You know that sticking to a workout plan and healthy diet is by no means easy—but fitness trainers and nutritionists somehow make it look effortless. What's their secret? Obviously, discipline and dedication are key, but do they rely on certain workout tools, superfoods or devices to achieve such spectacular results?
Spying would be creepy, so instead we asked 30 professionals to share which items they keep in their homes to help them accomplish their goals (and to motivate you to surpass yours).
1. Jennifer Purdie, Certified Personal Trainer & Running Coach - Southern California
Secret Weapon: Foam Roller
"Something I have in my home that an "average" person doesn't is a foam roller. It's the best way to give yourself a form of massage after a workout. You roll your body over it and hold it down on any knots you feel for 30 seconds. The foam roll helps work out knots for those who can't afford massages and those who work out a lot and need the extra release from pain."
2. Tom Postema, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist - Defiance, OH
Secret Weapon: Kettlebells
"I have a few different sizes lying around because they are so versatile and can be used for so many different purposes. They are still pretty obscure to the 'average' person, but they are so useful."
3. Amy Gorin, Nutrition Consultant - Jersey City, NJ
Secret Weapon: Dozens of Spices
"Spices and herbs add amazing low-calorie flavor to dishes. I have both dried spices and dehydrated ones on hand. One of my go-to spices is cinnamon—including cassia, the version we typically eat in the United States, as well as Ceylon cinnamon, which has a hint of citrus to it."
4. Dr. Joanne Mumola Williams, Holistic Nutritionist and Author of Health Begins in the Kitchen - Sebastopol, CA
Secret Weapon: Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker
"The item I use at least once a day that most people have not yet discovered is the Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker. It’s also a slow cooker and yogurt maker. Pressure cookers have drastically changed over the years. They are less intimidating and so easy to use. Having a piece of equipment that makes it quick and easy to prepare healthy meals makes a person more likely to cook and avoid fast food takeout. As a nutritionist, it’s the number one item I would recommend to those wanting to improve their diets."
5. Cassie Piasecki, Personal Trainer and Fitness Consultant - Orange County, CA
Secret Weapon: Dry Brush
"I keep a dry brush in the shower. Dry brushes promote circulation and eliminate cellulite."
6. Susan Longley, M.Ed., CPCC, Fitness Coach for Seniors - Atlanta, GA
Secret Weapon: Yoga Ball
"When I'm not at my stand-up desk, I use a yoga ball as a desk chair."
7. Sarah Karger, Fitness Nutritionist for First Fitness Nutrition - Carrollton, TX
Secret Weapons: Food Scale and Measuring Tape
"As a certified specialist in fitness nutrition, I always have a food scale on my kitchen counter. Weighing my food, especially fats and carbs, is run of the mill for me. In my bathroom, I have a measuring tape instead of a scale. Most fitness people know that a scale doesn’t measure fluctuation of water, salt, etc."
8. Lori Streator, Wellness Coach at Breakthrough Mind and Body - Chicago, IL
Secret Weapon: Vision Board
"I have my goals front and center; they're the first thing I see when I wake up and the last thing I look at before the day ends. A vision board is key to putting the visual aspect of whatever I'm trying to work on. And when I work with clients, a vision board is a key piece to the goal-setting process."
9. Jamie Logie, Personal Trainer and Nutritionist - Ontario, Canada
Secret Weapon: Chin-Up Bars
"I have chin-up bars attached between the door frames in some of my closets."
10. Laura Deutsch, Certified Health Coach with Instill Health
Secret Weapon: Apple Cider Vinegar
"I have this in my home at all times but NOT for cooking—for drinking! Every morning I drink a glass of water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. There are lots of health benefits to consuming apple cider vinegar."
11. Dr. Kathy Gruver, Health and Wellness Practitioner - Santa Barbara, CA
Secret Weapon: Flying Trapeze
"For health and stress relief, I do flying trapeze. I got so addicted to it that I had a trapeze installed in my garage so I can practice my swing and hang from it."
12. Polina, Personal Trainer at Mean Fit Foxes - UK
Secret Weapon: Tractor Tire
"This is a most effective way of getting strong and conditioned. All you need is a flat surface and you can flip the tire for strength or push it for conditioning. This might not work in the busiest parts of the city, but you can stick it in the trunk of the car and go do it in the park. It's phenomenal for shredding fat and is a complete workout in itself!"
13. Tricia Silverman, Registered Dietitian and Fitness Instructor - Boston, MA
Secret Weapon: Weight Bench
"A simple weight bench was a Valentine’s Day gift from my husband...best gift ever! In one year of having this bench in my home next to my bed, I see so much more definition in my arms, shoulders, abs and pecs. It’s a great reminder to wake up and see it in the morning. Having a weight bench in your house can make a huge fitness and wellness difference."
14. Stephen Box, Certified Fitness Trainer - Suwanee, GA
Secret Weapon: High-Speed Blender
"I use the Nutribullet every day to create super shakes, which allows me to get my fruits and veggies on the go without going to a smoothie bar, which is usually loaded with sugar."
