fitness. motherhood. life & style.

Train Smarter, Not Harder

Hi again! I can't believe it's been about a month since I've had my blog already! The past few weeks I've been working with my nutritionist on learning about ways to "train smarter, not harder". I can't tell you how badly I wish I would have known some of these things back when I started this journey!! I'm going to share my top tips to make your fitness journey so much easier!
  1. Say no to fad diets. This is my number one tip. I've literally tried a whole bunch of different diets including super "clean eating" (basically veggies, protein, rice and nothing else) and while they may work, they ARE NOT maintainable for most people. If you are training in any type of way, you need to fuel your body with the proper foods. If you starve yourself, all you're doing is slowing down your metabolism (trust me, it means more problems later on). Just make healthy choices to fuel your body, always eat breakfast, eat lots of veggies, eat fruits you love, eat carbs for strength, and eat when you're hungry. However, if you want an Oreo, eat an Oreo!! A healthy lifestyle is just that, a LIFESTYLE. Find a happy median that you can maintain and avoid fad diets that just lead you to rebound with weight gain.
  2. Find an exercise routine you enjoy. Like I've shared before, when I first really tried to focus on my fitness in college (I was active in high school but college was more about being active in beer pong) I thought I just needed to run for miles, hours, days, whatever, in order to lose weight. However, I HATE DISTANCE RUNNING. So, I was miserable the entire time I was trying to lose weight. When I found weight lifting, I knew that was what I enjoyed and going to the gym was easier than ever because I enjoyed it. I ran track my freshmen year of high school, I loved to sprint, and I was actually pretty good at it so I started incorporating that into my workouts as well. If you don't like the exercise you are doing, you won't stick to it. Find what you like to do and make it a hobby, not a chore!
  3. HIIT cardio is more effective than hours of cardio. If you enjoy distance cardio then have at it! For myself, I have found that my body responds much better to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and I enjoy it. My goal is to build muscle and lose fat but I found out that I was doing too much cardio and I was burning through my muscle as well. I started HIIT cardio and I dropped 3% body fat in two weeks!! Currently, I'm completing 8 rounds of 30 second sprints (as fast as you can sprint) with about a 1 minute walk in between and a five minute warm up and cool down and I'll do this 2-3 times a week. If you're curious about how HIIT works I've linked a good article here. You can also complete a HIIT session in many different forms of training.
  4. Longer training sessions<short training sessions. Once upon a time, I spent HOURS in the gym, like 2-3 hours. I didn't really have the time for it, I didn't really enjoy it, and part of that time I was talking or taking too long of a break because I was tired after being there for two hours. Now, I get a lift in for about 45-60 minutes and stretch and sauna in under 30 minutes. However, I'm also only taking about a 30 second rest time between sets and I super set as much as I can (ex: alternating biceps curls and tricep dips for my first super set, two new workouts are the next super set). Now, I'm working out in a more efficient manner and I go really early when no one wants to talk :) My nutritionist told me that if I'm lifting for two hours, I'm most likely starting to burn through my muscle and that defeats the entire purpose of lifting. Lift heavy sometimes and lift lighter weight sometimes so you don't get stuck in a rut. Be efficient, throw some plyometric work in there, and get a good solid workout in, in a shorter amount of time.
  5. Good fats are GOOD. I use to avoid anything fatty because I thought that any type of fat would make me fat. However, I've found that if I include good fats with almost every meal, they give me energy and help for me to lose fat. Some examples of good fats are: coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, natural PEANUT BUTTER :), nuts, and any natural nut butter. I work out really early in the morning usually before breakfast so instead of a pre-workout, I eat a tsp of coconut oil and that gives me plenty of energy.
  6. Don't stress over unplanned meals. So, you didn't meal prep 500 things of tupperware for your week ahead? Don't panic. What I want to know is how these famous social media fitness people get their tupperware veggies to last for seven days. My organic veggies barely last four days so I like to make sure I have healthy options in the house and I typically pack snacks and lunch for work. However, sometimes life gets in the way and I don't pack my lunch. Oh, well!! This use to stress me out but not anymore. There are plenty of places where you can order some healthy options and not mess up your eating plans (I'll go into more detail about this in another post). Have a good meal with veggies, good carbs like brown rice, a lean protein, and a healthy fat. Avoid fried things, dried fruit (lots of sugar), heavy dressings, etc. Just don't stress!
  7. Occasional "bad food" is good for you. I use to have a calendar and I would mark the days that I ate "bad" aka I had one donut. I use to stress over the red X's that marked my "bad" days even though there were only about 5 per month. All that did was lead me to a binge/misery session at some point in that month. Sometimes it's good to have a donut and be a normal person so you don't feel restricted and you don't feel the need to binge and ruin your hard work. If you want a treat, have it, enjoy it, and keep it moving. Don't avoid foods, that's not a way of life and don't go overboard.
  8. There is no magic supplement. I've tried lots of supplements thinking they would help (fat burners, diet pills, detox crap, etc.) and really they just harmed my body. If you eat right, train right, and take the right VITAMINS (not diet pills) you are headed in the right direction. Research your vitamins to make sure you are getting a pure vitamin and remember that they will help your body but there is no miracle pill. Vitamin Shoppe, doTERRA, and Wholefoods have a very good selection of vitamins. Some vitamins at Walmart and Walgreens are actually not as strictly regulated as they should be, and may not contain what you need.
I hope these tips help you to go in the right direction so that you don't have to go through trial and error like I did! Email me with any questions, I would love to answer them!

katie lynn

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