20 Almost Unrecognizable Photos Of Kim Kardashian Before Plastic Surgery

Photo: Instagram

Damn. She looks different.

We all know the Kardashian and Jenner families. The super-famous families that rose to fame by just being celebrities and hanging out with other celebrities. And while we all hate on them for rising to fame for almost absolutely nothing, there’s no denying that we would love to be in their position.

Since then, the Kardashian family has made a name for itself. Kim Kardashian is arguably one of the most famous and influential women in the world right now, being a business woman and being married to famous rapper Kanye West.

The Kardashian-Jenner family certainly isn’t shy about using social media. Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, you name it — they use it all. There are so many pictures that the Kardashian and Jenner family like to share on social media.

But hands down, the best ones happen to be the #TBT (or Throw Back Thursday) pictures, where we can see Kim Kardashian plastic surgery and wonder what parts of her and her family are real.

A lot of them show the girls when they were growing up during the 90s before they were massive international celebrities. They liked the Spice Girls just like us, but they also had famous childhood friends like Nicole Richie and child star Gaby Hoffmann.

There’s also one thing that’s pretty interesting about these photos: how much Kim Kardashian has changed over the years.

Not only has the reality star evolved when it comes to her fashion, but she’s changed dramatically in her looks since she rose to her super-stardom. Back in the day her body and face were almost unrecognizable.

Of course, that can be said for a lot of celebrities and even other members of the Kardashian-Jenner clan. Plastic surgery isn’t uncommon among rich celebrities. But Kim has definitely had the most dramatic changes out of her entire family.

Everyone, even Kim, knows that her booty is one of her most standout features. But it’s crazy to know that she hasn’t always had it, as we can see from numerous #TBT pics on Twitter.

Without being unfairly judgmental, it’s safe to say that Kim Kardashian plastic surgery doesn’t have to be such a bad thing. When people aren’t confident in how they look, they often times have the opportunity to change it — and that’s totally OK.

From being Paris Hilton’s best friend to being one of the most recognizable and influential names in the celebrity world, these 20 pictures show that Kim Kardashian has certainly come a long way since her rise to fame.

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Kim Kardashian’s plastic surgery timeline – before and after surgery

Kim Kardashian and plastic surgery are two words that are never far away from each other. The Keeping Up With The Kardashians star, Kanye West marrier and mother of North West has a figure envied by millions. It’s broken the internet, been dipped in silver paint and starred in a very lucrative sex tape.

But are Kim’s famous looks 100% natural? Is that bulbous bum as nature intended? What about that ever-changing hairline? Or that lovely button nose?

Kim Kardashian first became famous as a socialite pal of Paris Hilton and when you see the before-and-after pictures, which span across seven years, it’s hard to believe that it’s the same person. Maybe mega-stardom has just had an excellent effect on her skin?


Back in 2013, Kim slammed claims that she’d gone under the knife to shift her post-pregnancy weight, tweeting: “I am very frustrated today seeing reports that I got surgery to lose my baby weight! This is FALSE.

“I worked so hard to train myself to eat right & healthy, I worked out so hard & this was such a challenge for me but I did it!!! I’m so proud of my accomplishment & NO ONE will take this away from me with fake reports!”

Kim Kardashian’s PR team have always vehemently denied that the American reality star and fashion icon has been surgically enhanced, however, we spoke to plastic surgery expert Angelica Kavouni who gave her opinion on the many changing faces of Kim Kardashian.

We’ve also got an excellent time lapse video of the queen of the Kardashians evolving into to her uber-famous self over a period of twenty-seven years, thanks to PicClick, an online shopping search tool.

It seems they’ll always be speculation over whether Kim Kardashian has had plastic surgery, but perhaps you can come to your own conclusions by checking out our before-and-after timeline gallery below.

Kim Kardashian before and after surgery with comment by plastic surgery expert Angelica Kavouni

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Kim Kardashian’s Trainer Just Shared Her Powerful Post-Pregnancy Transformation

Photo: Instagram/@fitgurlmel/@anniemcelwain

Melissa Alcantara is more than just a celebrity trainer. Despite her ‘go hard or go home’ mentality, the former bodybuilder is actually quite relatable.

The young mom struggled with depression and weight gain for years before deciding to take control of her life. She taught herself how to work out using the internet and now works with the likes of Kim Kardashian. She also uses her Instagram to inspire others who are looking to kickstart their fitness journey. (Find out what she had to say about reverse dieting and how she used it to reset her metabolism.)

