February 21, 2013

Day 4: FIT Interval Training

Indoor Cycling (Spinning) is a great example of Interval Training

Day 4 of our FIT Belly Blaster Tipes is Interval Training

I am an endurance runner and although running started as a way for me to begin a healthy lifestyle and lose weight, running for hours on end really isn't the way to lose belly fat.

We have always associated weight loss with the need of hours and hours of cardio, but I want you to change your mind set.  Running, cycling, rowing, etc for miles and miles is great and has a lot of benefits, but if you are looking to lose weight, especially belly fat, that's not the way to go.  I won't go into the details about endurance on this post because I want to focus on the topic at hand.

I'm not saying you don't have to do cardio. I'm just saying we must change our mindset about what an effective cardio workout looks like for fat loss.  You may have heard of Interval or HITT training.  That's what we need.  So your workout may be shorter, but more intense.  Great news for busy people, like you and me.

HIIT workouts are a version of cardiovascular training that uses alternating periods of high intensity work with maximum effort followed by lower intense periods of lower intensity work.  For my running friends, this can be compared to efforts during a speed training session.

A study in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism revealed that “High-intensity aerobic interval training increases fat and carbohydrate metabolic capacities in human skeletal muscle." They found that interval training will help the body oxidize fats and carbohydrates meaning you’ll have some awesome rapid fat loss results.

There's another benefit to HIIT (Interval) Training aside from weight loss.  We spend a shorter amount of time performing the actual workout.  While most people who are trying to lose fat by jogging on the treadmill for 45 minutes you can be done in 20 minutes and burn a ton more fat than them too...and this I can attest to by personal experience.

I will be posting a video in the next few days of an interval workout you can perform on the treadmill, but for now, I will provide you a written sample.  Also, keep in mind that most cardio equipment at the gym has built in interval workout settings you can use.  Just make sure to adjust it to your fitness level.

Don't have access to cardio equipment?  No problem.  You can perform this outdoor.  Run one block, jog/walk the next or use trees, building, etc as target points to alternate between intense and recovery.

Here is a sample treadmill interval workout:

Warm-up for 2-5 minutes,
Run for one minute at 5.0* mph
Recover for one minute at 3.5 mph
Run for one minute at 5.5 mph
Recover for one minute at 3.5 mph
Run for one minute at 6.0 mph
Recover for one minute at 3.5 mph
Run for one minute at 6.5 mph
Recover for one minute at 3.5 mph

Continue to increase the speed at each interval and repeat this pattern for 10 to 20 minutes.

 *Adjust the speed based on your current fitness level

Please feel free to leave me questions in the comments section or contact me at

Your Personal Trainer,
Coach Andi

February 20, 2013

Day 3: FIT in Water

Day 3:  Drink water

Everyone knows that water is essential to the human body, but even so, many people don't drink water and if they do, they don't drink enough.

I can go on and on about the benefits of water, but I'll keep it simple.  Drink more water.  You don't have to go from 0 to 100, but add a glass before or during every meal at first or drink a cup in the afternoon.  Substitute one of your sugary drink with water.  Just add more water.  Below are some pictures with information about the benefits of water that I felt more interesting to post than for me to bullet out.

Your Personal Trainer,
Coach Andi

February 19, 2013

Day 2: Show the Enemy Who's FIT

Q: What causes that stubborn belly fat that makes us pout when we look in the mirror?

A:  The Enemy: Refined Processed Carbohydrates (a.k.a. bad carbs, simple carbs)

If you aren't sure what foods would be considered Refined Processed Carbs, keep reading and I'll give you examples.

Since these bad carbs are the main cause of belly fat, then one can say that by limiting or eliminating them you can stop accumulating that nasty stuff hiding your fabulous ab muscles.  Ideally, you would want to replace these foods with some of the foods I listed in yesterday's blog (MUFA's & Falovonoids rich foods).

Now that you understand the cause, you may be asking "Well, what foods should I be avoiding?"

Before I get into that, I want to focus on what foods you SHOULD be eating.  This is not about deprivation but about eating smart.

Whole foods...that's what you can eat.  There is so much that you can eat that fall under whole foods, but just in case you don't know what that means, here are some high level examples


  • Lean protein
  • Fresh fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains (oats, barley, sweet potato, squash...)

What do I consider whole foods?  Generally speaking, foods that do not include chemicals and additives.

So now that we've covered what you CAN eat.  Let's talk about what you SHOULD NOT eat.  Why did I highlight SHOULD NOT?  Because you can eat them, but it should be strictly restricted if you are trying to get FIT abs.

