Natasha’s Guide to Living Healthy and Losing Weight
Hello! My name is Natasha, and I’m a certified personal trainer who has lost ~80 pounds since 2011. I get asked most of the same questions daily - “how do I lose weight?” “how do I get healthy?” “what’s your secret?”. Well, I’m here to finally answer all of those questions, and more, in detail. This is pretty much going to be everything you wanted to know about being fit but were afraid to ask. So let’s begin!
You’ve heard the phrase that weight loss and fitness is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s true. You will get nowhere without proper nutrition. Keep in mind though, IT IS NOT A DIET. The word ‘diet’ indicates that it would be temporary. Nope, this is a lifestyle change! This is why fad diets (Atkins diet, ABC/Military/7 Day diets) won’t work. Yes, you might lose weight with those things, but as soon as you go back to eating regularly, you’ll gain it all back. Not to mention, they’re incredibly unhealthy and even dangerous! Now, there are different lifestyles that people chose to follow, and you need to find what works for you. They include, but are not limited to: vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, paleo, etc. Do not start one of these lifestyles in an attempt to just lose weight. If you plan on eating a certain way, like I said, keep it up for life! You have to find what works for you. Whatever lifestyle you choose to follow, here are some basics to keep in mind.
- Eating enough. BMR. RMR. TDEE. IIFYM. Starvation mode. What does it all mean? I personally choose to go by TDEE, or Total Daily Energy Expenditure. You can calculate your TDEE (and BMR) here. TDEE is the amount of calories your body burns in 24 hours - including your resting, sleeping, working, playing and digesting food. If you eat right at your TDEE, you will maintain your weight. If you eat over, you will gain weight. If you eat under, you will lose weight! Simple, right? If not, let me give you an example. I put in my stats - female, 22, 5’1 and ~120 pounds. My BMR is 1243 and my TDEE is 1872. You should NEVER eat under your BMR - that’s your Basal Metabolic Rate AKA how many calories your body would burn if you were in a coma. Everyone hears about the magical number 1200, and if you eat below this, your body will go into starvation mode. “But Natasha,” some people say, “My BMR is below 1200! Should I eat that much?” The answer is NO. Again, your BMR is what your body would be burning if you were laying in a coma, unable to move AT ALL. YOUR BODY NEEDS NUTRIENTS. YOUR BODY NEEDS CALORIES. CALORIES ARE ENERGY. Starvation mode, or rather, the starvation response is something that your body does when it isn’t receiving the nutrients, food and energy it needs. Click here to read more about it. So what does this all mean? Numbers do play a part in losing weight. One pound is 3500 calories. That means, to lose a pound, you need to cut out 3500 calories. So let’s go back to my TDEE, which is 1872 calories. If I were to cut out 200 calories a day from my food, which would make it 1672, then burn 300 calories from working out, that would bring it down to 1372. Voila, that’s cutting out 500 calories a day - eating healthy and not starving yourself! Also, keep in mind if you are doing insane workouts and burning 500+ calories per workout, you need to eat AT LEAST half of those calories back.
- What do I eat? A phrase you’ll hear all over tumblr is “clean eating”. And you’re probably thinking, “what the hell does that even mean?” Clean eating is essentially cutting out processed junk foods, and eating organic, natural, healthy and whole foods. Here is Clean Eating 101 and the 10 Rules to Eating Clean to help you out. A few of the main tips I can give you for eating well are: cut out all soda, juices, etc. - diet or otherwise, cut out fast food, cut out junk food (chips, frozen dinners, etc). I’m going to give you some examples of healthy breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks.
- Breakfast: oatmeal topped with nuts, nut butter, and any fruit. fruit smoothies and/or green smoothies. smoothie bowls. yogurt with granola and fruit. eggs (my fave is scrambling 1 whole egg with 2 egg whites, adding baby spinach, tomatoes and spices). turkey bacon. any kind of fruit. granola. whole wheat toast (top it with avocado/guacamole and pepper, it’s A+). there are a ton of other options/foods, but these are a few to get you started.
