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Personal trainer Rachel Dillon reveals how to get your dream body this spring with diet and exercise

A leading Australian personal trainer has revealed how you can transform your body this spring – and the major diet and fitness mistakes that are holding you back from your weight loss goals.

Rachel Dillon, 27, from Queensland, has always been slim and sporty, but she didn’t know how to look after her body and ‘build’ her muscles until 2015, when she started weight training and changed her diet and nutritional approach.

Now, Rachel has close to a million followers online, who turn to her for advice on how to hone and tone their own physiques.

The 27-year-old shared with FEMAIL the diet and workout tips to get you in shape for the summer, and why you need to eat more not less to look good in a bikini this year.

A leading Australian personal trainer has revealed how you can transform your body this spring (Rachel Dillon pictured)

A leading Australian personal trainer has revealed how you can transform your body this spring (Rachel Dillon pictured)

Rachel Dillon (pictured) from Queensland, has always been slim and sporty, but she didn't know how to look after her body and 'build' her muscles until 2015 when she started weights

Rachel Dillon (pictured) from Queensland, has always been slim and sporty, but she didn’t know how to look after her body and ‘build’ her muscles until 2015 when she started weights 

Now, Rachel has close to a million followers online , who turn to her for advice on how to hone and tone their own physiques (one of Rachel's clients pictured before and after)

Now, Rachel has close to a million followers online , who turn to her for advice on how to hone and tone their own physiques (one of Rachel’s clients pictured before and after)

How should you tweak your diet?

While Rachel acknowledges that exercise is important, like many personal trainers she believes that it’s diet that holds the key to a slim physique.

‘Up until 2015, I was a cardio bunny who focused solely on eating 1,200 calories per day, I have since learned that you need to fuel your body if you want to look good,’ Rachel told Daily Mail Australia.

‘Now, I like following the 80/20 approach when I’m planning my meals. 80 per cent of what I eat is wholefoods, and 20 per cent is soul foods.’ 

The 27-year-old now subscribes to a dietary approach called macro tracking, whereby she tracks all of her carbohydrates, protein and fat each day – and can eat whatever she likes, provided she hits her targets.

‘For the most part, you will find wholesome, nutrient-dense foods on my plate like lean proteins, seafood, wholegrains and lots of vegetables,’ she said.

‘And for that 20 per cent, I allow myself to have anything I like that’s not particularly nutritious – whether that’s a bit of chocolate or some ice cream, or whatever I feel like at the time.’

While Rachel acknowledges that exercise is important, like many PTs she believes that it's diet that holds the key to a slim physique (one of her clients pictured before and after)

While Rachel acknowledges that exercise is important, like many PTs she believes that it’s diet that holds the key to a slim physique (one of her clients pictured before and after)

like following the 80/20 approach when I'm planning my meals. 80 per cent of what I eat is wholefoods, and 20 per cent is soul foods,' Rachel (pictured) said

like following the 80/20 approach when I’m planning my meals. 80 per cent of what I eat is wholefoods, and 20 per cent is soul foods,’ Rachel (pictured) said

Rachel said the key with your diet is to avoid deprivation and instead factor in daily treats to your targets.

‘The reason why this works is that it means you always look forward to a day of eating, while staying on track with your goals,’ Rachel said. 

In any given week, Rachel eats 1,855 calories and 130 grams of protein, 210 grams of carbs and 55 grams of fat Monday to Saturday and then 2,900 calories, 130 grams of protein, 415 grams of carbohydrates and 80 grams of fat on a Sunday. 

Rachel likes the approach because it gives her the freedom to eat things she loves like ice cream and pancakes, but in a targeted approach that won’t be detrimental to her figure.

The one food group that Rachel said she avoids religiously is processed foods and too much sugar.

‘Even without weighing/tracking my meals, I know when I overeat and I know when I under eat – as well as how to tackle each of these situations,’ she said.

