With every new day comes a new diet plan, or that’s at least what it feels like to millions of us around the world. We are inundated with diet and exercise options making it hard to find what works best for our bodies and our wallets. This is something that fitness expert Jessie Pavelka knows a lot about and created “The Program” to help you sort through that confusion. Instead of trying every new fitness craze and stomaching a quick-fix cleanse every other week, “The Program” will help you get stronger, lose inches, improve your mental well-being with mindful practices, maintain motivation, and cook your way to a healthier you.
Besides “The Program”, Jessie Pavelka recently opened his own gym, RETROFIT, in West Hollywood. If you live in the Los Angeles area, we highly recommend you start training with your trainer here or sign up to take a class. Not only is the gym a hidden industrial gem in a sea full of modern venues but Pavelka is such a gentleman and very easy on the eyes.
“The Program” is officially available to purchase tomorrow so we asked him about each of the four sections -Eat, Sweat, Think, Connect – so you can get access if it’s a good fit for your lifestyle. We also asked him about his personal diet staples, if being in the spotlight has altered his personal fitness goals, and why mental health plays a bigger role in your life than most of us consider.
Do you find that a person’s trouble with weight loss tends to be their relationship with food or exercise, or does it depend on the person?
It depends on the person. If we’re looking at someone who has an extreme amount of weight to lose, food can be a bigger part of the issue. But the two work together very well. I hate to say that you need to focus more on food than you do exercise to anybody because those two come as a package deal. Food is important to make you feel good. If you’re wanting to change your physique in certain ways yes, but exercise does the same thing. If you can bring the two together then why not!
A lot of Americans still don’t read food labels and understand that low-fat or low-cal doesn’t always translate to weight loss. For those who are just starting out, what ingredients and preservatives should they avoid?
I think you should try to avoid anything coming out of a package. However, we have to understand that a large portion of the United States doesn’t have that luxury so you have to pick your battles. If you can get organic, raw, whole ingredients, then that’s what you want to go for. If something is in a package at a gas station that you’re just eating because you’re hungry, you should probably try to plan ahead; put some apples and almonds in your arsenal. The problem is we will wait until the last minute until we’re extremely hungry and when you’re extremely hungry you will eat anything to get rid of that hunger pain. Planning ahead is the big one.
[You should avoid] anything in a package that is high in sodium, anything that is going to be packed with simple carbs. If we’re talking about low-fat, in my book I did incorporate low-fat, however a large portion of low-fat [in a box] is compensated by sugar. Read the labels because it all converts into fat at the end of the day.
What foods do you consider staples in your diet?
I’m a big fan of fish, fruits, and vegetables, every single day. I wake up in the morning and I have a smoothie: I throw in a bunch of frozen berries, half of a banana sometimes, and almond butter.
How do you feel about veganism?
If you’re vegan, that’s great! It’s a lot less stress on the digestive system; if you’re trying to transform your physique, it can be challenging. But I’m a big fan of feeling good so I’m a big fan of the vegan way of living and eating.