5 reasons to ignore the number of calories burned during exercise

Heads up. #MetabolicShortcut – my 4 week shortcut to faster metabolisms, more balanced nutrition, and consistent workouts – is now open for sign ups. We start on April 9, so grab your spot before the program fills up! 

When I first start working with my female clients, one of their top concerns is how many calories they should burn in a workout. They’re a little obsessed with their FitBit (I do love the FitBit Surge….) or Apple Watch calorie burn estimates. They’re hyperaware of how many calories running a mile burns. And while awareness can be helpful, estimating the number of calories burned during exercise keeps us from seeing long term results.

Yes, fat loss is a result of proper energy balance (read: expending more energy than you take in). But, if we focus TOO much on the number of calories burned during exercise, we’re going to struggle. And that, my friends, is why I encourage my clients to completely ignore the number of calories burned during exercise. Instead, we focus on the things that actually matter to changing our bodies (these are some of the shortcuts I teach in #MetabolicShortcut).

When they ask me why, I’ve got plenty of reasons to ignore the number of calories burned during exercise. Here are my top 5 reasons to ignore that pesky calorie burn estimate on your Apple Watch.

5 reasons to ignore the number of calories burned during exercise

We all love calorie burn estimates but I'm sharing 5 reasons to completely ignore the number of calories burned during exercise. If you've ever worked out for longer to burn more calories, read this! #fatburningworkout #womensfitness #athomeworkouts #weightloss #fatlossforwomen

It’s inaccurate.

Whether you’re using the treadmill calorie estimate or your Fitbit output, the number may not actually be very accurate. Most of these devices simply use your weight + duration to determine an estimated calorie burn. Obviously, this is not super accurate, because it ignores many factors:

  • How much muscle you have
  • How hard you’re actually working

Even if you’re using an implement that tracks your heart rate, you can’t rely on that to be 100% accurate either. Traditional heart rate monitors and wrist based trackers are not designed for circuit training or lifting, making them less accurate at reading your heart rate during these activities. I know this from personal experience. So many times, I’m doing super heavy barbell squats and my Garmin reads my heart rate in the 90s (yaaaa…no).

It encourages the “burn it off” mentality.

When we start counting, tracking every calorie we burn, we’re on a slippery slope. Once we count our workout calories, it’s a natural progression to start counting the calories we eat. This can be SO hard to stop (I wrote about how to stop it without stressing here), and it perpetuates the idea that we need to burn off every calorie we eat.

With most of my clients, we find better success losing weight without counting calories (here’s how) and skipping the idea that exercise is a punishment, a way to burn off our nutrition mistakes.

It ignores EPOC (aka – afterburn).

If we only think about the calories burned during exercise, we ignore the fact that certain types of training (think metabolic conditioning and heavy weight training) raise your metabolic rate for HOURS after you finish your workout. 

This is why, in #MetabolicShortcut, I teach my ladies how to workout for under thirty minutes a day and see massive results.

It encourages steady state, long duration cardio.

When all we’re thinking about is how many calories we can burn in a workout, we seek out exercise that’s going to give us the biggest number.

And what exercise shows the largest calorie burn, as estimated by a machine or heart rate monitor?

Steady state cardio for long periods of time…

And while this style of training has its benefits, it does NOT raise your metabolic rate after you finish your workout and can negatively impact your hunger and cravings (think RUNger aka intense hunger after you finish a run).

Of course, if you’re training for an endurance event or just love cycling, go for it. Do long duration cardio. Just know, that it is not the most effective way to train for body change (let me show you my workout and nutrition shortcuts to results here).

It diminishes the importance of muscle building.

Look. Workouts are about MORE than burning calories; for many of us, they’re about building strength and muscle mass.

When we’re thinking too much about our calorie burn, we forget that building muscle is KEY to fat loss and achieving that ‘toned’ look. When we have more muscle on our bodies, we burn more calories at rest, something completely ignored in these calorie tracking models.

Lovely, I get it. You’re tracking those calories because you wanna see results so damn bad. And let’s be real. Don’t we all want a shortcut to seeing results?

Staying motivated to workout and eat well consistently is tough, especially when we’re busy. With so many things to do, it’s way too easy to get off track from our healthy eating and exercise goals. I hear from women all the time that they struggle to motivate themselves to workout and stick with healthy eating, and honestly, it makes sense.

These women fall into one of two camps.
-They’re either running themselves into the ground, exercising for an hour a day and eating nothing but carrot sticks, until they look in the mirror and are deflated when they see that roll of belly fat is still there.
-Or, they’re just so dang overwhelmed by all the things they have to do that they skip workouts and meal prep all together, waiting for a period when they’ll have *more time.*

In both scenarios, it all comes down to a lack of time and efficiency. #MetabolicShortcut solves for both of those, without counting or tracking a single calories. Grab all the details (and your spot) here before the end of the week! We start on April 9!

End Food Guilt: Your Ultimate Guide

At least once a week, I hear from women who are struggling with food guilt. Whether they’re eating a macro that used to be completely off limits, over-indulging on weekends, or simply having one too many snacks throughout the day, they’re overwhelmed by feelings of guilt. They’re constantly questioning if they’ve eaten the *right* foods and obsess over what to eat next, thinking that every decision is going to make or break their fat loss progress. 

