How serious is your (artificial) sweet tooth?

You’ve probably heard claims about how artificial sweeteners can e better for you than cane sugar but also that they might cause cancer and other serious diseases… yikes, how are you supposed to make a decision based on those claims? Having trouble fighting your love for soft drinks and can’t decide between regular Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, and Coke Life? How serious is your (artificial) sweet tooth?

Artificial sugars are a low-calorie alternative to cane sugar, or sucrose, that is used in many products we are regularly exposed to. These products are marketed by brands as being better for your health, since we can no longer pretend that sugar is good for us in the doses we consume it in. Of course, our lives would be easier if soft drinks, packaged desserts, flavored yogurts, and the many more foods we love to eat were as healthy for us as veggies and hummus. Unfortunately they simply aren’t and we can’t drink Fanta as if it were freshly pressed orange juice. From one Fit Girl to another, I have done some reading and will attempt to clear things up about artificial sweeteners.

Types of artificial sweeteners

At present there are six different forms of artificial sweeteners approved by the FDA: saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, sucralose and advantame. These substances are chemically produced and are also referred to as “nonnutritive”, meaning that they have no nutritional value or calories but are simply used to make your food taste sweeter. These sweeteners are often found in fruit juices, soft drinks, canned fruit, frozen deserts, and anything labelled as “diet”, “light”, or “sugar-free”. You will surely notice the difference in calories in the regular and “diet” versions of the same product- think of Coke Zero with less than one calorie per 330ml can. Yet, these products taste just as sweet as their sucrose-sweetened counterparts. This is because artificial sweeteners can be up to 13,000 times sweeter than cane sugar! How is that even possible?! Indeed, neotame can be anywhere between 7,000 and 13,000 times sweeter than plain old sugar, which means that you need a much smaller amount in your food to make it just as sweet (hence, way less calories).

While this may all seem too good to be true, don’t go grabbing packets of saccharin to sweeten your afternoon tea without reading about some of the effects these sweeteners can have on your body. The debate about artificial sweeteners is a hot one especially because the FDA and CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) have approved these products as safe for consumption. Also a common element of recent attempts to make unhealthy habits healthier, long-term effects of these substances are simply not yet known since the products have not been in our diets for very long.

They probably don’t cause cancer

A few of the artificial sweeteners have been associated with cancers such as bladder cancer (saccharin) and brain cancer (aspartame) in the past. In fact the US Congress required that all foods containing saccharin mention, “Use of this product may be hazardous to your health” until 2000, when the sweetener was removed form the carcinogen list. Since the majority of tests on these artificial sweeteners are run on rats and not on Fit Girls, the substances have actually never been proven to cause cancer in humans. We all know that rats can’t do burpees so it makes sense that they might metabolize artificial sweeteners a bit differently than humans.

It seems that the sweeteners cannot be said to cause cancer, but that doesn’t mean that you should rush to the store and stock up on them. While cancer is extremely serious, many other conditions that greatly affect your life are more likely to develop with the consumption of artificial sweeteners.

But they’re not great for you either

Your body and brain are powerful and complex and so is their reaction to sugars and artificial sweeteners. We won’t go into the details, but this article gives a good description if you’re interested. Since the sweeteners are nonnutritive you are essentially consuming calorie-less food or drinks which might temporarily satisfy your sweet tooth but is likely to lead to increased cravings for sweet foods later on. This means that the artificial sweeteners cannot fool your brain! Instead, they might be priming your brain to want to consume more sugary foods as they are more satisfying for your brain, no matter how many times you tell yourself that you’ve had enough servings of your favorite soft drink.

The fact that artificial sweeteners are used in products advertised as better for you than their sugary counterparts might play another trick on you- it might prevent you from associating sweet food and drink with caloric intake, something that you should try to limit the consumption of. Don’t be fooled into choosing another artificially sweetened product over fresh, nutritious food, something that has been perceived as an issue with these items. Some studies have even revealed that artificial sweeteners could cause addiction, and being dependent on something like Diet Coke cannot be good for your health as much as we wish it could be.

Another issue with sweeteners is that our consumption of unhealthy foods, be it salty or sweet, is much higher than is healthy for us. The tests run on these artificial sweeteners were run with relatively small amounts of them, so it is unknown what a large amount of these chemical sweeteners will do to our bodies in the long run. The consumption of diet sodas was associated with significant increases in the risk for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, diseases which artificial sweeteners were designed to help prevent in the first place.

It appears that candies, drinks, and other foods labeled as “diet”, “light”, or with “sugar-free” may end up having harmful effects on your eating habits and eventually on your health after all.

Verdict: moderation is key

Like most things in life, artificial sweeteners are most likely safe to consume every once in a while in small amounts. They will not immediately make you inflate like a balloon or cause uncontrollable consumption, but you should not consider them as healthy for you either. These sweeteners are ideal if you are not able to consume cane sugar or if you are trying to change your diet to eventually cut out or decrease your intake of sweetened foods. They can serve as a useful tool to making positive changes to your lifestyle, but keep in mind that it can be harmful if you let yourself get carried away (yes, 5 packets of Splenda in your daily Matcha latte is too much).

If you feel like your sugar cravings are not satisfied, try eating a juicy mango or a bowl of fresh strawberries and remember how tasty (and nutritious) naturally sweet foods are! Just listen to your body and be mindful of what you choose to consume, because you deserve to have a body that is taken care of so that you can dance, squat, and laugh as much as possible and not be hindered by some silly chemicals.


12 tips for healthy night shifts

Hi girls! Do you work night shifts? You’ll probably know just how killer those can be on your well-being. You’re battling a chronic jetlag, and exercising can be very challenging to fit in your schedule. Night shifts are proven to be a bad influence on your health, did you know that? So let’s help each other! I will share my best 12 tips for health night shifts and please share yours in the comment section! 

