Get fitness tips and nutrition advice direct from Angie! By pairing her exercise regimen with a nutritious diet, Angie has maintained a healthy weight and fitness level through several life changes and medical obstacles.
I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE EASY TO LOSE WEIGHT WHILE BREASTFEEDING… BUT I WAS WRONG
I’m a single full time working mom with a baby and a 4 year old. I wanted more than anything to breastfeed my baby. I had many obstacles stacked against me, but I found resources and people that helped me stick to it. I wanted to quit a few times, but I stuck with it and I know my baby is better off for it. I’ve nursed for 9.5 months, and I have the happiest baby on the planet! I wanted to write this blog to help others in their breastfeeding journey.
I always heard that breastfeeding burns a ton of calories, so naturally I should just shed the weight after having the baby with no problem right? WRONG! I am a certified fitness instructor who was in great shape before having my baby. I experienced some major stressful situations during and after the pregnancy and gained 60 lbs. However, being knowledgeable about nutrition and exercise… combined with the fact that breastfeeding burns a ton of calories, I thought it would be easy to drop the weight. What happened? I became a wild beast ready to snatch any food item that crossed my path. I was shoving my face full of food while nursing, and at night…forget about it, the ice cream container didn’t stand a chance. I was eating WAY more than I was burning, and I had trouble finding time to get any workouts in, and when I did I felt like my baby didn’t like the milk after I was done with a workout.
I want to share my journey with you, and tell you how I stuck with it (after multiple times of wanting to give up) and let you know about the various resources out there that can help you.
We all know that stress combined with lack of sleep can wreck havoc on our bodies. My personal experience is that I started to get a divorce 2 days after I found out I was pregnant. I ended up moving into a new house, having the baby and getting the divorce finalized all within a month of each other. I now had a new baby, a 4 year old who just went through a bunch of change, I had no family that lives by me, and I had to get prepared to go back to work as a single mom within 12 weeks. All I wanted was to provide the best for my children and be the best mom I could possibly be.
I couldn’t do it alone. That is where I reached out for help, and searched the end of the internet for all possible solutions to help me through my journey. We all have different stories. Some of us work, some don’t and are stay at home moms, some have one kid, some more than one, some have supportive spouses, some of us don’t, some have spouses that work odd-hours, some of us are doing this on our own, some of us have kid(s) with special needs. We all have our own stories, but the thing we all have in common is that as a mom, a new baby adds more stress. We don’t sleep, our bodies are a mess, and our hormones are making us cry and have mood swings. Whatever your stress is, there are resources to help. I’m going to share a bunch of information with you that helped me through my journey. Without these resources, I wouldn’t have been able to get to where I’m at today.
Breastfeeding in the beginning
I got home from the hospital and both breasts were clogged. Apparently the lactation consultant office wasn’t open on the weekend and I got home on a Saturday (but the voicemail didn’t say they were out of the office). I ended calling my OB, he gave me a prescription because he thought I had mastitis. I rented a pump, but I couldn’t figure out how to get it work, my baby was screaming. My parents were in-town to help me out the first week and I sent my dad out to get some formula. During that time I figured out the pump, called a friend who gave me the number of the best lactation consultant she knew, and within 30 min I had milk flowing! I didn’t have to use the formula and the lactation consultant was able to come to my home… AND it was covered by insurance!!! She also let me know that my insurance covered a hospital grade pump, not just the basic ones that they tell you they cover on the phone.
My son had a dysfunctional suck and I couldn’t get him to nurse from the breast, so she recommended finger feeding. Most people I talked to didn’t know what that was, but it was amazing! I was able to hook a tube up to my pumped milk and put the tube on my finger and he sucked on it and I was able to stretch his tongue while feeding him to train his muscles to suck properly. I did this for 4 days and finally I was able to nurse!!!
HOORAY- WE GOT MILK!
I had no idea lactation consultants could come to your home, didn’t know about finger feeding and didn’t know I could get my hospital grade pump covered. I was so excited to learn this information. My baby finally got what he needed!