- Lunch: salad (try to amp up your salads with spinach and kale, hardboiled eggs, chicken breast, tons of veggies, limit your dressing if any), baked chicken breast with brown rice and veggies, healthy pizza (whole wheat and/or cauliflower crust, fat-free and/or organic cheese, top with massive amounts of veggies), eggs (i have breakfast for lunch a lot), a healthy sandwich (chicken breast or turkey breast, avocado, veggies, no mayo - try to make it yourself and make every part organic, NOT SUBWAY). again, these are just a few options. there are a ton of healthy meals for you to make.
- Dinner: similar to your lunch options - I personally stick to baked chicken breast, veggies and brown rice/quinoa most days. I like to prep my dinners on sunday so I have them available to me and I don’t have to make anything as I work in the evenings. Read more on meal prepping here.
- Snacks: any nuts, fruits, or veggies. whole grain toast with peanut butter and bananas. greek yogurt. veggies with hummus. quest/lara/KIND/pure bars. green and/or fruit smoothies. popcorn (not the kind caked with butter, obviously. trader joe’s has some good organic options).
- Water. Cut out the soda, diet or otherwise. No juice unless it’s organic and from fruit only (no added sugars). Green tea is great too, but you want to make sure you drink AT LEAST 60 ounces of water a day. Getting the right amount of water every day will help clear up your skin, lose water weight, reduce bloat, and stay hydrated (obviously). Read more on the benefits of getting enough water here.
- Cheat days/meals. Part of healthy living is moderation, and sometimes you need to take a break. You don’t want to deprive yourself too much, and we all love food. I personally either have one cheat meal a week, or two full splurge days a month. This does not mean you can’t have sweets or any kind of cheat day to day. Have a handful of chocolate chips every night or a piece of dark chocolate. One cookie never killed anyone or hindered their progress. But remember, MODERATION.
- Here are some additional links to help you out! Healthy recipes. Food inspiration. Healthy snacks 1. Healthy snacks 2. Healthy snacks 3. Garden of Vegan. 10 Healthy Food Blogs. How to eat healthy on a budget. How to eat healthy in college. How to eat healthy when dining out. How to talk to your parents about buying healthy food. Big list of healthy recipes.
Yes, fitness is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. THAT DOESN’T MEAN EXERCISE ISN’T IMPORTANT. Forget the weight loss. Forget losing fat. Exercise is important for your body and your mind. You need both cardio and strength training in your workout routine for the best results and optimal fitness. I personally recommend to my clients at least 5 days a week of cardio (if you’re trying to lose weight. if you’re maintaining, trying to build muscle or just trying to be healthy, 3 days a week is fine) for 30 minutes to an hour, and at least 3 days a week of strength. If building muscle is your main goal, reverse those numbers (3 days a week cardio, 5 days a week strength). There are hundreds of different ways to workout, and just like with your nutrition, you need to find what works for you. Whether it’s running, the elliptical, Zumba, yoga, weight lifting, WHATEVER. Your body needs it. And like I said, your mind does too! Hello, endorphins! I’m going to go over cardio, strength, weight training for beginners, and yoga.
- Cardio: I know, we all hate it. I have a love/hate relationship with it. But unfortunately, we need it. Cardio, also know as cardiovascular exercise, is basically anything that gets your heart rate going. It’s good for your heart, your body and mind in general, weight loss, and stress management. Cardio is one of the main ways to burn fat. You want to try to get your heart rate into your target heart rate zone, which you can calculate here and monitor with a heart rate monitor/fitbit/etc. Cardio can be done hundreds of different ways, here are just a few: running, the elliptical, cycling/exercise bike, hiking, Zumba, fitness classes, some variations of yoga, swimming, HIIT, Insanity, Jillian Michaels and other workout DVDs, Pilates, and there are literally a bazillion other ways to do cardio. Just get your heart rate going! Like I said before, ideally you want to get 3-5 days a week, for 30 minutes to an hour of cardio.