  1. The day before my first night shift, I like to take it really easy. I sleep in until late and plan a powernap between 6PM and 9PM to recharge.
  2. I’ll make sure my fridge is fully stocked. There’s nothing more frustrating, than a blurry sleep-deprived visit to the grocery store after a night of work.
  3. Sleeping during the day can be a challenge: make sure you have a sleeping mask, a dark room and earplugs ready.
  4. Drink lots of water! Bring a big bottle to work. You’ll probably drink less at home (since you’ll be sleeping), so make sure to compensate at work.
  5. Plan something fun: spending all your evenings (after waking up) on the couch watching Netflix, will bore you to death. Break your social isolation by planning a dinner at your friend’s or parents’ house. Extra advantages: no cooking and no dish washing!
  6. Double your fruit and vegetable intake. Take veggie snacks and fruit to work!
  7. Bring a LOT of healthy food to work on your first night. This way, you’ll always have something to choose from.
  8. Do NOT make a habit of eating sugary things during your night shift. Your concentration level and alertness will totally go down the drain. Also, it’s a tough habit to get rid of once learned.
  9. My top tips for a jet lag after your shifts are: 1. Sunlight, 2. Walking. 3. Having people around you. 4. Wind (wind will keep you awake!). Combine those elements and plan a walk on the beach, it’s absolutely the best!
  10. Exercising is perfectly okay, but take it easy. You will probably notice a difference in strength and endurance. Don’t max out! I always get a bit dizzy or nauseous while doing strength training, but I love an easy run outside.
  11. Have fun! There’s always room for a bit of fun during your night. Put on your favorite dance track and do a little dance. Or play a prank on one of your colleagues. It makes all the difference during your shift!
  12. Try to keep moving during your work. I always try to take the stairs during my night shifts, even though I usually dread it. A little extra blood flow will do wonders if your energy level is low!

These are my tips! I’m so curious to hear how you manage your night shifts. Is it anything like my ritual? Or do you have a totally different approach?




How To Choose a Sport That Fits Your Personality

When you start your fit journey, you soon find out that you ‘simply’ need to do two things: eat healthy and work out. One does not go without the other. Eating right can be a hassle and it isn’t easy fighting daily temptations. But choosing the right kind of sports isn’t either. You have to find something that is exciting enough to drag your ass to for three or more times a week. And it must be a place that doesn’t serve wine or cocktails 😉

How to choose a sport that fits your personality
Let me start out by making clear that EVERY type of workout is better than not working out. Whether you start out with two short runs a week or completely dive into an active lifestyle right away: it’s super badass that you came off the couch and started to care for yourself and your body. So what can help you find something that suits you?

Team player or solo?
You could start by asking yourself: am I a team player or do I like flying solo? Think about if you would like to compete against others with a group of people or if you are more interested in challenging yourself. Examples of group sports are soccer, basketball and hockey. How about thinking outside of the box and looking into street dance or rowing.

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Why aren’t you noticing the fitness results you want?

Are you on a fitness train to nowhere? Have you been putting in hours of exercise but aren’t seeing the fitness results you expected? Even though you might be getting sweaty several times per week, there are some reasons you might not be toning or losing in the places you’d like to. 


What’s the deal?

These days we are overwhelmed by endless new “it” workouts said to work magic on all parts of the body. I know they are tempting, and it’s tough to resist when friends are constantly insisting, “You haaave to come try this [insert trendy workout here] with me! It’s amazing!” With all these new ways to work out, we can lose touch of what is best for our body, since we are all different and have different goals.

You’re putting so much time and energy into workouts so you are off to a great start. If you find yourself thinking that you should be looking more like the women you see on the workout videos you’re following, you might not be directing your efforts in an effective way.

What’s the plan?


In order to see results, you should tailor your workouts to your fitness goals. For example, if you want to build arm muscle, a Zumba class probably won’t help you much. Do your research and develop a schedule that fits your fitness mission rather than randomly selecting classes or workouts.

Make sure to keep track of your progress and hold yourself accountable for your workouts. You can use a fitness app such as one of these to help you stay on track and make sure you are balancing your workouts well. I for one am sometimes tempted to only do core exercises, but that booty needs some work too!

Remember to have a backup plan. If you were planning to go for a run but the storm of the year has decided to pour down on you, opt for a dance video or a jog on the treadmill instead. If your boot camp class gets cancelled last-minute, do some lunges, pushups, and other body-weight moves at home or at the gym.

Keep your favorite workout in the mix. Even if your absolute favorite way to exercise isn’t directly related to your current health and fitness goals, keep it in your schedule. It will keep you motivated and will give you a good dose of those endorphins to push you through the workouts you aren’t as crazy about!


Most of all, remember to listen to your body! If something doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t helping you like you want it to. Set goals, keep track of them, and find ways to stay motivated and hopefully you’ll start seeing the fitness results you deserve to! 



The many benefits of exercising outdoors

Ever heard the saying “you’re just one workout away from a good mood”? We totally live by this, and some of us prefer hitting the gym while others go outside in rain or shine. Have you ever thought about how your satisfaction, the efficacy of your workout, and your mood might differ if you exercise indoors or outdoors? 

There are some physical differences between working out indoors on stationary equipment or outdoors, but the major differences have to do with mental benefits. I’ll take you through both so that you know when it might be nicest to go to the park with your #BFFF like Fit Girl Vladana and I did today instead of hitting the treadmill or the elliptical at the gym.

Pssst: there is a surprise on the last page if you read through the entire article!

Active Leggings in Black and Onyx, Jogha; Racerback Tops in Teal and Blue, MyProtein


Get the most out of your workout

The gym has some obvious benefits, especially in terms of predictability and convenience- you know exactly when the gym opens, closes, and what the temperature will be like. The presence of many different types of equipment in the gym is also practical if you plan to, for example, do a circuit training on your own and are not able to carry kettle bells, mats, barbells, and stability balls around with you. Going to the gym is a safe bet if you want to squeeze in a great WOD when the weather outside is just not on your side. However in terms of getting the most out of a workout, you’re better off taking your booty outdoors.

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The comeback of the one-piece swimsuit

Ever since I was little I remember wearing a bikini. But the older I get, the prettier I seem to find one-piece swimsuits. Up until this year, I always skipped the one-piece. But why? Is it because it makes me think of athletes and my grandma or because they make me get weird tan lines? Let’s find out.