The one food group that Rachel (pictured) said she avoids religiously is processed foods and too much sugar

The one food group that Rachel (pictured) said she avoids religiously is processed foods and too much sugar

What is a typical week of workouts for Rachel?

* MONDAY: Full body circuit

* TUESDAY: Lower body weighted

* WEDNESDAY: Upper body weighted

* THURSDAY: Glutes weighted

* FRIDAY: Full body circuit

* SATURDAY: LISS cardio and core

* SUNDAY: Rest and recovery

How should you tweak your exercise regime? 

When it comes to exercise, Rachel always tells her clients that a little movement each day is much better than working yourself to the point of exhaustion several times each week.

‘Strive for progress, not perfection!’ she explained.

‘It’s important to build a healthy relationship with fitness, and this is often achieved by integrating fitness with your lifestyle, as opposed to completely stopping your lifestyle to focus on fitness.’

Rachel said that during lockdown she has re-discovered the joys of working out from home with new Bodies By Rachel app. 

‘There are so many workouts you can do from home or anywhere, that require zero equipment,’ she said.

‘We often underestimate just how easily we can make changes. 

‘If you commit to a workout plan and diet approach for four weeks, you can see some incredible physical benefits.’ 

When it comes to exercise, Rachel said if you want to see results like her clients (pictured before and after), you need to embrace weight lifting

When it comes to exercise, Rachel said if you want to see results like her clients (pictured before and after), you need to embrace weight lifting

What is Rachel’s favourite zero equipment workout?

CIRCUIT 1 

Rachel (pictured) shared her favourite zero equipment workout with FEMAIL

Rachel (pictured) shared her favourite zero equipment workout with FEMAIL

45 seconds on, 15 seconds transition time to move between exercises. Perform three sets.

1. Squat Pulses 

2. Squat to heel combo

3. Squat hold 

CIRCUIT 2  

30 seconds on, 10 seconds transition time to move between exercises. Complete all exercises on one leg before switching to the other. Perform three sets on each leg.

1. Lunge knee ups

2. Lunge pulese

3. Standing lateral to kickback

4. Kickback pulses 

CIRCUIT 3

30 seconds on, 10 seconds transition time to move between exercises. Perform three sets.

1. Hip thrusts

2. Split squats (eight reps each leg)  

FINISHER (optional) 

20 seconds on, 10 seconds transition time to move between exercises. Perform two sets.

1. Push ups

2. Alternating plank jacks

When it comes to the main mistakes women make, Rachel (pictured) explained that if you eat too little, you are more likely to end up overweight than toned

When it comes to the main mistakes women make, Rachel (pictured) explained that if you eat too little, you are more likely to end up overweight than toned

What are the major mistakes women make?

When it comes to the main mistakes women make, Rachel explained that if you eat too little, you are more likely to end up overweight than toned.

‘Our bodies need fuel – even when we’re trying to lose fat,’ Rachel said.

‘It’s so important to be patient and avoid using extremely low calorie protocols or cutting out entire macronutrients and food groups.’

She said that she used to eat just 1,200 calories per day but never saw results.

Nowadays, Rachel eats more than double this amount and looks better than ever.

The trainer (pictured before and now) said that she used to eat just 1,200 calories per day but never saw results

The trainer (pictured before and now) said that she used to eat just 1,200 calories per day but never saw results

The second mistake the trainer said she sees women making is fearing the weights room.

‘So many women avoid weight lifting because they are afraid of being bulky,’ she said.

‘I have been a cardio bunny once upon a time too and completely understand the misconceptions around women and weight training.

‘But it’s working with weighs that has truly enabled me to build the physique I desire.’

She said they don’t have to be heavy, but you do need some progression in order to ensure you’re consistently getting stronger.

Rachel Dillon has recently re-launched her Bodies By Rachel workout app, which is now billed to be like having both a nutritionist and a personal trainer in your pocket. For more information, please click here.



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