15. Lori Kenyon Farley, Co-Founder of Project Juice - Orange County, CA
Secret Weapon: Kombucha
"Our fridge is stocked with kombucha, which is a fermented drink with natural probiotics from the fermentation process. It's tasty and great for digestion and boosting immunity."
16. Darin Hulslander, Owner of DNS Fitness and Nutrition - Chicago, IL
Secret Weapon: Fish Oil
"I use fish oil because not only does it help support my mood, but it also helps reduce inflammation from my workouts."
17. Jaime Morocco, Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach - San Francisco, CA
Secret Weapon: Fit Measuring Tape
"I use fit measuring tape (to gauge results), because the scale is only one measure of success."
18. Kristina Sampson, Certified Health Coach and Founder of The Vail Diet - Denver, CO
Secret Weapon: Nutritional Yeast
"Nutritional yeast is high in protein, fiber and B vitamins, including B-12. Because it is one of the only non-animal sources of B-12, it's good for vegans and vegetarians, who are often deficient."
19. Tom Holland, Exercise Physiologist and Sports Nutritionist - Darien, CT
Secret Weapon: Core Hammer
"To mix up my core training, I use the Core Hammer inside or out."
20. Mariana Stabile, Certified Health Coach - Miami, FL
Secret Weapon: Oils
"I have an array of organic natural oils (sesame oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, pumpkin seed oil, etc.) as well as essential oils, which I use for almost everything, including face/body care, cooking and cleaning."
21. Kim Evans, Fitness and Wellness Specialist - Grand Haven, MI
Secret Weapon: Bosu Fitness Trainer
"I have a couple of Bosu trainers. I use them as they're intended, and I also will put them under my paddle board and do some training on the unstable board."
22. Amy Gorin, Nutrition Consultant - Jersey City, NJ
Secret Weapon: Healthy Snack Cabinet
"I have a kitchen cabinet designated to healthy, filling and portion-controlled snacks. My favorites are Wonderful Pistachios Sweet Chili 1.25-ounce snack packs, fruit-and-nut bars and vegan jerky. I usually pair one of these with a bowl of blueberries or a banana."
23. Krista Goncalves, Certified Holistic Nutritionist - Kelowna, BC Canada
Secret Weapon: Raw Cacao Nibs
"This is the unprocessed, chunky version of raw cacao powder. I use raw cacao nibs in baking and on top of smoothies to provide extra nutrition, fiber and texture. Did you know that NOT chewing your smoothie can be detrimental to the digestive process, and may even cause weight gain? Cacao nibs give the perfect 'chew factor' when you put them in for the last few seconds of blending."
24. Jeff Miller, Fitness Professional for Function Fitness - Albany, NY
Secret Weapon: Standing Desk
"I have a standing workstation where I do all my computer work. It helps me stay moving and avoid the back pain and negative cardiovascular effects of sitting all day."
25. Joel Harper, Fitness Trainer - New York, NY
Secret Weapons: Pili Nuts and M-Board
"Pili nuts taste amazing and are high in calcium, phosphorus, potassium and a great source of protein. Ideal for an afternoon snack. The M-Board is great for any age—the older we get, the more likely we are to lose our balance and injure ourselves. The board shortens the learning curve on many sports, as it strengthens your stabilizing muscles and replicates real-life movements."
26. Cheryl Russo, Fitness Trainer - New York, NY
Secret Weapon: Chia Seeds
"Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants, calcium, protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids."
27. Sheena Ritchie, Yoga Instructor - Calgary, Alberta
Secret Weapon: Meditation Altar
"I have a meditation altar in my bedroom. It gives me a place to go every day and reconnect with the peaceful place in myself from which wisdom and intuitive guidance comes. Having done this, I'm able to better able to understand what messages my body is sending so I can make intelligent decisions regarding my lifestyle and fitness choices. The body is the best gauge of what it needs. I believe I have avoided illness and injury this way."
28. Meghan Kalmus, Barre and Pilates Instructor at TruFusion - Las Vegas, NV
Secret Weapon: Inversion Table
"An inversion table uses gravity and body weight to decompress the spine and allows the back to be stretched and expanded. I also use mine for abs exercises."
29. Jennifer Cassetta, Clinical Nutritionist and Personal Trainer - Santa Monica, CA
Secret Weapon: Probiotic Supplements
"I'm a big believer in gut health to help with most ailments, especially with weight loss. My Strong, Safe & Sexy plan that was recently featured on ABC's TV show, ‘My Diet Is Better Than Yours,’ has a big focus on probiotics. So, I always have probiotic supplements on hand."
30. Brooke Markovich, Trainer and Nutritionist at Ledbetter Inc. - Broomfield, CO
Secret Weapon: Arctic Zero
"This is a low-calorie, macro-friendly ice cream that many fitness trainers eat to satisfy their sweet tooth. A whole pint is typically only 150 calories."
Do you have any of these items in your home? Which would you like to try?
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