It does not have to be that way. Food guilt doesn’t have to derail our lives (or progress towards our fitness goals). In fact, it can be a great source of data in automating our nutrition (here’s how I do it). Because at the end of the day, if we can’t find ease with nutrition, we won’t see results.

Your definitive guide to beating food guilt and finding ease with nutrition. Dealing with food guilt - food guilt quote - food guilt motivation

So how do we stop feeling guilty when we eat certain foods?

Well..it’s pretty simple. We have to STOP classifying food as moral: good or bad, clean or unclean. None of these categorizations help us reach our goals and actually make food guilt WORSE (this is why I HATE the concept of clean eating).

Now, if you’re struggling with specific foods, check out my post on how to overcome your trigger foods. But if weekends are your problem…keep reading.

Often, many women will say, “My weekends are the problem. I eat well all week but by the time the weekend rolls around I overdo it and feel guilty.” Whether or not weekend eating is actually keeping you from reaching your goals (find out here), I suggest the following approach to guilt-free weekends.

But how do I get out of a food guilt spiral?

Below, I break down, step-by-step what to do if you’re in the middle of a food guilt spiral. In order for us to use food guilt to help our relationship with food, we’ve first gotta stop stressing in the moment.

Once you’re out of that food guilt spiral, it’s time to USE that food guilt as data to improve your relationship with food. You can do this by using my 321 System to End Food Guilt. I wrote all about it here but you can also download a workbook on the topic.

Food guilt doesn’t have to be part of your life. Following these steps will allow you to be free of food guilt and find a bit more ease with your nutrition.

5 things that I do now that seemed impossible during eating disorder recovery. eating disorder recovery motivation - recovery tips - eating disorder recovery meal plan - eating disorder recovery inspiration

Eating Disorder Recovery: 5 impossible things I now do daily

It’s national Eating Disorder Awareness week! This year, I’m partnering with the National Eating Disorders Association to pull back the curtain on ED and share our stories. So, I thought it would be only fitting to share mine.

As you may know, I grew up with ED. For thirteen years, it was my constant companion. I had a brutal battle with anorexia for over ten years. It made my high school and college years miserable at times. My ED made me, at 5’7″, beat myself up when I could no longer fit into size 2 jeans (thank GOD I found Stitch Fix). It made traveling a stressful nightmare, lost me a job I loved, and taxed relationships with my family and friends. 

ED made me a shadow of the person I wanted to be, obsessed with whether or not I was eating a small or medium apple (cuz ya know – that’s a 20 calorie difference).

During this period of my life, I couldn’t imagine a world where I wasn’t constantly counting calories (stop without stressing about it using these steps). Now, years later, I live my life without letting my ED run my life and handle the thoughts as they come up (here’s how I handle them when they come up). This is a life I never thought was possible.

So, in honor of #NEDAwareness Week, I’m sharing 5 things I do almost every day in 2018 that I would have thought impossible a few years ago. My friends, recovery IS possible. Get free help here, too.

Five Things Made Possible After Eating Disorder Recovery

5 things that I do now that seemed impossible during eating disorder recovery. eating disorder recovery motivation - recovery tips - eating disorder recovery meal plan - eating disorder recovery inspiration

I have no concept of how many grams of carbs I’ve eaten today.

My ED began when I started counting calories after reading a Seventeen magazine article. For years, I could recall the number of calories in a Lemon Balance Bar, 1/3 cup of carrots, and just about any other food I’d eaten on the regular. I didn’t think it was possible to maintain (or lose) weight without tracking calories (here are 7 ways…).

Flash forward to 2018, and I’ve retired MyFitnessPal for good.

I follow the nutrient timing guidelines I give my #ConsistentlyLean ladies, eat plenty of protein and veggies, and drink alcohol a few times a week – all without tracking, counting or measuring.

The best part? I’m even more consistent (grab some of my best nutrition consistency tools here).

I take off my tank top during hot yoga

My entire life has been a battle against my belly. I’ve always been self conscious about my stomach – and written about this extensively. Even though I’m (mostly) over wanting a six pack, I’ve never been one to take off my shirt, run in just a sports bra, or be comfortable in a bikini.

Soooo, you can imagine how crazy it is to me that when I go to Corepower hot yoga, I’m ditching my tank top.

While I’m still not donning a bikini at the beach, I am clear that my stomach doesn’t define me and chasing the perfect, chiseled six pack goes against EVERYTHING I want for my clients. That truth is what keeps my eyes on my own mat and stops me from stressing about what I *should* look like.

I’ve put my scale in the garage.

Hold the phone. I’m no longer stressing about being up three pounds on any given day? That’s frankly an eating disorder recovery miracle.

For so many of us, the scale holds immense power. I remember climbing on the scale on Sunday mornings, absolutely disgusted at the higher number that resulted from my eating sooo inconsistently on weekends (here’s how to stop falling off the wagon).

And in fact, it’s only been in the last month or so that I’ve officially ditched my scale. With regaining the weight I lost during my breakup last fall, it’s become way too stressful to weigh myself. But instead of letting the fear of weight gain rule my life, I’m not using the scale anymore, instead focusing on other measure, like how my clothes fit (still fine btw).