Recently, Alcantara took to Instagram to share a very important message about losing weight after pregnancy. Using an empowering transformation photo, she reminded moms and moms-to-be that it is possible to get into the best shape of your life after pregnancy, but it takes time, patience, and more importantly, self-love.

“If you work for it, you’ll get it back, sometimes even better,” Alcantara wrote.

She continued by reminding women that changes to your body during pregnancy and after giving birth are completely normal-and that there’s no quick fix. “Stretch marks are okay,” she wrote. “Most of them go away and you will accept them. Saggy skin tightens up, maybe not 100 percent but it does. There is no magic cream. There are no tricks or drinks or waist trainers or specific belly pooch exercises.” (P.S. Yes, It’s Normal to Still Look Pregnant After Giving Birth)

In the end, Alcantara emphasizes that getting back into shape after pregnancy takes work, but it’s totally doable. “It takes years of consistency,” she wrote. “Imma say it louder for the people in the back…years of consistency. So before you quit, ask yourself if you ever really started.” (Tough, but true.)

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Losing baby weight takes time. As you adjust to life as a new mom, remember that you deserve time to rest, recover, and focus on your new child without shame around your body. Important reminder: It’s also totally cool if, like trainer Katrina Scott of Tone It Up, you *prefer* your post-pregnancy body or if working out isn’t your top priority. (Related: Emily Skye Says She’s Chill with Having Loose, Wrinkled Skin On Her Abs)

If you are trying to get back to your ‘pre-baby body’ after hosting an outsider for nine months, that’s cool too. (Check out our New Mom’s Guide to Losing Weight After Pregnancy to help you get started.) As Alcantrana says, the key is to be consistent with your healthy choices as you find your new normal. Above all? Remember to be kind and patient with yourself.

  • Kim Kardashian hit the Met Gala 2019 red carpet wearing a Sophia Loren-inspired Mugler dress.
  • The KKW Beauty founder’s outfit featured a tiny waist, presumably created with an extremely tight corset.
  • Kim’s trainer, Melissa Alcantara, known as @fitgurlmel on Instagram, responded to claims that the reality star’s waist looked unnatural.

Kim Kardashian’s red carpet look at the Met Gala 2019 definitely turned heads.

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Kim’s look was created for her by Mugler, and gave the appearance that she was literally dripping with diamonds. She teased on Twitter that the dress was inspired by Sophia Loren’s look in the 1957 movie, Boy on a Dolphin. Of Mugler’s design, Kim told E! News, “He just envisioned me this California girl stepping out of the ocean, on the red carpet, wet, dripping, that is the vibe tonight.”


— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) May 6, 2019 Karwai TangGetty Images Gilbert CarrasquilloGetty Images

But one element of the dress that has caused a lot of debate is Kim’s tiny waist. However, Kim’s personal trainer, Melissa Alcantara, is not here for the criticism, and took to her Instagram Stories to tell the world.

Alcantara wrote, “To make things clear 1. This dress is corseted BUT 2. Kim trains her ass off 6 days a fucking week, she wakes up early AF and is dedicated. 3. I paved the road for her but SHE did the work! MOST IMPORTANTLY I don’t give a shit about your opinions on her body, if you think she fake or not! I see her every morning, I see her train and I see her sweat and I see all the work she does outside the gym and THAT is commendable!”


Anyone that follows Kim’s Instagram Stories will know that she hits the gym first thing every morning, and often shares workout videos with Alcantara. It’s also worth noting that the Met Gala’s theme was “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” inspired by Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay which defines camp as “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration,” and Kim’s waist was definitely exaggerated.

As for the dress itself, Kim told E! News of her look, “This is the first time in 20 years that Mr. Mugler has designed for the House of Thierry Mugler.” She continued, “He hasn’t designed in 20 years, so to come and design this gown for me is such an honor. This is about eight months in the making.”


Kim Kardashian’s Trainer Reveals How to Get the Body You Want

Kim Kardashian | Kim Kardashian via Instagram

There’s no doubt about it – Kim Kardashian has one of the most incredible bodies in Hollywood. Since she appeared on the scene, as Paris Hilton’s friend and stylist, Kardashian has been hailed as one of the most beautiful women of all time. Her flawless figure and sculpted features don’t always come naturally, however.

