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Got Questions?

If you have just started a new exercise routine, it is normal to have a million questions. I have answered a few of the most common questions I often get. If you have any other question, please post it on the comments below and I will get it answered for you.

How much exercise do you need?

The general recommendation for weight-loss is at least 5 hours of exercise per week. These may include cardio, weight-training, sports, group classes, bootcamp, martial arts – basically any structured physical activity.

It is more effective to spread your workouts throughout the week (five one-hour sessions) rather than having a couple of very long exhausting sessions in a week (aka, weekend warriors). This is because the human body responds better to consistent efforts. Our body is constantly trying to figure out how to become more efficient in whatever we do.  Therefore, having small bouts of exercise on regular basis is a great way to get the physiological adaptations we are looking for.

However, you need to be realistic. If you are new to exercise, you may want start with two or three exercise sessions per week and slowly increase the exercise volume as you get fitter.

How hard do I need to train?

My favourite saying is “challenge changes you”. That means that the intensity (how hard you are working) or your training will determine how fast you get results.

Intensity not only determines how many calories you will burn during exercise but also after. High intensity training can get you burning calories for up to 8 hours after your training.

However, you can’t have only high intensity sessions because you will burn out. My advice is to pick two or three hard core days and alternate with more mellow exercise modalities. Here are a few examples of how I would plan a week for different clients.

Beginner

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Walking High intensity session Active Recovery Yoga High intensity session Walking Active Recovery

Intermediate

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Cardio moderate intensity High intensity session Active Recovery Cardio moderate intensity High intensity session Yoga Active Recovery

Advanced

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
High intensity session Cardio moderate intensity High intensity session Cardio moderate intensity High intensity session Yoga Active Recovery

Do I work out if I am still sore from my last session?

One thing to have in mind is that the changes in our body don’t happen during the training session. Exercise is just the stimulus. All the physiological adaptations occur during our rest. That’s when the body rebuild the damaged muscle fibres. If you are still sore, it means that your body haven’t recovered completely and having another training session may be more than your body can handle. So if you are still sore, you are better off resting or performing a very light activity followed by foam rolling and stretching. Your body will thank you

How do I chose my load?

One thing to have in mind is that to get results, you have to somewhat challenge your body. I said CHALLENGE. Meaning that if the resistance you are using is too light, you are not giving enough stimuli for your muscles to grow. That said – it is imperative that you learn how to choose your optimum load.

The weight (or resistance, if you are working with bands) selected has to be somewhat hard to lift, but not so hard that you can’t complete a set. If you are selecting weights for the first time, I recommend that you start with the lowest weight available to learn the movement. Do a full set of 12 repetitions. How did that feel? Was it so easy that you think you could do more than 12 repetitions? If so, increase the load and try again. The goal is to find a load that challenges but does not overwhelm you, meaning you’ll be able to complete the prescribed number of repetitions, but not more than that.

As your body gets used to the load, you should progressively increase it, in order to keep getting results. However, when you achieve your fitness goals, you can migrate to a maintenance program with a fixed training volume and load. The only thing you shouldn’t do is to stop training, because results will be reversed in as few as two weeks of inactivity.

Want to get answers? Then post your questions on the comments below!

Creating Healthy Habits

The topic of the day is How to build the habits that will bring you closer to your long-term goal.

Why is this important? Because results come from small actions performed consistently over a long period of time. If you transform those little actions into habits, it becomes much easier to incorporate those changes into your life. That’s how the real makeover happens.

What exactly is a habit? Well, a habit is a recurrent pattern of behaviour acquired by frequent repetition. In other words, it is a way of programming an action into your brain. That means that it becomes automatic. You don’t have to think about it. You just do it. And saves you a lot of energy that can go into more important activities.

Fat Loss Habit #1 Exercise Regularly

I believe that you are familiar with the concept of energy balance. In theory, weight-loss happen when you burn more calories than you consume. That generates a negative energy balance forcing the body to used stored energy (mostly fat) to keep you going.

But do you know how many calories you need to burn in order to get rid of a single kilogram of fat? A whopping 9000kcal. That’s the equivalent of 30 hours on a treadmill. That’s assuming that you are not consuming more calories than your body need.

Before you walk away from, listen me out. Don’t get discouraged by the numbers. The good news is that any physical activity can contribute to your daily calorie count. And by physical activity I mean anything that get you moving, not only structured exercise.

Here are my strategies to turn your body into a furnace.

Weight-loss Starts in Your Mind

Today I want to talk to you about Mindset.

Did you know that your mindset highly influences your ability to get what you want? That’s right. In order to accomplish something, you must first believe that it is possible.

Successful people understand that results depend on effort, and that they can grow and change through the practice of simple behaviours. They embrace challenge as an opportunity to become stronger. Because of this way of thinking, they are highly motivated and are more likely to achieve their goals.

Have You Heard of Intuitive Eating?

Many dieters tend to develop a negative relationship with food. That’s because diets created the idea that eating is a frivolous habit that should be restricted in order to obtain the perfect body. Unfortunately, most diets completely ignore the body needs for energy and nutrients. Instead, they create the illusion that there are “good” foods (such as cabbage and broccoli) and “bad” foods (such as doughnuts and bread) and you should only eat the good ones otherwise you’ll be condemned to be fat. Therefore, people try to deprive themselves of the foods they love in the name of “fitness.” However, eating only cabbage and broccoli is unrealistic and unattainable.

Plyo HIIT Workout

Want to burn some serious calories? Then, you must give this one a try.

This circuit is composed of four body weight plyometric (aka, explosive movement) exercises performed in a interval format.

The goal is to perform as many repetitions as possible within the time limit. You also want to move as fast as you can to maintain the intensity high and maximise the calorie burn.

Meal Makeover

I’ll be honest with you. I love my food. Therefore, the idea of not being able to enjoy it is outrageous to me. As a food coach, I don’t believe in deprivation. However, I don’t use it as an excuse to eat any and everything I see in front of me.

With that in mind, I have developed a few guidelines that help me staying on track when I am choosing what to eat. Because I love cooking, I give preference to homemade meals but I understand that not everyone enjoys the kitchen. The good news is that I can use these guidelines not only when I am cooking but also when ordering food at a restaurant.

At Home Fat-Burning Circuit

Looking for some serious calorie burn? Then, this workout is for you.

It is a whole body circuit you can perform virtually anywhere. No equipment needed. Here is the exercise list:

Quick Guide to Healthy Snacking

Did you know that our digestive system was designed to receive and process food every four hours or so?  That’s why we often get the munchies in the middle of the afternoon, between lunch and dinner time.

Hunger is the physiological drive to eat, regulated by internal mechanisms. When we haven’t eaten for a while, body cells become deprived of fuel, which stimulates the feeding centre in the brain to signal us to eat. Therefore, snacking is a way to maintain our energy levels.

Five Easy Steps To Achieve Your Fitness Goals

“I’ll do it tomorrow, next Monday, next month…” Yes, we do wish to … (exercise more, eat better, etc) but life is so busy that it is hard to accomplish everything we want in one day. So, we postpone it (once more). The problem is that procrastination can become a (bad) habit, impeding you from achieving your best. Why does it happen so often? Do we lack drive to move forward or are we just overwhelmed by the change?

More often than not, the problem lies in planning. Without a clear plan of action, chances are that you won’t get anywhere. The question is “how can you create a plan that is both easy to follow and effective?” Probably, that’s where many people get confused and overwhelmed. How can you act if you are not sure of what to do? This uncertain situation leads to paralysis and consequent procrastination.

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