We asked Terry Schaack, M.D., the medical director of the institute who monitored the participants’ progress, to share his best tips for finding social support when you’re trying to lose weight. Since temptations arise daily—often several times each day—when trying to lose weight in the real world, having an encouraging team nearby can make all the difference.
Dr. Schaack’s Top Five Support Secrets
- If you are getting together with a friend to catch up, go for a walk instead of meeting for a drink or meal.
- When a friend asks you to sponsor her for a race or walk-a-thon, say yes (if you can) but also ask if you can join her for the event.
- The next time there’s a work event where food will be served, request that there be a low-cal option.
- Check out your town’s Parks and Recreation division, which can be a great resource for low cost fitness activities. You will find that many of the people who go to the events are there for the same reason as you.
- If a friend or family member is not supportive, understand that your continued success and dedication is the only way to show them that you are on the path to better health. It will be easier for them to support you when you are taking steps toward your goal.
Now tell us: Where do you find social support to keep you on track?
As you know, we’re big fans of The Biggest Loser here at FITNESS. The inspiration for our next challenging workout, the emotional breakthroughs by the contestants and the amazing trainers. . . we love it all!
We were lucky to sit down with one of this season’s new trainers, Brett Hoebel, just days before tonight’s finale to pick his brain about his fitness routine, the current season of The Biggest Loser and who he thinks will take home the $250,000 prize.
The workouts he prefers with his bicoastal lifestyle. . . “I prefer spinning to running, but I love to run hills in Runyon Canyon. I do capoeira on Santa Monica Beach and spin at Up Dog when I’m in L.A. And in New York, I train at Arte Capoeira Center, Peak Performance and spin at Flywheel. My exercise routine must include the four components of my fitness toolbox: 1. movement (capoeira, martial arts, etc.), 2. strength, 3. intervals and 4. agility/core.”
His favorite memory from this season. . . “Seeing Justin on the mountaintop [in New Zealand] was one of the greatest moments for me. But it doesn’t stop there. Then I go to meet his family. You see that the contestants can have an impact on the world by walking their talk. The trainers help the contestants improve their health, then they help change someone else, who helps change other people. Each community is inspired by the contestant and the contestant’s family. The ripple effect of our work on the show is humbling! I tell them, ‘I saved your life, now go save another.’”
What he thinks about the remaining contestants. . . “It’s a very tough decision about Irene and Jay [the two contestants who viewers are voting on for the final spot in the top three]. We really saw Irene transform during the last few episodes. Jay was off campus for a while, but was brought back because of his work ethic. Does America want a female winner? I don’t have a preference, but am interested to see who comes out on top! All four have really hit their stride on their own at home.”
So that’s what Brett says, how about you?
All right all of you Dancing With the Stars fans—we’re down to the wire! Tonight marks the semi-final routines, and Chelsea Kane, Kirstie Alley, Hines Ward or Ralph Macchio will walk away with the mirrorball trophy (with their professional partner, of course). Our pre-season predictions weren’t too far off!
To get the inside scoop about what it’s really like to be on the show, we recently caught up with pro Karina Smirnoff. Besides displaying fancy footwork with The Karate Kid‘s Ralph Macchio on the show, Karina has her own dance studio, and has just released a workout DVD, shoe line and makeup line (whew!). During her few spare moments, she told us about DWTS training, how she stays well-fueled during her hectic schedule and what it’s like to dance with a movie star.
Has your workout routine changed since you began on DWTS?
Yes. We rehearse everyday for seven or eight hours and take very few short breaks. After that, I usually rush to my dance studio to teach my fitness classes. That leaves very little time to do anything else! But sometimes I can fit in a yoga class.
How do you maintain your perky attitude and energy with that grueling schedule?
I try to eat healthy and keep my energy up with bananas, dark chocolate and protein, like nuts. Nuts are my favorite snack because they’re healthy and filling.
How does Ralph Macchio compare to the other partners you’ve had on the show?
I love Ralph. We clicked right away and I think we make a great team. We’re both workaholics! We laugh a lot, work a lot, but most importantly, we love dancing together. I am truly enjoying being Ralph’s partner.
Who do you see as your biggest competition this season?
This season is very unpredictable. We have a lot of great celebrities and everyone is bringing their “A” game. All we can do is work hard, deliver the best job we can on Mondays, keep entertaining our fans and hope for the best.
DWTS surely keeps you busy. Will you be hands-on at your new studio, Karina Smirnoff Dance?
Absolutely. I’ll be teaching students and training instructors. Everyone who wants to learn how to dance, get in shape, meet new friends and have lots of fun should stop in!
Want to see Karina and Ralph advance to the finals? Visit abc.com or call 1-800-868-3408 to vote. AT&T customers can text until 30 minutes after the show.
Now tell us: Who are you rooting for to take the DWTS trophy this season?
The New York International Auto Show just wrapped up, and among the cars and new technology, wellness was on display. Porsche and one of their race car drivers, Patrick Long, hosted the Healthy Intelligent Performance event, which discussed how to kick your health into high gear. Apparently, there’s a lot more than sitting and steering that go into being a good race car driver!
Patrick stays fit with a mix of cardio (running, cycling, kayaking), strength (core work with a stability ball and resistance band) and balance (single leg exercises). He fuels up with well-balanced meals like oven baked cod and chilled ramen with wasabi and citrus. When he wants a sweet treat, he grabs one of these delicious beverages, created by Top Chef veteran and Social Eatz owner Angelo Sosa.
High-Performer’s Milkshake (Serves 4)
- 5 oz. Wheaties (about 5 cups)
- 3 pieces cardamom
- 1 piece star anise
- 2 cups non-fat soy milk
- 2 tbsp. agave nectar
Bring the milk to a simmer in a pot and add all other ingredients to let them steep, like a tea. Remove the spices and blend the liquid mixture, chill and serve.
Nutrition facts per serving: 200 calories, 1 g. fat
Pineapple & Mango Lassi
- 1 lb. pineapple, diced in large cubes
- 8 oz. mango (about 1 1/3 cups)
- 6 oz. non-fat Greek yogurt (one small container)
- 1/4 cup sugar
Toss all ingredients into a blender, mix until smooth and serve.
Nutrition facts per serving: 147 calories, 0.25 g. fat
Now tell us: What foods or drinks help power you through challenging workouts?
Kimberly Caldwell made her mark as a top 10 finisher during season two of the popular FOX reality show American Idol. Since the show, Kimberly has kept busy with touring and numerous TV hosting gigs. In just a couple of weeks, she’ll be releasing her debut album!
Kimberly dropped 20 pounds a few years ago and has since made fitness and wellness a priority, even though she often struggles to find time for it (just like us!). Why is exercise non-negotiable? “It not only helps with my stage performance, but also with stress and anxiety,” Kimberly says. We were lucky enough to get a sneak peak into Kimberly’s exercise diary, and of course couldn’t resist asking what’s on her workout playlist.
To celebrate the Tuesday release of her new book, Unlimited: How to Build an Exceptional Life, fitness expert Jillian Michaels has been making the media rounds the past few days. When we saw that she would be in our area for a book signing, we jumped at the chance to meet the trainer who we’ve exercised with countless times (via her DVDs, of course), were inspired by (on The Biggest Loser and Losing It with Jillian) and all-around admired. We admit it, we were nervous fans when awaiting her arrival!
But all of that nervousness was put to rest when we met Jillian—who is so sweet, personable and approachable. And how she had that much energy after a day of back-to-back TV interviews is beyond us! You get to see Jillian the TV star each week, but what is she like in real life? Here are five things we learned during our visit with Jillian:
- She’s giving. We arrived with a media preview copy of her book, which she quickly tossed in the trash after digging up a shiny new hardcover copy (see right) and saying, “I knew I brought this for a reason!”
- She’s tiny! Seeing Jillian on TV, you can’t tell how petite she is. And with that figure, she absolutely is practicing what she preaches.
- Girl can rock the business casual look. Her fans are used to seeing her in the super-cute K-Swiss exercise apparel or other gym gear, but she came to the signing wearing a tailored jacket, breezy blouse, slim leg jeans and killer nude heels.
- She’s funny. We discussed her new DVD Ripped in 30 and how we loved the challenge it provided! She was surprised when we told her that, although it was tough, we could handle all four levels. Jillian told us, “I was even getting out of breath talking through the warm-up!”
