Maya111Many of you lead a very active lifestyle and struggle to eat healthy snacks while you are out and about. One question that keeps popping up in my inbox is what are some quick, easy and healthy snacks you can enjoy when you are on the go. Below is a list of my top five healthy snacks that require zero preparation time:

 

1- Any serving of fruit. Fruits are typically less than 100 calories and are nature’s desserts!

 

2- Zero fat yogurt. Stick to a serving size of one cup for a rich and filling protein snack.

 

3- Protein powder mixed with water or skimmed milk. This is usually best taken after a workout, but it is also a perfect snack for a long day out.

 

4- A small handful of nuts. Pay attention to those calories and make sure your nuts are always raw and unsalted.

 

 

5- Egg white omelet. Believe it or not, this makes a great snack! Egg whites are the only source of protein with zero fat and are very low in calories!

 

It is very important to plan in advance and take your healthy snacks with you wherever you go. Eating snacks that are very high in calories will only contribute to unwanted weight gain. This will also make it impossible to lose any extra weight, even if you go to the gym on a regular basis.

 

 

If you have any questions about healthy snacks or weight loss, make sure you drop me an email!

 

 

To see a detailed list of more healthy snacks, click here.

 

Don’t forget to watch me live on MTV Lebanon every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:00 am for workouts you can do from home. Click here to see a list of all episodes to date

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Hello all! Many of you have emailed me asking for more ideas on how to exercise at home. Some of you have busy schedules and find it more convenient to train at home and some of you travel a lot. Below are a few ways I can help you exercise at home:

1- Watch me live on MTV Lebanon!

Every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:00 am, I host a show called Get Fit and demonstrate easy-to-do exercises using minimal equipment. This show specifically targets people who train at home and the exercises I do are suitable for all fitness levels. If you won’t be next to a TV around this time, then you can watch a re-run of all the episodes by clicking here.

 

2- Check out the exercises on the mobile app

If you haven’t already downloaded my app, do so now by searching for “startlivingright” in your smartphone store. You will find a variety of animated exercise illustrations for the entire body. Some of these exercises will require access to a gym, however, you will be able to do many of these at home.

 

3- Download my complete home workout guide

You can always download my free home workout guide complete with pictures and step by step instructions. Follow the workouts or create your own plan. If you need help with a diet, you can check out the other guide which contains meal plans and more information about nutrition. Get the guides by clicking here.

 

4- Invest in a workout DVD

If you are the type of person who lacks motivation, then get your hands on a workout DVD and simply follow along. There are lots of different DVDs to choose from. My personal favorite which I have completed twice is Insanity by Sean T. It will kick your ass into shape in no time.

 

5- Connect with other users in the Start Living Right community

The mobile app has an online community with access to more than 20.000 users. One great way to learn more about exercising at home is to interact with these users and exchange ideas. You will be able to ask questions, exchange tips and share your progress photos. Get started and stop making excuses!

 

As usual, don’t forget to send me your questions, feedback and comments. Stay tuned as a new layout for the website and mobile app are currently under construction.

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Hello all!

 

I hope the first month of 2016 has been treating you well! I’m sure many of you are training hard and working towards your fitness goals. However, did you know that one of the best ways to reach your goals is through the support and encouragement of other people? If the people in your life do not lead a healthy lifestyle, then the all-new Start Living Right community will certainly come in handy!

 

The Start Living Right Mobile App!

 

In case you aren’t already familiar, this website has a mobile version which can be downloaded for free on any smartphone. The app includes tips, advice, recipes, animated exercise illustrations, workout programs, quizzes and lots more! The application is endorsed by the Lebanese minister of sports, it has been ranked number one by the Apple store many times and has been featured on every T.V. station and in every newspaper all over the country, including around the Middle East. You can download it by searching for “startlivingright” in your smartphone store!

 

What is the Start Living Right community?

 

The community is a section that has been recently added to the mobile app. It connects you to more than 20,000 users from Lebanon, the Arab world, Europe, the U.S. and India! You will be able to post questions, exchange tips, share photos and simply meet new people. It can be very challenging to reach your fitness goals and this is one way to ask for help or motivation when you need it the most. It’s also fun to see what others have been eating or how they train every day. The best news it it’s all free! Get started by posting in the community and introducing yourself to others.

