Fitness, Lifestyle

Tips On Leaning Out

While I have made it clear in one of my previous posts that I am not really looking to necessarily lose weight, its no secret that I do want to lean out and have more definition in my arms, core and legs. My overall goal is to be more compact without out bulking up. I started seriously working on leaning out in December 2018 and have made a lot of progress recently. Here are a few tips I can pass along to those that have similar goals:

Eat Clean

No matter what you do, you cannot out work a bad eating habits and it will be impossible to lean out while not following a balanced diet. I recommend eating whole foods (fruits, vegetables and protein from animal or plant sources) in place of processed foods high in salt or sugar. While I do not completely cut out carbs that come from wheat, rice and other grains, I do limit eating them to 1 time a day while I lean out. I will do a more detailed post on how I eat in the future but I typically eat a protein and 1-2 vegetables for dinner and eat my grains earlier in the day for breakfast or lunch.

Incorporate Cardio

I am aware that there is a lot of buzz on social media and in magazines that building muscle via weight lifting is the best way to lose fat. To some extent, I agree that’s a good strategy. However, losing fat is really about being in a calorie deficit — if you burn more calories than you eat, your body will burn fat for fuel. Cardio is simply the better way to get into calorie deficit in a shorter amount of time. It’s hard to burn 1,300 500+ calories, like I did during my 20 min HIIT workout today doing weights for the same amount of time. Even the amount your metabolism is boosted by having extra muscle is negligible when compared to these high amounts of calories burned by cardio. If you get injured easily running and moving around too rapidly, there are so many options. Cardio does not have to be stressful or high impact– you can do it passively by walking everyday.

Incorporate Strength and Resistance Training

Although cardio is necessary for leaning out, strength and resistance training is necessary to define your physique and build muscle. Like cardio, there are so many options to chose from. You can lift traditional weights or use resistance equipment such as arm and ankle bands. I typically do resistance training like this 3-4 times a week via P.volve, which is a low impact program that that uses bands and smalls hand weights.

Try Pilates or Yoga

Not only is yoga relaxing, depending on how much you practice, yoga has the ability to increase fat loss, develop muscle tone, and build flexibility, leading to a more lean-looking physique. Pilates has a similar effect– though it is more strenuous and is considered a type of resistance training.

Optional – Fasted Workouts

Working out while fasted means that you exercise while you are on an empty stomach (please still drink water). Though there is a lot of controversy surrounding fasted workouts, I find that doing them a few times a week does help me lean out and burn more calories.

Required – Stay Consistent

Ultimately all of these tips will not really amount to much unless you are consistent. Truthfully though I started eating healthy years ago, I did not see results until I kept track of whether or not I was eating clean or doing enough physical activity. My suggestion is to keep a planner for your workouts and create a grocery list before you head to the store to buy your food.

There you have it! Four things that have helped me lean out in the past 9 months. Hope this helps!


My P.volve Review

Picture by @awellthygirl. P.ball,, P.mat and the light ankle weights are displayed in the photo.

I first learned about P.volve when I was scrolling through Instagram during the 2018 holiday season. The minimal aesthetic of the ads caught my eye, but Stephen Pasterino (a.k.a. P)’s explanation of his unique program is what drew me in. I decided to follow the official P.volve Instagram account to do more research on the program. The account features testimonials, previews and more. After having a rough December fitness and diet-wise, on December 30th 2018, I finally decided to test out the 14-day trial and I was hooked!

P.volve is a low-­impact fitness method that blends physical therapy, functional science and hip-­opening movements to sculpt hard-­to-target areas with ease. It reminds me a lot of pilates, barre and yoga but with a different twist. I personally steam the workouts using the app on my tablet but there are a few studios in select cities. The supposed results: you tone and lengthen your body by doing natural movements you would do in your everyday life (with the help of their unique equipment).

After about 9 months doing the program I can say that P.volve is different from other methods that I have tried and works well for me for two main reasons:

  1. It changes the muscle tone and shape of my body while not contributing too much to weight loss.
  2. It’s a low impact program that is easy on the joints.

Here’s some background—While I am a petite woman that has always been on the smaller side, any changes in my diet and exercise routine are very noticeable and it was hard to find a good balance in the past. For example, I would do HIIT, weight lifting and a lot of squats and noticed that my legs were getting too bulky for my liking. Then I would shy away from working out and lose my progress. This cycle would continue on because I wanted to maintain my glutes but not gain any more mass on my legs or arms. I also have scoliosis, which can cause aches and pain during exercises like crunches and sit ups. Basically I wanted to have my cake and eat it too– there were some parts of my physique that needed fine tuning and others that did not.

P.volve solved both of these personal issues overtime. It has helped me lean out my legs and arms, which is amazing for someone as short as me (5’0″). Also, I am finally seeing definition in my core which I struggled with because of my scoliosis. Most importantly, I got to keep my butt (lol).

I want to note that P.volve is not a weight loss program on its own. If weight loss is one of your goals too, it is best in my opinion to lose weight with another method then switch to P.volve to help fine tune your overall appearance.

Utimately, I think anyone that has similar goals to mine should definitely give P.volve a go. Not only is there a 14-day trial, there are also so many workout options. There are varying levels or difficultly and you can workout with or without equipment. The beginner programs usually give new users a little leeway– they either require easy to find equipment like gliders and ankle bands or no equipment or at all. In my experience, to get the most out of the program you should buy at least the P.ball and the Personally I see myself sticking to this program for a while. Overtime I will share my progress and photos to give you guys a more in-depth look.

If you like what you have read so far, click here to check out P.volve!

Fitness, Lifestyle

Summer Work Week Morning Routine

Mornings are especially important for our well-being. How you spend the first few waking hours can determine your experience for the rest of your day. I like to start my day with a combination of healthy eating, exercise and some positive vibes but my routine does change season to season. Here’s what I do in the summer:

+ 6:20 am: I wake up and check messages and social media. Since I don’t look at my phone before bed, I like to take 5 mins to put any messages I may have missed when I was asleep in my radar for later in the day.

6:25-6:40 am: I usually drink a cup of green tea or a matcha latte before eating anything. I usually have a pre-made smoothie or cold overnight oats on hand that I eat after having my tea. I make sure to incorporate my collagen and super green powder into my breakfast and take my vitamins. Also, by this point I set an intention for the day to start things off on a positive note.

6:40-7:20 am: After eating something I do a quick P.volve workout that is usually 20-40 mins long. These workouts are low impact and easy to do when I am short on time. These workouts have I have been doing P.volve for 9 months and doing this in the mornings has made all the difference in my energy level for the rest of the day.

7:20-8:15 am: Shower time! I usually hop into the shower before or by 7:30. In fact, my actual alarm is set for 7:30 because that is the latest time I need to be in the bathroom to be on time for work. After about 20 mins in the bathroom, I do my day time skin care routine, fill in my eyebrows and get dressed. I usually just pull my hair back into a bun and I am go to go.

8:15 am: Hustle out the door and head to work!