VacaFit!

Luquillo-Beach-Puerto-Rico-BESTBEACHES0316Itsssss Fridayyyyyyy!!!!!

Ladies its the weekend, the weather is warm and summer is so close! For he past 8 weeks I have been hitting the gym consistently and eating a well balanced diet. In my last post I said I had lost 10-12lbs but after taking my braids out I got an accurate reading of 8.5lbs lost. Im not mad about that AT ALL because i look and feel soooo much better and THAT was the goal.

I wanted to get ready for my trip to Puerto Rico and it is right around the corner! I am so excited BUT BUT BUT…… I REFUSE TO UNDO ALL THE HARD WORK I PUT IN! I also want to be able to enjoy myself because after all it is vacation. So I want to share my tips on how to stay fit while enjoying your vacation!

Tip #1: Hydration – ladies its hot and if you go pretty much anywhere this summer it will also be hot. I am staying in an Airbnb and will be purchasing two big packages of bottled water for my 5 day, 4 night stay. I am used to drinking a gallon a day and if I even go an hour with out water I feel like SpongeBob in Sandy’s tank with no fishbowl (top 5 favorite episodes of SpongeBob). Water is essential for your bodily functions and so much more. For more, please read my article “Ok Ladies, Now Let’s Get In Hydration”.

Tip #2 Fiber/Eat Your Veggies – if you will be indulging during your vacation (in moderation of course) you are going to want make sure you are pooping. Yea yea I don’t care if it sounds gross but trust me, I have been on countless vacations where I feel like theres a brick in my stomach from not pooping. You will be able to clear out your system, prevent bloating, and stay fuller longer. I will be bringing protein bars with me. My favorite protein bars have 10g of fiber per bar and its a perfect little treat for breakfast as well (I’m traveling with my boyfriend and his male friends so I doubt they wake up before breakfast lol). When eating out ALWAYS ask for a side of something green!

one*these bars are bomb! they have so many flavors like glazed maple donut, birthday cake and cinnamon roll but this is my favorite. One bars don’t even taste like protein bars. You can find them at Vitamin Shoppe.*

Tip #3 Get Moving – “But Bria, its vacation and I don’t want to go to the gym”. Girl I didn’t even say go to the gym so stop the madness lol I will be doing an “In-Hotel” Workout that you can do for 15-20 minutes tops. I will share that next week to get you ladies ready. My boyfriend was in charge of choosing the activities for this trip because we will be celebrating his birthday. PR is home to the one and only El Yunque National Rainforest, the only national park in the US National Park System classified as a rainforest. My boyfriend chose to go hiking in the forest (10 mile hike both ways for 4 hours pray for me). Choose activities that are active. Snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming, hiking, beach volleyball, walking the city streets, etc all are perfect examples to help you burn off the extra calories.

Tip #4 Treat Yo Self!….in moderation – this is vacation and I want you to enjoy it. one of the main things that is important to any fitness journey is regeneration. Giving the body a break to relax is necessary. While on vacation I plan on eating whatever I want. I know that certain foods will make me feel like crap so I won’t be eating too much of them. Ill get ice cream but not a ridiculous amount. I may grab a burger but with a side salad. I will be drinking alcohol but will definitely be staying hydrated. My point here is to know your limits. You’ve worked out for this trip or you’ve eaten a certain way before this trip and if you eat more than you’re used to your body might freak out. Don’t over do it on vacation. Eat like you normally would but enjoy yourself also. Get that cheesecake at dinner and split it with someone! Moderation is key!

With these tips you will come home without that groggy “back to normal life” feeling and wouldn’t have undone your vacation body. Remember to get right back on track with water intake, exercise and eating clean. You’ll thank yourself for it!

Happy Vacationnnn!

-B

Cheat Meals: How To Enjoy Them Without the Guilt.

Good Morning Queens!

As Summer quickly approaches I hope that you have been working hard to show off that body and if not oh well. There’s always next summer lol. I am currently in my 6th week of an 8-week summer slimdown. I created a meal plan for myself as well as workouts that I do and so far I have lost around 10-12lbs (I got braids in the middle of it so it added some weight to the scale).

