. CARDIO – HIIT in particular is a great way to burn fat, and a good time to do HIIT is AFTER weight lifting / resistance sessions. Fasted cardio is also a great option, and if you do this you can do more steady state cardio.
  3. RESISTANCE TRAINING – Weights are always going to be my recommendation, but I have seen people do AMAZING things with straight body resistance training. And in a circuit, this can be a double whammy of RT and HIIT.

All of the above are required if abs are your goal. Your diet has to be 100% on point 100% of the time – NO CHEAT MEALS.

Cardio should be done 4-6 days a week.

RT should be done 5-6 days a week.

You must always have 1 full rest day a week.

 

If you’d like a diet, cardio and RT guide for a fat loss goal, see the banner at the top of the page.


Diets


Diets…

Atkins, Weight Watchers, meal replacement shakes, juicing, low fat, Paleo, calorie counting, IIFYM…the list is endless.

The sad fact is, most of these diets are unhealthy and or do not work…

Atkins – Carbohydrates are an energy food for both our brains and bodies. If you cut out all carbs all the time, you are going to feel mentally and physically miserable, exhausted and unwell. If you train, carbohydrates are ESSENTIAL as they convert to glucose in the body, which converts to glycogen in the muscle. Glycogen is your primary energy source when you train. The moral of the story? If you are carb sensitive, look into carb cycling, NOT Atkins.

Weight Watchers – I apologise if I’m going to offend anyone now, but the emails I get from those who follow these diets are the kind that make me want to tear my hair out. Look, these point systems are essentially calorie counting systems that allow room for daily crisps and chocolate…do I really need to say more? That’s why you are plateauing. Obviously.

Meal Replacement Shakes – I SOMETIMES drink protein shakes for muscle repair, training and convenience reasons. I would NEVER replace an actual meal with them. Why? Because it’s unhealthy and unnecessary. Yes you will lose weight if you replace a 400 calorie meal with 100 calories of straight up protein, but you are also stepping into malnutrition and metabolic mess territory, and once you go down that path, losing weight is going to get A LOT harder – permanently.

Juicing – Juicing can be good to detox for a day or 2 if you’ve had a heavy weekend or holiday, but let’s be honest, consuming nothing but juiced fruit and veg for days or even weeks on end is not healthy. Similar to the meal replacement shake problem, you are going to start stepping into malnutrition and metabolic issues, which is NOT a fun problem to fix.

Low Fat – OK, I’m going to tackle this quickly because there’s really only one way to put this…FAT is a macronutrient which means it is ESSENTIAL for our physical health. PERIOD. When you see low fat foods, that does NOT mean you are going to lose fat, it means sugar has been added, and guess what? Added sugar leads to weight gain. STAY AWAY FROM LOW FAT.

Paleo – OK, so now we’re stepping into healthier territory. Paleo is a slightly stricter version of eating clean, and eating clean is going to get you healthy. If you are new to eating clean, you are absolutely going to lose weight by doing it. After a while, you can start to look at macros and calories for aesthetic results.

Calorie Counting – If you calorie count HEALTHY foods then yes, you are going to get healthy and absolutely will lose weight. HOWEVER, as I’ve said above, calorie counting and adding in junk food will only work for so long, before you plateau and even regain. Another calorie DON’T is dropping your count too low. When you do this your metabolism will start to slow down drastically and once that happens, there is no going back. If you are already on a low calorie count and have stopped seeing results, up your training.

IIFYM – I count macros, but to repeat this point, I do NOT allow for daily doughnuts and pizza. It works for some people yes, but these people have a very HIGH muscle mass, have been training everyday for YEARS and if I’m going to be perfectly honest, they tend to be on a naughty supplement or 2…

 

EAT CLEAN, HEALTHY FOODS THAT SPAN ACROSS THE MICRO AND MACRO NUTRIENTS YOUR BODY NEEDS:

  • PROTEIN 
  • FATS
  • CARBS
  • FIBRE
  • VITAMINS
  • MINERALS 
  • WATER

AFTER YOU HAVE CONSISTENT CLEAN EATING DOWN, LOOK INTO:

  • MACROS
  • CALORIES
  • CARB CYCLING

Curves


After a couple of weeks on holiday, training for fun and eating whatever I wanted, last week I finally jumped back on the health and fitness train.

