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It’s the time to reflect on another year passed by too quickly. Where does the time go? As I am writing this, I find myself reflecting more on my personal relationships rather than my fitness accomplishments. At the end of the day, what matters most is my relationship with God and others.

Since this is a fitness blog, however, I will share what I have learned related to fitness and nutrition.


10 Things I Learned in 2012


Lesson 1: Eating too many carbs will make you fat!

Simply put the number 1 factor to manipulate for fat loss is carbohydrates. I have learned to not have any bread in the house, something that was accomplished last year, but this year I don’t even miss it. Wow, never thought I’d feel this way.

Lesson 2: Eating protein and fats in the morning regulates hormones!

I have never felt as satisfied and energized as I have this past year after applying this rule. I tell EVERYONE that is having difficulty with energy levels throughout the day to start this ASAP! They all have the same results; energy to make it through the morning and ability to work more efficiently throughout the afternoon.

Lesson 3. You need to EAT to build muscle!

I know what you are thinking, “how didn’t you know this when your husband is the muscle building guru?” I knew this but didn’t realize how much you really need to eat in order to REALLY build some solid dense muscle. My legs got so big this year I had to cut back. The funny thing is, last year I was trying sooooo hard to build my legs, all it took was more calories.

Lesson 4. There are 2 types of muscle tone that are responsible for that “toned” look we all desire!

Myogenic and Neurogenic Muscle Tone. If you don’t know how to develop both types of muscle tone, you won’t be able to build that sexy toned body. Read more here:  As seen in the Latin Grammy Gift Bags!!

workouts for women

Lesson 5. Unless you write it down, you’ll never lose weight!

This has been one of the biggest fat loss factors in my body transformations. I really want you to focus on this one tip! If you want to change your body, you have to keep a food journal. Look back at your journal each week and see what worked, what hasn’t worked, where you dropped the ball and what you can do to make it happen next week.

Lesson 6. What gets measured, gets managed!

This is an addition to number 5 but we are taking it one step further. You need to measure weekly. Measure your weight, but more importantly your thighs, chest, hips, waist and if you are trying to build muscle, measure your arms, calves – wherever you are trying to add size. Without this how do you know what you are doing in your workout is working?

Lesson 7. Eat 90% of your meals according to your nutrition plan!

What this looks like is this; if you eat 4 meals a day, that makes 28 meals a week. 25 of those meals have to be SPOT ON – no deviations, 3 meals you can bend the rules a little. If you eat 5 meals a day (which I recommend) 31 out of 35 have to be PERFECT and 4 can add some extra “treats”. But this is about giving yourself some play room, not having full-on cheat meals 4 times a week. This means, have the risotto one night, grab that piece of cheese you are craving, add in a glass of wine and have that little piece of dark chocolate once in while. No sense in driving yourself crazy!

Lesson 8. Pushing yourself won’t kill you!

I used to be so scared to push myself to that “uncomfortable” point. I would always tell myself, ” I can’t push myself too hard right from the beginning or else I won’t have energy to finish my workout”. What a load of BS! Once I started pushing myself, I noticed a HUGE change in my body. If I walk away from a workout knowing I didn’t give it my all, chances are I didn’t do much changing that day 🙁  This is something I constantly struggle with. Two things I tell myself to keep focused are:
1) If I wan’t to look different, I need to act different.
2) There are 24 hours in a day. I dedicate only 1 hour to change my body. I owe it to myself to work my *ss off right now.


Lesson 9. Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect!

What I mean by this is you need to know how to lift weight properly, why you are doing that exercise, and what muscle you are trying to work. Otherwise, you are just going to be disappointed or worse, injured.

Lesson 10. Perfect is different for everyone.

My perfect figure is not your perfect figure and that’s ok. Some women want to look good in a bikini and others just want to fit into a pair of old jeans. Whatever perfect is for you, you can achieve success. All you need is you! You need to be able to execute. YOUR SUCCESS IS UP TO YOU!