The history of the one-piece
Can you imagine that we ever went into the water with ankle length garments? Well, we did. When beach holidays became popular in the 19th century, a sunkissed tan wasn’t as fancy as it is nowadays. People covered their bodies to keep their skin pale. Luckily, women eventually realized that this is totally unpractical, so the swimsuits became shorter and shorter. From 1900, there is a rising demand to more comfortable outfits. Women started to join swim competitions, so the suits became tighter and shorter. During the twenties, the one-piece started to look like the current variant.

In 1946, the bikini was introduced. That was the point that it went totally wrong with the one-piece. The bikini became the symbol of sexyness, the one-piece became the opposite. With some exceptions of course, think Pamela Anderson in her red Baywatch edition.

And still, anno 2015, a lot of people associate one-piece swimsuit with dullness and prudery. Especially the male part of the population. But why? When I see someone wearing a one-piece I get envious most of the time because they look so feminine and sexy. So, I did some asking around and I came to the conclusion that it really depends on what you wear and how you wear it. More about that later.

Anno 2015
First, what is really outdated and what does a one-piece looks like anno 2015? The biggest trends are cut out swimsuits and monokini’s. The cut out is the opposite of dullness! It makes you look sexy and confident because you’re one of those girls who dares to wear it! Especially the ones with a deep cut out neckline are very popular. When a one-piece has that much cut out that there is not that much more left than a bikini, it’s called a monokini. You still are gonna get some weird tan lines because of the shape, but it’s not that bad. Make sure you just don’t wear it every day..

These ones are definitely on trend this summer! How to wear them? Just visit the next page!


1. Mara Hoffman floral print one piece, €295.
2. Topshop swimsuit with deep cut, €49,95.
3. Mikoh crotched one piece, €252,09.
4. Seafolly swimsuit with flower print, €109,95.
5. Agent Provocateur cut out swimsuit, €395.
6. New Look bandeau one piece, €38.
7. River Island strapless swimsuit with mesh detail, €45.
8. Marks & Spencers one piece with slimming effect, €46.


What to wear
When you have a apple figure, you have broad shoulders, big breasts, small hips and a little belly. A bandeau variant will make your boobs look a little smaller, while a pre-formed one will make them look bigger. A printed one piece will make you look slimmer.

If you have a pear figure, your hips are firmer than your shoulders and breasts and you’ve got an amazing butt. Make sure you show that one off! To make your breasts look bigger, wear a one-piece with details that are focused on the chest srea.

With an hourglass body you can pretty much wear any one-piece you like. You’ve got some good curves for a swimsuit. An hour glass figure also means you have a small waist, so make sure you highlight it.

Are you a rectangle? Your body is slim and athletic, but you don’t have many curves. By wearing a deeply cut one-piece, you will look longer and your boobs will look bigger. Decorations will make your body more voluminous.


So, are you wearing a one-piece swimsuit this summer? I know I definitely am!

Do DIY body slimming wraps really work?

Slimming wraps have been on the beauty parlour treatment list for a while, but they have an expensive price tag for unreliable and mixed results. Recently some women have been trying a home made version to replicate the treatment and have taken to using Saran wrap and bandages to turn themselves into human sushi. A DIY body slimming wrap might seem like the perfect solution to save you some cash or worth trying just out for the laughs – what do you have to lose? (Other than hopefully a few inches.)

Body wraps are a treatment that have existed with the purpose of moisturizing, cleansing and toning the skin. Beauty brands continue to develop body wrap products along with their claims of their effects such as detoxifying the body and the skin in attempts to encourage women to fork out with the belief this quick fix will help get their jeans zipped up more comfortably. Among the claims of what body wraps are capable of achieving, is their ability to actually help you lose a couple of inches around your stomach and arms, tone up and to make a desired body part more firm. Online testimonials even provide ‘evidence’ that they actually can achieve this. But how does it work?

Wrap it up

Typically the body is prepared with a lotion or oil containing ingredients such as tea tree and then a thermal or plastic blanket is wrapped around the body, tightly enough to apply pressure but not so much as to be uncomfortable. Variations of seaweed, algae and foil wraps have also been developed and claims include their ability to minimize cellulite by releasing toxins from the body. It’s claimed that they are better suited to areas such as upper arms and the stomach, rather than thighs. Among the advocates of slimming wraps are celebrities who use them before an event or on a film set, in order to feel their best and little more comfortable in figure hugging dresses. It’s probably fair to say that average women who has less time on their hands, isn’t so interested in lying in the beauty parlor listening to mood music of the ocean lapping on the beach but purely want the results.


DIY disasters

Cheaper home slimming body kits are increasingly more popular but if wasn’t a good enough, there are also DIY tutorials on Youtube showing you how to replicate the same effect with supplies all available from the supermarket. Yes, the same unproven results. The fact is, what is really working is the wrap making your skin sweat, releasing water from your body.  Celebrity dermatologist Dendy Engelman M.D. told Shape that people who are prone to dehydration and kidney problems should especially stay away from slimming wraps. She also says that with continued use, the wraps might actually reduce the quality of skin, because any ‘results’ are effects of the loss of water from the body. Other worrying side effects of the DIY trend, is that some people make the mistake of wrapping the film or bandage far too tightly resulting in excessive discomfort and even bruising. One Pinterester, saw a DIY wrap on her newsfeed and decided to give it a shot but reviewed that she felt like her internal organs were being pushed up her throat. She said, “after deciding that I could no longer breathe, I unwrapped my miracle wrap. I looked the same except for the strange bruising around my torso from the wrap cutting off my circulation.” Less alarming but another to keep in mind, dehydration is a primary cause of wrinkles so you could also be prematurely ageing your skin.

Slimming solutions

If you have done any research into ways to seriously reduce cellulite or lose weight then you might be familiar with the importance of staying hydrated. At #FITGIRLCODE we are constantly talking about the need to drink plenty of water and sharing tips on how to drink more. Increasing your water permanently means there’s no need to do any kind of pre party slimming wrap because keeping hydrated is one of the principle ways to beat feeling bloated. But don’t be disappointed if you are still looking for methods to actively improve the appearance of your skin. Instead, try foam rolling. This is a completely safe method to promote circulation achieved by massaging, rather than restricting an area of the body. And it’s beneficial for relaxing your muscles as part of stretching too.