As I’ve explained in previous posts, I’ve been doing 20 minutes of steady fasted cardio in the mornings to burn some post holiday fat, lifting heavy in the evenings (3 sets of 8 reps increasing weights as I go) to grow muscle, and eating clean as a whistle while avoiding carb cycling in order to feed said muscle.

I’m bigger than I’ve been in months. I’ve got a little fat roll on my belly, my boobs are back and my butt is a force to be reckoned with.

I’m totally ok with this for the time being. I’m training, eating healthy and even though I don’t have abs, I’m fit and healthy.

I read a really interesting piece in a magazine this weekend, from a young woman who is not skinny, not muscular, not a size 8, and she trains and eats like an athlete.

This is something I really want to talk about. If you read my posts, you will notice I always talk about goals and aesthetics before I give specific advice…

DO NOT CONFUSE HEALTH AND FITNESS GOALS WITH AESTHETIC GOALS!

A lot of the time, my goal is aesthetic. I need abs for a fitness shoot, or I’ve got a holiday coming up so I ramp up my fat loss routine.

However, there are times when I have NO abs, a higher body fat %, cellulite and general jiggle DESPITE the fact that I’m training as much as I do on a fat loss diet and not eating junk.

There are so many ways to tweak your diet and training in order to get you aesthetic results, whatever they may be.

For those of you whose goal is to be fit and healthy, don’t worry about how you look.

For those looking to shed some fat and get some lean muscle in time for summer, take a look at the 12 week fat loss plan on the top banner of this page.


Getting Your Groove Back


I realised recently that I talk a lot about how I train and what I eat in the lead up to a photo-shoot, but that I rarely talk about what I do day to day, when the pressure is off.

It strikes me that this is probably the more important information for my followers, considering that most people don’t strip off on a weekly basis and have a fitness business to justify!

So, after a 2 week break, half a stone heavier and gagging to get fit and healthy again, I have the luxury of easing myself back into training without the pressure of a photo-shoot looming over me.

This is rare for me, that I get to enjoy what I do without worrying so much about abs etc, so I get really excited when I have calm before the storm!

Here’s what I’ve been doing for the last couple of days, and what I will continue to do until abs are required:

  • When I have a shoot, I really hammer fasted cardio. I give it 100%, 5 mornings a week, and can go for up to 45minutes. When I have some down time, I still do FC most mornings, but I don’t worry if I miss a session and it’s a lot less intense. I’ll do a 20 minute uphill walk if the weather is nice, or spend 20 minutes on a machine at the gym before having breakfast in the cafe. I personally enjoy and am very used to FC now, because not only is it good for fat burning, it wakes me up, and for someone who suffers from anxiety and general crazy, it just gives me a good mental start to the day.
  • If a shoot isn’t on the horizon, I ALWAYS start my day with oats and protein powder. Not only do I LOVE it, but for someone who trains 6 days a week, I really need that steady release of energy throughout the day.
  • The rest of my meals throughout the day are made up of lean meats and veg, these should be your staples. You do not need starchy carbs and fats in every meal.
  • I’ll go back to train in the evening and lift weights, a different body part a day, 6 days a week (so legs, abs, back, upper body etc). I’ll focus on lifting heavy, so about 3 sets of 8 reps, because without having to worry about getting naked, I can really focus on building muscle. My post workout meal will be oats and protein again (yes, I am a bit obsessed), to feed the muscle and allow me to keep training hard throughout the week.
  • I always drink a sh*t load of water, I try to get through 5 litres a day and that is ALWAYS the case for me unless it’s the last couple of days before a shoot, when I’ll dehydrate to really show muscle as effectively as possible.

 

This may still seem a little extreme to some, but the funny thing is this is totally normal for me now. At first it took SO much effort, but I promise that if you keep going, it genuinely becomes a very simple, easy and enjoyable part of your life.

I love taking breaks, relaxing, eating what I want and not thinking about my body for a change. But the fact of the matter is, I love training, I love eating healthy and I love having a focus. If I didn’t, I genuinely think I’d be a bit of a nutcase.

