Are you tired of putting in the effort at the gym and not seeing results? Many people show the drive, determination, and consistent effort, but don’t reach their goals. If this sounds familiar, the next logical step is usually to find an educated personal trainer with proven experience. But, if you’re not ready to take that step, or if you’d prefer to go it alone, rest assured, we spoke to some of the nation’s finest personal trainers who gave us 25 insightful tips and strategies specifically designed to help you build strength, gain muscle mass, lose fat, enhance your endurance and maintain healthy eating habits.
1. Nutritional Basics
Ask almost any personal trainer and they’ll tell you that regardless of your training goals, healthy eating is the backbone. Food is what fuels your body to reach your goals and without proper nutrition through quality foods, you’re likely to stall. As a result, if possible, eat organic foods and, above all else, maintain a balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, complete proteins, and fats including such things as fish oils and flaxseeds.
[see: Fit 5: Creating a Diet Plan]
2. Prepare Ahead
Regardless of what you’re doing, preparing yourself in advance gives you the best chance to accomplish your goals. Micah LaCerte, a personal trainer and fitness competition world champion, explains that your approach to nutrition should be no different. LaCerte says it’s best to prepare for your “upcoming day by prepping all your food in advance.” He adds that this will ensure you do “not eat bad foods or skip meals.”
3. Eat More
Eating only three daily meals? For over 25 years, personal trainer Mike Duffy has sought to correct this habit explaining that, “half the people I deal with aren’t losing weight because they don’t eat enough.” Duffy advises them “to eat five times a day, about every three hours to stimulate their metabolism” including two mini meals between their three basic meals. With activity levels decreasing throughout the day, he advises to “eat less as the day goes on.”
[see: Boost Your Metabolism]
4. Portion Control
You’ll be eating more often, so paying attention to portions is extremely important. Jay Cardiello, a personal trainer to countless celebrities and professional athletes, explains that you need to “make sure chicken breasts, (and) meats, are no larger than your palm” and that “spaghettis, (and) pastas, are no larger than your fists.” He also suggests using “smaller bowls, plates, and cups” because studies show people “serve themselves 20 to 40% more food when they’re using larger plates.”
5. Eat With Purpose
Everything you consume should have substantial nutritional value. No one knows this better than Dan Trink who possesses 11 training certificates in spite of once being overweight. Today, through the magic of the Internet, Trink helps people around the world get healthy and he stresses that, “you want the most nutritional bang for your buck.” He adds “everything you eat should serve some sort of nutritional purpose in your body, fuel your workouts, and (be) geared towards optimizing your body.”