If you haven’t heard of HIIT training I’d be really surprised. It has been the hype for a while now, and for good reason. HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a training technique in which you give one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short rest periods. Most of my HIIT work outs are set in intervals of 30-60 seconds on and 10-20 second rest. So for those 30-60 seconds I’m pushing as hard as I can without stopping and then the 10-20 second rest I’m catching my breath. Those rest periods go by so quickly! Most HIIT workouts are less than 30 minutes so they are perfect for anyone who doesn’t have time to work out for an hour every day.
HIIT training is perfect for those who don’t have a lot of time to work out. And it’s proven that this type of training burns a ton of calories even after the training is done!
“A high-intensity workout increases the body’s need for oxygen during the effort and creates an oxygen shortage, causing your body to ask for more oxygen during recovery,” says Eric Salvador, NASM, NSCA, head instructor at The Fhitting Room in New York City. “This after burn effect is referred to as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) and is the reason why intense exercise will help burn more fat and calories than regular aerobic and steady-state workouts.”
When I first started my weight loss journey, HIIT training and running were the only 2 types of workouts that I did and I lost 60 pounds pretty quickly. The only equipment that I had were 10 pound dumbbells. You literally can use your body weight for every exercise and see results. Most HIIT workouts include lunges, squats, pushups, and burpees. It’s fun to add different variations of those exercises those. When it comes to HIIT training, creativity is key. To add some extra work to the standard push up, try doing an elevated pushup using your couch to put your feet on or instead of just a squat try doing the sumo squat where you lift your legs to the side up towards your shoulders (It looks like a sumo wrestler taking steps) to add ab work into it. There really are so many options when using this type of training!
Alright, I'm a planner. I hate when plans are changed or most of all when they're not made. So planning meals is a must for me. The easiest way I do it is go to Pinterest and put them in my "Weekly meals" board. I have a "Recipes" board where I keep every recipe I find, but when they are part of my weekly meal plan they are put in the "Weekly meals" board. It keeps things way more organized for me. That way I'm not scrolling through 100's of pins in my recipe board :) If I'm using a recipe from my cookbook I will write the recipe name and page # on my list. A lot of times I'll even print the recipes off the internet and keep them a stack by the cookbooks so they're all in the same place. Meal planning is really something that works best if you do it your way. I like to organize and sort things, so this works best for me!
Monday- Chicken marsala/Pinterest
Tuesday- Beef stew/ Teal cookbook pg 17
Thursday- Crustless Pizza/Pinterest
Friday- Take out!
Saturday- Bbq chicken with sweet marinade/Better food cookbook pg 255
Ahh food prep. It's a love-hate type of thing with me. Some days, like last Sunday, I caught the food prep bug and whipped out a bunch of stuff. Then there are other weekends where I literally have to drag myself off the couch to make any food for the week. I'll let you in on how I start food prepping for the week:
1. Plan your weekly meals. I'll explain the way I do it later!
2. Make your grocery list off of that list.
3. Go shopping!
4. Decide what can be made ahead and what cannot.
5. Chop up all your veggies and fruit. Put away what you don't need to cook along with other stuff.
6. Start by cooking your meat first. If I have more than one recipe that calls for hamburger or chicken I make it all at once and separate it once it's cooked.
7. Boil eggs and pasta in one pan. Not at the same time tho! I will boil my eggs and once they are done I'll add water and get it boiling again for pasta. I would rather use one pan and have less cleanup. I hate dishes more than anything!
8. Bake things that need the same heat at the same time. While I have one thing baking I'll prepare the next, that way it's prepared by the time the other stuff is ready to come out. You can of course bake things at the same time if that works out as well.
Food prep is hard to explain because you kind of get your own "flow" as to what works best for you. The best way to figure out the best routine for you is trial and error. It's a lot of work but knowing that you don't have to do a lot of these steps multiple times throughout the week is awesome especially when you're busy with work, workouts, kids, etc.
I've gone through a lot in the past 8 years and I am hoping some of my experiences can help someone else out there. 8 years ago I was married. I got pregnant and miscarried about 3 months after we wed. During our time together I was pregnant twice and miscarried twice. It took 4 years between pregnancies to become pregnant. I went through so many doctors and no one could tell me why. Finally, I got an answer. I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, PCOS. That explained so many things like my weight gain in a short amount of time, my hairyness, acne, mood swings, etc. From the beginning my marriage was far from perfect, in fact, it was miserable. We were not compatible at all and towards the end I began to see how emotionally abusive he really was. I never had a support system with him which I see now is so important to have. I had to take control of my life and the first thing I had to do was leave him. The day I left, I vowed to never let my life get so out of control ever again. Since then I have lost 140 pounds, became way healthier, and I am happier than I have ever been. For once, I loved myself and that allowed me to find someone who loves me for me. I am now newly married to the man of dreams :) Nate has been such a trooper through it all including my moodiness, fertility treatments that we are just starting, me testing out new PCOS friendly recipes (some delicious, others not so much), and my somewhat obsessive macro/calorie counting and workout obsession.
As Nate and I were dating, the subject of starting a family came up. I was going to my annual exam and needed to make a decision on starting birth control or not. We decided that we'd like to start a family, even though we were not married yet ( I know it's a sin, right?!) In November 2013, we found out I was pregnant. We were so excited! In December 2013 I miscarried, again. So 3 pregnancies, 3 losses. I felt completely helpless. Nate was amazing throughout it and it only made me realize even more that he was perfect for me. I was mad because I was sure that losing over 100 pounds and being overall healthy would make this pregnancy stick and it didn't. Honestly, I wanted to quit being healthy and go back to eating crap and being lazy. That lasted about a week and then I decided that my health was one of the very few things that I personally had control of. Since then I have researched more into food, hormones, exercise, etc and I feel that I'm well on my way to a successful pregnancy because of the smart choices I've been making.
You see, to me being healthy and losing weight is not about looking good. I need to be healthy on the inside to get what I want more than anything in this world, to be a mom. For all of us, staying healthy should always be about something bigger than just looking good. I'm passionate about health and fitness because it has literally changed and saved my life.
Wife and Mom! I love all things fitness, nature, and design inspired. Infertility warrior and new mom through adoption. Living this busy life the best way possible!