I no longer see myself as a runner.

Running used to be my whole life. I ran cross country all through high school and put at least 30 miles in every week during college. It was impossible for me to comprehend a world where I wasn’t running 3+ miles daily. My psychiatrist once told me that my love of running might be fueled by my ED – I told her to eff off.

But I worked through my eating disorder recovery, I found that my heart wasn’t able to handle running long distances anymore. This was incredibly hard to bear.

I remember sitting in my doctor’s office, the crinkly hygienic paper under my butt, tears streaming down my face as my doctor told me I had to stop running – my heart wasn’t capable of handling the stress.

Looking back now, I’m grateful; this is when I discovered lifting weights and began my journey to transform my body without endless cardio.

Today, I view myself as an athletic woman, a lifter, and a coach. Sure, I may still go out and run races but those times don’t define me anymore.

I eat dark chocolate every single day.

Restriction was my jam. It made me feel powerful and strong during my eating disorder years. Even years into my eating disorder recovery, I had a really hard time letting myself indulge in anything that wasn’t nutritious. This is a huge part of why I didn’t drink alcohol before I turned 21 – I couldn’t let myself drink anything that had calories.

With lots of work, I found ways to structure indulgence in my life so that it became more normal. And now, I teach other women to do the same using my #consciousindulgence framework (taught in my #ConsistentNutrition cheatsheet).

I’ll have dark chocolate – in some form – every single day, without guilt (learn to ditch food guilt here) or stress. This has made going out to eat so much easier because now I can have a few bites of any dessert, without hating myself!

My friends, eating disorder recovery IS possible. It’s hard. It takes a long ass time. The thoughts are always there. But living outside of ED is worth every extra bite, tear, and breakdown. You got this. If you want more support and accountability from me, join my tribe! 

Using Food Guilt to Improve Your Relationship with Food – My 321 System

Valentine’s Day should actually be called “National Eat Chocolate and Drink Wine Day.” But for many of us, with chocolate and wine comes an unwelcome date – food guilt. Research shows that 80% of women (and 70% of men) feel guilty about their food decisions. Although these numbers feel a little startling, they are definitely not a surprise, are they?

For YEARS, food guilt was my constant companion (especially as I tried to stop counting calories – more on that here). Straying from my normal eating routine left me overwhelmed with guilt that felt like I had swallowed an entire chocolate cake.

Most Saturday mornings started with me walking to the bathroom and pulling up my shirt to look at my bloated belly, tears rolling down my face. I felt disgusted, guilty, and so frustrated with myself for indulging. This food guilt perpetuated a super unhealthy relationship with food where I constantly restricted my calories and obsessed (stop obsessing about trying to eat perfectly using these tips) over everything I put into my mouth.

Here’s the thing.

Food guilt sucks. It’s uncomfortable. It makes us think too much, and it keeps us from having a healthy relationship with food (my girl Lindsey Smith, the Food Mood Girl, has some great advice on this in her newest book Eat Your Feelings – check it out for more support on improving your relationship with food). However negative these feelings may be, they are not all bad.

Food guilt helps us understand the underlying beliefs and behaviors that are triggering us. This allows us to understand them, interrupt them, and improve our relationship with food.

If we can use food guilt as a source of data we can get more consistent, and stop thinking about food all the time. I’ll show you how to use food guilt as a tool to automate your eating and rebuild your relationship with food. It’s as simple as (my) 321 (system).

How to use food guilt to improve your relationship with food

Struggle with food guilt? My three step system turns food guilt into a tool to improve your relationship with food. food guilt - dealing with food guilt - nutrition - fat loss - relationship with food

3 – Ask why 3x

As soon as you start feeling guilty about something you ate, stop immediately and start asking questions.

Well – one question (why?), three times. We ask multiple times to get a little deeper each time. 

Often, as we continue to probe ourselves, we identify the true reasons we’re feeling guilty. A couple common reasons include:

  • perfectionism
  • fear of gaining weight
  • fear of not being good enough
  • restriction
  • the belief that we need to eat a certain way and deviating is something we *shouldn’t* do. (if you’re struggling with an eating disorder, please please please seek help. An online therapist might be a great place to start).

The key here is to let yourself get uncomfortable. With each answer, continue probing WHY until you feel as if you’ve made it to the real truth about why you’re dealing with guilt.

I walk you through exactly how to do this in the video below.

2 -find two reasons to be compassionate with yourself

This tends to be even harder than #1. Food guilt sends into this downward spiral of talking down to ourselves and making ourselves feel bad for one little decision.

Instead of getting on this negative train and spinning out of control, take time to consciously think of two reasons you should be compassionate with yourself. Again, food guilt is just data, helping us uncover the beliefs we have around food that are making us miserable.

If this is really tough for you, think about what you would say to your best friend, your sister, or your mom. You’d probably be way nicer to her! So turn that love around on yourself.

Below, I break down how I work through tough food guilt situations and try to find a bit more compassion in the moment.

1-spend one minute planning how you want to handle the situation next time

A lot of the time, when we make decisions that cause food guilt, we believe it is a spur of the moment thing.

All the sudden, you had this craving, gave in, and ate too much.

