Growing up on the streets of Saint Paul, Minnesota, in a neighborhood full of boys, wasn't a walk in the park for Elizabeth Berres. She learned to adapt to her surroundings at an early age, explaining why this successful architect never takes "no" for an answer.
While attending the University of Minnesota in 2000, Elizabeth subsisted on dorm food and ramen noodles. She managed to avoid the Freshman 15 by playing intramural sports and hitting the university gym.
Things changed after she graduated from Arizona State University with a Master's of Architecture in 2007. The pounds began piling up. By 2010, Elizabeth hit bottom, weighing 138 pounds with 20 percent body fat.
Eight months ago, Elizabeth found a blessing disguised as food sensitivity. A test revealed her problems with gluten, corn, yeast, sugar, almonds and walnuts. Elizabeth started educating herself on clean eating. This higher learning ignited her lifestyle change.
It was game-on when Elizabeth and her boyfriend, Michael Veaderko, saw the BSN Elite Physique Transformation Challenge on Bodybuilding.com. Jamie Eason's LiveFit Trainer provided the missing pieces for Elizabeth's training. Her nutrition became more personalized and she lifted heavier than ever!
The south Minneapolis native now weighs 128 pounds with 14 percent body fat. She hopes to compete in a local competition later this year. The goal: 10 percent body fat. We're betting the house on this fit architect.
Elizabeth's Nutrition Program
Before the contest, Elizabeth sharply reduced her carbs and healthy fats. She actually went too far in those reductions. Lesson learned. She slowly added carbs and healthy fats into her diet. Her energy boomed and her strength gains soared in response.
The combination of knowledge with the challenge pushed Elizabeth to transform her new diet into a continuous lifestyle. Her diet was strict: she controlled, recorded and measured every morsel she put into her body. Junk food doesn't even register on her radar anymore!
- Calories: 1,730
- Fat: 37g
- Carbs: 205g
- Protein: 174g
4 AM: Pre-Workout
- Calories: 185
- Fat: 3g
- Carbs: 33g
- Protein: 7g
6 AM: Post Workout
- Calories: 217
- Fat: 1g
- Carbs: 28g
- Protein: 26g
- Calories: 162
- Fat: 2g
- Carbs: 21g
- Protein: 15g
- Calories: 280
- Fat: 11g
- Carbs: 32g
- Protein: 16g
- Calories: 326
- Fat: 5g
- Carbs: 29g
- Protein: 44g
- Calories: 280
- Fat: 4g
- Carbs: 48g
- Protein: 27g
- Calories: 145
- Fat: 3g
- Carbs: 8g
- Protein: 25g
- Calories: 135
- Fat: 8g
- Carbs: 6g
- Protein: 14g
Elizabeth's Training Regimen
Elizabeth made a goal for herself: to be in the best shape of her life by 30-years old. With that goal in mind, she pushed through hurdles and plateaus to see her full potential.
She went to the gym every morning at 5 a.m. with the mindset to become strong and lean. Now, fellow females inquire about her diet and workout routines daily. She uses that motivation to show other ladies that it is possible to be sexy with toned muscle!
Elizabeth's Supplementation Plan
Elizabeth uses N.O.-Xplode and BCAA's for sustained energy and to curb muscle breakdown. Glutamine acts as an effective tool to increase her workout performance and overall recovery.
Her post-workout shake consists of whey protein, BCAAs and glutamine. She takes CLA at dinner to burn stubborn fat and enhance muscle growth. Before bed, she drinks a casein protein shake for its slow-digesting qualities and takes ZMA to drive muscles growth while she sleeps.
Multivitamins fulfill Elizabeth's nutritional gaps in her diet. She takes calcium to keep her bones strong and fish oil to support overall health and increase fat burn.
Elizabeth's Top 5 Motivational Tips
The better you understand yourself, the farther you'll be able to push. There's nothing stopping you from taking on more challenges. Utilize resources on the web! The amount of information available on Bodybuilding.com alone can support you along you way!
Completing small goals are huge accomplishments. Have a main goal in mind (i.e. lose fat, gain muscle, etc). Detail your plan of action and keep a workout journal to record your daily reps and weights. Take progress pictures to open your eyes! The scale didn't move during the first six weeks for me, but I remained patient and watched the fat-to-muscle evolution blossom!
I need three things before I go to the gym: N.O. Xplode, techno music and weight lifting gloves. It's important to feel confident in what you wear and do. The only thing on your mind should be to have fun! I added more tools to my regimen to take my training to another level:
- A heart rate monitor (zoning training)
- A foam roller (stretching did wonders for my flexibility and muscle gains)
- Vo2 test (to find my vo2 max and heart rate zones)
I put clippings from inspirational fitness models on my fridge to keep focused - it worked every time! The best way to avoid bad food is to keep it out of your home. My boyfriend and I prepared all of our meals on Sunday to eliminate excuses and slip ups. Keep it simple and controlled!
I relied on my boyfriend to keep me accountable and on track. Enlist in fitness groups with the same goals, find a gym buddy, or join bodygroups on Bodybuilding.com. Having a resource for advice and encouragement is priceless. But more importantly, surround yourself with supportive and positive people!