Weight Loss Star’s Winning Tips

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Jackie Zapata, winner of Fit for Fashion, gives us her tips for getting into shape


I Don’t Count Calories

I find that calculating and obsessing over calories makes healthy eating a chore rather than a sustainable lifestyle. Instead, I focus on eating better quality foods that will fuel my body more efficiently. Over the course of the 10 weeks on Fit for Fashion, I conditioned my mind, body, and taste buds to enjoy organic, paleo type foods free of preservatives and non-GMO. When preparing dinner, I try and construct a plate with a lean protein (chicken, turkey, fish, eggs), a sizable portion of colourful vegetables (steamed broccoli, a mixed salad), a small amount of complex carbs (beans, quinoa, a little brown rice), and “good fat” (almonds or avocado). When snacking, I nibble on raw vegetables (carrot and celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, small portion of nuts) to keep my metabolism fueled throughout the day. As long as I follow this basic diet structure and maintain an active lifestyle, I’m confident that clean eating will change my body composition to help build muscle and lose fat without being controlled by calorie counting.


I Focus On Form

After suffering a sports injury, I’m now hyper aware of my form and body movement. In the past, I would go about my workouts haphazardly, simply exercising for the calorie burn. Fit for Fashion has taught me to focus on my mobility and flexibility, areas I neglected before. Having limited range of motion left me susceptible to injury and likely contributed to my prior aches and pains. I take extra time to fully warm up, and I take time to fully stretch and release as well.


I Still Eat Sweets Things

My sweet tooth is my Achilles heel. I fight the sugar cravings by supplementing refined sugar with natural sugars found in fruits and sweeter vegetables (cherry tomatoes). I’m more likely to maintain a proper and healthy diet if I allow myself to eat what my body craves in moderation.


I Use An App To Get Back On Track

There are times I slip up in my diet and miss long stretches of days at the gym. To get back on track I use the Fitness First CustomFit app to develop a new daily workout routine that caters to my mood at the time. The app gets me reengaged by making exercise fun again. If my diet slips, I look up tasty recipes for the week and make a fun trip to the health store to get my eating back on track with fun eats. There’s nothing like a new smoothie or chicken stir-fry recipe to get me excited about healthy eating again.


I Schedule Workouts

Many of us don’t always have time to go the gym. Life happens. We may be too tired from working late. We may have that meeting to race to or have the kids to pick up from day care. Like many others, I find it hard getting to the gym after a hard day’s work and all I want to do is unwind, make dinner and watch TV. I’ve found that by scheduling time to workout, I hold myself accountable to that time blocked off in my calendar. I’m less likely to double book a conference call or cave into happy hour if I see that I’ve committed the next hour to class at the gym. Early morning workouts are my favourite as I get them out of the way and start my day off on the right foot.


Fit For Fashion airs every Friday on Channel 5 at 11pm.

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