Join the discussion 47 Comments

  • Anna says:

    LOVE the new pic! You look so incredibly awesome! These are all great points and lessons to keep in mind at the end of 2012.

  • Hannah Sims says:

    Great tips, will be starting with #5. Love the new look blog.

  • Rebecca says:

    LOVE “lessons 8-10,” especially. Spot on!!! And, you, too. Thanks, so much, for “being there for us.”

  • Renee says:

    Hey flavia,

    Lately I have started to do my cardio in the morning and my weight training at night. This way I can do my cardio on an empty stomach. After my cardio should I still have fats? I’ve been having my carbs after my morning workout but then I don’t know where to fit my fats in. Do you have any suggestions for what I should do?

    • Anna says:

      You would still have fats for breakfast. I follow the same approach right now and here is what my day looks like:

      P + F
      P + C
      P + F
      P + V
      weight training
      P + C

      • Lisa says:

        I started the program a few weeks ago and not sure I have my meals in the right order. I am doing my weight training early am on an empty stomach. Right after my workout I have P+C+V
        Is that right? Also I’m a little confused on the cardio. Is it ok to do it right after a weight workout or does it need to be seperate? How many days a week am I suppose to be doing the cardio? What is a good HIIT routine for at home inside?
        Thanks for any help!

        • Anna says:

          Flavia has all of this layed out for you in the Curvalicious program.

          If you feel great during your workout then that’s fine to do it on an empty stomach but Flavia has recommend trying to get in a protein shake or some egg whites (P + V) before your workout.

          If you did it like that then It would be

          P + V
          P + C
          P + F
          P + C
          P + F

          If you feel best working out on an empty stomach then just eat your P + V meal between your last P + C and P + F meal.
          If that is what your schedule allows then that is fine to do your cardio after weight training. In an ideal world you would do it seperately so your fresh and have plenty of energy for both sessions. Since we don’t live in one of those it’s perfectly fine to do your HIIT and weight training together 🙂

          For at home HIIT; anything that gets your heart rate going. high knees, jump squats, plyo lunges, etc. for 30 seconds to a minute then active recovery (light skipping, ab work) for 30 seconds to a minute.

  • ANDREAS says:


  • tammy says:

    Hey! love what you wrote, its really motivated me. you are 100% right
    thank you

  • Kym says:

    You gave us some great AA = Awesome Advise! I like it, I love it, I want more of it! I am going to be consistent in messaging you! I absolutely love what you are doing and the vehicle that you are transporting it thru!

    I want more though, I want more information and knowledge……Where do we get more from! I love the blog, emails, facebook…..however, I want more! Where do we go to get more?

    Besos y Brazos…..Kymberley Gonzalez

    • Anna says:

      Hi Kym!
      Vince has stated before that you don’t necessarily need more information, you need to apply the information you DO know. Pick 1 or 2 coaches (Vince and Flavia for example) and follow their information and execute! If you haven’t read through Vince’s blog have a read through it, he has some awesome information there and it goes hand in hand with Flavia’s.

  • jeanette says:

    Hello. I am 5’3″ and weigh 112 pounds. I want to build muscle, specially in my legs. Right now, even though I have toned legs and can lift heavy weights, my legs look skinny. How many calories should I eat so that my leg muscles grow big? And how much of those calories should come from proteins, from fats and from carbs? Thanks.

    • Anna says:

      Hi Jeanette!
      You will want to be in a caloric surplus. It depends on how many calories your eating now. Start with your weight times 14 and scale up if need be. A good macronutrient ratio would be 30% protein, 30% fat, 40% carbs.

      Make sure your putting sufficient TUT (time under tension) on your muscles for them to grow. Each set should last 40 – 70 seconds for maximum hypertrophy. If you want more muscle building advice Vince has some great advice on his blog too!

  • Lisa says:

    Hi, I like to do my cardio first thing in the morning, can I have skim milk in my coffee or does that wreck cardio on a empty stomach?

