In 2021, more people than ever are making resolutions to move more and eat healthier this year. As we all battle with the restrictions placed on us with COVID-19, Salonpas sat down with personal fitness trainer and nutrition specialist, Coach Moshit Vashdi to learn more about how to achieve our goals:
Why did you decide to become a personal trainer and nutrition specialist?
I have transitioned my career from a sedentary job working in advertising into the fitness world because I saw first-hand the impact of a sedentary lifestyle on my own health. My health was affected by my job and lifestyle in several ways, including lower back pain, weight gain. I also had little or skills to create and maintain a healthy routine that included exercise and a healthy diet.
The transition into becoming a trainer wasn’t simple or easy as it might sound. It took me experiencing my own body transformation to fall in love with the fitness industry and ultimately coach others to have the same success I had. Through this journey I began to learn what to do and what does not work for long term weight loss results. I tried to diet, which I learned wasn’t fun to deny myself foods I like, and it didn’t work in creating a long term flat stomach, which was one of my fitness goals.
How has the pandemic affected people’s personal training goals?
I feel that the `pandemic affected all of us in different ways. The lockdown forced us to be inside four walls, while it was spring and then summer outside. The pandemic affected our relationships – with our partners, with our children and with ourselves. Some of my clients reported drinking alcohol more frequently. Some reported not getting up from their desk enough, not getting to enjoy a walk outside. Eventually, after nearly a year since this pandemic changed our lifestyles, people’s fitness goals have shifted to drinking less alcohol, moving more often and more regularly and practicing mindfulness and adopting new habits to reduce work and media related stress. If a year ago, someone’s goals were to lose 5-10 lbs., then today their goal has likely changed to losing 15lbs or more, as they find themselves opening the fridge more often.
What can people do, during the pandemic, when many of us can’t get to a gym, to get fit?
My advice is to find an activity you like, and do it regularly. If you can’t reach out to a professional, be your own coach and ask yourself, with my health history, what can I do that won’t put me at risk of injury. This is a really important question to raise and we tend to know our body better than anyone. As an example, one might know from experience that pushups cause their lower back to act out, or that running aggravates their knees. Working out is incredibly helpful in so many ways that can positively affect our mental and physical health, but hurting yourself could cause you to take a few steps back in your fitness journey.
To get fit takes time. The best thing you can do is establish good eating habits that are sustainable. Find a fitness routine you can do 3-5 days a week without feeling forced to do it. Set your starting point, by either taking a photo of yourself or trying on a pair of jeans that might not fit exactly right right now and revisit where you are every few weeks, to track your progress.
What are your top nutritional tips for people to lose weight, whether it is 10lb or 100lb?
Weight loss takes time – the healthy weight loss speed is about 4lbs per month. My following tips include:
* Drink more water – Most people don’t drink enough water, so before each meal drink 1-2 glasses of water. Many times thirst feels to us like hunger, so try water instead.
* Eat more fiber – Fiber helps speed our metabolism and slows down our digestion, which helps in feeling satisfied longer.
* Eat every 3-4 hours – I know it might sound contradictory to losing weight, but in reality by eating every 3-4 hours, you’re able to eat smaller portions.
* Make your own food – Minimize the number of times you eat take-out and make your own meals.
Tell us about a typical day in your life, from when you awake to when you retire.
This is a typical day for me: 6:30 am wake up, make my own coffee (beans from Zabars), I’ll have a Greek yogurt with banana and almonds, then video call clients for their scheduled training sessions, walk my dog, work out at home, shower, make or reheat lunch, video call clients for their scheduled training sessions, run a few errands, walk my dog, make dinner, walk my dog again and in bed by 9:30pm.