Keep going, a habit has to be forced before it becomes routine. 


Holiday Hangover


Hello Fondues!

As you may have noticed I’ve been off the radar for the last couple of weeks – I’ve been squeezing in as many trips as possible before a very busy summer begins.

First off, I want to thank everyone who has sent / continues to send the most amazing messages of support and thanks. When I started Fitness Fondue, my goal was to be 100% honest 100% of the time about my own achievements and struggles. I am beyond happy and touched that so many of you even bother to read the site, let alone get in touch to say thank you for it. So really I want to say thank you in return, because if this place didn’t have an audience, it wouldn’t still be here.

That’s enough mush for now – let’s talk about holiday eats and the post holiday rig…

The last week of May was a big deal for me, I had some big fitness shoots that I’d been training and depleting for and I was definitely ready for a break. People still ask me how I train and diet in the lead up to a shoot, so once again I’ll give a little run down:

  • I do fasted cardio (before breakfast) 5 mornings a week to burn fat
  • I lift weights in the evening  (hypertrophy training) and usually train a different body part a day, 6 days a week
  • I have my own calorie count based on my own training, height, weight and age, and I will slowly decrease my calories over the course of a few weeks (I never drop lower than 1500 in the last week or 2 of prepping)
  • I carb cycle, so I usually have 3 days of a high fat, high protein macro split, and then a high carb day to refuel. I DO NOT carb cycle unless I am prepping for a shoot, I have a simple calorie count and macro split I follow instead
  • I eat 100% clean 100% of the time UNLESS I am on holiday…

Which brings me to my next point…

As soon as my shoots were all tied up, I was quite literally on a plane with my boyfriend headed to Dubai. The first day we were there I managed to stay on track with my diet in that I ate 100% clean, and even though I questioned coming off my diet, I had no interest in it really, so I didn’t. I’m not going to lie to you, I thought Oh my God, I’ve turned into one of those amazing fitness freaks who eats clean on holiday! I’ll never fall off the wagon again! But then I woke up the next day, and the hotel chef had made doughnuts, so that was the end of that…

I last weighed myself the morning of the holiday and I was 125lbs, which is the lowest I have ever been and probably the lowest I could ever hope to be. I had my abs, but I had totally lost my boobs and booty. A nice reminder that if aesthetics are your goal, sacrifices always have to be made! I haven’t weighed myself since I’ve been back, but going on my reflection alone, I think I’ve gained about half a stone, maybe more, and I’m really happy about it.

Why am I happy about it?

Because when your body fat drops that low, your hormones start to take a hit, and believe me you feel it. Your body goes into a catabolic (muscle eating) state. My body was telling me, in very loud and very clear ways, that it was ready for a break. I needed to stop training. I needed to stop carb cycling. I needed to give it a minute.

The fitness models, bikini pros and shredded up females you see online are NOT that lean all year round. There is prep BEFORE the lean prep. It takes  months of muscle building, a lot of food and a lot of patience before they can even start to get into stage or photo shoot shape. Do not be fooled – if you want a very lean, very muscular body, it’s a TEMPORARY result after A LOT of hard work. 

I haven’t trained properly or counted a single calorie in 2 weeks, I have gained weight, and I am ready to ease myself back into training.

This week Ill start to write about how I ease myself back into prep, and how to make sure there is always room to progress when you need to.

 

For those of you embarking on the 12 week plan, please keep me posted via email (info@fitnessfondue.com) and I will help you along the way! For those who had a download error last week, thank you for your patience – we got there in the end! GOOD LUCK FONDUES!


Your Questions – Motivation


@elliepotter1 what I’d like to know is how you stay so motivated! When you’re having days when you don’t want to gym, how do you get around it?

@chelseyydagger What drove you to succeed even when everything hurt and you wanted to give in?