The Eating Frenzy- Wild Animal Syndrome
OK, so now the milk is flowing, but so was my hunger. I was out of control, I mean 100% completely out of control. I was eating 24-7, couldn’t shove the food down fast enough, and I was eating more than I was burning. I started to gain weight. I gained a total of 60 during my pregnancy, lost about 30 and then started to gain some more back. I was frustrated.
Weight Gain Blues
There are multiple factors that play into wanting to lose weight. We all have different reasons for wanting to lose weight. For me,it was multiple reasons:
- First I had really bad plantar fasciitis on my feet, which made it extremely painful to walk. The doctor said it would get better if I lost the weight. I tried, but when I tried to cut calories, I ended up just binging and eating more.
- I just wanted to feel some type of normal. I went through a divorce, had a baby and moved all in the same month. I wasn’t sleeping and I couldn’t fit into any of my clothes. My mental health is just as important as my physical health, and getting myself back was important.
- I wasn’t sleeping at all. My baby was eating every 1.5-2 hours. My stress level was high and my hormones were all over the place. My baby is actually 9.5 months now and feeding every 3 hours.
- Working out is part of who I am. I love the feeling when I work up a good sweat, and it has always helped me mentally. Right now, with everything I was dealing with I needed to exercise. However, I had Diastasis Recti, my feet were in so much pain, and when I worked out I was even MORE hungry afterwards, and ended up eating more.
- Body Image. Even though this was last on my list, it was frustrating not being able to do anything about my weight, and I wanted to feel good about myself. I didn’t care if the weight loss was slow, but trying and not succeeding was frustrating and I just wanted to feel better about myself.
The Weight Loss Solution
I was stuck, and actually so hungry I started to gain weight. On my new program, It has been 2 months and I’m down 15 lbs. I still have 15 more to go, and I’m 50% there. My feet feel better, I have more energy and best of all, I actually have MORE milk!
Nutrition is about 80% of the weightless success. However when you are breastfeeding you are still “eating for two” and sometimes there are restrictions. My baby couldn’t handle it when I ate yogurt or whey protein powder, so I struggled with getting enough protein. My baby fed so often and I was pumping in-between and could barely find time to shower. How could I prepare healthy meals? I barely had time to go to the bathroom. I’m a certified fitness instructor and pretty educated with nutrition. I was eating 1800-1900 calories a day and still reaching for the ice cream container before bed time, and ready to attack anyone in my way carrying a chocolate bar. I read articles on how to lose while breastfeeding, but they all said something different. I even called one of the more famous weight loss chains and talked to their sales rep. They had a “breastfeeding plan” but they didn’t have documentation to back it up, and they also said they send you 1200 calories a day to eat and you have to add about 500-600 more calories. They told me this without even taking my height/weight and asking how many times a day I nurse. I knew enough to know that this wasn’t safe. Losing weight was a big goal of mine, but the safety and nutrition for my child came first.
How many calories?
Let me state that I am not a certified nutritionist. I know a lot about nutrition, but am not licensed to give specific advise and meal plans. Below I am sharing my recommendations on how you can leverage tools out there to help you lose weight safely while breastfeeding, and these tools greatly helped me.
There are a lot of varying answers as to how many calories you burn while breastfeeding. However, the more you are nursing the more you are burning. My OB told me I burn about 500 calories a day. This was understated for me personally, because during my nutrition coaching, and after a few weeks on my nutrition plan, I realized I was burning way more than initially thought. However, some people might burn less. Therefore, you need to listen to your body and make sure you are eating enough. I realized the reason I was so hungry was that I wasn’t eating enough, and then ended up binging. Now that I eat every 2.5 hours, and am eating enough protein, I actually have HELPED my milk supply because my body doesn’t think it is starving.