 

See you there! Don’t forget to watch me live on Get Fit aired every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:00 on MTV Lebanon. Click here to see previous episodes.

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MWclassicThe past couple of weekends I flew over to London to take part in two very big bodybuilding and fitness modeling events. I started competing myself only a little over two years ago and have to say it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The world of bodybuilding forces you to get into the best shape of your life before competing, it helps you network with some of the most inspirational professionals and celebrities in the fitness industry and it gives you amazing exposure too.

 

Last weekend I interviewed all the athletes at the Pure Elite world championships for a channel. I competed with Pure Elite back in April and won a total of three trophies. One of the prizes was the overall female winner voted by the audience competing with more than 200 others on stage which left me feeling extremely ecstatic. Although I qualified for the world championships, I decided not to compete and to let myself rest and enjoy the offseason a little longer. Getting ready for a competition requires extreme dedication, training and dieting that is very exhausting and not sustainable as a lifestyle.

 

It was amazing getting to interview other competitors and ask them personal questions about their lifestyle and their journeys. I also find it very interesting to learn from others about their struggles, their background and what got them into competing. For me, it was all about setting a challenging goal and becoming the best version of myself that I ever created. For those of you that are not aware, Pure Elite is the fastest growing bodybuilding federation in Europe and in my experience the very best to compete with! They host some of the best competitions with the most amazing physiques on stage.

 

This past weekend I was one of the judges at the Miss World Classic, a fitness modeling competition for 100 beautiful ladies that graced the stage in a very glamorous and luxurious setting. The event featured round tables with ball gowns and tuxedos and dinner was served as the women graced the catwalk. I was extremely ecstatic that I was invited to be a judge and found it a very hard decision deciding who should be the winner. This amazing event was organized by Natasha Murray from NGM models. It was without a doubt one of the most glamorous events of the year. The photo at the top of this post shows me judging the MW Classic.

 

Although these competitions do not exist in our part of the world, I am always encouraging anyone who has the means to get into it. Whether you win or not, it is all about setting a challenging goal and accomplishing it. It’s a challenge against you and yourself which means you can never lose, only if you give up and do not reach your goal. If anyone would like more information, feel free to drop me an email!

 

Other than that, watch me live every Tuesday and Thursday on MTV Lebanon at 10:00 am for easy workouts you can do at home.

 

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As a board member of animal welfare NGO Animals Lebanon, I will be launching a campaign to raise funds for the organization. I really hope all animal lovers will support me. Any donation, no matter how small, will make a big difference.

Who is Animals Lebanon?

Animals Lebanon is the foremost animal welfare organization in the Middle East. We rescue endangered species, close down abusive zoos, save thousands of animals and currently have our animal welfare law awaiting approval at parliament.

What is some of the work done by Animals Lebanon?

We launched a national campaign to protect animal welfare which has been approved by the Council of Ministers.

We have closed down three abusive zoos and rehomed more than 100 animals.

We work with sanctuaries worldwide to protect endangered species and have recently sent chimpanzees, bears, hyenas, tigers and lions abroad.

We represent Lebanon at international conventions.

We save thousands of animals every year and assist more than 7,000 reports for companion animals in need.

What is this campaign about?

I will be running the 10km race for Beirut Marathon on November 8th and my goal is to raise funds for Animals Lebanon. I would like to raise $1 for every meter in the race. My goal is to raise $10,000 to complete 10,000 meters.

How can you support my campaign?

Just click on the banner in the homepage or visit www.startlivingright.net/marathon and follow the instructions. You can donate any amount, even as little as $1. You will find a map which is the exact outline of the 10km race of Beirut Marathon. Every time a dollar is donated, an animated illustration of me will complete one meter on the map. Help me finish the race by making a donation! All donations made will go directly to Animals Lebanon, helping us protect all animals in Lebanon. This page will be launched within 48 hours.

How can you support Animals Lebanon?

Other than donating to my campaign, there are many ways to support Animals Lebanon. You can adopt a pet, become a monthly sponsor, donate funds or volunteer. You can help us organize activities, care for animals or even help out with tasks. Volunteering with Animals Lebanon is a great way for animal lovers to meet likeminded people and be around animals. Visit the website for more information: www.animalslebanon.org

 

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Photo by Titus PowellAs someone who has been addicted to the gym for the last five years, I have come up with a fun list to describe my fellow gym-addicts. If you have anything to add to the list, just leave a comment below.