You went to happy hour and planned to have one glass of wine but before you know it, you need to call an uber home. 

Sangria sorbet cheat day

But let’s be real.

That’s not usually the case. Usually, there are behaviors we aren’t even aware of that set us up to fail. Instead of continuing blindly, let’s break them down, see what’s really going on, and come up with a plan.

When we have a plan in place, we are less likely to slip into behaviors that will make us feel guilty. It doesn’t need to be elaborate but just figure out how you want to deal with the situation in the future. That’s why I love Eat Your Feelings as a resource. It helps us understand how to deal with our triggers in the moment AND prevent them. 

Lovely, if food guilt is still making you feel small, I created this system for you. If it helps, download my 321 system worksheet. I break everything down step-by-step so you can implement it in your own life. Grab it below!

Consistency isn’t enough – 3 reasons your fat loss progress has stalled

You’re ready to see changes in your body but don’t wanna get obsessive or stressed about fat loss. #ConsistentlyLean Coaching could be the perfect fit for you. Grab your spot asap cuz we start February 5!

So many online coaches tout the importance of consistency to seeing results. And to be real, it’s a HUGE part of the fat loss equation, because without consistency, results will be impossible.

But, truth is, we need more than consistency to see lasting results.

I chat with women every single day who are exercising multiple times a week, eating *mostly* healthily, and just SO frustrated that they are not seeing results. So, I’m writing this post for these ladies.

If your fat loss journey has stalled, check yourself and one of these three mistakes could be why.

3 reasons your fat loss progress has stalled

This is why your fat loss progress has stalled. fat loss diet - fat loss workout - fat loss tips - fat loss for women

You’re not mixing it up

Our bodies are incredibly smart, and they adapt pretty dang quickly to our exercise and nutrition routines. If we don’t continually change things, progress will stop.

One of the most frustrating things is when we are already working out, trying our best on our own to make our body change, but not seeing results.

This happened to me for YEARS as I slogged my way through 60+ minute BodyRock.tv workouts every day. I thought I was doing everything right, training correctly, and doing what mattered to results. Still, week after week, my body remained unchanged. This left me looking in the mirror, thinking that I would never be able to see changes.


If you’ve been training for a while and results have stalled, that does not mean that you’ll never reach your goals. It just means that you need to make a change to your workout routine. To determine if changes might be necessary, ask these two questions:

  1. Are my workouts still challenging me? If you’ve been doing the same thing for a while, your body knows and has adapted. This is why it’s so important to follow a periodized training program that changes things up often and keeps your body guessing. You can try to do this alone (this post may help) or you can join a program like #ConsistentlyLean where a coach does it for you.
  2. Am I getting enough rest? Often, we are working too hard AND under-recovered, leading to elevated stress levels and stalled results. So, if you’re feeling a bit worn down, that could be playing into your stalled results. Check this out if you’re wondering how many rest days you *actually* need.

Your nutrition isn’t supporting your goals

If our workouts are consistent and changing every few weeks, our exercise routine might not be the problem and we may need to take a look at our nutrition.

When clients come to me with stalled results and their workout routine has been variable and consistent, I tend to see two main issues – maybe you’re struggling with one of these?

Not enough protein

So many ladies are deficient in protein, and this is incredibly problematic when we’re also trying to lose body fat or gain lean muscle.


Having a high protein diet is one of the best tools that we have to preserve a high metabolic rate and reduce hunger while we’re limiting our overall caloric intake. Lovely, this is why protein is a key component of the #ConsistentlyLean nutrition curriculum (grab your spot before February 4 to take advantage of the program’s lowest price of the year!).

Protein (1) takes more energy to digest, (2) keeps us fuller longer, and (3) helps manage cravings.

So, if your workouts aren’t the issue, try bulking up your protein intake using one of my top protein foods (see here).

Too much restriction, leading to over-indulgence

We often believe that the only way to see results is to severely restrict what we eat on a day-to-day basis. And while being in a calorie deficit is necessary to losing body fat, when we restrict too much, our willpower is depleted, we get frustrated, and we end up in what I call “fuck-it moments.”

These are the times when we are so depleted/exhausted/worn out by our diets that we swing the complete opposite way, eating or drinking everything in sight.

Instead, I encourage my #ConsistentlyLean ladies to indulge every single day, using #myconsciousindulgence framework every single day.

Consciously indulging helps us stop switching between depriving ourselves and binging by indulging, mindfully, daily.

A conscious indulgence is anything that makes us feel satisfied and indulged but not overstuffed or guilty. It should be a component of a meal or snack-not an entire plate of food.

By incorporating indulgences into our daily eating, we do two things:

1) Reduce the likelihood of overindulging because we feel deprived

2) Normalize indulgences so we do not feel guilty about them

Wanna try it out?

Every day, we review the day ahead and plan where we’ll need an indulgence. If we know that we have a work dinner, plan to indulge at the restaurant. Maybe nighttime eating is a challenge, so we plan to have some Halo Top ice cream or a sweet protein bar before bed. The key is CONSCIOUSLY choosing our indulgence every day so eating doesn’t become mindless AND we become more comfortable with treating ourselves without guilt.

Learn more about this strategy in my #ConsistentNutrition cheat sheet or work with me 1:1 on it in #ConsistentlyLean.