So do they really work? It seems they work at getting people talking and releasing water through sweating. Although such trends might worth trying anyway, body wraps appear to be yet another ‘slimming’ fad that cause more problems than they are worth. At #FITGIRLCODE we want to help you find ways to be happier in your skin without wasting your time and money. Instead of sitting wrapped up for an hour waiting on a miracle to happen, grab a bottle of water and trying going for a walk and let the fresh air and extra movement naturally relieve bloating and promote circulation.

How to do Sun Salutation A

To me a sun salutation is the foundation of a yoga practice. I like to flow on the mat and move with the breath. The sun salutation is a great way to build up the inner fire and start creating that heat (energy) which warms up the body from the inside. 

My yoga practice always consists of many sun salutations and from there I move into other asanas (poses). Once you start doing a proper sun salutation, you’ll notice the energy it gives you and you’ll want to do them more often.

How to do Surya Namaskar A
In this article I’ll explain how to do Sun Salutation A, also known as Surya Namaskar A in sanskrit, and share a few tips about the postures.










Come on to the front of your mat and stand in mountain pose. Feet grounded on the floor, big toes together and heels slightly apart. Stand tall and feel the crown of your head reaching to the sky. With your inhale, take your arms up and make yourself long. Reach for the sky and look up.

IMG_4083 IMG_4082








Exhale and fold all the way down into a forward fold. Bring your hands on the mat next to your feet and bend the knees if necessary. Relax the back of your neck and shoulders and bring your forehead as close to your knees as possible. With your next inhale, lengthen the spine and come half way up into a flat back. Make sure to activate your thighs and lift up the knee caps.

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How to find the perfect tights

See-through, too wide, no elastic band, a zipperbag, no drawstring, itchy labels.. I think we all know these struggles of being a Fit Girl. How are we ever supposed to find the perfect tights?  No worries, you will. You just have to keep some things in mind.

I’ve tried on quite some tights and I am the proud owner of at least 40 of them, so I would like to share my experience in finding the perfect tights.  Here are some guidelines that can be really important for finding the perfect tights.

1 | MOVE
Please, use all the space you have in your dressing room (or out of it, we don’t mind!). Squat, jump, lay down, handstand, wall-sit, stretch, booty-shake and so on. You’re not buying tights because you want to sit still in them, are you? Let’s give it a quick road-test and decide if it:
♥ Does they stay in place? Pulling up your pants all the time is a waste of your energy. Search for tights with a decent elastic waistband that stays up.
♥ Do they have enough stretch? You don’t want to feel irritating seams during your workout.
♥ Are they non see-through? Because see-through pants just aren’t really classy.
♥ Does the crotch look okay? Preferably no seams that go straight down the middle to the back. You don’t want it too be too tight because we all know what happens if it does..! But not too large either. We don’t need that extra space down there, that just looks weird.

2 | Pockets and zippers
When buying a pair of tights I always love it when they have ‘hidden’ pockets. However I don’t like a zipper in the back because it’s going to hurt when you lay down to doing exercises like sit-ups or crunches. I prefer the stretchy pockets that don’t have any strings or zippers because if you don’t use them, you don’t feel them.

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How to dance your way to a healthy body!


Heyyyy girls, Nikki Pebbles here! I am SO excited to show you this awesome new dance I choreographed JUST FOR #FITGIRLCODE. This dance has a great combination of squats, jumps, and cardio. Even if you have never danced before, this routine is easy enough that anyone can do it!

Since summer is on its way, I wanted to talk about the top 3 ways on how to dance your way to a healthy body!!

  1. Try and find a dance fitness class at your local gym: You can burn up to 700 calories in ONE DANCE CLASS…. that should give enough motivation to dance!! You can find the schedules of your local gym either online or call them!
  2. Check out different youtube channels: There was so many different dance methods and you can find all of them on Youtube. Some people teach Zumba, Kerboomka, tone and dance and more! Try each one and have fun doing it at the same time!
  3. Dance in your room: It may seem silly but you know it do it! Turn on your favorite song and have a jam session. I even have a separate playlist for those times where I don’t have time to go to the gym. Its all my favorite songs and I always end up with a great sweat!



Check out the video below and channel your inner Beyoncé ! Have fun burning calories and come back next month for a new routine!! Visit for more dance videos and recipes! Make sure to follow me on instagram @NikkiPebbles!! GO GIRL!

5 inspirational #THICKFIT girls on Instagram

Just like I like my money right where I can see it, hanging from my closet, or on my shoe shrine represented by some 9 inch platform heels,  I like my bones with a little bit of  meat on it. Ok I lied, I like a whole lot of meat, especially when it is accompanied by muscle. When scrolling through my instagramfeed,  I’ve noticed this preference also applies to the accounts where I get my inspiration from. So I thought I’d share with you 5 inspirational #THICKFIT girls on Instagram.

1. Shaineree (@iamshisha)
This lady right here, hailing from Rotterdam, the Netherlands gives a lot of people a run for their money when it comes to showing how determined she is. I can only respect that and I salute her. Wearing the #THICKFIT crown like a #BOSS  and keeping it real all day every day.

PicMonkey Collage shisha

2. Lita  (@followthelita)
When I say #QUEEN, I mean Lita. I mean her body, her drive, those thighs! Lita has been an inspiration from day one and I just love her positivity. Did I say love her thighs already? 🙂

PicMonkey Collage lita

3. Aisha (@proudtobeaisha)
Please allow me to introduce to you, also from Rotterdam,  Aisha. She just looks absolutely awesome, is so motivated, lifts heavy- ass- weights, has been around for a long while and oozes positive vibes. I like me some Aisha. Follow, follow, follow!

PicMonkey Collage aisha


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What to look for in a Personal Trainer : The basics

Starting your fit journey, or taking it to the next level can be rather difficult at times. Instead of giving up or staying in your comfort zone, you can opt for booking some sessions with a Personal Trainer, someone who is skilled and can help you accomplish your goals. But what to look for in a Personal Trainer and where do you start looking when you decide you want to do this . What to look for in a Personal Trainer : The basics are up next!