@liameering How do you not eat cake and cookies all day

MOTIVATION

@elliepotter1 , great question. Look guys, the fact of the matter is there are days, no matter how fit or unfit you are, when the last thing you will want to do is hit the gym. I get them, you get them, we all get them. Sometimes, if you are physically exhausted from training, your body is telling you to stop, and you must listen to it. When your body says I need rest, REST. However, when it’s just sheer laziness (and trust me, you WILL be able to FEEL the difference), you simply have to remember your goal, remember what it is that you’re trying achieve and why you started in the first place, AND GET YOUR BUTT TO THE GYM – PERIOD! My tricks are that I go on Instagram and I look at the bodies I covet (Paige Hathaway, Amanda Latona etc), and I also READ the struggle my idols go through every day with diet and training. But they got the results I WANT because they PUSHED – so do the same! PUSH!

@chelseyydagger, when everything hurts I take it as a pat on the back. I trained for that hurt, that hurt is my muscle tearing and my metabolism sky rocketing and my hard work paying off. It’s when I DON’T hurt that I get disheartened. When I want to give in, I remember what I want to look like, and I refuse to stand in my own way. This takes time, seriously, I am A LOT stronger mentally now than I was when I started – SO KEEP PUSHING!

@liameering Trust me, I WANT TO! Cake, cookies, chocolate, pasta, pizza, doughnuts, you name it, I WANT IT. Again, WE ALL DO, fit, unfit, healthy or not, the vast majority of us want to eat junk food. So I find alternatives, I make cakes and pancakes out of my protein powders, I have a tbs of nut butter, I have 2-3 squares dark chocolate, I slather Greek yoghurt in agave syrup and I sort out my sweet tooth without giving in to the junk. I also know that at the end of a few weeks of being spotless with my diet and training, I will have a night off, and eat whatever I feel like. It is vital to remember that FOOD IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE!

Guys, it is SO IMPORTANT to remember that CONSISTENCY IS KEY! You are not going to get there after 1 week of sticking to your diet and training, or 2 weeks, it takes weeks, months even of being 100% on point with your diet and training.

SO BE STRONG! I PROMISE YOU CAN DO IT. IF I CAN, YOU CAN!


12 Week Diet and Exercise Plan


Introducing the Fitness Fondue 12 Week Fat Loss Diet download.

This plan is designed to push your body to shed fat through diet and exercise over a 12 week period.

It includes both gym and none gym workout routines (although if you ARE a member of a gym or CAN become one, I highly recommend gym training), and a menu of daily food choices and food measurements.

It does NOT include specific calorie counts or macro splits, as both are 100% subjective and are formed on an individual’s height, weight, age and training using the Harris Benedict Formula.

HOWEVER, the diet plan is 100% clean, low calorie, structured around training and measured out for both male and female buyers.

The plan will have you resistance training (to maintain lean muscle) and performing HIIT cardio (to burn fat), 5 days a week, with the option to train on the 6th.

You must always have 1 full rest day each week.

Please do not think that you will see results by giving 50%.

You will ONLY see results if you give this plan 100%, day in, day out, for the full 12 weeks.

Remember that this is ONLY 12 weeks of 100% effort. It is not a prison sentence.

Food is not going anywhere, so be strong, and you can still have the odd cheat meal and weekly rest days are also required.

‘12 Week Fat Loss Diet’ is listed on our Downloads page, or click the link below:

http://fitnessfondue.com/downloads/

 

 


Answering Your Questions – Injuries


I’m not going to lie to you all, lately I’ve been staring blankly at my computer screen a lot.

In the last few months I’ve been focusing on the staples – clean eating, calories, macros, carb cycling, cheat meals, what cardio to do, when to do it, weight training, supplements, my own progress…I know there’s hundreds of topics I have yet to cover and hundreds more that you guys are interested in, I just can’t seem to come up with any!

So to social media I went, and hey presto, I was inundated with questions. I’m going to answer them one by one, which hopefully will give me enough time to get my creative juices flowing and will also help each and every one of you out. So, without further ado…

@iamamyholmes Have you ever had any injuries and if so, what did you do to work around them and did you manage to stay positive?

@leadan91 I train / rugby 4 x a week and if I pick up a niggle (usually shoulder, back or knee) I get so down as the advice is usually don’t do anything strenuous for X amount of weeks.

@sherryd82 Are weights a good way to fix a dodgy shoulder? Mine is weak and clicks and clunks. X-Rays and ultra sounds show nothing. On bad days I can barely lift my arm.