Your workouts aren’t intense enough

Maybe you’re working out 3+ times a week. You’re mixing up your routine and trying new things constantly. But as consistent as you are, the results in the mirror have completely stopped.

If that’s the case, we’ve gotta be sure that the actual workouts we’re doing are preserving or building lean muscle mass, because lean muscle is what keeps our metabolic rate high, even at rest.

Not sure if your workouts fit the bill? Try out these three tips to making your workouts (appropriately) intense.

Focus on full body workouts

One of the biggest mistakes I see is focusing waaaay too much on small muscle groups. I blame this on Pinterest and all of the workout pins promising tone our flabby arms or spot reduce belly fat. We find a pin promising to get rid of bat wings, so we do an hour of triceps extensions and wonder why we still have fat on our arms. Yikes.

While there is some benefit in doing upper/lower body split workouts (example), when we’re aiming for a short effective workout routine, we gotta get efficient.

And full body workouts are efficient (see my full body workout archives here) because by working both your upper and lower body, you force your body to work harder during your workout. Working harder = more calories burned = more results

How to implement:

Instead of doing workouts that focus on a single muscle group, work your entire body. Alternate between upper and lower body exercises within a single workout.

Combine cardio and weight training

When it comes to an effective workout routine, we want to find ways to get our cardio and strength training in a single workout. This saves time and can help speed up our results/push through plateaus.

How to implement:

Do not read this tip as: add some strength training to your long cardio workout. That was the mistake I made that kept me struggling. Instead, you can do one of two things.

  1. Add a cardio finisher or primer to your strength workout. Think 5-10 minutes of super intense cardio intervals (like sprints) that you add to the beginning or end of your workout.
  2. Incorporate cardio exercises into your strength routine. Here is a workout where I do exactly that. You’ll notice it works your full body, uses compound movements, and combines cardio and strength.

Lift heavy for you

Doing strength training with weights that are too light for us is not gonna help us achieve any of our goals. In order to force our bodies to change (and show us the results we’re waiting for), we have to challenge them (AKA lift heavy).

How to implement:

Grab heavy weights for YOU in that SPECIFIC exercise. It should be difficult to complete the last 2-3 reps of any exercise, and yes, that means you will ideally have multiple sets of weights.

I wrote an entire article on the topic, if you’d like more information on choosing the appropriate weight.

What now?

I know. Fat loss is hard. We can try to do absolutely everything right and STILL not see the results we’re hoping for. With awareness around these four lies, you can start trying to implement all of these changes on your own and make progress towards your goals.

But, if you want a done-for-you exercise and nutrition program, designed to help you lose fat and change the shape of your body without restriction or obsession, #ConsistentlyLean Coaching is for you. Obsession over the details is what’s keeping us from reaching our goals, so Consistently Lean will teach you how to move, eat, and think in a way that gets you the results you’re looking for, without stress. Grab your spot now! We get started on February 5!

Top 3 mistakes we make when setting a fitness goal

As soon as the calendars turn to January, our minds turn to setting resolutions – don’t they? We want so much to make a change and to make this year somehow different by setting the right fitness goal. So we start the month with the best of intentions:

-Buy new shoes so that we can run more regularly. 

-Set our alarms to workout before work every morning. 

-Have audacious goals of losing X lbs/fitting into that pair of jeans.

-Download a new workout program from FitnessBlender to do at home. 

Even with all of that planning and preparation, most of our new year’s resolutions inevitably fail. And as a coach and trainer (work with me for free!), I work with women to help them actually reach their fitness goals.

I’ve found that most fitness goals fail because of motivation (see allllll about that here and here) or three simple mistakes that we make when we are taking the first steps toward our goals.

If your fitness goal involves getting more consistent with your workouts, losing body fat, and learning to workout at home, #StressFreeStrength – my free fitness challenge starting next week – could be a great fit for you. 

Today, I’m walking you through these three mistakes so that you can NOT make them and be successful in reaching your fitness goals.

3 things NOT to do when setting a fitness goal

If you're setting a fitness goal in 2018, make sure you're not making one of these 3 mistakes.  fitness goal list - fitness goal motivation - fitness goal for women - realistic fitness goal

Sign up for the gym

We never seem to have enough time to actually get in our workouts, because there are a thousand things to do. We plan to head to the gym at lunchtime. Before we know it, we look down at your phone and it’s already 12:30pm, thirty minutes after we should have left. Anxiety fills our stomachs, because we know our workout is gonna take a full hour. We mentally count how much time it’d take to change, get to the gym, and fit in the workout. With the next meeting at 2:00pm, getting in a workout seems impossible, so we skip it. When we’re finally walking to our car at the end of the day, we’re frustrated and just a little guilty. We’re not just frustrated because we missed a workout but because we had planned to do it all along but ran out of time.

Sound familiar?

But what if I told you that your motivation isn’t actually the problem.

The gym is the problem.

Here’s the thing. The gym is a fabulous tool for working out. It’s a place where we can meet other likeminded people and have access to cool equipment (love me a squat rack and 12 different KB weights), but it is NOT the only tool. And it is not what’s gonna get you the results you’re looking for.

Results come from consistent, effective workouts (like those in #StressFreeStrength), NOT going to the gym.