Before you determine who you are going to train with determine your goals. It is way easier picking a trainer when you know what you want to accomplish. By determining your goals first you will find your self searching for PT’s who’s expertise suit these goals and not the other way around.goal1-300x235

Some PT’s have their own gyms, some work in mainstream gyms and some just work all over the place, even outside or at your home. When you search for a PT, make sure you know where you like to work out. There is nothing wrong with being the  inside-the-gym type or the -nice-weather-lets-train-outside-type, but make sure you pick a trainer that suits these preferences to. By doing this you’ll make sure you have a good time, feeling comfortable and utilizing not only your but also your trainer’s skills.

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7x abdominal exercises & win your own BLACKROLL

I like to keep things simple, however effective. Working out with your own bodyweight and gravity, is something I believe to be smart movement: it’s all you need to stay super fit, in a safe way. However, some intelligent and simple product design to support training can really get my spirits lifted too. Small training tools that I can take along when I travel (and I do this quite a bit!) I especially enjoy to get moving on days I would rather just don’t.

Resistance bands, (self massage) rollers, ankle weights or just some simple water-or sand filled bottles, are enough to add just a tad more challenge and fun to your work out. In the following series of articles ‘simply fit’ we will go through some of my favorite and most effective body-inspired exercises to stay fit, lean and strong, using as little as your own bodyweight and some real simple, cool tools.

In this kick-off, we’ll start with some great and effective abdominal exercises that I do daily to strengthen the core: the very centre of our body that needs to be strong to be able to train all other parts of the body in a balanced manner. The only thing you need is your lovely body and a floor. And gravity. Ok, so far so good – and no money is spent ;-).

Check out these 7 abdominal exercises & win your own BLACKROLL

As you already read in my last article on foam rolling, I like adding a Blackroll to my workouts. Not only to recover faster by ‘rolling it out’ and to shortly warm up, and stimulating my blood circulation, but also to actually use it during my work out to make things more challenging and fun. The following exercises* are inspired by experiences I have collected over the last year, from Pilates and Yoga classes to studying Essentrics . Using the legs as levers, our own body and gravity we’re working on a strong, flat stomach. Simplicity is AWESOME! Check out all the exercises and don’t forget to enter the contest to win your own Blackroll!

* Some of these exercises can (also) be executed with the roller, to make it more fun and challenging.

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Celebrating women

I think every body is different and beautiful, it does’t matter if you’re short or tall or skinny or curvy.  I’ve found some curvy models and celebrities that I want to share with you that are absolutely gorgeous. Of course, these are my favorite beautiful curvy women, it does not mean that thin women aren’t just as beautiful. We all rock!

Celebrating women


Yes Adele has curves, but she’s also really fit. You’ve gotta be fit to sing the notes she does. I love that she really doesn’t care what everybody thinks about her. She always looks so confident!

Denise Bidot and Marina Bulatkina

These models stripped down and made some awesome pictures! They hope to change how the world sees beauty. Check out the other pictures here.

Christina Aguilera

Although Christina’s weight really fluctuates, I love her most with a few extra pounds. Years ago, she flaunted everything, and now she’s a more sophisticated curvy woman.

Mariah Carey

I don’t think Mariah Carey always accentuates her great features, although she has a lot of them. This picture accentuates her upper body and smaller waist beautifully!

Salma Hayek

I love Salma Hayek’s exotic look. I know this is about curvy women, but I just need to say, I love her haircolor and eyebrows =). She has a gorgeous hourglass figure and knows how to accentuate her good features.


Of course Beyoncé belongs in this list, she’s famous for her curves! I really love her hourglass shape. Beyoncé is actually quite slim, but not that muscular. So you see, every body is different, some are more toned than others.

Kate Winslet

This beautiful Hollywood actress does things her own way. She doesn’t really follow the trends and has her own style. This seasoned actress, famous for the movies Titanic, The Holiday and many more, has her own opinion and knows exactly how to present herself.


I would love to know who the women are that you admire. Let me know!

5 Health Benefits of a Glass of Red Wine

If there is one thing in the world you love the most after chocolate, what would it be? For me, it would be wine and I think a lot of girls will agree with me. Unfortunately, I always have the feeling that wine isn’t always as good for you. You can imagine my surprise when I found out red wine has a lot of benefits. Since wine is the favourite drink for a lot of women, I am going to lay it down for you. No more guilt tripping while your drinking your delicious grape beverage ladies!

First, let me tell you a little about the history of wine. Once upon a time, wine was considered as an healthy option. The ancient Egyptians and Romans used wine for health benefits and it even played a major role in medicine. Wine was considered as a way to disinfect wounds and drinking wine was seen as a means to maintain a healthy balance in the digestion system. It was only until the late 19th century that views changed about the consumption of wine. Because of the alcohol which is an inherent part of wine, governments and the people began to research the negative aspects of alcohol and what it can do to your body and brain. Of course, the results weren’t always as positive concerning the effects of alcohol.

Nevertheless, recent studies provided more positive feedback about the consumption of red wine (such as the French Paradox). Nowadays, people recognize the healthy benefits red wine can have on the body. Since we love red wine and love to drink it in our favorite yoga pants, we summed up our 5 favourite health benefits red wine can have on your body and mind.

Red wine is…

1. Good for the heart

One of the ingredients in wine called resveratrol, which is an antioxidant. It has been proven to be a protector of your heart and arteries. For example, resveratrol battles cholesterol. This is a good thing, because it eventually improves your cardiovascular health. Moreover, research that has been done on the heart and the drinking of red wine shows that moderate drinkers of red wine are less susceptible to heart attacks.

2. Good for your teeth

Although red wine can make your teeth look like you’ve just slaughtered someone, the drink is actually good for your teeth. According to a study red wine fights certain bacterias and this helps to prevent cavities in your teeth.

3. Good for your immune system

A 2001 study illustrates that drinking wine is actually pretty good for your immune system. The results suggested that red wine may have a protective effect against a common cold. People who drink red wine are therefore less likely to get a cold. How awesome is that!?

4. Good for your mental health

Spanish study from 2013 even suggests that wine may prevent depression. For this research, they analyzed the participant’s food intake and mental health. People who drank around an average of 7 glasses of red wine per week, were less inclined to have a depression. If you’re feeling down, just drink that glass of wine you’ve been wanting to have!