- Strength Training: Do you even lift, bro? I feel like a lot of people just think ‘heavy lifting’ when they think strength training. While that is a very popular and awesome way to gain muscle, there are other ways as well! There are a ton of body weight exercises that will help you gain muscle and burn fat, here is a list of body weight exercises you can do anywhere! Try to target a different body part every day, ie. one day do arms, another day do abs, another day do legs. You can do full body workouts every day as well, if that’s your thing. You can also use handweights/dumbbells, and work your way up to heavier weights. Another way to build muscle is yoga! I’m going to go over yoga and weight training/heavy lifting in depth. Strength training, in any form, is necessary to build muscle, which in turn will help burn fat.
- Yoga: Ahhh yoga. My new favorite thing. I work at a yoga studio and will hopefully be doing my yoga teacher training soon. Anywho. There are a zillion different styles of yoga but my personal favorite is vinyasa flow. It’s cardio and strength, and you so get your heart rate up. Hot yoga is great too! You can do yoga at home, go to a studio, watch a video on Youtube, etc. Yoga is for everyone! I feel like a lot of people think it’s for super fit or super skinny people only. It’s not! Everyone can do it! I will have some helpful links, videos, and tips for you at the bottom of the workout section.
- Weight Training: I think by now we all know that lifting heavy does NOT make you bulky. It makes you super hot, muscular and toned. The key to weight training and lifting heavy is FORM. Do not sacrifice your form just so you can lift more. I would recommend starting with lighter weight/hand weights, to build up your strength, and then move on to weight machines, squat racks, Crossfit, etc. Here is a guide to weight training for beginners.
- Rest Days: You need at least one full rest day a week. Your body needs to rest, heal and build muscle. Yup, BUILD MUSCLE. Here’s the thing. When you’re working out, you’re actually tearing your muscles. It’s the rest and proper nutrition that builds them up.
- Here are some additional links to help you out: A Beginner’s Guide to Home Workouts. 30 Plank Exercises to Shock Your Body. Giant Yoga Master Post. Youtube Fitness Channels. HIIT Workouts. Blogilates Printable Workouts. Strength Training 101. How to Build Muscle. Workout Basics.
The Mental Side of Fitness
Fitness is a state of mind. Losing weight takes a certain mentality. I get asked all the time about where I found my motivation, how I stayed motivated, etc. The number one tip that I can give you is, if you don’t have one already, START A FITNESS BLOG. A fitness specific blog. Having people that are on the same journey as you and a place to log your progress and stay on track helps so much. I would not have done it if I hadn’t started this blog. Another issue a lot of people have is balance. How do you balance between eating too much, and eating too little? What if you have/develop an eating disorder? Unfortunately, it happens. I’m going to provide you all with a lot of links and resources for motivation, happiness, mental and eating disorders, and general life advice. Losing weight will not make your life perfect. You have to work for that mentally. Losing weight will not make you love yourself or your body. It is a daily journey. Fitness is a lifestyle.
- Ways to Stay Motivated to Lose Weight.
- Make a Weight Loss Inspiration Board.
- Start a Dietbet with Friends.
- Weekly Meal Planner Worksheet.
- Weekly Food and Exercise Recorder.
- My Workout Playlist.
- How to Beat a Plateau.
- Bad Day Remedies.
- Binge Eating Recovery Plan.
- Eating Disorder Hotline and Chat.
- Self Harm Alternatives.
- Ways to Deal with Depression/Stress.
- De-Stress Yoga.
- Apps You Need in Your Life.
- No Gym? No Problem.
- Learning Self Love.
Welp, I think that’s it! If you have any questions, my ask box is always open (keep in mind, I get thousands of questions a day but I try to answer as many as I can). I also do meal/workout plans online, and in person training. You can check out my personal training information here and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested! Just remember: if I can do it, ANYONE CAN. I went from being the most sedentary unhealthy person, to a personal trainer. It is possible. Remember to believe in yourself, and JUST DO IT. No one can do it for your or want it for you. You have to want it for yourself. And above all, STAY HEALTHY. Get healthy, and weight loss will follow. Thank you for reading this! I hope it helped! Thank you all for your continued support and love. Hopefully this will help you guys reach your goals!