So if you’ve got a gym membership or ClassPass subscription that you’re not using because you’re too busy and you’ve been missing workouts, join #StressFreeStrength with me!

Go at it alone

Whenever I talk with women who are trying to lose weight/get more consistent/change their bodies, I always ask one question:

Who is on this journey with you?

So often, the answer is no one. We try to hold ourselves accountable and keep ourselves motivated alone. This is REALLY hard to do.

If we don’t have social support in place when trying to reach a fitness goal, we are setting ourselves up to fail. We NEED people in our corner. We desperately NEED accountability.

This is why I am not offering another free, downloadable workout program to help you reach your 2018 fitness goals. I see so many other online programs not offering support or community. You download the program, read the emails, and you’re off on your own. Not in #StressFreeStrength. You’ll have access to me and a group of women with like-minded women with the same goals so that you feel supported and accountable from day 1. This is the secret sauce that’s gonna help you reach your goals once and for all.

Aim for 60 minute workouts

For years, I believed that I had to exercise for an hour in order for it to *count.* If I couldn’t get in a 60 minute sweat sesh, I’d skip my workout.

I remember waking up late for class in college and realizing I didn’t have enough time for my crazy long workout session. Instead of throwing on my shoes and doing a quick bodyweight circuit in my dorm, I huffed off to class, feeling like a failure.

And that’s so common, isn’t it? We get down on ourselves and feel guilty when we can’t fit in that hour long workout, regardless of the circumstances. 

We gotta get our minds right and reset our expectations.

Before implementing shorter workouts, I’d feel overwhelmed by the amount of time it’d take to complete a workout. On days where I didn’t have at least an hour to devote to working out, I’d just skip it and make myself eat less to “make up for” my missed workout. Now, I’ve cut my workout time in half without compromising results.

So many women STILL believe that more is always better, so they stress about getting in 60 minute gym workouts. If they’re not able to fit in those long ass workouts, they’re beating themselves up, anxious, and forcing themselves eat less to make up for it.

This is an awful cycle that’s keeping us from reaching our goals. What most of us miss is that trying to complete long workouts is actually making us fatter in the long run. So, instead, I recommend short workouts doable at home – exactly like I programmed for #StressFreeStrength – my free fitness accountability challenge starting on January 20! Claim your free spot here. 

With knowledge of these simple mistakes, you’re on the right track to reaching your 2018 fitness goal! If you want support and a jumpstart, grab your spot for #StressFreeStrength before sign ups close on January 19!

New Year’s Workout – 2018

Happy 2018, my lovely friends! I hope you had a fantastic holiday weekend! Juno and I hung out on Saturday, and I spent New Year’s Eve out with my best friend (shenanigans on Instagram). But now that we are officially into 2018 and ready to take on the new year, I figured it was only fitting to share a new year’s workout!

So many of us want to get back on track after the holidays and one of the best ways to do that is by simply incorporating, short, sweet metabolic workouts (like this one). In preparation for my winter #StressFreeStrength challenge (starting Saturday January 20!), I’m sharing a fun, effective workout, playing off our new year – 2018.

Your New Year’s Workout

Today’s workout is using a set of moderate dumbbells to work your entire body. If you don’t have any equipment, grab a backpack or work bag and fill it with books. You can use this as a makeshift sandbag.

For this workout, we’ll be incorporating Metabolic Effect’s Rest Based Training (RBT) principle (see more here). With RBT, we work as hard as we possibly can for the prescribed interval, resting only as needed.

This workout’s structure is a little different than my other HIIT workouts, because we are playing on the new year – 2018 (this format was inspired by my Halloween workout). Instead of working on an interval timer, we are performing two rounds of five exercises.

Round 1: 20 reps

Round 2: 18 reps

See what I did there!

HNY! In honor of 2018, we've got a brand new, real time full body workout to get us off to the right start. Check it out! New Year's Workout - New Year's Gym Workout - New Year's Exercise Workout

Keep in mind that both rounds are going to be TOUGH – with the rep range helping you build endurance. Instead of pacing yourself, break the round into sets so you can go as hard as possible. If you’re looking for guidance of how hard to push and for form cues, join me! We can work out together below.

If you’re loving this workout and want more short, effective home workouts, #StressFreeStrength is for you!

And honestly, that’s why I felt obligated to create #StressFreeStrength, a 10-day workout challenge to help you get stronger, leaner, and more consistent without any stress, shame, or obsession over the process.

Here’s the thing. So many women STILL believe that more is always better, so they stress about getting in 60 minute gym workouts. If they’re not able to fit in those long ass workouts, they’re beating themselves up, anxious, and forcing themselves eat less to make up for it.

This is an awful cycle that’s keeping us from reaching our goals. What most of us miss is that trying to complete long workouts is actually making us fatter.

Why? We are: 

-Less consistent

-More stressed because fitting in long workouts is tough

-Cheating ourselves on intensity.

#StressFreeStrength is unique, because I’m gonna show you exactly how to structure your workouts in a way that keeps you from getting stressed out. The goal is to crush 8 workouts (all 30 minutes or less and doable at home) over 10 days, and every lady who completes all 8 will be put in the running to win free coaching with me.

