Jess Dart a certified nutrition coach with a Masters degree in nutrition. She is a National Strength and Conditioning Association certified personal trainer and have been working with clients to improve their health for 15 years. She knows how to get you results and she also understands that we are human. Jess believes you need only a few hours of focused exercise per week, no need to workout for hours every day.
How did you get into fitness and nutrition, and become so passionate about it?
She studied Bio behavioral Health in college and had always been curious about why people think and operate the way they do. She loved her bio behavioral health classes because of her interest in biology, psychology, sociology, getting into yoga and going to the gym. After she graduated, she got more immersed with her gym community, started her blog and was doing Ashtanga almost every day. People started to seek her advice and help, which made her realize that she can make a career in fitness and nutrition. She got her certification in 2003. Later she moved to New York to learn from the best, where she landed her first position in Equinox as a personal trainer in 2004.
How do you guide someone to get a Healthy Plan in place for their nutrition and exercise?
She acknowledges that there is so much information about health out there that it can overwhelming. To plan for nutrition, start by asking a lot of questions, such as what you used to eat when you were a kid. Realize that everyone is different, what works for some may not work for others. Some do great by exercising alone, while others will never exercise unless they do it with a group. Obviously, neither one is better than the other, you just need to figure out what works best for you. Learn to listen to your intuition, which takes time and practice. Often, we just eat to eat, not tasting our food or thinking about the experience. Make a habit of intuitive eating, tasting the food and enjoying the experience of eating. In her view, there is no bad food, eat what tastes good, and what feels good.
Can you give us a sample workout for someone who doesn’t have much time?
She suggests 4 exercises. Set your timer for 25 minutes.
Do 10 squats
15 jumping jacks
10 alternating back lunges.
Let your heart rate get back to normal, and then start again. Keep track of how many times you can go through the circuit. Once the timer goes off you are done. You can do this work out three times a week. Try to get one more set in the last workout.
Is it 80% nutrition and 20% exercise? What’s your take on that percentage in terms of getting actual results?
Nutrition plays such a huge role in her view. Whether your goal is to lose weight, train for a marathon or for an intense CrossFit competition, nutrition is always going to be a bigger component. The exercise component can be thought of as a support to nutrition.
What’s the biggest takeaway from your fitness school?
Eat vegetables, a lot of them and of varying colors. Dark leafy greens are the best. Also drink a lot a water, half of your body weight in ounces, or more if you are consuming caffeinated or alcoholic beverages. Tune into what you feel like eating, what will make you happy and satisfied, whether it’s a breakfast food or lunch food or dinner food. So, in her opinion, keep an open mind regarding food and tune into what you are hungry for.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Her co-manager used to say that “Don’t worry about the other person, you just worry about you”. Don’t worry about what anybody else is doing, focus on your goal and your strategy to achieve that goal, and put all your energy in that because you are only wasting energy worrying about what everybody else is doing.
The other advice which stayed with her was from her father, who once said, “You will figure it out, Jess, you will figure it out”, by which he meant to have faith in herself.
Tell us how can we get in touch with you?