Good luck, have fun, get fit. Namaste.
(banner by the lovely rhianna!)
if you guys ever need anything send a message to my inbox. I’ll give you advice or if you need to, just listen just let me know if you need my help or just want to vent. i promise i don’t bite
Here is a mini yoga master list on yoga for curing anxiety and depression. I’m not a therapist but I know yoga can help alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms. I hope this can help at least one person. Whatever you may be going through, remember that it’s only temporary and things will get better soon. Remember to be sunny☀
- Yoga For the Winter Blues- Yoga For Depression
- Stress Release Yoga | Mellow Out Anxiety
- Yoga for Anxiety- Stress Management - Relief Flow (60 Min.)
- Guided Meditation for Anxiety and Obsessive Thoughts
- Move & Groove Vinyasa Flow Yoga W/ Music (25 minutes)
- Yoga For Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
- Easy Stress Relief Yoga
- Yoga to Make You Happy, Relaxing Beginners Routine for Stress & Depression
- Emotional Detox Yoga Sequence
- Yoga to Make you Happy
- Yoga for Stress & Anxiety
- YIN Yoga for Cramps, Anxiety, and Insomnia
- Chopra Guided Meditations
- Fragrant Heart Guided Meditations for Healing
- Meditation for Depression
- Depression Lifting
Music to Relax To: Most of these are soothing sounds that can last up to 10 hours! Lay down and take a few deep breaths while listening to these soothing sounds.
- Vital Energy
- Soft Piano
- 3 Hours of Ocean, Flute, and Piano
- Tibetan Healing Sounds
- Relaxing Sounds with Water
- Gentle River
- Reiki Zen Meditation
Remember to smile :)
THIS IS IMPORTANT
eeeee rebloging for future reference. need to try guided meditations.
I wrote this article on my blog, but thought it could be great to share it on Tumblr with all of you. So here it is : a HUGE list of 100% healthy smoothies! I hope it will be useful ;)AlmondApricots
- Simple Apricot Smoothie
- 5 Apricots Smoothies
- Apricot-Banana Smoothie
- Apricot Peach Smoothie
- Apricot Mango Smoothie
- Oats and Apricots Smoothie
- Apricot Apple SmoothieAvocado
- Bananas and Peanut Butter Smoothie
- Bananas and Kiwi Smoothie
- Bananas, strawberries and Flax Smoothie
- Bananas and pears Smoothie
- Bananas and Mango Shake
- Bananas and peach Smoothie
- Groovy Smoothie
- Banana Blast II
- Bananas and Orange Smoothie
- Tropical Cooler Smoothie
- Carribbean Health DrinkBlueberry
- Wild blueberry Soy Shake
- Heavenly Blueberry Smoothie
- Very Berry Blueberry Smoothie
- Razzy Blue Smoothie
- Lemon Berry Smoothie
- Blueberry Mint SmoothieCeleryCherryChocolate
- Chocolate, Strawberry, Banana Milkshake
- Orange Chocolate Breakfast Drink
- 6 Chocolate Smoothies Recipes
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Monster Smoothie
- Ultra-Chocolate Smoothie
- Healthy Chocolate Banana ShakeCinnamonCitrus
- Citrus Energy-Boosting Smoothie
- The Ultimate Citrus Smoothie
- Citrus and Spice Smoothie (vegan and Gluten free)
- Citrus Berry Smoothie
- Healthy Citrus Spinach Smoothie
- Tropical MangoCitrus SmoothieCoconutCranberryFig
- Fig and bananas Smoothie
- Mango Banana Figs Smoothie
- Vanilla Fig Smoothie
- Figs Almonds and Banana Smoothie
- Fig Blueberry Not so Green Green Smoothie
- Fig, Oats and Banana SmoothieGingerGrapefruitKale
- Kale and Banana Smoothie
- Kale, Orange, Banana Smoothie
- Hala Kahiki Green Smoothie
- Kale Spinach and Pear Smoothie