We get started on Saturday January 20 (yep Saturday!) so sign up ASAP below.

Creating Your Weekly Workout Plan – Step by Step

You’re ready to get more consistent with your workouts but just can’t seem to get into a rhythm that works for your schedule. Or maybe, you’ve been working out for a while now, many times a week but are just not seeing results. Your weekly workout plan is full of 5, 6, 7 workouts and you’re doing them all, but you look in the mirror, frustrated that your belly looks the exact same.

Sound familiar?

As a coach and trainer, I hear from women weekly about their struggles with exercising. And honestly, they fall into two main camps:

  • Women who are having a hard time getting consistent with workouts. They’re trying so so hard to workout but most days, things get in the way (especially during the holidays) and they fall off the wagon.
  • Women who are exercising (very) consistently but aren’t seeing changes. They’re working out hard and following a strict workout program but the scale doesn’t budge, their pants don’t fit differently, and they don’t know what they’re doing wrong (make sure you’re not telling yourself one of these four lies that are keeping you from seeing results).

Now, I talk tons about consistency (if you’re struggling see here, here, and here for some of my best recommendations) but to be real, for years (and until I developed the nutrition and workout protocols I teach in #ConsistentlyLean) I struggled with working out a ton and not seeing results.

It was incredibly frustrating. And looking back, it all boiled down to two simple mistakes that would have been fixable with the right weekly workout plan (download a great one here).

(1) Doing the WRONG types of workouts and (2) OVERexercising

So many of us are working out for too long (see two reasons to shorten your workout) and working out inefficiently (create the most effective 20 minute workout using these guidelines), which keeps us from seeing results. UGH!

I’m a firm believer in working out for leveling up your workouts (tips to create an effective routine) so you can scale back the amount of time you’re exercising each week but I keep hearing from women that they’re struggling to know when they’ve done enough. They’re constantly questioning themselves and worried that they’re doing too little (or too much). And honestly, a lot of this comes from a workout program that’s not working FOR them.

So this week, I’m breaking down, step-by-step, how to create your best weekly workout plan to keep you consistent AND seeing results.

Creating your weekly workout plan

Learn to create your own workout plan, step by step. Weekly Workout Plan For Women - Weekly Workout Plan For The Gym - Weekly Workout Plan for Home

Step 1: determine how many days a week you want to workout

You first need to decide how many day per week you’d like to workout. I generally start clients on a three days a week workout plan. This is a great amount of weekly activity to start seeing physical results and start feeling different in your own skin.

Because you don’t want to work the same muscle group back-to-back, this will influence how you set up your workout split. If you’re ready to bump your routine up to 4 or 5 workout days per week, the same principles apply! 🙂

Step 2: slot in your lifting days

The first step to creating your weekly workout plan is to add your lifting days. Because lifting weights is the best way to change the shape of your body, we gotta focus on adding it first to our program. Below are my recommendations for lifting schedules.

3 day workout plan

Monday: full body weighted workout #1

Wednesday: full body weighted workout #2

Friday: full body weighted workout #3

4 day workout plan

Monday: full body weighted workout #1

Wednesday: full body weighted workout #2

Friday: full body weighted workout #3

Saturday: additional, body part specific lifting workout OR HIIT cardio, depending on your goals (more on that below)

5 day workout plan

Monday: lower body workout #1

Tuesday: upper body + abs workout #1

Wednesday: metabolic conditioning workout OR HIIT cardio, depending on your goals (more on that below)

Friday: lower body workout #2

Saturday: upper body + abs workout #2

Step 3: schedule your recovery activities

Our bodies need recovery (see why to take a rest day) and restorative activity just as much as they need workouts. That’s why it’s so important to schedule these activities in the same way that we would schedule our workouts.

Take a minute to look at your weekly workout plan to determine when and where you can add some restorative activities – think yoga, stretching, mobility work, meditation, or walking.

Step 4: add cardio based on your goals

Generally, I recommend clients lift weights 3-4x per week. Once those 3-4 workouts are scheduled, we can consider adding some cardio, most often, in the form of HIIT or MetCon. These types of cardio activities preserve muscle tissue and help raise our metabolic rate. This is different from long duration, steady state cardio (think running 5 miles) that actually can break down our hard earned muscle.

If you have fat loss goals, try adding a short HIIT cardio workout (like this one) to your schedule.

Trying to maintain your progress?Ttry adding a MetCon circuit or consider doing low intensity steady state (walking) or yoga.

If you’re training for an endurance event, add your moderate intensity steady state cardio.

Using these four steps, you can create a weekly workout plan that works for YOU and will help you see results. If you want a done for you, weekly workout plan that will help you STOP overexercising, get CONSISTENT, and see RESULTS, download my #GoldilocksFitness Program. I’ll program a week of workouts for you so that you can rest assured you’ve done enough, without overdoing it. Grab your copy below.

Holiday Workout Plan – 7 Days of Bodyweight Workouts

Happy (almost)December! In honor of the busiest month of the year, I wanted to share out a weekly workout plan that you can use all December long.

When we are slammed at work, traveling to see family, or facing back-to-back holiday parties, fitting in a workout seems like the last thing we wanna do. But at the same time, a quick workout can set the tone for our entire day. In fact, I strongly encourage my coaching clients to emphasize consistency with their workouts above all else during the holidays.