 

 So here it is! You know you might be addicted to bodybuilding if:

 

1-      You own more gym clothes than regular clothes

 

2-      You spend all your money on protein powder and muscle-building supplements

 

3-      You grunt and scream at the gym to the point that people think you might be a little crazy

 

4-      You don’t know what to do with yourself on rest day

 

5-      You research hotels on vacation to make sure they have a fully equipped gym

 

6-      You love gaining weight on the scale (more muscle mass!)

 

7-      You eat every three to four hours

 

8-      You know what a macronutrient is

 

9-      You take progress photos of yourself every week (and hope nobody ever finds them!)

 

10-   You have eaten meals out of Tupperware… (your healthy fats, protein and carbs go with you wherever you go!)

 

11-   You get mad at your friends for ordering dessert when they have dinner with you

 

12-   You have actually had dreams about the gym (literally speaking!)

 

13-   You have a healthy dinner at home before going to a party that will be serving junk food (nothing gets in the way of you and your goals!)

 

14-   You have dragged most of your friends and family with you to the gym at least once (and they hate you for it)

 

15-   Your palms are full of calluses from weightlifting

 

16-   You own the Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding by Arnold Schwarzenegger (and you’ve read it at least twice)

 

17-   You never skip leg day but cry on the way out of your session (and can’t walk the next day!)

 

18-   The gym is always a priority in your schedule

 

19-   You have woken up really early to do fasted cardio

 

20-   You have given up alcohol at some point to reach your goals

 

21-   You are a nightmare to be around on low carb day

 

22-   You can’t walk past a mirror without flexing or checking out your muscle definition

 

23-   The only pages you follow on social media are fitness and bodybuilding related

 

24-   You eat chicken for breakfast (no better source of protein in the morning!)

 

25-   You have never walked into a restaurant and ordered what is written on the menu without changing it around (no French fries, no sauces, no cheese….!)

 

26-   You stay away from fat loss scams and enjoy working hard

 

27-   You spend so much time at the gym that people worry about you if you take a couple of days off

 

28-   Your day is always better after a hardcore lifting session

 

29-   You talk about training so much that people have to politely remind you to change the subject

 

30-   You physically shock people with the amount of food you can eat during a cheat meal (you obviously earned every bite of that burger!)

 

 

 

 

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HealthandFitnessCoverMany people email me saying that their lifestyle does not allow them to reach their fitness goals. They say that they do not have time to exercise and that they are unable to prepare healthy food to take with them on the go.

 

My response is that you always have to adapt your lifestyle to your goals. There is ALWAYS something you can do. Using myself as an example, I used to wake up one hour earlier to fit in my training and sometimes used to train during my lunch break. If it was impossible to train on a certain weekday, I always made up for it on the weekends.

 

While training for a competition, I always go to extremes to be able to follow my diet. My food is always measured to perfection to make sure I am eating the right number of calories and that I am hitting my macronutrients. If I am going out for the day, my meals are always prepared in advance and then taken with me to wherever I am going. I used to work in a shared office and had moments where I would even stand outside the office building to eat my fish or egg whites. For the last three years, I have taken my mother out for mother’s day dinner but did not eat anything at the restaurant simply because I was preparing for a competition. While preparing for my first competition, I snacked on broccoli at my nephew’s first birthday party as I watched everyone around me eating cake. I have had days where I am so hungry that I actually want to cry, all while being surrounded by people who eat junk food right in front of me.

 

This is why I truly believe some people do not try hard enough. When it came to reaching my goals, I worked really hard to get what I wanted. I have even had embarrassing moments where I ask other people to put my meals in their fridge, or have even eaten in the car (as there was nowhere else to eat) just because I had a goal to reach. Every single moment of hard work has paid off as it has gotten me to where I am today. If you want it bad enough, there is absolutely nothing that will hold you back from reaching your goals.

 

Everyone is busy and we all have work and things to do. However, if you have an important goal, it is up to you to make it happen. Wake up earlier, prepare your food in advance and have the discipline to exercise and eat healthy. Have a proper diet and training plan that is sustainable and commit to it wholeheartedly. If you need a diet or training program, just check out my downloadable PDF guide at this link.

 

At the end of the day, you are responsible for your own lifestyle. As they say, a great idea is only as good as your ability to make it happen. Average people have great ideas, but legends have great execution.

