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Losing Weight, Eating Great

Over the past several years, I have written many fitness articles filled with advice on exercising different parts of your body, as well as advice on cardio training to help burn away excess body fat. In this issue I would like to talk about one of the most difficult aspects of any fitness program—nutrition. You will notice I said nutrition instead of the dreaded “D” word… diet. To be successful on a weight loss program you must first prepare mentally. Once you are mentally motivated to lose the weight, you are then ready to begin your training.

Three of the most important areas in fitness program design are:

1) muscle toning exercises to give your body a tight and toned look

2) cardio for burning body fat

3) a healthy nutrition plan to insure that you do not re-gain the weight that you have lost.

 

Leg Hamstring Curl

Maureen McDonald, “Mrs. America 2009” (Mrs. North Carolina) demonstrates the correct technique for performing Leg Hamstring Curls.

 
Prom Makeup steps 8-9

 

There are many nutrition plans on the market today. Some plans work and some don’t. Some plans are healthy and some aren’t. When I am training a lady in need of a nutrition plan to either lose weight or gain weight (believe it or not, there are some ladies who actually do need to gain weight), I always strive to design a plan that helps each individual reach her fitness goals in a safe, healthy manner.

A safe weight loss is an average of one to two pounds per week without losing muscle. Always remember, you want to lose the fat and keep the muscle. The more muscle you have, the more energy and calories your body burns; thus, the more fat you lose. Of course, you do not necessarily want to build larger muscle, but you do want to tone up the muscles you have without losing them. This is why it is important that your nutrition plan consist of protein, carbohydrates and fat. The body actually needs a small amount of fat in your diet to function properly.

First, let’s talk about the most important meal of the day—breakfast. This meal begins providing your body with the energy it needs after you have just completed a rest period of six to eight hours without food. Once you have eaten breakfast your body will begin burning calories to digest the food and the more calories you burn the more body fat you lose. One example of a healthy breakfast consists of one serving of oatmeal or wheat cereal with skim milk and a glass of water.

Between breakfast and lunch it is important to have a small snack. This will give you an energy boost and will also keep your body burning calories by digesting food. An example of a healthy snack is fresh fruit like an apple or orange with a glass of water.

When lunchtime rolls around something light is always a good choice. Try one serving of tuna on lettuce and a sweet potato with a glass of water. For your mid-afternoon snack, low fat or fat free cottage cheese with a glass of water works perfect. And for dinner, you can’t go wrong with a small grilled or broiled chicken breast, a vegetable such as steamed broccoli and a glass of water.

You may have noticed that I keep including a glass of water. Water is extremely important to a healthy nutrition plan so do not be afraid to drink plenty of it.

As you have read, I focused mainly on nutrition in this article. During my 19 years as a personal fitness trainer I have learned that nutrition always gives clients their biggest challenge. Of course, eating healthy is only one part of your program. Cardiovascular training is extremely important to burn fat. This should be combined with muscle toning to insure the body stays tight and firm as it loses the fat.

Now that I have given you some ideas on how to design the nutritional part of your fitness program, you are ready to go to the grocery store, stock up on the best foods and begin your training.

 

Mike Mauney is a personal fitness trainer certified by the National Federation of Professional Trainers. Mike specializes in personal fitness training for women of all ages. For more than 18 years, he has been training dancers, models, cheerleaders and pageant and swimsuit contestants of all ages and competition levels (local, state, national and international). His daughter, Michelle Mauney-Lowery, was Miss North Carolina USA 1995. Some of Mike’s training credits include: Miss USA 2005 Chelsea Cooley, Miss Teen USA 2004 Shelley Hennig, Mrs. International 2004 Tammy McDonald, Miss USA 2003 Susie Castillo, Mrs. International 2002 Tonya Matney, Miss United States World 2001 Carrie Stroup, Mrs. United States 1999 Janice Ward, Miss Teen USA 1998 Vanessa Minnillo and Mrs. America 1994 Keyna Baucom. His web site is www.bodydesignbymike.com.

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