One thing that keeps me sane throughout this entire process is a cheat meal. Now as far as my meal plan goes, I track my macros. That means I track how many grams of Carbohydrates, Protein and Fats I eat as well as Fiber (its important to poop!). I have a set number of grams for each as well as a total calorie intake to meet. With this meal plan I am able to eat what I want in order to hit these numbers.

Today was my cheat meal day and it just so happened that it was National Donut Day. I center the majority of my carbs around my workout so that my body can use them to fuel my workout and recovery instead of storing them. Today I had a small iced coffee and a free donut after my workout to celebrate my favorite day of the year. I killed leg day this morning too so the booty gains will ensue from those carbs lol.

I want people to understand that a cheat meal is just a cheat MEAL. Just one. If you have goals to meet, cheat meals are N O T cheat DAYS! In order to lose weight you have to be in a calorie deficit. Everyday your body burns calories no matter what; while you sleep, breathe, walk around the office, pee, ANYTHING! Adding exercise to that puts you in the negative even more. When you eat you will eat less calories than you burn all day long and with exercise. This is the formula for weight loss!

Let’s say you eat 1600 calories a day and burn 2000 a day. That’s 400 calories of deficit. A pound of body fat is about 3500 calories so following this calorie range would allow you to lose a lb of body weight in a little over 8 days. It will be different for every one and any progress is good progress so keep working.

Now this is where you get a little more free range with cheat meals. In my meal plan I have about 6 meals with 3 being snacks. I eat before the gym (usually just some fruit for quick digesting carbs for fuel), after the gym (to replenish the energy storage in my muscles and to recover), mid morning with nuts (slow digesting fats to keep me full til lunch), lunch (low carb as i have a desk job), mid afternoon protein shake to keep full til dinner, and dinner (some carbs, high protein and fat). I replace one of these meals with a cheat meal ONCE a week.

Counting macros allows me to add in treats while still meeting my goals. Cheat meals are just extra and glorious lol. It is ok to reward yourself. You are working hard for your goals and you deserve it. So eat that burger and those fries. Eat that donut (or doughnut…? Shout out to Dunkin’ for confusing the world lol) and be proud of all the hard work you are putting in.

If you have any questions about macro tracking or want to see it in action, feel free to comment or follow me on IG @brianichefit.

Happy Almost Summer!

-B

 

Podcast Perfection.

Happy Fridayyyyy!

I am super excited to share with you all what I listen to on a daily basis. Podcasts are beginning to really take the world by storm and I want to keep you all dialed in to make sure you stay up on whats hot…well what I think is hot. I like podcasts because they are candid conversations (mostly) about a topic and thoughts and opinions are thrown in. I love hearing what other people think because it broadens my scope of how the world may think as well as allowing me to look at a particular topic in a different way. Another style of podcast that I am loving is story telling. I will get into that a little later. Here are the podcasts that I listen to on the regular:

  1. Brillant Idiots– curated by The Breakfast Club’s, Charlamagne the God and Guy Code’s Andrew Schultz. These two are HILARIOUS. Its a pretty vulgar podcast but that’s because they talk about real life things, current topics and well… because they’re guys. Charlamagne just recently released a book entitled “Black Priviledge: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It” and Andrew is doing stand up comedy in a city near you! Prepare to be in stitches laughing at these two but thinking critically about the world and everything in it.
  2. S-Town– the podcast is a spinoff of another podcast called Serial. They tell a true story every week. S-Town is a beautiful, hilarious, odd, and chilling podcast that will leave you on the edge of your seat. I binged listened to it in two days and there are only 7 episodes. I really can’t tell you much else about this podcast (without giving it all away) except that you need to listen to this beautiful story.
  3. Grape For Dinner Podcast– this podcast is curated by a friend of mine from my freshman year at Howard University. Brittani is a multi-dimensional thinker who gets real and drops gems all while sipping on her fave wine of the week. From skin care to real estate this woman has all the ins and outs of how to be a millennial woman and stay centered and humble. Give this a listen as you and your girls pour up!