- Blueberry Kale Smoothie
- Kale Sunrise Green Smoothie
- Peacock Kale Smoothie
- Kale Banana Chia Superfood Smoothie
- Pineapple Mint green SmoothieKiwiMango
- Gloomy Day Smoothie
- Mango Pineapple Green Smoothie
- Mango Peach Smoothie
- Pawpaw and Mango Punch
- Basil Strawberry Mango Smoothie
- Honey Mango Juice
- Mango Mint Lassi with Indian Sweet Spices SmoothieMelonMintNectarine
- Nectarine Sunshine Smoothie
- Cinnamon Nectarine Smoothie
- Apple Nectarine Smoothie
- Lime Mango and Nectarine Smoothie
- Blueberry Nectarine SmoothieOatmealOrangePapaya
- Papaya Surprise Smoothie
- Supergirl Summer Smoothie
- Banana Papaya and Spinach Smoothie
- Papaya Ginger Smoothie
- Papaya Ginger Mint Smoothie
- Raspberry Papaya SmoothiePeachPeanut Butter
- Peanut Butter and Chocolate Smoothie
- Green Banana and Peanut Butter Smoothie
- Dairy-Free Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie
- Peanut Butter and Strawberry Smoothie
- Peanut Butter Berry Smoothie
- 15 Healthy Peanut Butter Smoothie RecipesPearPineapple
- C-Blast Smoothie
- Pineapple and Banana Smoothie
- Pineapple Mango Smoothie
- Pineapple Sunrise Smoothie
- Tropical Tea Smoothie
- Strawberry Pineapple Coconut SmoothiePumpkinRaspberry
- Raspberry and Blackberry Smoothie
- Raspberry Fudge Smoothie
- Raspberry Mango Smoothie
- Orange Raspberry Banana Chia Smoothie
- Blushing Apple Smoothie
- Berry Kale SmoothieRhubarbSpinach
- Strawberry and beet Smoothie
- Strawberry-yoghurt Smoothie
- Strawberry Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie
- Cool-Off Smoothie
- Red, White and Blue Fruit Smoothie
- Strawberry, Orange, Banana Smoothie
- Quick Start Breakfast Drink
- Strawberry-Grapefruit SmoothieSweet Potato
- Sweet Potato and Banana Smoothie
- Better than Ice Cream Sweet Potato Smoothie
- Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie
- Luscious Sweet Potato and Almond Smoothie
- Refreshing Sweet Potato and Peach SmoothieTofuWatermelon
this is beautiful
The 1000 SQUAT CHALLENGE. Do 100 reps of each. Time how long it took you. Took me 40 minutes. Legs and butt were DYING!
Do the full length video with me here: http://youtu.be/fF71IJUXGOk
Reblog if you plan on doing this!
Remember to be careful. This workout is NOT EASY. So take breaks when you need it and only push yourself to a level of slight discomfort but not to the point where you’re going to hurt yourself.
*That can be done without a gym
Ass to Grass Squats
Squat with Heel Raise
Barbell Front/Back Squat
Bottom Half Squat
Lunge with Twist
Hip Raises with Leg Lift
Downward Dog with Leg Lift
Exercise Ball Hamstring Curl
Dumbbell Stiff Legged Deadlift
Dumbbell Bent Legged Deadlift
Single Leg Deadlift
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
Plank with Leg Extension
Front Kick Pulses
Knee Lift Pulses
How to Stay Healthy at College?
Many of us fitblrs are broke, college students and one thing we struggle with is balancing our school work, a social life, and a healthy lifestyle. What are some ways to make this work?
It can be tough but it definitely is manageable! College is the time when you are finally out on your own, free to make your own decisions and your own rules. Living a healthy lifestyle in college does not have to be hard though and it does not require hours of preparation! The main key is to key a fairly consistent schedule! Get into the habit of making certain meals on a certain night of the week, going grocery shopping, etc.
