PT Katriona Fox may look like a natural athlete, but she didn't start out ripped – we've got the deets on her road to #fitspo.
Name: Katriona Fox
Like most people who take on a lifestyle change, I was unhappy in myself and the way I looked. I didn’t want to be overweight anymore.
I started using the gym membership my mum had bought for me three years earlier, attending numerous gym classes, cycling to college and then spending a bit of time texting while on the cross trainer. It wasn’t the most intense regime, but it got me started. Coupled with a change of food this got me into a shape that I suppose could be described as skinny fat. I enlisted the help of a trainer who then sent me down to Body Rock Performance (the gym I now work in). It was there that I entered into an eight-week challenge and began weight training properly.
I would do three or four weight training sessions during the week and, on the weekends, I would attend modified strongman sessions or do sprint intervals. Modified strongman is an excellent way to get lean and it’s lots of fun. I loved pushing prowlers, dragging sleds, flipping tyres and log presses.
At first I was using my own initiative. I followed what was considered a low GI/low-calorie diet, switching all white foods to brown, only eating low fat, lots of fruit and never touching red meat. I never broke away from my diet and my only binges might have been somewhere close to six packets of Manhattan popcorn! I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone and I’m quite surprised I was able to stick to it for so long.
Low-calorie diets are designed to fail – they’re unsustainable and in no way healthy.
When I went to Body Rock, I learned the importance of real food and how low-calorie diets are designed to fail as they are unsustainable and in no way healthy. I dropped bread (and all gluten containing foods), soy, dairy (except butter and cream) and sugar from my diet. I began to only eat real full fat products, red meat and tonnes of veg. I had no cravings for bad food and I felt my energy, sleep and overall wellbeing improve massively.
When I first started losing weight, I noticed it immediately. I had eaten so much junk before that the weight really fell of quite quickly but I was then stuck in that “skinny fat” phase for about 18 months. Within about four weeks of joining Body Rock, I had gone from “skinny fat” to relatively lean.
Over a three-year period I went from 80kg to 55kg, so I lost 25kg, the equivalent of just under four stone.
I have little time for cardio – it’s not as effective for fat loss as weights.
I aim to get three or four weights sessions and one or two interval sessions a week. My training is all in the weights room. I have little time for cardio machines – they’re not as effective for fat loss as weights are. I also find traditional cardio extremely boring and would never have stuck to exercise if it was to be spent on a spin bike or treadmill.
Yes, my own training is tough. That’s the way I like to train. I really enjoy pushing myself to my limits and seeing what I’m capable of.
I need my diet to allow me to lead a normal life.
I try to take a flexible approach to the Paleo diet. I keep all of my foods to one ingredient and tend to avoid anything processed. I need my diet to allow me to lead a normal life and not be stressing about food the whole time. The one thing I’m strict about is breakfast! It must be protein and fats and I try keep carbs to post-training and/or at night time. I also do my best to stop eating before 7pm so I get the most out of my sleep, using it as a time to recover as opposed to digesting food.
Every meal will have a protein, fat and vegetable source.
Breakfast: Steak, pecans, asparagus, Kerrygold butter, Himalayan sea salt
Meal 2: Mince, broccoli, Kerrygold butter, spices, Himalayan sea salt
Meal 3: Sea bass, spinach, tomatoes, red onion, roasted pine nuts, pancetta, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar
Meal 4: Turkey burgers, mix of sweet potatoes and courgette (roasted in coconut oil, Himalayan sea salt, and paprika)
There are times when I will avoid alcohol altogether but it’s not something I avoid. If I choose to drink, I like to stick to spirits, usually having vodka with soda water and fresh lime.
I’d rather ‘cheat’ with a few drinks than a tub of ice cream.
Honestly, I have no craving for bad foods and don’t enjoy the lethargic, bloated feelings I usually get if I eat bad stuff. I would rather ‘cheat’ with a few drinks than a tub of ice-cream, and if I ever wake up with a hangover now the only thing I ever really want is a steak.
I’m definitely fitter and stronger than I have ever been. That’s the undeniable benefit of being consistent with your training. I am pretty confident in my body but there are areas I would like to improve on.
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