    • Anna says:

      What little bit of milk you have in your coffee shouldn’t make much of a difference. The less the better but as long as it’s under 1/2 a cup of milk you should be good.

  • Fya says:

    Oh wow…it never sunk it until now that gaining muscle would mean gaining size. That would explain my clothes getting thighter in the chest & my thighs. But I am still not lean!

  • Tracy says:

    Thankyou.. Sometimes we need a Reminder, & u do it so well.. Merry Xmas Flav your my inspiration 🙂

  • Flavia says:

    Thanks everyone and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  • Mery says:

    HI!! Flavia thank you so much for all the good you do to us, you are awsome! I want to buy eather Curvilicious or full body licious, but I need help in this. First of all I WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT, at the same time I want to tone, but i have to lose weight first. I identify my self a bit with you in the past. I run a lot to burn fat and it helps, but I have been having eating disorder for many many years, and I allways get all the fat I lose. I am really depressed because of my fisic and I really want to change all of this.

    I want to lose weight in a healthy way, but I think I have “broke” my metabolism or something, because I did so many stupid diets and know everything I eat it becomes FAT very easily. What can I do? Do you think I can lose weight by eating normally or because all the stupid things I did for so long now I have to have a very very strict diet for the rest of my life?

    Which of your DVD’S or programs do you recommend me?

    If someone can give me some advice or help I would really apreciate it, because I feel bad, sad, DEPRESSED, horrible.

    Thank you and MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone!

    • Anna says:

      Hi Mery!
      Full Body Licious would be a great program for you to start with then once you finish it you can move onto Curvalicious which is a bit more challenging. FBL comes with an awesome nutrition plan telling you the best foods to eat, when to eat them and how much. Once you start following a well balanced nutrition plan and workout program you will stabilize your hormones and should see awesome results! Remember, take it one day at a time, one meal at a time, one workout at a time. Try and make the next meal perfect.
      Merry Christmas!

    • Flavia says:

      Hi Mery, I agree with Anna on FBL. You can still get the DVD on sale throughout the weekend. IF you are unsure, download the FREE workout that is on the homepage of the blog and use those workouts first to see if you like the style of my workouts.

      Once you start to apply yourself you will feel so much better. I’ve been there! I wish you so much success and happiness!

      • Mery says:

        Ana and Flavia thank you very much for your answers and a happy new year!! I bought FBL but I live in Spain so it will take like 3 weeks to come! I am going to put my best in it because I am looking forward to see my self better! Thank you so so much!

        And sorry for answering so late, I went out for holidays!

  • Nikki says:

    I was wondering if you have any tips for building mass. I only weigh a 100 pounds and I’ve heard that eating more calories than you burn helps and keeping your sets between 2-3 and reps from 6-12. Is that true? Also is there a set number of experiences I should be doing like not exceeding say 7 different workout for a muscle group. How many days do you recommend I train and how many days dedicated to cardio? Thank you, and I love your blog it is very informative.

  • Anna says:

    Hi Nikki,
    Yes, to add muscle you need to be in a caloric surplus (eating more calories than you burn) Sets really depend on how many exercises your doing, your workout should last about 45 minutes (not including warm up/cool down) It is good to use a variety of rep ranges. 6 – 12 reps works on strength and hypertrophy so that is a good rep range for building muscle. Flavia recommends doing 5 days a week of weight training. When your trying to build muscle just 1 -2 days of HIIT is sufficient for cardio. If you feel you are gaining fat you can add in one more cardio session. Check out Flavia’s husband’s site for more great information on muscle building.

  • LIZZYB says:

    hi there flavia,I just wanted to ask,I ordered the Boxing day special dvd set but have no idea where it is as of now?? is there a tracking page and tracking number that I can make sure my parcel gets to me? I’m in south africa. I’m cannot wait to get started. please help,thanx so much,Lizette 🙂 sorry I’m posting it here,I don’t know where to.

  • Mery says:

    Ana and Flavia thank you very much for your answers and a happy new year!! I bought FBL but I live in Spain so it will take like 3 weeks to come! I am going to put my best in it because I am looking forward to see my self better! Thank you so so much!