  • White sugar
  • Foods containing corn syrup
  • Sodas
  • Sugary drinks (this includes sweetened fruit
    juice and tea)
  • Alcohol
  • Canned fruits and veggies containing added
  • Sweetened applesauce
  • White flour and anything made with white
    flour; such as,bread, muffins, bagels, cakes, cookies, pasta, biscuits, donuts, etc.
  • Cereals
  • Potato chips/pretzels
  • Pizza
  • Desserts
  • Boxed puddings
  • Candy/toffee/sweets
  • Store bought cooked meats/cold cuts (when
    they have added sugars and additives)
  • Sausages/hot dog frankfurters
  • Jelly/Jams (Jams that are naturally sweetened are fine in moderation)

Let's talk about some of the foods show below.  Although these foods may be considered "diet" foods, they are filled with chemicals, additives, and preservatives.   These are not considered real (whole) foods.  They may be "low" in calories, sugar, and/or fat, but your body will react negatively to many of the ingredients, therefore, causing an inflammatory response...which translates to weight gain.

 Although all the items above may be tasty, the gratification is temporary.  The long term effects of eating or drinking these items are not ones that I believe you enjoy.  Most of us are addicted to simple sugars, bad carbs, or whatever you want to call them and we will go through withdrawal symptoms if we decide to eliminate them from our diet.  You can either choose to limit them slowly or all at once.  Withdrawals symptoms usually last about 2-3 days, if giving them up "cold turkey" and symptoms primarily consist of headaches and fatigue.  Once you go through your withdrawal and keep up your clean eating, you will notice that your bad carb cravings will subside after about 3 weeks.  I, however, believe that if you are eating a balanced meal, you shouldn't have many cravings.

Am I saying you can never eat anything from the "bad" carbs list.  Of course not.  However, everything in moderation.  We shouldn't find ourselves eating them on a daily basis.  They should be an indulgence, not part of your regular diet. 

So, go show the enemy that you have control over your body and have the will power to give them up on a daily basis.  Let's work to reveal those strong abs screaming to be seen.

If this post leaves you with questions or doubts, feel free to leave a question in the comments section or by contacting me on my website.

Your Personal Trainer,
Coach Andi

February 18, 2013

Day 1: Belly Blaster FIT Foods

The dreaded belly fat...

Some women may refer to it as baby belly, but it's not just something that plagues mom.  Everyone can suffer from excess belly fat.  You can spend a whole hour a day doing sit ups and crunches, but may find that your abs still don't look as strong as they feel.  That's because you are only doing a fraction of the work necessary to reveal those strong abs hiding underneath that stubborn visceral fat.

All week I will be sharing easy tips that you can incorporate into your lifestyle that will help you achieve great abs that will make you proud.

Day 1:  Belly Blaster FIT Foods

There are tons of foods I could recommend, but don't want to overwhelm you, so I am going to focus on 2 categories of foods.

Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFAs)

What Andi?  I think you are confused. 

No, I'm not.  Monounsaturated fats lower your cholesterol and counteract the effects of "bad" fats such as trans fats and saturated fat, which can clog your arteries and lead to heart problems.  In simple terms, MUFA's are good fats that help fight off bad fat.  Similar to bacteria in our intestines.  We need a certain level of ,what we consider, good bacteria to fight off the bad bacteria.  It's the same concept. 

Eating sources of MUFA's with your meals will help your body burn fat, specifically visceral fat which is found in the stomach area.  They help increase your metabolic rate which allow your body to burn fat quicker.

Here are some examples of foods high in MUFA's that I recommend adding to your diet. 
  • Salmon
  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Nuts 

*Portion sizing is key because these foods can be high in calories. Limit the amounts you consume.  For example, eat only 8 almonds or 1/2 an avocado to achieve fat burning but not put on weight because high calorie consumption.  The essence of weight loss does not change.  Calories in, calories out.  However, certain foods affect your body differently and can have direct impact on your body shape.


Flavonoids, an antioxidant, improves the body's metabolic profile, alters the way fats are processed through your body, and contains anti-inflammatory properties.
Some examples of foods high in flavonoids are:
  • Apples
  • Berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc)
  • Pears
  • Black & Pinto beans
  • Cabbage
  • Onion
  • Parsley
  • Tomatoes  

There are more foods that fall into these 2 categories, but these are just some examples to get you started.  I hope this helps and if you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section or contact me on my website.

Your Personal Trainer,
Coach Andi