Swedish personal trainer and fashion-focused fitness blogger Faya Nillson launched her blog Fitness on Toast back in 2013. With a passion for living an authentic and healthy lifestyle, the blog's beautiful content covers everything from delicious recipes and nutritional tips to powerful workouts and the latest fashion trends.
Throughout her professional life, Faya has found that tackling your health goals in an organised, realistic and structured way can successfully boost your success. We sat down with the blogger to discuss her tips for living a healthier, happier and more energised life...
THINK LONG TERM
To me, the word ‘diet’ conjures up tired thoughts of bland and boring foods alongside abstinence. I think that diets are ultimately self-defeating and unsustainable, often unhealthy and seem to universally fail those who invest so much emotional energy into them. Instead eating healthily should and can be colourful, exciting and full of exciting flavours - it’s very much a long term solution. You can find plenty of nutritious recipes on FitnessOnToast.com if you're looking for some inspiration.
Always remember that a ‘slip up’ isn’t the end of the world. I would argue that it's only human and to expect perfect adherence is unrealistic. Instead, I simply accept it and move on. That doesn't mean there should be four solid days of gorging because of one indulgent episode - just train a bit harder the next day and consider it extra fuel for your efforts! Maintaining a mindset that makes room for long term healthy eating will make it much easier to get back on track.
AVOID FIXATIONS ON ‘WEIGHT LOSS’
For many people, weight loss seems to take centre stage; in fact it becomes the stage. Whilst fitting into that pair of jeans may be the goal, avoid making that the priority. Instead, focus on realistic, specific targets that involve healthy eating and regular exercise - the 'excess fat' reduction will come as an extra bonus! By focusing less on aesthetics and more on the life goal of feeling genuinely healthy and energised, both your confidence and body will change as a result.
IT’S NOT 'ALL OR NOTHING'
A balanced middle ground is so important! If you love sweet things and have a social life, the likelihood that you’ll wake up one morning and successfully cut out chocolate and wine is unlikely. Instead, be realistic and absolutely enjoy the things that make you tick as a human being, whilst sticking to a mostly healthy eating plan. Avoid having an entire bottle of claret each night, but rather opt for a glass of red on the weekend - quantity control which allows for a perfectly acceptable target of enjoyment. Similarly, why not switch to 80% organic dark chocolate as a healthier alternative to a bar of artificial milk chocolate – plenty of antioxidants and full of flavour so one or two small squares should suffice! My Avocado Chocolate Mousse dessert draws upon this healthier dynamic, plays to portion control, and represents a 'balanced middle ground' that still tastes exquisite.
Implementing a lot of change isn’t always fun, and in fact can be incredibly tough at times, so make sure to proverbially pat yourself on the back along the way and recognise how far you’ve come. Treat yourself only after you’ve seriously earned it – whether that means a proper sports massage, a manicure, a pair of new leggings, perhaps the gorgeous new trainers you've been looking at for ages, or even a glass of wine with your friends. These little rewarding breaks along the way will keep you sane, motivated and push you through the toughest days knowing you have something great to look forward to at the end of it.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say ‘I drink too much water’. At this time of year when it’s cold out and we naturally sweat less (and and therefore forget to drink), it's critical to stay appropriately hydrated. Water can completely transform your physical and mental state, as well as enabling significant progress with your fitness results. Read more on the on the benefits of staying hydrated here.