    • Anna says:

      Your very welcome Mery! We wish you great success!

      • Mery says:

        You are so kind Anna (and of course Flavia to)!!thank you!! I think I will receive FBL by the end of next week, I’m not quite sure. But untill then I dont know what to do, the thing is that my leg hurts a bit and I cant run. I have one question for Flavia. Isn’t it better to do HIIT at the begging to loose weight and then once I have lost some of it, start with exercises ? or at the same time?

        My very big complex are my knees, I accumulate a lot of fat there, it’s rare but it’s true. That’s why I never use skirts or dresses and I’m sick of it, because I am only 25 years old and I want to wear them! Are there some specific exercises to that area? It’s horrible to have this hang up!haha becuase I dont feel comfortable with my self!

  • Jabeen says:

    about lesson 2,,,,how abour tilapia or beef for breakfast???
    not to sound groos but they are a source of protein AND fats and since my exams are coming up i want to optimise my chances of passing through diet as well as personal efforts!
    I just wanna make sure its not an unhealthy option and was hoping someone could shed some light

    • Anna says:

      Beef is great!! Tilapia would be fine if that is what you prefer but it doesn’t contain much fat so throw some nuts in there too. My favorite is mixing turkey, egg, and kale together cooked in a little coconut oil. 🙂
      Best of luck with your exams!

    • Flavia says:

      any meat would be wonderful!

  • Claire says:

    Hi Flavia,
    I’m trying to add some muscle at the moment and I know I need a calorie surplus, but how big should that surplus be? I don’t want to end up gaining lots of fat too by eating too much. I’ve heard you should eat about 500 calories more than you consume in order to build muscle which would be about 1lb weight gain per week. If I’m lifting heavy weights and increasing the amount of weight I lift every week, is it realistic that I would be able to add 1lb of muscle per week or would some of this be fat too?

    • Anna says:

      Hi Claire,
      Yes, start with a 500 calorie surplus and increase by 250 per week if you are not gaining weight. If you start to add too much fat you can include 2 – 3 HIIT sessions per week. 1 lb of muscle per week is a great goal.
      All the best!
      Anna, CPT, FF Specialist

  • Lea Ann says:

    you said that you found that you needed to eat more to get your legs the size that you wanted. How did you eat more and still loose the fat that you did for the photo shoot?

    • Anna says:

      You need to be in a caloric surplus and give your muscles sufficient nutrients to grow. Flavia probably worked really hard in the “off season” eating in a caloric surplus, adding size to her quads then once she had sufficient muscle mass she cut down for her photoshoot. The main thing to note is that you need sufficient calories for muscle growth and once you add more muscle mass you will be burning more calories all day long and will be able to eat more and the food will go to fuel your muscles rather than fat!
      All the best!
      Anna, CPT, FF Specialist

    • Flavia says:

      I don’t include veggies in my calorie count, not as carbs or anything. I do however, drop my carb intake (from grains) down from 40% to 25%. I built my legs before I started dieting for my shoot 🙂

  • Jabeen says:

    Hey Flavia,
    I have been meaning to start having protein and fats for breakfast and i was wondering if you would share how you prepare your beef in the morning?
    Thank you 🙂

    • Anna says:

      Hi Jabeen,
      You can just cook ground beef in a pan and then add in eggs and spinach. You could also prepare the beef the night before however you like (grill, bake, stir fry) Then just add it to the pan to heat it up in the morning.
      All the best!
      Anna, CPT, FF Specialist

  • Jabeen says:

    Thanks Anna,
    is it ok for me to substitute the eggs for some homemade nut milk or avocado?
    I just don’t like the taste of cooked eggs!
    I only ever have raw egg whites as a source of protein and that’s all!
    Thank you 🙂

    • Anna says:

      Some nuts/nut butter or avocado will be a great fat source to have at breakfast with your beef!
      Thanks Jabeen, All the best!
      Anna, CPT, FF Specialist

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