INJURIES

Please bear in mind that the below is the advice of a PT and fitness professional, not a qualified physiotherapist or doctor. It goes without saying that any injury should be seen to by a professional.

Yes @iamamyholmes, I have been injured and I am currently, funnily enough!

What inspires me to stay positive? I don’t give myself a choice. Period. I find a solution, I find an alternative, I stay patient with my body and I absolutely refuse to take no as a final answer. For example…

The first injury I ever got was shin splints from running, which may not sound like a real injury, but trust me, when you’re mid sprint and your shins tighten up like frozen chewing gum, the pain is so intense it makes you feel sick. The first time it happened I had to sit on a park bench for an hour before I could hobble back home. I rested my legs for weeks, iced them, bought new trainers and special insoles, but that was it, they were gone and I could no longer run without pain. Sometimes that’s the case, you just have to stop doing that one specific activity completely. For me, running is now a once in a blue moon event and man alive do I feel it for days afterwards.

The second injury I got was tendonitis in my forearms from pull lifting. I had to go very light with my pull weights for a while and spent a LOT of time icing and massaging my forearms, but eventually I got stronger, my arms adapted, and now I no longer suffer the problem.

The third is my current injury – a stress fracture of my middle metatarsal (foot bone). I cannot cycle, row or use the cross trainer currently, but anything that allows me to stay 100% flat footed I can manage – so the Versus Trainer and Stepmaster are getting all my love right now.

And that pretty much sums up your 3 outcomes when it comes to injuries. You may have to accept that a certain physical activity is out of bounds for you, period. You may find that by strengthening the surrounding muscles the injury will become obsolete. Or you may just have to find an alternative activity until you heal…

Which brings me to you @leadan91 – if you have a niggle and you are playing a contact sport like rugby, that will absolutely have to take a back seat until you are healed. The fact of the matter is, if you have a bad back or knee, you are risking A LOT by taking big hits. Don’t get down about this, your body should be your number one priority as an athlete and you should be patient and with it. Seriously, rest and injury is as much a part of the sport as the sport itself, get used to it and don’t be hard on yourself. HOWEVER, your training absolutely doesn’t need to stop. If a certain area is playing up, don’t train it for a few weeks, ice it, stretch morning noon and night and it will get better. There is always an alternative on that gym floor, look for it and you will find it.

Which finally brings me to you, @sherryd82 . As I have said above, rest injuries, ice them, stretch them within their means and they will get better. HOWEVER, if your shoulder is not injured but very problematic, you are a candidate for strengthening the muscles AROUND the shoulder and it will eventually ease up. So really focus on your traps, upper back and upper arms, and your shoulder can take a bit of a break.

To end this piece I want to say this – injuries suck and initially it is scary and annoying that your training will take a hit. HOWEVER, as I have said above, REST AND INJURY IS AS MUCH A PART OF SPORT AS SPORT ITSELF. Get used to it, accept it, and go easy on yourself. Rest now, recover later, you do not want the injury to become a permanent fixture.


An Email from a Fondue, her Battle, and THAT Poster…


I was reading your latest update on Fitness Fondue and I completely agree with what you’re saying. YES the media, fashion industry, celebrity world, modern society etc have a lot to answer for in influencing men, women, boys and girls on body image (especially impressionable younger generations). BUT, as you said, people are not taking enough responsibility for themselves and their own feelings.

The amount of times I’ve heard the same response from adult women in the past week with regard to the Protein World ad that caused so much controversy – “It MADE me feel so fat!”-  I’m sorry, a poster MADE you feel fat? An inanimate object forced a feeling on you? I find that highly unlikely. More likely is that you already felt unhappy with your body and this advertisement unfortunately brought that feeling to light. Yes, that sucks, but take some responsibility for yourself if you are feeling that way. No person, no object, certainly no poster can make you feel anything; you feel your own feelings, and only you dictate that. Don’t give a poster power – it’s just paper. 

