The Nitty Gritty on Diet and Exercise, from a pro

I recently had the awesome opportunity to sit down with local certified personal trainer and nutrition expert, Shauna, to ask some of the health and training questions I can never seem to get a clear answer for. She was so incredibly patient with my many, many, many wonderings and completely opened my eyes about the entire subject. Some of the topics we touched on…
1. Can You Lose Weight with Exercise Alone
Absolutely. This is one of the most common questions I get when working with new clients. Most experts will have you believe that you have to diet or diet and exercise to move pounds, and that’s not the final say. It’s all about creating a calorie deficit. It doesn’t matter how you do it.
For example, let’s say Gina has a sedentary lifestyle. She never works out and needs to lose about 15 pounds. She’s sat at the same weight for the past 3 years. She obviously consumes just enough calories to maintain her current weight and not gain, which would estimate at around 1900 calories. Gina is 5 feet 5 inches, 28 years old and 147 pounds. Her ideal weight is 132.
If Gina creates a calorie deficit of just 500 a day [a total of 3500 for the week], she will lose 1-2 pounds per week. She can do this any way she pleases. Let’s say Gina cuts the sugar out of her 2 cups of coffee knocking out 200 calories per day, adding up to 1400 calories for the week. Then Gina adds in 45 minutes of circuit training 4 days a week and 45 minutes of high impact cardio 2 days a week. That’s another 2400 calories gone for a total of 3800 for the week.
A home training program like P90X will easily burn 3300-3500 calories a week. You can keep that sugary coffee and still lose the pounds. Gina will hit her goal weight well within the 12 weeks of the program.
2. What Types of Exercise and How Much do You Recommend
I recommend starting slow so you don’t burn yourself out and quit. Circuit training and high impact aerobics, or plyometrics are my go to’s. They get the best results, fast, with limited equipment and space.
Starting out with 2 days a week of circuit training rotated with 2 days of aerobics or plyo is perfect to start for 4 weeks, 30 minutes each. Working up to a 6 day routine with 4 days of circuit and 2 days of aerobics is a great consistent routine for busy moms and professionals. If you have a little more time, bundling into 3 - 1 hour routines for maintenance will keep you fit.
3. What In Home Routines do You Recommend
I’m aware that not all of us can afford a personal trainer, nor do we all have the time. We live in the day and age where everything is available to us at home. I think that’s incredible. I keep current on everything that hits the market. I like to watch, scrutinize, and give a thumbs up where it’s deserved.
I would highly recommend Jillian Michaels Body Revolution. It’s a fantastic program spread out over 12 weeks. The workouts are only 30 minutes. Most people can find the time and the workouts progress giving you time to build strength before really pushing you.
4. What Online Tools do You Recommend Using
For home use, Health Discovery has plenty of useful tools. They have calculators for everything: BMI, Ideal Weight, Calorie Burn and more. I am also a big fan of myfitnesspal via internet or phone app for keeping track of calories and looking up foods.
5. What is Your Best Tip
Over a decade ago I heard the saying “You get fat eating real food, you get thin eating less of it.” This is so true. Everyone runs out for the shakes, bars, fad diets, pills, home delivery programs. Save your money. You don’t need any of that stuff. Not only does it taste weird and make you crave regular food, it’s not cheap. You like pizza, don’t eat the usual 4 slices, have 1 slice and a small salad. You like subs, don’t eat a foot long. Eat half and save half for your next meal.
Eat smart. Don’t try and change too much too fast. Relax and appreciate yourself. Compliment yourself for a job well done every time you eat right, every time you work out. If you mess up and eat a piece of cake, move on. Don’t say heck with the day and eat everything in the fridge. Move on. Keep working at it.
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