Kardashian has admitted that ever since getting married (to rapper Kanye West) and having children, it’s harder to maintain her figure and practice a healthy lifestyle. Fortunately for Kardashian, she has a secret weapon – fitness trainer Melissa Alcantara.

Alcantara, a bodybuilder and top celebrity trainer, dishes on how she’s able to help Kim Kardashian achieve the body she wants. By following a few simple guidelines, you can too.

Kim Kardashian has to eat properly

Melissa Alcantara, known as ‘fitgurlmel’ on Instagram, revealed in a recent interview there’s more to getting fit than hitting the gym. In fact, the first step to getting the body you want is with fueling yourself properly. She isn’t a fan of the word “diet,” and wants people to know that fitness is all about an overall lifestyle change. Alcantara recommends eating real, unprocessed foods, including lots of vegetables and protein, and steering clear of too many foods labeled “sugar-free.”

Alcantara follows her own advice in regards to Kim Kardashian’s eating plan. She ensures that Kardashian eats plenty of healthy fats and carbs, including sweet potato, quinoa, and chicken. Planning ahead is often the key to successfully avoiding junk food, the celebrity trainer says. Filling your fridge with staples for the week ahead will help ensure you don’t reach for chocolate, chips, or unhealthy snacks when you feel a craving coming on.

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water. In her interview with Yahoo, Alcantara says one ounce of water per pound of body weight is the ideal amount to drink daily to stay hydrated. Refilling a plastic mason jar or portable water bottle throughout the day is a great way to always keep water close at hand.

How Kim Kardashian works out

Kim Kardashian is dedicated to her fitness and sticks to her goals. She works out five to six days every week. Alcantara revealed she trains Kardashian using a mixture of weight-training exercises and high-intensity cardio, like sprinting on a treadmill. Alcantara is a big believer in lots of weight training to help tone and define muscles.

For her clients, she recommends 85% weight training, with the remaining workouts and mixture of cardio and even body weight exercises. The core is the center of the body and one of the most difficult areas for women to tone. But Alcantara claims that by utilizing proper breathing methods and posture, it’s possible to build a strong and powerful core, which in turns leads to a stronger physique overall.

Building a consistent routine takes time and dedication, and Alcantara admits that Kardashian is a fantastic client because she never cancels a session, and always shows up ready to do the work. Kardashian returns her trainer’s appreciation and praises her for the difference her expert guidance has made.

You can work with Kim Kardashian’s trainer

Even if you don’t have access to in-person workouts with Melissa Alcantara, you can still benefit from her workout plans and guidance. Her blog features an exercise database (including GIFs and photos of dozens of different workouts), workout tutorials, and several different workouts and diet plan options that are available to purchase and download. You too can go into 2019 by crafting the body of your dreams, just like Kim Kardashian!

Melissa Alcantara (a.k.a. “Fit Gurl Mel,” a.k.a. Kim Kardashian’s badass trainer) is no stranger to fitness transformations. Sure, she helps clients like Kim stay fit AF, but she also went through her own major fit journey over the past six years.

To proudly show off her progress, Alcantara just posted a side-by-side photo on her Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Melissa Alcantara (@fitgurlmel) on Jan 24, 2019 at 9:00am PST

LBH, her body looks awesome in both photos. But her butt appears stronger and more toned in the second image. Alcantara is totally willing to admit that the change wasn’t easy. “6 years of trying, failing, succeeding. 6 years of obstacles, doubts, triumphs. Of several plateaus. Of changing programs. Of maybe I need to do this or more of that,” she captioned her before-after photo.

If this sounds familiar, the celeb trainer reassures: “THIS IS REALITY. THIS IS NORMAL. If this is you, YOURE ON THE RIGHT PATH.”

“One thing I never did was quit,” she wrote, “this is what separates the ones who get what they want from the ones who get what they get.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Melissa Alcantara (@fitgurlmel) on Sep 18, 2018 at 10:30am PDT

In previous booty transformation photos on her Instagram, Alcantara emphasized that she weighs exactly the same as she did six years ago. She also noted that weight is arbitrary: “The number means nothing if you don’t feel good,” and “you’re more than just a number on a scale.”