Because it’s the ONE thing we can truly control.

In a time where many of our meals are outside the norm, it helps to focus on our fitness. This focus allows us to get a few victories under our belts so that we can have more motivation to take on challenging eating situations.

That’s why I’ve created this super simple holiday workout plan, so that you can take it with you anytime you’re traveling (or just plain busy) this holiday season. You can repeat this workout plan for 2-3 weeks, just be sure that you are progressing the movements as best you can (here’s how to do it with equipment and here’s how to do it without).

Every workout in this holiday workout plan is bodyweight only, so you can workout absolutely anywhere. If you wanna add equipment, go ahead but it’s not at all required for these workouts.

Let’s get to it.

Your Holiday Workout Plan

Day 1: Bodyweight Stair Workout

Full breakdown

Today's full body bodyweight stair workout will work your entire body. One round will take about 6 minutes to complete, and I recommend completing 2-3 rounds for a full workout.

Day 2: Burpee/Lunge Ladder Workout

Full breakdown


A ascending ladder just means that you will start with 1 rep of one exercise and 10 reps of the other, adding 1 rep to the first exercise and subtracting 1 rep from the other until reaching the allotted number of reps. For example, with this workout, you will complete 1 burpee and 10 jump lunge (per leg) in the first round. Rest as needed. Then complete 2 burpees and 9 jump lunges (per leg).

Day 3: Turkey Day Full Body Workout

Full breakdown

This workout will be performed in a circuit style and works your full body. You will do each bodyweight strength exercise for 50 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and then you'll move into 30 seconds of your cardio move of choice (skipping, high knees, burpees, etc) before transitioning into the next strength exercise. The goal of this style is to combine cardio and strength to maximize your results.

Day 4: Rest/Recovery OR Glute Activation Workout

Full breakdown

My plan is to use this sequence as a warm up before strength sessions. I also encourage you to add it to your mobility routine to make sure your whole body is properly mobilized and stabilized.

Day 5: Halloween Inspired Full Body Workout

Full breakdown

My treat for you is a bodyweight halloween workout you can do absolutely anywhere. Bodyweight workouts are possibly the most effective way to improve your relative strength while also getting a cardio burn. And I'm all about improving that relative strength! That being said, the other key benefit of incorporating bodyweight training into your routine, especially if you would otherwise skip a workout, is that you can get your sweat on anywhere.

Day 6: Sprints + Core Circuit

Full breakdown

Looking for a new core workout? This ab workout will get you wedding ready in no time. And, let's be real, this is not your typical six pack sit up workout, because I'm all about results. And in order to change your physique, we've got to incorporate both effective ab exercises to build strength AND interval cardio to reduce body fat.

Looking for a new core workout? This ab workout will get you wedding ready in no time. And, let's be real, this is not your typical six pack sit up workout, because I'm all about results. And in order to change your physique, we've got to incorporate both effective ab exercises to build strength AND interval cardio to reduce body fat.

Day 7: REST!

Here’s why rest is so so important…

If you want more fun, short, and effective workouts that can be done at home, #SkipTheGym might be a great fit for you. Try out a free workout & get a sample meal plan bonus here.

Turkey Day TRX Workout – Travel Ready

The TRX is one of my favorite pieces of equipment, and I recommend it to clients almost every single week. This super simple implement is amazing for creating full body workouts, using nothing but our bodyweight. Whether you workout at a gym or at home, incorporating TRX movements is a great way to increase your relative strength and improve stability/balance. Oh, and it’s really flipping fun. Today, in honor of Thanksgiving here in the states (I did a Thanksgiving workout last year too – try it out!), I’ve build a workout that requires only your TRX so that you can take your TRX workout with you anywhere.

TRX Workout

This workout was a reader request, and I’m more than happy to oblige, because the TRX is my go-to when I’m traveling (try out my other TRX workout, too!). It can be used to work your entire body (and doesn’t take up much space in a suitcase).

In fact, when I used to head up to the mountains, the TRX was my favorite piece of equipment. I’d throw the TRX up on the beam outside and do a full body workout. I’d do few movement, then run up and down the stairs leading to the cabin. So fun.

So, today’s TRX workout is inspired by the TRX workouts I did while traveling up to the mountains. It’s gonna work your entire body, with minimal equipment. I filmed the workout at the gym (for ease of camera angles) but this workout is 100% doable at home, using the TRX door attachment.

If you wanna stay on track with your fitness over the holidays while only training at home, you gotta join my #HolidayHIITNess challenge. Grab the details (and your spot) here.

Work your full body with just a TRX. TRX workout for women - TRX workout for beginners - TRX workout routine - TRX HIIT workout

Instructions & real time video demo

For this TRX workout, we’re focusing on strength training. I’m sharing 4 movements that you will do 10 reps each. To make this workout more challenging/metabolic, add 60s of cardio in between rounds. Complete this circuit 3-4 rounds through for an awesome full body workout in 20 minutes.

As always, I’m sharing a real time, follow along video of this workout so that you can workout with me. For exercise progressions and modifications, want this real time demo. I go through one round, in real time, with you, providing ways to make the workout easier and more challenging.