Nikki Torres: Losing and Gaining Weight Tips

Nikki Torres, a Fitness Trainer, Yoga Teacher and Blogger, teaches us how to gain weight or lose weight for a better and healthier self!

I am underweight. Obviously. This year, I am really doing whatever it takes for me to be in a better shape. I've been reading and following fitness gurus and I found her, 28-year old fitness trainer-yoga teacher- blogger- Nikki Torres who just like me, aimed to be in a much better shape.

I did some stalking because I really want to know how reliable she is, and guess what? She's more reliable than what I thought she is! She was named as one of the Most Beautiful Bloggers in the Philippines alongside Kim Jones, Maine Mendoza and the likes. She was also on the list of the Top Fitness Blogger to Follow 2016. How's that for a record right? Without wasting time, I reached out to her for some tips to a healthier self, and here's what she said:

Fitness journey:

What is fitness for you?:
Fitness, for me, is a way of life. It is, however, just a slice off of a whole pie (yum!) that represents physical wellbeing. I’m a believer of holistic health and that includes a positive outlook and mindfulness among other things.

When did you start /decided to workout?: 
I started working out when I was only 12.

Why did you decide to do it?: 
I wanted to look the way beautiful models and celebrities on TV and magazines did—skinny. I had insecurities as a young teen which led me to start exercising at home and running outdoors. As I went on with my journey, things continuously changed for the better. I began working out because I felt so good after. Workouts gave me my daily dose of happy hormones and they were no longer means of punishment when I felt that I ate too much. 

Did you spend a lot of money because of it?:
When I started, I only followed DVDs and tried sequences from magazines at home or I would go run outdoors, all of which were free.

Will working out cost us a lot of money? 
I see working out as an investment for your health. Although doing it at home is good too, it is important to get the guidance of professional coaches or instructors in order to properly do it and maximize the benefits of your training. After all, you want to become better at whatever activity you choose to do, not to get injured in the long run. The cost will depend on what it is that you love doing. When I landed my first job, I set aside part of my salary to enroll in a yoga studio. Other months, I would enroll myself in a gym. It was a good amount of money, and I must admit that memberships aren’t cheap but compared to the amount of money you’ll probably spend when you get sick or injured, it’s nothing.

What is the best thing that happened to you since working out?: 
Since working out, I would always have so much energy. I stopped worrying about the amount of food I eat but rather focused on the quality. I feel much stronger and more resistant to diseases. I was anemic when I was younger and I remember getting so exhausted when I would climb up to the third floor of our school (we had no elevators). I outgrew that and no longer suffer from exhaustion UNLESS I go through intense training! LOL

Your best “Before and After” Achievement:
Maintaining or even gaining weight but becoming leaner and stronger (I gained muscle and lost body fat)

Pre and Post Workout Routines:
Eating and hydrating properly. Before working out, I eat something light if I’m hungry. I refuel after my workouts by eating something filling yet nourishing. A good balance of carbohydrates and protein are ideal for post workouts. The same can be consumed before but I add a bit of fat (avocado or coconut oil) for extra fuel.
How many times a week do you work out? (When you were just starting vs now that you are a pro at it?): 
When I was just starting out, I would work out 4-6 times a week and I would hammer myself! Now, although I teach classes almost daily, I don’t consider those workouts. I make sure to get 3-4 days of training a week with ample time to rest and recover in between.

Fitness Tips:

Why should we work out?:
Because our bodies are made to move and movement allows life energy to flow freely through our body, harnessing your potential. You increase your mental focus, you become physically fitter and you just feel better overall.

How many times a week should we work out?: 
3-4 times a week is a good place to start.