5. Good for your eyesight

Wine incorporates a compound that is called resveratrol (yup, it’s the same compound which makes wine good for your heart), it can also be said that wine is good for your eyes according to a study from 2010. Resveratrol stops the growth of blood vessels. ‘Why is that important?’ you might think. Well, the growth of blood vessels will decrease your eyesight.

So sit back, relax and drink your favourite beverage with pleasure. However, as it goes for everything, moderation is key. These research results were only applicable if a particapant moderately drank wine. For women, doctors suggest one glass of red wine a day. That’s why I want to introduce a new motto:

A glass of wine a day, keeps the doctor away!


Sources used:

Robinson, J., ed. (2006). The Oxford Companion to Wine (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 433.

3 reasons why a sport and foodlog helps you to achieve your goals

It seems like everywhere you go, gyms try to seduce you with their ads and their superdeals. Collegues suddenly celebrate their birthdays with homemade oat cookies and even your lazy ex boyfriend is posting a workout selfie. Yup, it’s that time of the year again. Everybody is trying to get into shape before summer.

Gaining a few pounds in the winter can happen to anyone, but we rather want to get rid of this wintercoat before summer shows up. If you want a summer body, working out is a must. However, don’t forget to eat healthy, it’s part of the deal. You can squat until you’re passed out, but if you don’t say bye to Ben & Jerry not much is going to change.

If your intention is to eat healthier and to work out, we suggest to keep a sport and foodlog. With this, we don’t mean that you have to count your calorie intake obsessively. No. But keep in mind how much you exercise and what you eat. It’s a useful tool in order to create your sexy summer body. That’s why we’ve summarized a couple of reasons on why should you make use of a sport and foodlog.

Avoid dissapointment

If you keep track of your daily food intake, you will become more conscious about your nutrition. You might think that that small piece of cheese and the leftovers from your pan don’t matter. But if you sum up all those little bites, you’ll eat a whole extra meal every day. If you don’t realise this, this will only get you frustrated.

Get to know your body

Do you suddenly notice you make a lot of progress? Or do you feel like you’re not achieving anything at all? Check your diary what could be the case. Did you eat something different the last couple of weeks or did you work out more? If you get to know your body and on what it reacts positively or negatively, you can adjust your workouts and food.

Honesty is the best policy

If you decide to use a sport and foodlog, be honest to yourself (and your trainer). Although it wasn’t a fantastic day and you cheated with some chocolate and wine, do fill out everything you ate. If you did not reach your goal at the end of the week or month, you know what the issue was (it has to be a realistic goal though). Only if you’re honest in keeping up with your food and working out schedule, it can help you to realise your goals.

Don’t be afraid. You don’t have to keep track of your sport and foodlog for your entire life. If you integrated working out and a healthy diet, your sport and food log will become self-evident.

Personally, we believe that My Fitness Pal is a great way to keep track of daily food intake. The app has an endless database with food and if your brand or product isn’t there, you can scan your barcode. A couple of girls from the #FITGIRLCODE crew also created their sport and foodlog. Take a look at their sport and foodlogs and be inspired! Don’t forget that every body is different and that your body may have different needs when it comes to working out and food.

Best snowy workout for this February

The last winter month is ahead of us and some of you might be stuck in snowy cities with no motivation to leave the house for gym. Well we got good news for all of you: no need to go far in order to workout. Just grab a shovel and go outside and make your yard clean and your body fit and strong.

For this workout you only need 2 “ingredients”: snow and a shovel. Once you got that covered, you can start your snowy workout with these 4 moves:

Snowy workout

1. Shovel Squatssnowy workout

For the first exercise just bend down and lift each shovel full of snow. When doing the squats make sure you do it right. The best way to protect your back is to avoid lifting with it, but doing so with your legs. Also, when working out you must make sure to focus on a good squat form. You can easily do so by putting your feet in shoulder-width or slightly wider position, bending your knees, this way keeping your back straight, and have the chest lifted. Stop when your thighs are more or less parallel to the ground in order to scoop the snow onto your shovel and return to the standing position.

2. Standing Oblique Shovel Twistssnowy workout

Once you’ve lifted the shovel, the best thing you could do is to carry your snow to a pile of it rather than flipping it over your shoulder. While you do that, make sure you stand tall and tuck the hips under, bracing the core, and rotate to each side 5 times to engage the obliques.

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How to make you beauty spa at home – PART 2

We all need a break from life sometimes, that’s why I shared some tips & tricks for creating your own beauty spa at home a few days ago. If you didn’t read PART 1 of this article yet, I suggest you do that first, because you have to enjoy the entire spa treatment 🙂

Your face… it needs my kisses

  • Wet your face with warm water and use a brush or washcloth to scrub your face with a face polisher or scrub. Don’t scrub too hard, just rub your face gently and don’t forget your neck, nose pads and a part of your chest/shoulders.
    Tip: Don’t have a face polisher? Use brown sugar to scrub your face. It’s a natural exfoliate that works for all skin types. Mix it up with 1 tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil.
  • Clean your face with a hot-warm towel until the scrub is removed.
  • Make your own facial steamer with a bowl filled with HOT HOT water. You could put mint and/or lemons in the bowl or rose petals for nice fragrance. Don’t use any oil or soaps otherwise it will hurt your eyes. Put a towel over your head and hang your face above the bowl, close your eyes and control your breathing into a nice slow pace. Relax and let it steam for 10 minutes.
    Note: Your face should be very warm during this treatment, but not uncomfortably hot. Otherwise let the water cool down before you steam or don’t put the towel over your head.
  • Since your pores are open now from the facial steamer, this is the perfect time to pluck your eyebrows, remove any zits or pimples and wax your moustache 😉 To relax your face again after the waxing and plucking unwanted hair you can put ice cubes into a plastic bag, and gently rub it all over your face for a couple of minutes.
  • You are ready for a home made facial masks. Get some slices of cucumber and make sure you have a brush or cotton wool to spread the facial mask on your face and neck/part shoulders. These are my favorite homemade facial masks recipes:
  • Lemon facial mask
    This facial is both exfoliating and moisturizing. Mix up juice from one lemon with ¼ cup olive oil or sweet almond oil. Leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse your face with a WARM washcloth or towel.
  • Banana facial mask
    Mash up a ripe banana, mix it up with ¼ cup of plain yogurt and 2 tablespoons of honey.
    Let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes. Your face will relax, get moisturized and because of the honey you’ll get a bit of a facelift. 😉 Wash your face with WARM water.
  • Avocado facial mask
    This facial mask is especially for women with dry skin. Mash up 1/2 of a very ripe/ soft avocado and stir it up with a 1/4 cup of honey. Apply to your skin and leave it on for 10 minutes. Rinse your face with a COOL washcloth.