So…what does she do to sculpt that backside? Alcantara tells Women’s Health that the workouts she does with Kim Kardashian echo her own. That means, “when it comes to booty and legs, we usually work out for an hour and a half to an hour and 45 minutes,” says Alcantara.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Melissa Alcantara (@fitgurlmel) on Dec 22, 2018 at 12:40pm PST

And you may be surprised to learn that she only targets her legs and glutes twice a week. “The legs are a large muscle group and need time to recover. That’s when they grow, that’s when everything happens,” she says. “You want to work out efficiently and be smart about it.”

But, don’t get her wrong, waiting to do a butt workout isn’t always easy. “Sometimes I think ‘I want to do legs again, I want to work on my ass’—but I have to remember to chill and give it time to recover,” she says.

Her workouts consist of everything from squats, to lunges, glute bridges, hamstring curls, glute kickbacks, and more. You can check out her full butt workout here.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Melissa Alcantara (@fitgurlmel) on Jan 12, 2019 at 8:29am PST

Case-in-point: Keep plugging away at your fitness goals and remember to rest when you need it—that’s when you get those #gains.

Kristine Thomason Fitness & Wellness Editor Kristine Thomason is the fitness & wellness editor at Women’s Health, where she edits, writes, and helps oversee the food and fitness sections of the website and magazine.

Kim Kardashian’s Trainer Melissa Alcantara Has A Fitness Message For Fans – EXCLUSIVE

Do your friends tell you you’re “celeb obsessed”? Do you follow your favorite celebs’ every move? Know their Instagram histories so well that you can rattle off their inner circle by name and IG handle? If yes, Elite Daily’s new series, SideClique, is just for you. We’re bringing you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the people living their lives right alongside our favorite celebs.

Even if you’ve just casually scrolled through Kim Kardashian’s Instagram, you’ll have noticed the reality TV icon’s fierce physique in more than a few selfies. Fans may envy celebrities for their killer figures, but the public often forget that these stars need just as much motivation and guidance as some of the rest of us to achieve their fitness goals. While the rich and famous have a little more access to exercising help, a word from a celeb training expert may change your perspective about attaining your best self through a healthy lifestyle. Kim Kardashian’s trainer Melissa Alcantara wants fans to know that the road to healthiness is personal, but one can find inspiration from others along the way.

Known on social media as @fitgurlmel, Alcantara has more than 800,000 Instagram followers on her platform of exercise clips, and she also shares healthy recipes and workout routines on her popular YouTube channel. She first started her fitness journey when she turned to the Insanity Beach Body program to gain control of her health following a depressive state. Those results kicked off a decision to enter body-building competitions and eventually ignited social media buzz about Alcantara’s fitness efforts. She’s worked as Kardashian’s personal trainer since 2016, and like all good millennial partnerships, the two first connected thanks to Instagram.

“One day, while browsing through Instagram at like 4 a.m, she found one of my transformation images,” Alcantara tells Elite Daily about Kardashian. “Something told her that she needed to contact me. Kim wanted to be strong and healthy and do it the right way, aka the hard way. We really connected on a personal level. I told her that I was actually moving to L.A. in about a month from the time we met, which worked perfectly because she wanted to train with me and embark on this fitness adventure together. The rest is history, Kim is my homegirl, and we push each other to do better every single day.”

I have crazy respect and admiration for Kim.

Since signing on as Kardashian’s exercise guru, Alcantara has essentially birthed a fitness empire. “Right now, I’m working on a book to be published by Harper One, I have two training programs on the Fitplan app, and another program designed for weight loss and sustainability on Fitgurlmel.com,” she says. “I travel the world promoting health and wellness, and more importantly, I’m very focused on inspiring people the world over to make meaningful changes in their lives.”

Her time with Kardashian has also taught her that dedication can easily trump motivation when it comes to maintaining exercise. “I have crazy respect and admiration for Kim,” Alcantara says. “It’s no secret that she has helped my career tremendously, I just got lucky that she’s also a really good human being and we push each other in the gym every time we train.”

Before she keeps up with a Kardashian, Alcantara’s everyday hustle begins with brewing fresh coffee around 4 a.m. Her Instagram page includes a breakdown of her coffee-making process, but the drink has come to represent making peace with her day’s plans instead of just aiming to get through with them.

“I use the process to put my mind into a place of creation, a place where I can embrace the day rather than tackle it,” she says. “After I get through work — this can be anything from filming, panels, appearances, talks, etc. — then it’s time for me to train, take care of my responsibilities, wash dishes, make dinner, and many of the things we all have to deal with.”

