Before you set out on your New Year’s fitness journey, make sure you’re not setting yourself up for failure by signing up for a quick-fix solution. If you’re going to keep your head in the game and stay motivated, you need incremental daily goals that you can realistically achieve. Fitmark Ambassador Allison Cote says, “Over time, through trial and error, I’ve learned there isn’t one specific solution.” There’s no magic pill, just “patience, persistence, and perseverance.”
Fitmark Ambassador: Allison Cote
Lifestyle: IFBB Pro Athlete, Online Personal Trainer, Coach
Meal Bag: the Shield
The secret to slimming down really is watching what you eat, but not by placing yourself on a restrictive diet. Allison warns not to get caught up in the media hype of a magic pill or a 14-day diet for reaching your fitness goals. She says, it’s a “lifestyle change” and one you need to commit to every day by eating the foods you love but in healthier portion sizes. She told us:
Every individual is different and needs a specialized plan for their body type. Whether it be putting on size and muscle, or losing 30 pounds, you must commit to a lifestyle change.
Fitness Trial and Error
Sometimes it takes a lot of trial and error, as Allison says, before you find the right fitness plan for you. So try not to get discouraged if your fitness program isn’t working for you at first. Instead, consult a professional and try something different. Allison told us she was so “frustrated and upset” with her first NPC contest placing, she was ready to give up competing for good. But after speaking to her training partner and coach, she decided to change divisions and started training for her second competition. She told us:
I loved the training and diet changes that came with the transition between divisions…more intense lifting and more food (best part lol). I felt strong and powerful. The feeling of discouragement had transformed into confidence. My first figure competition went very well, placing first in my height class. This is when I knew I was meant to be a figure competitor.
Keeping It Fresh
You’ll find that as you reach your fitness and weight loss goals, you’ll need to set yourself new goals by making changes to your fitness and diet program. For Allison, when she’s not prepping for a competition, her fitness goals change and so too does her diet. She told us:
After my first figure competition, I was now faced with the “off season” part of the sport. I continued to train but was faced with different challenges physically and mentally. However, I continued through it all. I took a solid 6-7 months offseason before prepping for my second Jr Nationals show, which I ended up receiving my pro card. This past year 2016, I competed twice at the professional level; however, didn’t do very well. This isn’t stopping me, nor did it make me upset. I understand it takes time and a lot of hard work. I am currently in prep for my second pro year starting mid-April at the St. Louis Pro April 14-15, 2017.
Having a flexible diet allows you to make tweaks to your program without completely changing your meal plan, so it really does become part of your lifestyle. Allison told us:
As far as diet goes, over the years I have developed a new outlook on food. I wouldn’t consider it a diet because I live this lifestyle whether I’m competing or not. I typically shoot for 5-6 meals per day, every 2-3 hours apart. When I am in prep, it’s a bit more restricted and varies as the competition gets closer. In my offseason, I am a little more lenient, and will overall intake more calories in general.
Meal Prep For Success
Allison stays on track with her nutrition goals by packing her meals in a lunch cooler bag. Being prepared and packing your meals for the day ahead will ensure your success in reaching your weight loss goals. Allison uses her Fitmark Shield to keep her food chilled all day long. She says:
Fitmark Bags have literally been a lifesaver. I am always, always prepared for whatever I venture out to do. Sometimes I only plan to be out for an hour or two, but it can turn into 5-6 hours. These times especially have proven helpful to have my bag on hand with all my meals for the day. Better safe than sorry!! And as many say, fail to prepare, prepare to fail!!
Allison Cote’s Top 3 Weight Loss Tips
- Don’t look at the scale; judge progress by the mirror and progress pictures. Weight is a number and 5 lbs of fat looks way different than 5 lbs of muscle.
- Don’t be scared of food. The most common problem for those looking to lose weight is under eating. More food, more fuel for your metabolism to keep burning.
- Lift weights. Don’t rely on cardio to drop body fat. Lean muscle burns more fat than cardio alone ever will.
This New Year as you embark upon your exciting journey towards a slimmer and healthier version of YOU, remember to set yourself daily incremental goals. The reward you’ll feel when you achieve these small steps will fuel your motivation and bring you closer to success. Step by step, you’ll get in the shape you desire. So don’t give up. Allison describes her own journey like this:
God has blessed me with so many opportunities, but has also challenged me through trials and tribulation. I’ve experienced hardship, only to be followed by success. I’ve cried tears of frustration and pain, but also shed tears of joy and happiness. I have grown as a person, grown to be someone that I am proud of, someone that my family is proud of, and someone that is respected and looked up to for inspiration and guidance.
You can follow Fitmark Ambassador Allison Cote on Instagram @ifbb_allison_cote
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