Ask A Fitness Model Issue 4!

Are you getting for a wedding? Find out how to get that perfect tan, how to get more meals inside your day, how to lose stomach fat and much more...

Questions & Answers

Christina, you are always really tan in your pictures. I have a wedding coming up and want to be really dark. What do you do or use to get that way, or are you just naturally tan?

Thanks. Actually, I do not naturally tan very well. So it makes it that much harder for me to be tan for pictures and work. It is really bad for your skin to use indoor tanning or tan outdoors for any extended period of time. Usually what I do is, about two weeks before the day I need to be tan (for a photo shoot or appearance), I begin using the tanning bed every other day. I like to use a tanning lotion that has a tingle factor, and a bronzer in it. That way I am getting natural color, and the bronzer adds a good golden cast that soaks into the skin while tanning.

Then two days before the event, I schedule two appointments at the "Mystic Tan". You should have these in your vicinity somewhere, you can find a location nearest you at . Basically the Mystic Tan is a booth that completely sprays your body all over with a very natural looking self-tanning mist. It instantly dries, and takes about 30 seconds. There are several levels of darkness it sprays. It all depends on how dark you want to be.

You can not shower for 5-6 hours after you use it, because it takes that long for the tan to completely darken and soak in. Usually I schedule one appointment two days out, then another the next day. Layering it that way is the best option for a great, deep tan. Then I am ready to go for my event!

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I can't seem to get use to eating all those mini meals throughout the day. I have a desk job and can't seem to justify to myself eating all day while sitting. Can you shed some light on this for me? Thanks

If you feel guilty eating several smaller meals throughout the day because you are sitting, there are several things you can do. First of all, whether you are running around all the time, or sitting, the principle of eating smaller meals throughout the day works the same. It raises your metabolism, keeps you from gaining weight from binging, and helps you from overeating.

Depending on how long you are at work, a few of your meals could be substituted for a whey protein shake. That is pure protein, and no or low carbs, and you wouldn't be consuming a lot of calories. You would still maintain the several small meals a day that way, without eating something really heavy. Just think of this scenario. If you only eat one large meal while on the job, when you get off work you are going to be starving and eventually binge on something far worse than small healthy meals.

Do yourself a favor througout the day, eat the small meals only until you are satisfied, not full. Then when you get hungry again, do the same thing. Eventually your body will get so used to this regimen, you will get hungry every couple hours, but be satisfied by small quantities. Good luck.

I would like to know if you drink coffee. I like to have coffee in the mornings w/cream. Sometimes I have chocolate cravings. I like to have a low fat/low carb hot chocolate. Can this be a snack?

I drink coffee either black, or with low fat soy milk. If you are trying to lose weight, you should avoid the cream. If you just can't stand it black, try low or no fat (skim milk or soy milk) instead. Anything can be a snack; I could eat pizza as a snack if I wanted to. The question though is would it be good for me or help me get closer to my goal?

NO. If you have an out of control craving, try to save it for your cheat day. If you absolutely can't wait, then yes, a low fat low carb version of your craving is better than the full fat version. I am one of those chocoholics, so I know how you feel. Remember mind over matter, use willpower.

Will you be at the Arnold Classic Expo signing? I want to meet you and come say hi.

As a matter of fact, I will. I will be working the booth all Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I will be there along with Carmen Garcia, Quincy Taylor, Bob Cicerillo, Valentina Chepiga, and a few others. I would love to meet you. I will also be co-hosting the official Arnold Classic Afterparty, the night of March 6th. I co-hosted the Olympia Party, and if it is anything like that, the Arnold should be tons of fun. You can find out more at about the party.

Hi Christina, I'm a certified fitness trainer in Atlanta. In two weeks I was asked to address a woman's group regarding health and wellness. The topics are up to me. Since weight control and toning is popular, do you have any suggestions on what I should NOT leave out?

There are several things you should not leave out. I would be sure to emphasize the importance of making health and wellness their lifestyle, not just a crash diet they go on to tone or lose weight. Be sure to discuss the importance of cardio from a calorie burning, as well as healthy heart perspective. Many women think cardio alone is the answer, so I would also be sure to discuss how weight training can not only tone your body, but also assist in fat loss because muscle burns fat!

Talk about the general idea of smaller, more frequent and sensible meals throughout the day. Many women forget to take a multivitamin, which is great for everyday health benefits. Everything is up to you, so take these ideas and tailor them in with your own. As a personal trainer, I am sure you have quite a few great ideas from your own personal knowledge, don't be afraid to use them!

My stomach is a problem area. I am 20 5\'2 117 lbs. I am thin but my stomach has gotten big and I was wondering how to exercise to lose the fat from my stomach but not the rest of my body, because I do not wish to lose any weight from any other part of my body except from my stomach.

Unfortunately, there is no way to lose weight in one specific spot. That is called "spot reduction", and contrary to popular belief, it is not possible (short of liposuction) A better way for you to think about flattening your stomach is to concentrate on toning it. If you are already very slim, and do not want to lose any weight, AB Training may be your answer.

Some great exercises to flatten and tone that area are hanging leg raises, decline crunches, decline reverse crunch, and knee raises on parallel bars. If you look at "Ask a Fitness Model Volume 3", you will see my ab workout that tells you more about a good abdominal routine. Make sure to try and avoid excess sodium, or any other foods that you feel might "bloat" your stomach.

Thank you for sharing your weekly workout and diet with us. I have a question related to it. What is the benefit of doing cardio on an empty stomach vs. after eating a small healthy snack right when you wake up?

This has been debated in articles of almost every magazine I have ever read. Some study will come out claiming it is better to do cardio on an empty stomach to burn fat, then another study will come out saying it doesn't matter either way. All I know is I have done it both on an empty stomach, and also after eating a small snack.

I lost the most body fat doing it on an empty stomach. I am also friends with several pros in the fitness industry, bodybuilders and fitness competitors alike. Every single one of them also said they got the best results doing cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. If it works for them and me, I figure there has to be something to it.