I may sound like that Protein World poster doesn’t bother me in the slightest, and truthfully, it doesn’t. It’s not that I think I’m “beach body ready” (or whatever it was all about), it’s just that I’m FINALLY confident and happy with what I have. With my lot. And I’ve worked hard to get here. At age 29 I’m finally at a place where I actually am proud of my body and I never thought I’d get to this point! How did I get here? Well, therapy, which in itself was obviously hugely beneficial (goodness knows where I’d be without it) and helped me learn to ACCEPT my body and teach me how to have a healthier relationship with food. It can still be a bit of a battle at times (long time habits die hard) but finally the light has gone on in my head – I want to treat me body with respect, I want to nourish it, take care of it and make it the healthiest it can be. I don’t want to punish it or destroy it anymore. If I saw a friend treating their body the way I had been treating mine, I would call them crazy – why on earth would they be trying to kill themselves? Why do they hate themselves so much? But I couldn’t see that I was doing that to myself. Like so many people out there, I just thought I was doing what I could do to keep my body where it was and not gain weight. I didn’t see how much I actually hated myself. Eating disorders have a magical way of pulling the denial curtains over a person’s eyes and not allowing them to see the true extent of the damage they’re causing.

ANYWAY, I’m digressing a tad here…so yes, therapy set me on the right path to finally allowing me to accept my body. Which is a miracle in itself after spending half my life battling my body.

I’ve always been a complete cardio junky – running junky really. After buggering up my ankle training for a marathon a couple years ago, I had to find something else to tide me over while running was a no-go zone. I’d always been under the misconception that weight training was for men. It made you bulky. It didn’t really keep you fit. It certainly wasn’t for girls – especially girls with eating disorders who wanted to be the skinniest wee thing. What utter bollocks. In the past couple of years I have been constantly learning, working, training, achieving new goals with my weight training. And through it I have felt stronger, fitter, happier and ultimately more confident than I ever have.

Sure, it’s tough as hell. I’ve made a lot of sacrifices along the way. Goodbye alcohol. Goodbye processed food. Goodbye late nights. Goodbye sugar. I could go on, BUT, what I keep reminding myself of, when I have those moments of “Oh, its not fair, I just want to have a big slice of cake/bag of sweets/*insert most delicious food item imaginable here*” is that this is my choice. My decision. My responsibility. No one is forcing me to chose this lifestyle – similar to how no one can force me to feel any which way. I can easily go out, get drunk, eat as much as I want to, lie in front of the TV all day and do sweet FA. But I choose not to – I choose to get myself out of bed at 5:45am every morning to train. I choose to plan my meals ahead. I choose to spend my money on gym kit and supplements instead of girly clothes and beauty treatments.

And why? Because I love feeling strong, healthy and fit. I love learning new exercises and techniques and trying them out. I love seeing my body develop and refine itself. I love how when I started, I had no upper body strength whatsoever, now I am continually amazed at how it can push itself further and further. I love looking in the mirror and seeing a 6-pack staring back at me (when my lower abs aren’t feeling shy…the buggers).

There is no ‘end game’ with this, I can’t imagine I will get to a point where I think “ok, that’s me done now”. Because it’s not just about the aesthetic results (although yes they play a huge role) it’s also about how this has made me feel mentally stronger. When you see your body changing and evolving in a way you never thought possible it really makes you think “Damn, I’m pretty strong, I can really focus my goals and achieve what I want to achieve” and that can tap into all aspects of your life.

It’s such an ace journey (even though I might grumble and moan at some points from hunger/tiredness/achiness), and thats exactly what it is – a journey to keep learning, and keep training.


Paleo Chef


The rise of interest in healthy eating has seen a rise in the amount of healthy food delivery services now available to us.

These companies provide foods and / or meals that are designed to fit into our healthy eating plans and nutritional needs without any of the hassle of shopping, cooking or prepping.

If you are too busy to shop, cook and meal prep, food delivery services are a great option for you. If you are happy to do the latter but have no idea how to start eating clean or proportionately, a trial week is a great introduction to the kinds of meals, snacks and foods you should be consuming on a daily basis. If you are bored of your day to day meals and are looking for some food inspiration and recipe motivation, giving them a try for a few days could be the refresher course in cooking you’re looking for.

