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Nadia G, of Bitchin Kitchen works out (Christinne Muschi/Christinne Muschi for The Globe and Mail)
Nadia G, of Bitchin Kitchen works out (Christinne Muschi/Christinne Muschi for The Globe and Mail)

Power Crunch

Seeing herself on TV motivates this TV chef to hit the gym Add to ...

Nadia Giosia

Television host

Before Bitchin' Kitchen launched on Food Network Canada last year, cook, creator and host Nadia Giosia had already received a call from ET Canada asking her to participate in a chef showdown in Mexico that included a beach interview.

That was all the incentive the 30-year-old from Saint-Leonard, Que., needed to get in shape.

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With a new season beginning, she dishes out the goods on how circuit training lets her eat and still look amazing.

My goal

"To stay ripped."

My workout

"I work out four to five days a week, alternating three workouts."

One workout focuses on legs and shoulders, and includes jump squats and shoulder presses with 12-pound weights, lunges, hip-raises on a Pilates ball, sit-ups and wall-sitting.

Another works on the biceps and back - it involves more sit-ups, front and side planks, back-extensions, bicep and hammer curls, and running.

The third shapes triceps and chest, with plenty of weights. Each exercise is repeated three times, and all the workouts include two-minute running stints for cardio.

"I found my rock-a-licious personal trainer Mallory Brown on Craigslist. We switch up the movements every two months."

My lifestyle

"I eat vegetarian a lot. I buy only fresh ingredients and cook from scratch - that way, when I feel like snacking and look in my fridge, it's: 'Oh, baby carrots or chocolate soy pudding. Take your pick.'

"For breakfast, I love a sandwich with toasted flaxseed bread, [cooked]egg whites with caramelized onions - a lifesaver when you're watching your weight because they add flavour - and fig jam.

"Lunch is a sodium-free chickpea salad. I throw garlic cloves in there, and za'atar [a Middle Eastern mix of thyme, sesame seeds and sumac berries] I eat that with bread, and a fat-free yogurt with maple syrup for dessert.

"Dinner is often a stew of beans or legumes, which are awesome for dieting; they give you that meaty satisfaction and both are excellent with whole grain rice or bread."

My motivation

"Exercising with a trainer makes my quality of life go through the roof. Plus cutting away to a shot of me flexing my pipes in the new episodes is enough motivation for me."

My anthem

"Motorhead's Ace of Spades."

My challenge

"Muscle confusion: You need to change your workout - otherwise, muscles get used to certain movements and you'll plateau, so constantly finding new exercises can be a pain. And eating: If you ain't eating lean, you won't see results."

This interview has been condensed and edited.

THE CRITIQUE

Switch up strength-training tools

Phil Otwein, certified trainer at Extreme Fitness in Toronto, suggests trying new equipment to avoid reaching a plateau and to continue sculpting muscles.

"If Nadia is bored with weights, try new tools like kettlebells and sandbags - they add new variations to exercises that she may already be doing. Suspension training (using rings) is a great way to build overall strength and core muscle. Or try plyometrics training: Agility ladders, boxes for jumps and speed drills are great for cutting body fat, and offer a tremendous workout."

Change foods, excite taste buds

"Nadia's diligence with her eating habits shows, and she is eating the right foods," says Mr. Otwein, who holds a bachelor's degree in health sciences from the University of Western Ontario. But he suggests she tweak her diet to keep her taste buds happy and ensure she is getting an assortment of minerals and nutrients while eating lean.

"Try cooking chicken breasts on a Sunday and keeping them in the fridge to eat through the week, or whipping up a bean and lentil salad, hard-boiling some eggs, putting fresh veggies and nuts in a container ready to grab: The possibilities are endless," he adds.

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