Remember summer when you logged a morning run five time a week, hauled ass to a bi-weekly CrossFit class and finished up your week with standup paddle boarding in Montauk? You were the toast of swimsuit season and admit it: it felt great. Then, the Pumpkin Spice Latte (and pumpkin beer and pumpkin pie) re-entered your life and there was that bowl of Halloween candy you housed after only three trick-or-treaters showed up. Your jeans are feeling a little bit tighter these days and don’t look now but here come the turkey feasts and Christmas cookies.
Fitness Supermodel Erin J. Morgart has been there. The certified personal trainer who said she “never had to even think about working out, it was just a way of life” gained more than 50 pounds after having two children.
Last year, Morgart was on the cover of Latin Connection Magazine. You can get your body back, too, or maybe get into shape for the first time in what seems like forever. And you don’t have to wait until Jan. 2 to start. It won’t be easy, nothing worth doing is. It takes planning and overcoming temptation, which is especially hard this time of year, but it’s possible. Just follow Morgart’s supermodel diet and workout plan.
Find Your Motivation
Before you set out on your get-fit journey, ask yourself a simple question: why am I doing this? For Morgart, who is currently filming a reality TV show about the dangers of social media, it’s about being camera-ready. For you, maybe it’s wearing your wedding dress at your vow renewals or being able to run around with your nieces and nephews. When you start hating your life on the treadmill or are tempted to have a second slice of pie, think about why you made a commitment to being fit. “Keep yourself motivated otherwise you’re letting yourself down and the goals that you worked for,” Morgart said. “You don’t want to do that.”
That spinning wheel of death makes your blood boil, and the Internet going out for two minutes just really grinds your gears. The thing is, when it comes to fitness and weight loss, real results don’t happen overnight. “It took a good six months for me to get the weight off,” Morgart said. “After that, it was about moving on to the next goal.” Focus on tiny achievements, like feeling so confident after your morning workout you nailed a presentation at work or running a little farther than you did the day before.
Grab Your Friends
Morgart’s secret weapon when she was trying to get back in shape was her friends, ones she knew in real life and not the crowd you can meet on dozens of apps. “Having real friends who make sure I’m holding myself accountable really helped me,” Morgart said. “We would kick each others’ asses at 4:30 in the morning, get to the gym and go. We did it every single morning.” And get this: they were all moms, too. “If one of us missed a workout, later on at play group we would tell the person, ‘oh, you missed a great workout,’” she said. “You could feel the competitiveness.” If you’re a workout introvert, opt for one buddy instead of a whole crew. “It will keep you in check because it’ll make sure that even when you feel crappy you go,” she said.
Elevate Your Workout
Some bad news: Those Law & Order: SVU marathons you get sucked into multiple times per week do not count as real marathons. If you want results, you have to make the time and work for them. Morgart recommended logging 45 minutes per day of cardio at 60 to 85 percent of your target heart rate six times per week. “You have to carve out time almost every day and when you do it’s quality time, not texting on an elliptical,” she said. Make sure you strength train your core, upper and lower body, too. Work different muscle groups six days per week.
Plan Your Meals
Going to the gym every day won’t do much if you aren’t pairing it with the right nutrition. “People say, ‘oh, I need to go to the gym, I need to burn 700 calories and then I can go eat whatever,’” Morgart said. “The reverse is true.” If that’s a blow, here’s some good news: body builders eat all the time. “It’s the truth,” Morgart said. “Even though we might be in the gym for a couple hours, to keep the body fueled and metabolism high, you need to have those smaller meals.” Aim for five to six meals each day, and pre-make them. “A lot of people fall short because they don’t prepare ahead of time and just grab whatever or go to a fast-food restaurant,” she said. If you simply can’t fit planning, shopping for and making five to six meals per day in advance into your schedule, especially these days with holiday plans to make, places like Blue Apron prepare menus, ingredients and recipes for you and deliver them. “You can take them to work with you. It takes the guess work out of it all,” Morgart said.
The Truth About Cheating
Somewhere along the lines, cheat meals morphed into cheat days and then cheat weekends. “With my clients, I don’t even allow them to have a cheat meal until they’ve reached one third of their goal because I want them to get it out of their heads that they’re living to eat,” Morgart said. “I want them to think of it as eating to live. Food is fuel.” Reward yourself for losing five more pounds by getting a mani-pedi or going to the movies with friends. “Once you get to a certain level, it’s usually one cheat meal per week and that would be on your rest day but it’s one,” she said.
That cheat-day truth is, no pun intended, food for thought, particularly around the holidays. How can you prevent yourself from spiraling for the next two months? First, try having an honest conversation with your friends and relatives. “Make them aware of what your goals are and what you’re eating,” she said. They might be willing to make something on the healthier side for you, or you could bring some dishes that are more in line with your healthy habits. You’ll thank yourself come January. “It completes a sense of satisfaction to know you survived the holidays and haven’t cheated,” Morgart promised.
Morgart’s Supermodel Diet and Workout Plan
4 egg whites
1/3 cup of Steel Cut Oats
1 tbsp of extra virgin pressed coconut oil
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup hummus
12 asparagus spears, steamed
1 slice of gluten-free bread
Organic spinach and kale salad (leaves only) with lemon juice
1 scoop organic vegetarian protein powder
1/3 cup blueberries
1/2 cup organic coconut water
Blend all in Vitamix Blender or blender of your choice
1 cup spinach
1/3 cup quinoa
10 minutes on treadmill at 6.0 mph/speed and 0.5 incline
10 minutes on spinning bike, out of saddle, climbing mode at 80 rpm
10 minutes rowing machine (concept) at level 10 for highest acceleration
5 minutes role-pull machine (5 1/min intervals at level 5)
Repeat twice for a solid cardio workout
Resistance training (weights or bodyweight exercises)
3 sets 40 pushups, military position
3 sets 40 tricep dips
3 sets 15 weighted squats with barbell at 45 lbs
4 sets pull-ups 10/each set 4 sets crunches/100 crunches each set
3 sets 15 deadlifts with barbell 40 lbs