To have the ultimate face treatment don’t forget to moisturize your face after your facial mask. You can do this with your day cream but preferably use oil. Use facial oil or almond oil. Coconut oil is good for  girls with a dry skin BUT it could lead to pimples since your pores get clogged up.

Make your body the sexiest outfit you own

  • For those lucky Fit Girls amongst us who have a bathtub you can start filling it up with hot-warm water and bath oils, beads, salts, bubbles. You can also add milk and oatmeal to your bath, because these have a moisturizing effect if you have a dry skin. Or add almond oil of coconut oil for a baby-soft skin.
  • Just lie in your bath like a mermaid, close your eyes and just dream away, for as long as the water is warm. You could also pour yourself a glass of wine and have a healthy snack. Whatever helps you relaxing!
  • If you don’t have a bath take a nice hot-warm shower. If you are able to sit in your shower you can pretend to stand under a waterfall with your eyes closed. Try it! It’s very relaxing and good for your imagination.
  • While you are in your bathtub or in the shower take the time to massage your sore muscles from your work outs. Tip: close the door of your bathroom so you will keep the heat in and create a home sauna / steam room.
  • Turn off your shower or get out of your bathtub to scrub your body with one of the following homemade scrubs:

    Chocolate body scrub
    Mix up 1 cup coconut oil with a 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup with cocoa powder. Mix it well and scrub your body with a brush or washcloth. You will get a beautiful skin and smell like chocolate all day! YEAH!

  • Mango body scrub
    Mix 1/2 cup raw sugar with 2 or 3 tablespoons of coconut oil. Mix it well until the sugar gets mossy. Add 1/4 cup chopped soft mango pieces and add 3 or 4 drops of orange essential oil. Mash everything together. If you don’t get a sticky substance yet, you can add more sugar or coconut oil. This body scrub will give your skin nutrition and a fruity fragrance.
  • Oatmeal body scrub
    Especially for Fit Girls with a dry skin the oatmeal body scrub is prefect. Mix 1 cup brown sugar with 1 cup raw oatmeal and a 1 cup olive oil. Rub your skin with it and hit the shower. Your skin will feel like butter! Tip: When you scrub your body, do this in a circular motion, start at your feet and work your way up. The circular motion will activate your blood veins, which is good for the blood circulation in your body.

If you don’t like to scrub your skin with a body scrub, you can also try out DRY BODY BRUSHING 😀 Fit Girl Kiki explains all about this new treatment which is definitely worth trying. Read more : “Why dry body brushing is the bomb”.

Body 2

  • After you’ve washed off the body scrub or took a nice warm shower or bath if you treated yourself with a dry body brushing you can wash yourself with a body cream or oil. Use the towel to pat your skin dry instead of completely drying up your skin.
  • If you still have rough spots on your skin you can take a freshly cut lemon and rub it gently on the rough spots, like on your elbows and knees. The acid in the lemon will soften the rough spots on your skin. Try it to believe it!
  • After a body scrub, it’s time to use nourishing body lotion, body butter or a nice body oil. Take the time to cover your complete body. Put on your bathrobe and give the lotion time to absorb into your skin before you get dressed in your I-am-staying-in-and-hang-on-my-couch- pants-and-hoodie 😉

After a day in a beauty spa, besides feeling completely relaxed and balanced again, I also feel a bit “hangover”. Your mind is turned off, your body feels heavy and your skin glows. The best thing about a beauty spa day at home is that you can immediately crash on your couch or into your bed and RELAX. Pour yourself (another) glass of wine, put some (healthy) snacks on the table and watch a movie, read a book, listen to music or simply fall in a long deep sleep…

Make it a priority to enjoy some relaxing time every now and then. You can either enjoy your beauty spa alone or with your BFFF. Everyone deserves a moment of peace and quiet. It’s important to relax for mental clarity, reduce stress, giving your muscles time to recover, and to take care of yourself.

Hopefully all these tips and tricks inspired you create your own beauty spa at home! 😉 ENJOY!

How to create your own beauty spa at home – PART 1

We all need a break from this hectic thing called life from time to time. People go into their relax mode after a work-out or while they have a romantic walk to their refrigerator, but my absolute all-time favorite spoil-your-cute-buttthing is enjoyinging a beauty day at the spa. Since I don’t have money growing on a tree, we Fit Girls need to be creative with the budget we have and create our own beauty spa at home. Here are a few tips and tricks to get into relaxing mode on your well-deserved day OFF!


When you decide to have a beauty spa day at home, make sure you pick a day when you don’t have any interruptions or a busy schedule afterwards. Turn off your Smartphone (after you’ve posted on Instagram you have a relax day 😉 ) and pretend not to be home for the next few hours.


Beauty spa’s always look flawless and have this relaxing atmosphere. Well, with these tips & tricks you can turn your home into your own private spa and set the mood for relaxation:

  • Check Youtube for ‘Spa Music’ and you will find hours of relaxing music, which you can play at the background. Relaxing music not your cup a tea? Than choose any kind of music which will bring you in the relaxing mood.
  • The best thing about a beauty home spa is that you can use your whole house and don’t just have to limit yourself to your bathroom. So turn your living room into the treatment centre and relaxing room where you could take a beauty nap, do your home yoga practice or finally read your pile of magazines while having your healthy smoothie. Click here for recipes of four delicious smoothies!
  • Get your #FITGIRLCODE bottle or large can and fill it up with water and slices of lemon, cucumber, mint or raspberries. Make sure you prepare this “detox” water a few hours before your beauty spa day. This way it won’t just keep you hydrated but you’ll also have the benefits of antioxidants.
  • Take the largest towel you can find to wrap around yourself and make sure you have plenty of clean smaller towels for all those treatments you have scheduled for yourself 😉 You can even roll these towels up like they do in a beauty spa.
  • Fire up some candles and close your curtains to create a more romantic and intimate setting.
  • Get out all your nail goodies, like polish, file, clipper, cuticle pusher, hand and feet creams. You probably have tons of samples of body-lotion, face cream and scrubs. You can finally try them all out!
  •  And if you really want to go flamingo-crazy, decorate your home with flowers, rose petals and incense sticks or aromatherapy products. Make a bowl with fruits and a plate with veggies for the finishing touch, like strawberries, kiwi, apples, carrot, bell pepper, candy-tomatoes. Because you will get hungry while you are busy relaxing 😉


