7 Fitness & Nutrition Hacks

In Fitness by Polina

That will help you burn fat faster, tone up muscle and develop a lean, firm physique you’ll be proud of 🙂

I get asked by clients all the time for advice on fine tuning and improving their training and nutrition so thought I’d start a series of articles where I share these little tweaks and hacks that can have a big effect.

Eat breakfast.


I train a lot of clients first thing in the morning and we’re usually fuelled by coffee 🙂 straight after a session, I always make sure we have breakfast. Reason why? After training your body is especially receptive to using nutrients to build your body. So almost everything you eat will go to fuelling your body rather than being stored as fat. It will also set you up for the day too, helping you avoid those mid morning munchies, which means you’ll eat fewer biscuits. Always have breakfast!

Lift heavy.

Landmine Deadlift

Heavy weight training is my secret weapon for honing women’s physiques. It’s my speciality and that’s because it works. Want to look fit, have that rock solid butt and toned arms and shoulders? Lift heavy, to put some muscle on your glutes and shoulders. You’ll also burn more calories at rest. Weight training triggers a massive consumption of oxygen, which means your body burns through calories much more rapidly than usual and much more than steady state cardio.

Lift fast. Fast, explosive lifting is my second secret weapon for honing women’s physiques. We have two types of muscle fibres, slow and fast twitch. The slow twitch fibres are used for slow, steady and endurance, the fast twitch muscle fibres are for speed and fast movement. Fast twitch muscle fibres also consume more energy and have more potential to grow which is why I always incorporate some sort of speed or explosive training in my routines.

Get sweaty, very sweaty. Steady state cardio is okay, and is a good place to start if you’re out of shape, but once you’re fairly fit, high intensity intervals are much, much better. Now you might see “HIIT” classes but they’re not really that intense. The key to HIIT is to go almost flat out, you should be unable to talk, for short bursts of activity (usually 20 – 30 seconds) then ramp down and go at a lower intensity for a longer period, usually 60 – 90 seconds. Repeat this cycle and get ready for some really wobbly legs! I love doing HIIT with kettlebells or a rower.

Push ups and squats before meals.


At the risk of looking a bit weird, especially if you’re eating out, doing a quick burst of exercise increases nutrient absorption by your body. So forty air squats and push ups might help funnel some of that cheesecake to your biceps and butt instead of your waistline 🙂 Just be warned this isn’t going to mean you can wolf down 10,000 calories!

Up your fibre. Fibre makes you feel full, aids digestion and improves gut health. So make sure you have more of it! I like soaking oats in yoghurt but you can add a tablespoon of flax or chia seed as well to boost your fibre. Eat lots of sauerkraut for fibre and good probiotics.



One of the common misconceptions everyone has is that when we exercise we get fitter. This is wrong. When we exercise we push our bodies, in a controlled manner, beyond what it normally does and we get fatigued, physically and mentally. Resting and recovery is where we get fitter. Our bodies respond to the stress we put on it by building more muscle, by improving how efficient our hearts work and all this means we get fitter and stronger. A nice side effect is we look better too 🙂

This is why sleep is vital – sleep is the best way for our bodies to recover. It’s when our bodies release hormones and nutrients to repair and rebuild our bodies. Not getting enough sleep is a big obstacle to gains.

Getting more sleep can be difficult so make it a routine. No Facebook for an hour beforehand (in fact, no mobile phones at all – the screens emit light which disrupt your sleep hormones), keep your bedroom cool and keep out artificial light. Zinc & Magnesium supplements are supposed to help as well.