I'm SO excited to share the exact plan I follow when I need to get lean and toned… all while eating delicious meals, and doing only 20 minutes of exercise a day.
Because honestly, my abs don’t show like this 365 days a year.
But when I became a fitness model, I knew that I needed a plan that…
Actually works for getting lean and cut
Doesn’t require me to spend hours at a gym
I can follow without hating my life!
I’ve now taught this “Metabolism Reset” to many of my personal training clients, and they’ve had incredible results, so I’m excited to share it with more people now :)
My name is Marina Santos, and in addition to my modeling work, I'm a Certified Trainer in La Jolla, California.
I've been working in fitness for over seven years, and I've done big campaigns with companies like Adidas, BodyRock, Awesomeness TV, and Microsoft.
It’s fun work, but the Personal Training is the most rewarding work I do because…
I played competitive Volleyball in college, but after graduation, my health started to go downhill rapidly, and things seemed to get worse as I got older. My metabolism slowed down, I began to gain weight I didn’t want, and despite my best efforts, I just couldn't lose it.
My hormones were a total mess, I started having adult acne, and cellulite began to appear on my thighs and butt. And it was no better on the inside - my cholesterol was WAY above safe levels for someone my age.
But maybe worst of all, I just felt awful! My energy levels were at rock bottom, my digestion was awful, my motivation was low, and my self-esteem began to plummet. I did my best to smile on the outside, but on the inside, I felt helpless and lost.
And it wasn't for lack of trying! I made a lot of mistakes. For example:
I’d go to the gym and “sweat it off” for an hour on the treadmill or the stairmaster, but there were four major problems with this approach:
1. 60 minutes a day is a HUGE commitment for a busy woman!
2. cardio only burns calories while someone is doing it.
2. cardio only burns calories while someone is doing it.
3. long, slow cardio doesn’t burn many calories anyway. A 26-mile marathon is a HUGE accomplishment, but it only burns 2600 calories… that’s the same amount as in a Baskin Robbins Chocolate Milkshake!
4. numerous recent studies have proved that long workouts increase “post-workout eating,” where someone feels entitled to a “reward meal” after a big sweat session.
Now please understand: any exercise is better than none, and there is real value in endurance training.
But far too many women just don’t have this much time to exercise. They put their families, their work, and their friends ahead of their needs.
It’s done out of compassion and commitment, but in the long run, it really impacts their health.
After two months of long cardio sessions, I was majorly discouraged. My weight had barely budged, and all I had to show for it were a lot of sweaty gym clothes.
I grudgingly admitted that I needed to start eating healthier, which brings me to…
I had to start somewhere, so… might as well start with breakfast, right?
I swapped out my bagel and egg sandwich and orange juice, for what I thought was a far healthier alternative: yogurt, granola and berries, and a fresh-pressed green juice.
But after two weeks, my weight had barely budged, and I was feeling even worse!
See, this new, so-called “healthy” breakfast was FULL of sugar and grains, which are exactly the worst thing to put in the body in the morning.
The glucose in sugar (from the yogurt, berries and juice) and grains (the granola) is metabolized incredibly fast… think of it like using newspaper to start a fire. It burns fast, and dirty!
And when I was starting my day with it, I was kicking off a cascade of metabolic activity that…
There is a time and a place for sugar… and I’ll be the first to dig my fork into a Molten Chocolate Cake after dinner (seriously, my husband knows not to get in my way)! But that’s because I was able to get my metabolism working correctly.
(more on how to do that shortly)
And for the record, these days a typical breakfast is two fried eggs, half an avocado, and a big pile of vegetables, sautéed in olive or coconut oil. Lots of calories! That’s because I want to avoid…
Excuse me while I go on a short rant, but when a woman starves herself in the name of “healthiness”, I want to tear my hair out!
Far too many women write to me, and say that they’re only consuming 500 calories a day because they want to be skinny. It makes me hate the media for promoting the wrong ideas of what “healthy” really is.
Because that level of calorie restriction – on a daily basis – is really unhealthy. It dramatically spikes the body’s stress hormones, which leads to a bad mood, bad sleep, reduced brain function, and lower energy.
And the body’s not dumb… the metabolism will simply slow down to “adapt to” the fewer calories it’s got to work with.
So while it can lead to short-term weight loss, calorie restriction actually degrades the metabolism. Most women gain even more weight back once they give up to stress, and start eating normal again.
It took me over two years of different eating plans and workouts, and doing countless hours of research, to arrive at this conclusion:
If I wanted to look and feel my best, I had to boost my Resting Metabolic Rate, or RMR.
That’s how many calories it takes to run the body’s basic processes: breathing, pumping blood, digesting, etc… and it accounts for 60-75% of the calories that someone burns every day!
Think of the Resting Metabolism as the “master dial” for how many calories the body can burn. If the dial gets turned up, the body will automatically burn more.
(this is why calorie restriction doesn’t work long term… it actually turns the dial down!)
And it turns out that “turning the dial up” is actually very simple.