I am skinny, should I still work out if I want to actually gain? 
Yes. But focus on exercises that will help you gain more muscle. I recommend strength training with a coach who specializes in developing programs for gaining muscle.
  • What should be my first step?: Should I first try to increase my weight thru diet or should I go for a workout? Proper diet and working out ALWAYS go hand in hand. The first step is make small, yet lasting changes in both eating habits and your physical activity. 
  • Diet tips for those who want to gain? Load up on lean sources of protein (plant-based are the BEST) and good fat. Fuel up with fruits and vegetables as these are good sources of carbohydrates. While eating more is a good idea, make sure you keep processed food and sugary things out of your reach. 
I am overweight, what should be my first step?: 
Just as when you would like to gain weight, the first step is to make changes in both your diet and physical activity.
  • Should I try to reduce my weight through diet or should I go for a workout? Both. 
  • Diet tips for those who wants to loose weight?: Watch your portions. The general rule is Calories in, calories out. Eat less than what your body usually burns in a day, this is called calorie deficit. Choose whole foods over processed ones. Be mindful about consuming empty calories and avoid refined sugar at all costs. :D Also, stick to a regular training program and don’t give up. Results take time so be patient with your body. 
Machine workout tips that you can give to the newies in the gym? 
Sorry I don’t train using machines

If I have achieved my "fitness goals" already, what should I do next? How do I maintain it?:
What to do next is to set a new one. :) How to maintain it depends on what your goal is. If it is to maintain a certain amount of body fat or muscle mass, then you can stick to your program and cross-train every now and then to keep your body “on its toes”.

Do’s and Don’ts when trying to get fit: 

  • Do it because you care for you body, not because you hate it. 
  • Don’t fall for crash diets or quick fixes. Nothing worth it comes easy. 
Must have work out gears: 
Basic leggings or tights (you can never go wrong with black) Invest on good quality brands such as adidas. A sports bra that provides good support and shoes that fit the type of activity you choose to do (except if it’s yoga, pilates or barre). Choose the proper pair of shoes to keep yourself injury-free. Running shoes are for running and training shoes are for well, training in the gym or group exercise classes. Don’t be afraid to ask the around before you buy.

Money saving tips for working out: 
Learn from professionals before you attempt to go on your own. It costs more to rehabilitate an injury than it is to invest on quality coaching. If you really can’t invest on a gym membership, do your homework and research on your chosen activity but make sure you only rely on trusted sources. :)

Time management tips?: 
Less is more. You don’t need to spend 2 hrs in a gym to get a good workout in. Push yourself to your edge for 30 minutes and that should be enough rather than stay for 2 hrs and not know what to do half the time. :) Makes it easier to squeeze working out into your daily schedule as well.

Fitness motivation:

What keeps you motivated in working out?: 
I always look forward to the feeling I get after. No matter how lazy or challenging it is to begin, once you show up and move anyway, you’re sure not to regret any of it.

How to stay motivated?: 
Think of your workouts as part of your daily routine. Much like eating your meals, or drinking water or going to bed. Find a workout you look forward to doing. Don’t do something just because someone told you they’ve lost weight from it. It has to be sustainable for you to see results.

What should we keep in mind while doing our workout?: 
Safety is a priority. Once you can perform the basics properly, challenge yourself and find your edge. Increase repetitions, volume, work on your speed. Set a goal, meet it then set a new one and do it all over again.

To know more about Nikki, you may:
Visit her blog: Pretty Darn Fit
Follow her Instagram account: @nkitorres
Like her Facebook Page for Updates: Pretty Darn Fit


  1. Thank you for sharing your tips! I'm not trying to do either, I just want to get back in shape after having a baby & these seem super good for that purpose as well :)

    1. You are welcome! Congratulations on your baby!!!

  2. Oh wow, she's gorgeous! I love her tips especially the one that answers what to do when you've achieved your goal - set a new one! She seems super ambitious and energetic. :)

  3. This was really interesting! Nice to learn about the reasons why you started working out! I need to up my work out schedule to keep myself improving!

  4. I bike to work everyday, does it count as work out? It's like 40 minutes a day ;) They are all great tips. I used to work out a lot but stopped coz of work, coz I changed city but I'd like to start running again! xx Corinne

  5. Fantastic and such useful tips for everyday! Thanks for sharing - you look amazing!

  6. Big YES for "Don’t fall for crash diets or quick fixes. Nothing worth it comes easy." The more you think it is a quick fix, the more you get stress and need more comfort food. LOL

  7. Nikki is fitness goals! My fave quote from here is "Nothing worth it comes easy." That doesn't just apply to diet and fitness but to everything you do it life. If it's worth it, it requires hard work.

    1. yup! she's goals for me too! :D Thanks for reading!

  8. This is so helpful....I'm currently trying to shed a bit and maintain healthy habits

    1. Thank you so much! Hope to see you get that fitness you aim! :D