First take a nice hot shower to release the stress and clear your mind. This could be a quick water-dip of 5 minutes but make sure you clear your face, wet your hair (don’t wash it yet) and remove your make-up. Brush your teeth and floss afterwards so you shine like a diamond. You can even brighten your smile with activated charocal like Kiki did.


Now you are ready to treat yourself for a long and relaxing day. Try out he following treatments:

Beautiful hair makes a happy head

  • Strawberry hair maskBesides eating those sweet hart shaped fruits you can also use them for your own homemade hair mask. You’ll need a cup of strawberries (preferably the ones who are a little mushy to eat), one egg yolk and two tablespoons of olive oil. Mix this all together until the strawberries chunks are like juice. Rub this in your hair and use a plastic hair cap (or plastic bag ) to avoid a mess. Leave it in for 20 minutes. Rinse your hair and wash it with a mild shampoo.
  • Coconut cream hair maskThis hair mask is for Fit Girls who take serious time for their spa day at home. Believe me, it’s worth every minute of your precious time. First thing you need is a hot-warm wet towel ready to wrap your hair into. You could lay your towel in hot water and wring out or WET your towel and use the microwave for 15 seconds to warm it up. Crack open the coconut (mini work-out ), take a chunk of the coconut cream and warm it up in your hands. When it’s soft enough and pliable, massage it into your hair. Repeat this until your whole hair is covered with coconut cream. Carefully wrap your hair into the warm towel and leave the hairmask in for about an hour. Rinse your hair and wash with a mild shampoo.

In the meantime you continue your treatments…

Happy Feet

  • Remove your old nail polish and have a footbath. Take a tub and fill it up with hot/warm water and leave your feet there for about 10 till 15 minutes to rest. You can also put salts and oil in the water for extra soft feet.
  • Relax and read your magazine or just close your eyes and listen to the relaxing music…
  • Take a pumice stone to remove the rough spots on your feet and dead skin on your heels and toes. Put your feet back into a new tub of warm water to wash them one more time. Dry your feet and get ready for your pedicure.
  • Trim your toenails in shape with the clippers. Make sure you round off the edges to prevent ingrown toenails. Push back your cuticles with a cuticle pusher. If you like you can also polish your toenails or just leave them natural.
  • Take some body lotion or your feet cream and give yourself a short foot massage. Use a bit more cream than usual and take the time for your feet to dry up. Outcome: Happy-relaxed-beautiful -FEET!

Beautiful hands make light work

  • Remove your old nail polish. It’s better to use acetone-free nail polish remover, since acetone could dry out your nails.
  • Get a bowl with hot-warm water and leave your hands in them for about 5 minutes. If you want to polish your nails afterwards don’t use any oils or soap in the water. Otherwise your polish won’t adhere correctly.
  • Dry your hands and use a fingernail clipper to trim your nails. You can also use scissors or a file to shape your nails. To finish this treatment push back your cuticles with a cuticle pusher like you did with your toenails. Do this gently otherwise you can cut your cuticles and get an infection.
  • Time for the challenging part: polishing the nails of both your hands. Practice makes pefect! You can just polish your nails with one coat of your favorite color or you can have a full manicure with at least three coats; a base coat, a color, and a topcoat. This way you have maximum coverage and it will last longer. You do need the patience to dry every coat. Also don’t polish your nails if you still need to wash out your hair mask. Trust me, not a pretty sight!

WTF (Where’s The Food)


Beside your plate with fruits and veggies it is also important to have a good lunch or dinner, depending on what time of the day you are having your beauty spa. Since it’s your spoil-your-cute-butt day, you might as well go all out and make yourself a healthy snack, lunch and dinner. Click here for healthy recipes the #FITGIRLCODE crew has shared before! Schedule kitchen time in between your treatments or before the start of your beauty spa day.

Stay tuned, because you can read the second part of this article in a few days. I’ll include some tips and tricks for a great facial- and body treatment. Did you set a date for your beauty spa at home yet?

Special Black Friday Deal

It’s Black Friday and we’ve made a special Fit Girl deal just for you! With every purchase over 50 EUR in our webshop you get a free water bottle. This goes for #FITGIRLCODE items as well as Jogha gear. YAY!


How to work out like a Fit Girl

Don’t you just love this look? Fit Girl @martinevd11 is rocking it with the IKAT Loose Short and IKAT Gym Bra. The White Muscle Tee makes sure you feel comfortable and still show off your awesome gear!     



How to chill like a Fit Girl

We train like beasts, but love to chill as well. Thank God for rest days! Left you see @fitgirlchris with het full on JUNGLE outfit. Aranka is ready to chill with her JUNGLE Loose Pant. Awesomeness!    

Schermafbeelding 2014-11-28 om 11.51.37


How to be a yogi Fit Girl

Ready to sweat at hot yoga? How about rocking it in the IKAT Racerback Bra and Booty Short? Make sure to always drink enough water! And if you spend 50 EUR of more today in our webshop, you’ll get the #FITGIRLCODE water bottle for free!



Get your Fit Girl Crew!

Working out with your BFFF’s is so much more fun than working out alone! Grab your girl and go for a kick ass work out. Show the world what you’re made of. YOU’RE A FIT GIRL!    


We’d love to see you rocking the #FITGIRLCODE and Jogha gear so be sure to tag Jogha and #FITGIRLCODE in your pictures. And don’t forget: this Monday we start shipping all the Jogha clothes! YAY!