I’m trying to show people this is achievable, this is attainable.

We may follow Alcantara and similar accounts for a boost of motivation, but putting on your workout clothes and actually heading to the gym often takes more than just an inspirational Instagram post. It’s tricky to squeeze in a workout among your professional life, social obligations, and Netflix queue, but Alcantara understands that fitness journeys are unique to each person.

“I post my life out there, pretty raw at times,” she says. “I’m trying to show people this is achievable, this is attainable. You don’t even need to come where I am, you have to go where you want, and use me as an example but not the standard. I want people stop comparing themselves to others in order to negatively punish yourself for ‘not having’ or ‘not being enough’ — you’re better than that! I want people to see that they can do their own thing… are a good example of what’s possible if you do your thing, but you don’t need to copy a successful personality in order to be successful.”

For someone who has built such a presence on Instagram, Alcantara also has advice for people who look at her life or others’ through rose-tinted glasses. “People see me as Kim’s trainer or this person on social media, a business owner, they see I have a daughter, responsibilities,” she says. “All this comes with a great degree of challenges, and I’ve faced so many throughout my entire life. I have failed faster, more often, and harder than I have succeeded, but that’s why I have succeeded on many levels. My point is, fail miserably for the life you want — success is just one less failure away.”

Victoria Wamken/Elite Daily

The mum-of-one has shared before and after images with a few inspiring details about how she got in the best shape of her life after gaining 31 kilograms during pregnancy.

“I look back at some of my pictures and think WOW I fucking did that,” Melissa wrote. “I’m really hard on myself most of the time and don’t really stop to think…”

Melissa says she started from nothing – no trainer, no guidance, no knowledge – while working full time and parenting.

“I never worked out or played a sport so I had zero Athleticism. I STARTED FROM NOTHING AT THE AGE OF 28! I was broke and lived to pay my rent and buy cheap groceries. I did my fucking best is all I knew. I truly did.”

RELATED: Kim Kardashian’s Trainer Just Shared Her 6-Pack Abs Workout

54.9k likes – View Post on Instagram How did I do it?! How did I get started?! : I get this question all the time and to not bore you with a long story here it goes in a nutshell. : 1️⃣ I was unhappy with how I looked 2️⃣ the desire to do something about it became so strong I had to find a way 3️⃣ I found a fitness program and poured my heart and soul into it, wanting to give up every day but I knew that wouldn’t make better 4️⃣ I woke up at 5am, I worked out, I packed my food, I was on a fucking mission 5️⃣ I didn’t think about my husband or my daughter I thought about ME 6️⃣ I kept at it, I was struggling, I didn’t see immediate results, I only felt pain, I was weak, I didn’t know the moves but I had fucking willingness and determination 7️⃣ I knew that if I kept at it every day changes would come, it only makes fucking sense right?! : Sense it made. And here I am : Sometimes what seems as being selfish is being selfless. Pay attention to you, spend time with you, learn about you. People will only love you as much as you love yourself. : : : #fit #fitness #love #fitfam #empoweringwomen #boss #strongissexy #weightloss #weightlossjourney #weightlosstransformation #bodygoals #bodybuilding #training #workout #dedication #inspire #inspiration

Melissa’s main message has always been – persistence pays off.

Instead of ploughing through workout programs looking for quick results, “commit to a more sustainable regimen for one year before you entertain anything else,” she’s previously advised.


When it comes to food and fitness tips you can incorporate into your own routine, Melissa told CNBC she practices intermittent fasting. Her eating schedule isn’t “super structured,” she says, but her first meal of the day is usually around noon, after her workout.

“I like to fast during the day because I tend to eat more late at night, when I get especially hungry,” she says.

Her workouts mostly involve lifting, with minimal cardio.

“I usually do legs twice a week or every three days,” she says, “but it’s usually the same thing every week.”

“I try to walk 10,000 steps a day. That’s pretty much my cardio.”

The Look Book: Kim Kardashian West

Melissa Alcantara, better known as “Fit Gurl Mel” to her 750,000 Instagram followers, is often credited with helping Kim Kardashian keep her million-dollar body in shape.

Alcantara grew up in the Bronx and says she didn’t initially know much about healthy eating. After giving birth she tried a range of fad diets and workouts, including Weight Watchers, Insanity, and Crossfit. When those didn’t work, she transformed her diet and exercise regime completely, focusing on nutrition instead of calories.

