Ellie is the acting assistant digital editor for Healthy Food Guide. She loves cooking, dabbles in Crossfit and is a true believer that peanut butter makes everything better.

As a personal trainer, fitness influencer and business owner – as well as owning a mind-blowing 1.7 million followers on Instagram – Krissy Cela certainly knows a thing or two about working hard to get results. We caught up with her to find out how she manages to fit exercise into her jam-packed lifestyle, gaining confidence in the gym as well as what she hopes to achieve as a fitness ‘influencer’.

1.How did you get into fitness?

About five years ago I went through a really bad break up. I felt lethargic, weak and generally unhappy. I knew that I wanted to make a change so I could feel better physically and mentally, and that’s when I found fitness. I signed up to the gym and realised that I could push myself beyond what I thought I was capable of. I not only felt stronger in my body, but mentally strong and empowered too.

2. And how do you train now?

I’ve recently reduced my workouts from five days a week to three. I follow my fitness app, Tone & Sculpt, doing one upper body day, one lower body day and one full body circuit. If I have time to fit in an extra session I love taking on one of the challenges on the app too.

Before I adapted my training schedule, I found myself struggling to fit everything in. I didn’t want to compromise the quality of my work or my workouts so I reduced the quantity of my workouts. Now I can balance my schedule much better and I find I get much more from my workouts too as my body has more time to recover between sessions.

3. You mentioned your fitness app, Tone & Sculpt. Can you tell us a bit about that? 

The Tone & Sculpt app was inspired by every single woman who felt alone in their fitness journey or believed that fitness was about looking a certain way. Everyone’s fitness journey is different so we wanted to create a positive environment that is flexible to you and your needs.

The app is separated into four different ‘phases’ and varies between gym-based and at-home sessions. It also offers a meal plan function with tailored meals meals filled with wholesome and nutritious ingredients. There’s even a water tracking feature to make sure you keep hydrated throughout the day.!

I’m honestly so proud of the community the app has created – real women coming together and supporting each other. It makes all the hard work worthwhile.

4. As an ex-law student, personal trainer and, now, business owner, how do you find the time to fit working out into your busy lifestyle? Do you have any tips for people who think they don’t have time to work out?

Trust me – I know what it’s like to be busy! It can be difficult, even overwhelming, at times trying to fit everything in. Living a healthy lifestyle should be a priority though because the healthier you are, the better you are able to perform.

Find what works for you and your schedule. Whether that’s three days a week at the gym or a 15-minute full body challenge at home in the morning before your shower. You can even make fitness a social event. Instead of catching up with your friends over dinner, why not go to a local workout class?

As for nutrition, when I was a law student I would prepare my meals in advance at home instead of eating out. I found it much cheaper and easier to stay on track. I would also wear my gym clothes to my lectures –that way I was already ready for my workout after class.

5. As a fitness ‘influencer’, what message do you strive to get across to your followers?

I think it is important to remember not to compare yourself to others. So many women will see other women on social media and feel like they need to look a certain way, but that just isn’t the case.

I’m a big believer in personal development but you should always strive to be the best version of yourself, rather than to be like someone else. Fitness is for everybody; no matter what your starting point is, we all started somewhere. Remember this: there is not one other person who is just like you and that’s what makes you so special. Stop trying to be like anyone else and start doing things for you!

6. What does the word ‘healthy’ mean to you?

Healthy to me is about feeling physically and mentally strong. It means understanding how your body works and adapting your habits accordingly, so that you can function at your very best.

For me personally, I have a very busy work life and I’m active too, so I know that my body and brain need nutrient-dense and wholesome foods in order to perform effectively – that’s my priority. I’m also mindful about my environment.  Mental health is so important so I always surround myself with positive people that make me feel good.

7. What does a day of eating look like to you? 

Oats are my go-to in the mornings and they have been for as long as I can remember. They are full of fibre and really keep me full until lunchtime. Plus, they’re absolutely delicious! I will mix it up each morning by either adding in some fresh berries, a scoop of protein powder or even a handful of nuts. That way I know I’m starting my day with all the macro and micronutrients I need to perform at my best.

Deliciously Ella’s bircher muesli

For lunch and dinner I will always have a combination of protein, carbs, fats ( I usually cook with olive oil) and lots of veggies. If you want to start exercising, it’s important to fuel your body with nutritious foods. You wouldn’t try to run a car on empty, so keep that in mind for your body too. Our bodies are the most beautiful machines on the planet so it’s important to give them the fuel they need to function at their best.

8. Have you ever struggled with confidence in the gym? Do you have any tips for other’s who struggle with this?

I joined a gym but didn’t actually step foot inside until nearly three months later. My first thought was “these machines look like big monsters!”. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing and I was so nervous, but I was determined to make a change so I started believing in myself and educating myself. If I didn’t know something I would just ask for help, which I know can seem scary if you are not feeling confident, but remember that everyone starts somewhere so you should never feel embarrassed.

9. What would be your biggest tips for someone wanting to gain a bit of muscle and lose some fat? 

Consistency is key! There are no overnight fixes when it comes to fitness, regardless of what claims the latest fad diet makes. It takes time and consistency to make a real lifestyle change. If you are looking to lose fat and build muscle I would recommend some high intensity interval training. They don’t require any equipment, although you can add some light weights if you want to, and are only 10-20 minutes long so are easy to fit into your day.

10. What’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self when you first started your fitness journey?

I  would definitely tell my younger self to worry less about how I looked physically and instead focus on how I feel. It’s not about having the perfect booty or the best abs –nobody is perfect – but feeling confident in your own skin is a powerful thing.

When you are feeling good about yourself it shows. For me, living a healthy balanced lifestyle makes me feel amazing, so I would encourage everyone, not just my younger self, to focus on what makes you feel good and to do it for you!

Krissy Cela’s Tone & Sculp app is available from £13.99 at The App Store and via Google Play.