 

In the meantime, check out my new cover + interview for Health and Fitness magazine.

 

 

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MayaNassar4One of my best friends called me up this afternoon and was feeling devastated that she hasn’t lost any weight. She wanted to give up and felt like a failure. I’m sure this has happened to every one of us. We all have days where we feel like our hard work is not paying off and we want to give up altogether.

 

There is a famous quote that says, “I have not failed. I have only found 10,000 ways that do not work”.  I always say that there is no such thing as failure and that you only fail if you give up. I have had many difficult moments with my fitness journey. I could write a novel about the times when I wanted to throw in the towel and give up. Training for my fitness competitions has taken me to hell and back. However, I would have never reached where I am today if I had given up once things became a little difficult.

 

If you are not seeing the results you want, you have not failed. You have obtained feedback. What you are doing is not working for you. Get back up and do something different. Try something else. Perhaps you need to work on your diet or train a little harder. There is ALWAYS something you can do. The closer we get to our goals, the more challenging things will become. It is these tough times that teach us mental discipline and help us grow as a person. You will never improve if you always sit back in your comfort zone.

 

Fat loss can be very hard. Depending on your goal, it can be extremely exhausting to build the body of your dreams. The first step is to accept that is it not going to be easy and to have the willingness to do whatever it takes. You are going to have days where you will want to give up and moments where you do not see any results. Do not let this hold you back. Overcome all obstacles and keep pushing forward. Nothing will ever stop a determined individual.

 

If you need more support with your fitness journey, download the mobile version of Start Living Right by searching for “startlivingright” from your smartphone store. A new update will be released by this week!

 

 

 

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MeetMayaI’m really excited to announce that I’m the new brand ambassador of Decathlon Lebanon. Decathlon sells a wide range of affordable sports clothing, equipment, accessories and pretty much everything for all ages! The store is massive and definitely worth checking out.

 

You can meet me in person at the store in Le Mall Dbayeh this coming Saturday on June 6th from 4 – 7 pm. I will be offering free health and fitness tips. It would be really nice to meet some of you in person and I hope to see you there! You can also send me your health and fitness questions by visiting:

 

www.decathlonasktheexpert.com

 

 

On the other hand, you can also win free personal training sessions with me when you participate in the raffle at the Animals Lebanon gala dinner taking place on Monday June 8th. I usually don’t offer private training, so this will be a one-time offer!

 

Animals Lebanon is the largest animal welfare NGO in the Middle East and this is going to be one hell of a night! The event will take place in the rooftop club White and the night will feature dinner, drinks, entertainment and a fun party. You will also get the chance to win some amazing prizes. Starting ticket prices for the gala dinner are as little as $60! To book your tickets, call 01751678.

 

If you have any questions just leave a comment!

 

Stay fit!

 

Maya

 

 

 

Posted in Beach body, Body transformation program, Cardio training, Fitness competitions, Goals, Motivation, Weight training | 1 Comment

WR designJoin me on June 7th for the Rise and Run women’s race organized by Beirut Marathon. This goal of this race is to empower women through fitness and inspire them to rise together for a brighter future. On this day, women from all walks of life will be united together to run for a great cause and celebrate their feminism.

 

The best news is that this race is open to all ages and both genders, so it is not only exclusively for women. Support the special women in your life and sign up! There are six different categories to choose from with suitable fitness levels for everyone. This also makes a great day out for friends, families and children.

 

Some people might find long races or marathons difficult, but that does not mean you can’t take part. There are less challenging levels for beginners and you can always finish the race at your own pace. I personally suffer from asthma and find long distance running difficult, but I will be there doing my best and pushing to my limits. Remember, if it doesn’t challenge you then it doesn’t change you!

 

The race will be taking place in the beautiful old town of Byblos. A great idea would be to book a hotel and spend the weekend in Byblos. That is exactly what my husband and I will be doing!

 

I can’t express how important it is to keep fit and be active as part of your lifestyle. If you are someone who finds it difficult to exercise on a daily basis, taking part in such races is a great way to ensure you are getting the exercise your body needs. It is also fun to be outdoors and to enjoy the beautiful weather.

 

If you would like to take part and join me at this race, registration is a must. Just visit the below website to sign up! See you there!

 

www.beirutmarathon.org

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