And it was quite the transformation. Alcantara says she lost 40 pounds in 60 days and went on to earn bodybuilding titles and win Jiu-Jitsu competitions

(Melissa Alcantara)

Kim Kardashian came across one of her transformation photos on Instagram and quickly got in touch – in a serendipitous twist, Alcantara was about to move to Los Angeles, where she soon began training the most famous Kardashian sister.

If you’re not in Calabasas, you can still workout like a Kardashian. Alcantara is a trainer on the Fitplan app, where she shares her workout plan. Her program isn’t about cardio – instead, it’s a hybrid program that combines dumbbells, weights, and resistance bands. Alcantara promises the same routines she shares with her celebrity clientele for $15.99 a month.

We caught up with the trainer to talk cardio, healthy eating and the most common mistakes people make while working out.

Tell us about how you came to train with Kim Kardashian…

(Getty Images)

“One day while browsing through Instagram at like 4am, Kim found one of my transformation images. Kim wanted to be strong and healthy and do it the right way (aka the hard way), so she reached out directly. Three days later we were chatting at her apartment in New York (I lived in Brooklyn at the time) and we really connected on a personal level. I told her that we were actually moving to LA in the near future, which worked perfectly because she wanted to train with me and embark on this fitness adventure together. The rest is history. Kim is my homegirl and we push each other to do better every single day.”

What’s the biggest myth about weight training?

“For women, I believe it is thinking you’ll turn into a man if you lift weights. Also people thinking they can move some dumbbells up and down and make some magazine level muscles in a couple of months. The truth is that what the image may be showing is anything from Photoshop to chemical enhancements, and that building a functional and aesthetic physique takes a long time. It’s more a lifestyle for longevity and quality of life rather than something you do for the summer or a friend’s wedding.”

(Melissa Alcantara)

There are so many “quick fixes” for fitness these days, whether it’s diets or vitamins. Do any of the diet trends work?

“If they worked, I wouldn’t get this question all the time. Fundamentally, people know they are fads. However, who doesn’t like the promise of something that will change your life forever in just 21 days with minimum effort? I ask people to analyze what they’re doing and determine if they can do it for at least 6-12 months. If the answer is no then most likely it isn’t sustainable and it’s just a fad.”

What’s the best possible butt exercise? Is it squats or something more involved?

“This is a great question. Right now, people are obsessed with their butts, but the human body doesn’t work in isolation. The function of the glutes is to prevent the human from falling on its face when running – they fire to keep you standing.

(Melissa Alcantara)

In addition, the butt works along the posterior chain (lower back, glutes and hamstrings) which means that the entire muscular chain needs to be addressed in training. There’s no one exercise that will unlock the secrets to a functional and big ass. You need to train the system and address its strength and mobility. Stiff muscles are actually very brittle, and your aim should be to create a butt that is both strong and flexible.

I recommend incorporating the fundamentals, squats and dead lifts and layering in hip thrusts, banded movement exercises and sprinting in order to have a nice and functional bottom. Most importantly, be patient as hell since this muscle chain takes forever to develop.”

What’s the most common mistake you find when people work out on their own that they can easily avoid?

(Melissa Alcantara)

“They go and ‘work out,’ meaning they walk into the gym and have no plan or strategy to actually work out their bodies and their mind. The best way to avoid this is to make, or utilize, an existing plan – such as my Fitplan 8 Week Body Sculptor or Built Aesthetics plans.

By going into the workout with a plan, there’s a clear aim, which allows different muscular systems to be worked on rather than just one part. The body is a kinetic machine with many inter-dependencies and should be viewed in its totality.”

On Instagram, you say 20 minutes of cardio and a nutritious diet is all you need. Is that true for most people?

(Melissa Alcantara)

“If you’re training correctly, you’re already doing cardio while dead lifting and squatting. People connect cardio with losing weight, but the goal of cardio is to improve cardiovascular ability, meaning that you’re able to sustain the movement for longer and more efficiently while using less energy.

Nutrition plays a much larger role in losing unneeded fat. Yes, you need fat in your body to function correctly, thus you should never aim to get rid of more fat than is healthy for your body – and the focus on actual nutrition and not on calorie deficits.