How to eat healthy while at college:
- Keep lots of things prepared. I usually make pasta on Mondays (since I don’t have late classes that day), I buy bags of veggies that are microwavable, I have apples & PB, which make a quick&easy snack, I have chips & salsa for another quick and easy snack, etc. Find foods that are easy for you and don’t require a lot of preparation!
- Pack little bags or containers of snack the night before. This way when you are running late to class the next morning you can grab one and go!
- Keep a budget. Since many of us do not have a ton of extra money, limit yourself each week. I have a set grocery list and it is typically $50 per week. I get lots of fresh fruit and veggies, peanut butter, spaghetti and spaghetti sauce(which is the cheapest meal ever), and some snacks.
- Limit yourself to eating out a few times a week. Don’t go out too often, it is cheaper and healthier to cook for yourself! Instead invite your friends to come over and cook a healthy dinner! You can make it fun!
- Find healthy options for when you do go out. There is almost always a salad, a veggie side, whole wheat options, etc. Even if you just switch the fries for veggies and keep your normal meal the same that is still a healthier option!
- Go for water. Wherever you are get a water. Skip the soda or whatever else. Water is the best option there is! I always have at least one of my camelbacks with me! Make a habit of taking water with you!
How to keep up with exercise:
- Walk. A simple way to get in your daily exercise is to walk! Walk around campus between classes and walk to your class! That is a great way to get in some easy exercise!
- Go to the gym! Most colleges have a gym- take advantage of this and GO! You get a free membership (covered in your tuition) and tons of free classes! My gym has tons of different sports going on, equipment, and classes! There is always something for everyone!
- Fit it into your schedule. If you are a morning person or you don’t have classes until the afternoon then go before class! If you prefer your workouts between or after classes then go then! Make it part of your daily routine though! You will be more likely to stick to it!
- Find a workout buddy! This will not only help you to keep up a social life but it will also motivate you to go to the gym! It is easier to tell yourself you are too lazy to go to the gym but when someone is planning to go with you you feel more guilty if you say no simply because you don’t want to!
How to keep up your education:
- Find a study buddy! You can study together and work on homework together! Sometimes it can be more distracting but other times it can be motivating!
- Go to class and do your homework!
- Find a tutor or talk to your teacher if you need help!
How to maintain a social life:
- Get involved! Figure out which clubs you want to join and join a few! Not too many because it is better to be highly involved in a few groups rather than not too involved in tons of groups. Organizations are a great way to meet people with similar interests as you!
- Find your group of friends. This can be one person or 20 people. Whoever you want and like but make sure they are good friends to you and stick with the ones who stand by your side through everything! You may not be close with your roommates but you can meet people anywhere! There are so many opportunities in college!
- If you aren’t into partying don’t worry! Like I said before- find your group of friends! If they are into partying then look for a few others who aren’t and hang out with them on the weekends! Go shopping, have a movie night, something low key and enjoyable!
How to stay sane in college:
- College can be a stressful time and it can be hard for many people. If you are struggling I urge you to seek help! Many colleges offer free counseling if you need to go and talk to someone! If you are struggling talk to a counselor, a friend, or anyone you trust.
- Be involved. Being involved helps you to stay active and not cut yourself out of society and let yourself fall into depression. It is hard being away from everything and everyone you know. But you cannot let yourself be alone during this transition! Everyone is going through the same thing and looking for friends as well! Get through this time together!
- If college is stressful or the workload is too much then consider taking fewer credits! It is better for you to feel organized and understand what you are learning, rather than BSing your way through college for grades. The knowledge you gain will be very important in your career.
- Get a agenda/planner and organize your weeks. Help yourself figure out what you need to do and when so you don’t get stressed or overwhelmed last minute when you have so much piled up to do!
- Set time aside to do something you love everyday! Remember to have fun!
College is a great time! Remember to make the best of it! Have fun, do well, stay safe, enjoy yourself, and live your life!
By toethefinishline (: