Written on May 30, 2014 at 5:58 pm , by Samantha Shelton
“I really want to lose a few pounds.”
We’ve all been there, said that, amiright? But it’s one thing to say it, and another to actually do it. What with busy work schedules, taking care of the family and, you know, maintaining some form of social life, some days it feels like a miracle to squeeze a workout in—while remembering to eat mindfully—on top of it all. So if you feel like you’re swimming in unchartered waters with your head barely above water, don’t freak out: you’re not alone. TV host and journalist Maria Menounos lost 40 pounds over the course of a year, and she did it without cutting corners. Thankfully, she also decided to write a book about it that hits shelves on Tuesday, June 3rd. After you pre-order your copy (you can do that here), take a sneak peek at some of her tips below:
Set a Deadline. You can’t just say “I want to lose weight…someday.”It’s that kind of loose talk, without a guideline, that discourages you from getting started and undermines success. My goal was to stop overeating, make healthier choices and lose weight slowly over the course of one year. Trying to rush or do crazy crash diets does not give you sustainable results. And I never focused on losing a specific number of pounds. I just knew by the end of a year I wanted to look and feel great, whatever my weight was.
Keep It To Yourself. When you tell others you’re trying to lose weight, you’re just putting pressure on yourself. Weight loss is tough enough—why make it any harder?
Avoid the Scale. Though you may have a targeted number of pounds in mind, weight loss isn’t always mathematical. There’s no way to be sure you’ll lose exactly how much you want per week. Some weeks you might only lose a pound instead of two or nothing at all. You’ll just get discouraged if you weigh yourself a lot. Plus I don’t want you obsessing about scales or numbers. First and foremost, this is about gaining long-term health. After a few months, if your clothes feel a bit looser and you can’t resist, hop on the scale. But no matter what it says, stick with the program.
Eat Your Calories—Be Sure Not to Drink Them. A lot of drinks are full of sugar. Soda is the most obvious one, but sports drinks, bottled ice tea and flavored coffee drinks are usually packed with sugar, too. You can opt for artificially sweetened diet versions but they aren’t the healthiest alternatives. When I lost weight I chopped up lemons, pushed them into jugs of spring water and drank that instead of juice or anything else. I still drink lemon water and plain hot water.
If you Like Dessert, Have It. Dessert is not forbidden. I didn’t cut it out when I was losing weight and I still have it occasionally. However, that doesn’t mean you have to eat the most decadent options. You’ll find that as you get used to eating better, heavy treats with lots of sugar will leave you feeling blah and you won’t crave them as much. To keep dessert in your life, try lower-fat frozen yogurts. Or serve plain Greek yogurt with a little honey or fresh fruit. When you’re out to dinner, order dessert for the table and let everyone share. You’ll be surprised how much a little bit satisfies you.
For more where that came from, remember to pick up a copy of The EveryGirl’s Guide to Diet and Fitness yourself. Want one—for free? Tune in to our Twitter chat with Maria next Wednesday at 2p.m. EST and you could win one of three SIGNED copies. See you there!
More from FITNESS:
Written on August 9, 2012 at 11:44 am , by Karla Walsh
In our July/August issue, we shared Weng Funn Chen’s amazing Fitness Fix story (you can also find it here), highlighting her journey to gain energy and find more balance in her hectic life as a mom. One key to her success: A strong relationship with her motivating trainer, Sylwia Wiesenberg, who also happened to be a neighbor. There’s no slacking off when your trainer might catch you walking from the convenience store with a pint of ice cream!
When Chen had so much success following Wiesenberg’s signature Tonique Fitness method, we wanted to learn more about it. Here are three tips from Weisenberg so you can try out Tonique (a name that is a mash-up of toning and unique) at home.
Take the first step. Wiesenberg isn’t picky about how you get moving at first, she just wants you to start. “It’s less important what you do, as long as you move,” she says. Something like climbing the stairs to your office or to your apartment, like Chen did, can make a big impact.
Don’t forget about your behind. “I love squats and lunges, plenty of them, and in every direction. By building strong glutes you’re building a strong core, which can help you run and bike faster and push yourself harder at the gym,” Wiesenberg says. She prefers doing high repetitions with body weight to build endurance, strength and balance. Click here to learn how to try three of her favorite lower body moves that helped Chen score a stronger backside!
Build on a good thing. One of Wiesenberg’s goals is to motivate her clients to try new activities, whether that means running a race or going for a hike. “I want them to get inspired to add new sports and fitness methods beyond Tonique—my goal is to help them want to move,” she says. “Once you experience the unique feeling of truly being fit, you will never want to go back to where you came from.”
Find out more about Tonique at toniquefitness.com and find YouTube videos of signature moves at toniquewoman.com. And stay tuned: Expect two new DVDs this fall, plus, Wiesenberg has a book and a TV show in the works!
More from FITNESS:
- 9 Moves for a Gravity-Defying Butt
- Lose the Baby Weight: Get a Better Body After Baby
- How to Get Fit Without the Gym
Written on January 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm , by Karla Walsh
When you are invited to a dinner at a fancy restaurant, you can chalk it up as a treat and indulge for the evening. Or you can make some smart swaps and menu alterations to enjoy the time out without packing on pounds. That’s exactly what Portland Chef Gregory Gourdet does—and this strategy keeps him well-fueled and on track with his marathon training (he’s completed seven to date!).
Chef Gourdet, who turns out delicious modern Asian cuisine at Departure Restaurant in Portland, enjoys accommodating his diners’ various dietary requests. Here are the smart moves he and his guests make to slim down restaurant dishes:
- Ask for no dairy. “It’s really only there for the mouth feel and you can save yourself a lot of saturated fat by omitting butter, high-fat milk or cream,” Gourdet says.
- Opt for seafood. Lean meats and fish are better options than something like braised beef.
- Ban breading. “Avoid anything fried,” Gourdet says, suggesting the grilled or steamed vegetables over French fries or onion rings.
- Order dessert. Really! Gourdet recommends sorbet as a smart sweet option.
How about when you’re cooking at home? Gourdet swears by four key ingredients to add amazing taste to any meal. Keep reading to find out what they are, and to learn how to make his signature salad.
Written on January 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm , by Karla Walsh
This week’s fit links from around the web:
- Not every food in the center aisles of the supermarket is bad for you. Here are some great kid-friendly, nutritious picks (and homemade swaps if time permits). — iVillage
- Gaga, ooh, la, la! Here’s how to get a booty like pop music’s first Lady. — Fit Sugar
- Try one of these five fun workouts if you’re new to working out or wanting to get your sweat mojo back. — Fitnessista
- A reasonable, doable action plan for when your jeans are feeling a bit too snug. — Meals and Miles
- So what if you’re not on the ranch? Steal motivation tricks straight from The Biggest Loser’s Bob Harper. — L.A. Times
- Pick a power snack to get more out of your mini-meals. — Q by Equinox
Written on December 23, 2011 at 10:43 am , by Karla Walsh
Consider these experts your Spanish-speaking Bob, Jillian and company! The creator of The Biggest Loser have launched Dale Con Ganas (Give It Your All), which premieres on Univision on January 11.
We asked the show’s nutritionist and three trainers to pass along their top 10 tips to help their contestants—and you!—lose weight in 2012.
Your dream team:
- Monica Montes, nutritionist
- Marcelo Crudele, trainer
- Maria Simon, trainer
- Oscar Luna, trainer
1. Take notes. “The most important first diet step is to write everything down,” Montes says. Each time you eat, track the time, food groups included, portion sizes and calories. “Contestants used food journals to adjust their meal schedules and food choices and learned how to measure proper portions throughout the show,” she adds.
2. Go easy on the joints. Sure, jumping moves like plyometrics burn major calories, but they aren’t the best choice for fitness newbies. “Try interval drills on the elliptical or in the pool, alternating challenging bursts and recovery periods to allow for increased heart rate with minimal impact on the joints,” Simon says.
3. Eat like a pro. “We enjoy meals and snacks more when they are colorful and full of flavor,” Montes says. Try this sample meal plan that contestants prepare on the show.
- Breakfast: Six egg white veggie omelet (spinach, tomato, onion, zucchini, red bell pepper, mushrooms), fresh salsa, high-fiber whole grain tortilla, orange
- Snack: Greek yogurt with blueberries
- Lunch: Grilled salmon with black pepper and lemon, black bean soup and salad (made with spinach, basil, radish, broccoli, bell peppers, green onions with lemon, olive oil, black pepper and sea salt)
- Snack: Hummus with carrots and celery
- Dinner: Chicken soup (including chicken, corn, zucchini, onion, tomato, cilantro) with one or two corn tortillas
- Snack: Jicama, mango and cucumber salad
4. Focus. One motto that the contestants live by: “Train your mind to train your body.” The mental work comes first, then the physical, which is why the trainers love getting in the ring. “Boxing is a sport that requires full concentration,” says trainer Crudele, who is also a licensed boxing and kickboxing instructor. “It’s fun and improves both your mental and physical conditioning.”
5. Fit it in your life. Unlike on Loser, show participants “remain in their real life environments, including keeping their jobs and family responsibilities—as well as all the stress and temptations that come with these dynamics,” Simon says. Don’t radically overhaul your routine when trying to lose weight because this will likely be unsustainable. Find ways to revamp your current lifestyle to make it more wellness-focused (for example, switching to low-fat milk in your coffee rather than cream).
For five more pointers from the reality show’s experts, keep reading.
Written on October 24, 2011 at 2:29 pm , by Colleen Travers
You gave up sweets, get plenty of sleep every night, and your pantry looks like a Whole Foods boutique, yet your waistline hasn’t budged an inch — so what gives? JJ Virgin, celebrity nutrition and fitness expert and co-star of the TLC series Freaky Eaters says that these healthy habits might actually be harming your weight loss efforts. We caught up with Virgin to debunk five sneaky food sins that seem healthy, yet are actually making you gain weight. Check out what they are below.
- You eat too much healthy food. “When it comes to your calorie intake, you have to think of your body as a bank account,” Virgin says. “Just because strawberries are healthy doesn’t mean you can eat 4 pounds of them. The same goes with nuts — yes, they are healthy but eat too many and they’re not. People I work with often experience the halo effect — they know they are eating something healthy so they eat more than they should, which counteracts eating healthy in the first place.”
- You’re eating healthy foods, but they might not be healthy for you. Your body has an inflammatory reaction to hold on to weight when you eat some staple items such as eggs, dairy, and soy. “When my clients pull these foods out of their diet, they lose 5 to 10 pounds almost instantly,” Virgin says. Try swapping coconut milk (she likes So Delicious Coconut Milk) instead of soymilk and start to see a difference in your middle.
- You skimp on breakfast. Not having a big enough breakfast sets your metabolic tone for the entire day. In a recent study, people who ate a larger breakfast (approximately 600 calories) lost more weight and kept it off than people who only had a 200 calories breakfast. Virgin recommends starting the day off with a shake for a healthy start. “Having a latte and a muffin will send your blood sugar crashing by 10 a.m.,” she says. “I tell my clients to make a pea rice protein shake with berries to keep your blood sugar stabilized and help you stay in fat-burning mode.”