Welp, there you have it. Some of my favorite podcast that have really stretched my brain, left me with sore abs from laughing, and allowed me to become inspired and motivated. Give these a listen and tell me what you think.

Happy Listening!

-B

Gratitude, Dude.

I got hit by an emotional Mack truck this morning. For the past couple of weeks I have been feeling phenomenal. I was appreciating life so much. Every little thing, the air being warm or that I could see, was something incredible to me. I had shielded myself from so many negatuve thoughts that I had actually started to live the life that I actually imagined. On top of all of that….. Trump. Enough said.

Now on top of all of that I had begun to pray often and show gratitude towards the Lord. After being in such a bad head space before. So here I am thinking everything is great and somehow it felt as the devil got so irritated with my new positive lifestyle that this little demon somehow (witchcraft I’m sure) took control of my mind. I had taken on the feelings of someone else’s situation who is close to me. I screamed at them (in my head) to just freaking be grateful they weren’t in my low paying job and etc etc etc. I somehow just dropped everything I had worked so hard to build in myself ….Confidence and self acceptance.

Immediately I said “Bria get it together”. I literally went to the bathroom and smiled at myself in the mirror and said “I’m glad that I am where i am because when I get to where I want to be I’ll appreciate it. Thank you God” and walked out.

Gratitude, Dude. 🙂

-B

Orangetheory Fitness

Hapoy Friday Loves!

I have been on a fitness class wave lately because I get bored with my routine and want to shake things up. I stumbled upon Orangetheory Fitness a couple of months ago when I found out a friend of mine was the manager at the Olney location. I decided to check it out because the first class is free of charge and who can pass up on anything that’s free?

When I arrived, the front desk was very friendly and assisted me in filling out paperwork. They asked me a few health questions and then took me on a tour of the small facility. This place is very clean and organized. They have one main fitness studio, two bathrooms and two showers. After the short tour I was prompted to put on a heart rate monitor. When I did, the front desk associate told me that the whole purpose of the name and the objective of the class. With this heart rate monitor you are able to check your heart rate, calories burned and how hard you are working in the class. The heart rate monitors information is posted on a large tv screen inside the fitness studio, with your name, so that you are aware of your work. I loved this concept because the “orange theory” is to stay in the comfortable but hard orange zone. This zone is the best fat burning, high intensity strategy for exercise and let me tell you that orange zone is amazing. The screens are so motivating because you can see the colors change as you scale up or down with your effort.

There is also a fitness instructor in the room guiding the class. He splits the group up to either begin with cardio intervals or a weight lifting circuit. I chose the weight lifting first. This class was based on endurance that day so we did a lot of reps to keep our heart rates up. We did simple moves but I was exhausted lol. We did a full body circuit, which the instructor walked us through, but the best part was that after he explained it there was another tv screen to show you what to do even after he explained it. I know sometimes I forget what I’m doing or the instructions so they were conviently posted for all to see.

After doing 30 minutes of strength training/weight lifting my group headed to the treadmills. There is a chart of instructions and zones to be in but the instructor again explained what we were to do. There are three zones: Base, Push and All Out. The instructor takes us through a circuit of all three. Base is still work but it is not as much as Push and definitely not as much as All Out. There is a choice of Power Walking, Jogging and Running, each with a different Base, Push and All Out level. You have the freedom to push yourself as much as you want. I loved the freedom but organization that the class gave me as well as all of the sweat.

Needless to say the class kicked my butt because my endurance is trash. I don’t run or do cardio often even but I needed this push to get back to making it priority for my heart health. I loved this class because you really get to see where your hard works threshold is as well as how your body responds when you hit that threshold. It was an awesome experience with upbeat music and a super motivating instructor. The class honestly made me want to teach a class there!

I encourage you all to take a free class, change things up, and to really push yourself. A few of my favorite places that give out discounted or free classes are Soul Cycle, Orangetheory, 9Round Boxing, and PureBarre. Share your favorite classes below!

-B