- She’s not just the drill sergeant you see on TV. She gave us hugs, laughed along with jokes and seemed relaxed. Although we love the hard-bargaining Jillian on The Biggest Loser, it was fun to see this side of her as well!
Now tell us: Which fitness celebrity would you love to meet someday?
Here at FITNESS, we love keeping up with any health-related pop culture news. Books, movies, TV shows—we keep tabs on them all. Personally, I’ve been known to arrange my workouts so that I can catch The Biggest Loser while on the treadmill because I’m such a diehard fan (and since multitask is my middle name!).
Counting the shows that are currently airing and those that recently wrapped up, it seems like more than ever, channels that air reality TV shows have placed a large focus on fitness and weight loss. So we want to know: Which one of these reality shows motivates you to get up and get moving? Has any one in particular inspired you to make a change in your life? Sounds off in the poll, then tell us more in the comments!
More from FITNESS: Reality TV Star Katie Fanok’s Stay Slim Secrets
The cast for Season 12 of Dancing With the Stars was announced last night! Missed the news? Here are the celebrities who will train for hours on end and vie for audience votes:
- Wendy Williams: talk show and radio host
- Romeo: rapper (formerly known as Lil’ Romeo)
- Kirstie Alley: actress and former Jenny Craig spokesperson
- Chris Jericho: pro wrestler
- Chelsea Kane: Disney actress
- Sugar Ray Leonard: former pro boxer
- Petra Nemcova: supermodel
- Ralph Macchio: actor, best known for The Karate Kid
- Kendra Wilkinson: reality TV star
- Hines Ward: NFL wide receiver, once won the Super Bowl MVP award
- Mike Catherwood: radio show host, currently co-host of “Loveline”
We think that Hines Ward and Sugar Ray will have a “leg up” on their competition due to their quick and athletic feet, and can imagine Chelsea Kane succeeding on the show like her fellow Disney stars (Kyle Massey or Monique Coleman, anyone?). But we love surprises and all of the contestants will be fun to watch! The new season begins on Monday, March 21.
Who do you think will go the distance this season? Who are your picks for the final three?
Who among us hasn’t spent a few too many minutes scrutinizing our bodies in the mirror? Or spent an excessive amount of time in the gym because a beach day or class reunion is on the horizon and we don’t look “good enough” yet?
We all want to look our best, but it’s so easy for normal, healthy attention on appearance to turn into a body image issue that can impact many other areas of your life. So we turned to psychotherapist, lifestyle coach and author Stacy Kaiser, who you may have seen counseling contestants on the reality shows DietTribe and Celebrity Fit Club, to share her tips to get over body hang-ups.
Can you pinpoint the main influences on someone’s body image?
Two main factors play a role:
- Your upbringing: family, peers and community. Were they active, supporting and encouraging?
- Your personal belief system: values, beliefs and desires. What is most important for you and your happiness levels?
In “Are You Normal About Food” from our March issue, more than half of the 2,400 women polled for the piece admitted to negative emotions after a binge (guilt, depression, sickness…). For more insight into this topic, we turned to a pro who has dealt with emotional eating and lost 85 pounds herself. Dr. Ramani Durvasala, the psychologist from Bravo’s Thintervention with Jackie Warner, told us about the reasons behind emotional eating and how to manage it.
How do you know if you’re an emotional eater?
First, examine how you talk about food. Do you use passionate, emotional terms like “love,” “obsessed” or “adore” to describe a certain snack or meal? I used to refer to food in that way and then I realized I don’t talk about much else that way ever—maybe just my kids!
A few other signals include eating in secret, feeling anxious or out of control around food, using food for a non-food purpose (such as a reward or a numbing tool) or not achieving success on several weight loss programs in the past.
Can it be “cured” or just “managed?”
Believe me, even after losing the weight, I still struggle everyday with emotional eating. I wish I could eat all that I want whenever I want, but I can’t. And that’s frustrating! Emotional eating is a lot like other addictions, and never really go away. It usually begins to develop in childhood, so you basically have to learn to deal with your triggers and preemptively plan to make good choices.
Read on for Dr. Durvasala’s five tips for emotional eaters…