That being said, incorporating a particular amount of cardio along with proper nutrition will have a positive impact on losing unneeded fat. Both of my Fitplans have several forms of cardio that aim to both help you lose fat and improve your cardiovascular ability. Bodies have to be able to move, not just look like they can move.”

In your Instagram stories, you share some of your favorite meal plans along with the calorie counts. What’s the best meal someone can eat before they work out?

(Melissa Alcantara)

“Well, ‘best’ is entirely subjective and people react differently. What you eat before or after is not as important as what you eat over time. Your body doesn’t actually like change, so in order for it to change you need to give it enough time to change.

Instead of meal timing and composition, you should experiment with what works for you. For example, if you work out at 5 am, it is probably more efficient for you to not eat before training but if you work out during your lunch break at work, you may want to eat a couple of hours before in order to feel like you can handle the training – and make it through the morning at work!

Again, the goal is to eat with nutrition in mind. Avoid processed food, and essentially bull**t in order to get the results you want. Most of the time, I personally like training on an empty stomach in the morning and then I eat all my meals (3 – 4 meals per day) between 12 pm and 9 pm.”

What’s one food people think is healthy but should really drop from their diet?

“I wouldn’t say they have to cut it out from their diet, but people seem to go to a pack of nuts or peanut butter whenever they feel hungry. We have been told that nuts are healthy and that they have protein but, in reality, nuts are a form of healthy fat. In saying that, if you eat a couple of packs of nuts a day, what you’re doing is eating 500 calories of healthy fat when you may only need a smaller portion.”

What’s the best time of day to exercise?

(Melissa Alcantara)

“For me, it is the morning around 10am but this time is not possible for a lot of people due to other professional and personal commitments. Given the needs of the modern world, the best time is the one you have. Whenever it may be, I recommend using your time effectively to exercise not just your body but also your mind.”

Image Source: Pexels / Li Sun

I had just finished up a sweaty, monotonous four-mile run on the treadmill when it all came into perspective. With sweat dripping down my face and stinging my eyes, I looked around and realized that I was paying $215 a month for a global gym membership, only to use two cardio machines, a stretching mat, and a Spin class here and there, all because I was too terrified to walk onto the weight floor.

That grand total of $2,500+ a year hit me hard, but what really bothered me was the reason I was avoiding lifting weights: I felt intimidated by the jam-packed floor of dudes dominating every single dumbbell, and having no idea how to get started, I was terrified of injuring myself.

Turns out, I might not be alone on the latter. Only 17.5 percent of American women meet the aerobic and strength-training recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Motivated to finally learn how to tackle the weight floor (and, if I’m being honest, to put an end to this ridiculous patriarchal-driven anxiety), I started researching training programs and landed on Melissa Alcantara’s Instagram — aka Kim Kardashian’s trainer, @FitGurlMel, a woman who transformed her life (both physically and mentally) through bodybuilding. I immediately took the plunge and purchased her 8-Week Body Sculptor Program, ready for a boost in weightlifting self-confidence and to further my fitness education.

The $80 program is incredibly comprehensive, including a detailed two-month workout regimen that heavily concentrates on weight training for your arms and legs but also covers cardio and core. Each week is filled with five superunique workouts (i.e. not just bicep curls), one extracredit workout, and a day of rest. That’s about 40 curated workouts in total. Not too shabby for $80.

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A post shared by Melissa Alcantara (@fitgurlmel) on Mar 10, 2019 at 11:53am PDT

On her website, she has an impressively comprehensive exercise database that pairs each move listed in her program with a demonstrative GIF. So if you are like me and had never heard of an “Arnold Press” before, she’s got you covered. I also found that the GIFs helped me maintain proper form, which also helped reduce my chances of injury.

After following Alcantara’s program with minimal modifications, I have gained noticeable definition and strength in my arms and legs.

While I’m thrilled with the physical results I’ve experienced, I’m even more pleased with the fact that my weight-floor anxiety has dropped drastically. I’m no longer worried about looking stupid or what people think about me as I try to navigate the space. With a thorough guide by my side, I didn’t experience any injuries. I no longer waste time staring at a lat pulldown machine in confusion, and I haven’t once resorted to my repetitive treadmill routine out of fear.

The weight floor has opened up an entire new realm of exercise for me, just like I thought it would. And, not going to lie, that $215 a month feels way more worth it.

Kim kardashian trainer melissa

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