Even if you can’t afford a delivery service long term, they are certainly worth a few day’s trial, as I found out recently…

When I’m in training for a shoot, holiday or something of the like, my meals are pretty standard and repetitive. I eat a lot of oats, protein powder, nuts, nut butters, eggs, Greek yoghurt, chicken and green veg. That’s pretty much my exact diet. However, last week PaleoChef approached me and asked if I’d be interested in a trial week…

My boyfriend is an avid supporter of food delivery services, and unfortunately he is in far better shape than me, so I thought I’d give it a shot and see if it really did make life easier…

I’m not one who has a problem with food shopping, cooking or meal prepping. Truth be told, I enjoy being in the kitchen and even though the staples of my diet are pretty boring, that doesn’t mean my meals are. I always spice them up and throw in random bits and bobs to keep them interesting, but if I’m going to be totally honest, my cookery skills have nothing on PaleoChef!

During my trial week, I stuck to my own breakfasts, but my snacks and afternoon meals were taken care of. My snacks included marinated chicken legs, nut bars and protein balls (the protein balls in particular were out of this world), and my meals included sweet potato and salmon salads, tender strips of beef and grilled vegetables, soups, marinated chicken breasts, spiced fish, pesto courgetti (where that’s been all my life I do not know) and the most amazing marinated meatballs I’ve ever had. 

I was excited for lunch and dinner every day, and absolutely gutted when my week came to an end!

As I’ve said above, I do appreciate that not everybody can afford a weekly delivery, but if you are a little bit stuck or looking to spice things up a bit, give it a go for a week (£120) and reignite your passion for clean eating!

Take a look at PealoChef here – http://www.paleo-chef.co.uk


Female Fitness in the Media


The fact of the matter is, the fashion industry, film industry, music industry, fitness industry and mass media all have a huge say in the way women feel they ‘should’ look.

The blame is not on any one organisation, model, celebrity, TV show or newspaper alone. Truthfully, we have allowed outside influences alter the way we see ourselves and each other, and seemingly enjoyed it in the process.

While I agree that the above culprits are all at fault, I also feel frustrated that we as men and women take no responsibility for allowing it happen, and that change, however insisted upon it may be, is only really in our control.

As anyone who follows my fitness journey will know, I get a hell of a lot of flack on social media, gossip websites, and in the press for both the way I look, and for what I have chosen to do with my life.

A few years ago, such criticism would have torn me apart. But today, I love what I do, I love how I look, and I could not care less what my critics think of it.

If you love being curvy, be curvy! If you love feeling skinny, feel skinny! If you love having muscle, build muscle! The only thing I’d say is try to do all of the above in a healthy way. There are ways to do all of the above and still eat healthy foods and avoid under or over exercising. 

If we can all individually make the choice to look how we want while making health a priority, if we can start supporting each other instead of tearing each other down, and if we can side line the critics, we can actually have an impact on society and body image.

Eat clean most of the time, treat yourself sometimes, move your body, sleep well, drink water, and achieve your own aesthetic goals.

 


Stomach Fat, Thigh Fat, Arm Fat = FAT


Every day I receive emails and comments on my social media from men and women looking to ‘spot fat reduce’.

To ‘spot fat reduce’ means to shed fat from target areas, such as your stomach, legs, arms, back etc…

This is quite a divisive topic amongst fitness professionals, but I am of the opinion that it is IMPOSSIBLE to do.

In both my personal experience of training myself and professional experience of training others, I have come to find that when we shed fat, we shed it evenly from all over our bodies, the more stubborn areas being the last to go.

Stubborn areas are hormonal and genetic footholds of fat, and they WILL respond eventually if you are 100% on point with your diet and training. However, they are often the reason people give up prematurely, and I cannot stress enough that full body transformation IS POSSIBLE if you STAY CONSISTENT!

You need to get your diet and training right, which takes time and research, but if you can get a handle on it, that last roll of belly fat WILL disappear eventually. Trust me.

Still to this day my lower stomach FIGHTS me. It’s always first thing to pop up by the third day of a holiday the last thing to go when I’m getting back into shape. But I’ve shed it before and I know I can do it again, so I stick with it.

So, how do you get rid of your problem area? Diet, exercise, patience and consistency.

There is no magic pill, there is no fitness genie, it is up to you, so DO NOT GIVE UP!