Below I list a great website by a certified nutritionist who specializes in weight loss for pregnant and breastfeeding moms. If you click on the link below, there is a calorie calculator that helps walk you through about how many calories you should eat per day based on your activity level, age, height and whether or not you are breastfeeding. She also has a bunch of postpartum articles to read, and also offers personalized nutrition coaching and meal planning. I used the meal planning option, but said I wanted something SUPER easy. She has various plans based on if you want convenience or variety. She is also there to help guide and adjust your plan based on your individual needs. I started on a 1950 calorie a day plan and was so hungry the first day that she increased it by 100 calories and adjusted my plan until I was satisfied and my body was getting enough (which ended up being 2200 calories a day) and the weight just started falling off, and my milk supply was not affected and I actually produced a little more!
You don’t have to do her customized plan, and this website has a ton of good free resources. However, if you need a nudge, coach, or customized meal plan this is a great program that is led by a certified nutritionist who really has an understanding of breastfeeding moms. She also offers a customized workout schedule.
I highly recommend coaching if you think your baby is gassy or is reacting to what you are eating, because a certified nutritionist can help. Here is my little comic strip I made when I first started breastfeeding. Most of the information I read say that it is a myth that gassy veggies can cause gas, but I’ve read other things that contradict this. This is where a certified nutritionist can help because the internet can be a great source of information, but also a source of miss-information. Just make sure whomever you hire or consult with knows about breastfeeding and is certified.
I realized that by eating more (and more often) I wasn’t hungry. I no longer craved sugar, and I was satisfied after smaller meals. I noticed if I fell off the plan and ate less, my milk supply suffered. I also felt good that I was getting the nutrition I needed. I was eating healthy fats, more protein than normal, but still ate fruits and veggies and carbs. I had more energy and more milk (Win/Win)!
Nutrition First- Weight loss second
Don’t expect to lose a ton of weight. I lost on average 1-1.5 lbs a week. This is the safest way and means that it is ‘real’ weight and not just water weight. Just make sure you eat healthy food. Nutrition should always come first, especially since you are still eating for two.
Workout Out Constraints and Solutions
I remember after my first child, I had some free personal training sessions and I went to the gym. My trainer wanted me to work my rectus abdominis (6-pack muscles), and I told him I needed to work my transverse (deep abs), and he didn’t know why. I explained that there are certain exercises that are not safe right after giving birth, and he admitted to me that he was not trained in postpartum exercise. In fact, I couldn’t find a personal trainer who was.
How to start working out again
Step 1: Check for Diastasis Recti: (AKA- splitting of the abs): It’s common… but not normal
Here is me on the left 6 weeks AFTER giving birth! (It looks like my baby is still inside). The pouch is very tight/round and not flabby. This is sign of diastasis recti. Normal is typically less than 1 finger separation, but I had 4.5 fingers of separation. To test for this, you can see your OB or a women’s physical therapist. The website listed below also walks you through how to test for it yourself.
Everyone knows that diet and exercise are two of the most important things you can do to lose weight. The #1 thing you need to do before you exercise is make sure you are doing it safely so that you don’t injure yourself so you can be there for your baby.
Diastasis Recti Solutions:
Classes are offered online or in person in Batavia and Wheaton. I believe the Batavia location also offers daycare. With my hectic schedule I did the on-line class and 6 weeks after finishing, I had my OB check me and my separation was less than 1 finger. The online class started out with 7 min three times a day and gradually increased. However, I could do the exercises in my car or standing in line. I found that this program was super easy to follow and something I could do, even while nursing my baby!
Website for in-person or on-line class: http://www.pilatesbycarrie.com/diastasis_rectus_abdominus
Link to free video to how to check for Diastsis Recti: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tfr1PT9BiGE
Another good option I found is the mutu system. I bought this as well, but I found the online class by Carrie was easier to fit into my hectic schedule and I received amazing results. https://mutusystem.com/
Step 2: Get cleared by your doctor
I know it sounds cliche, but this is really important. Make sure you are cleared to workout.
Step 3: Timing of Breastfeeding
This might be different by individual. I found that if I tried to nurse right after working out, my baby didn’t like it and I wondered if my milk tasted funny to him. I’ve also pumped after working out and I usually don’t get as much. I find that it is much better for me to nurse before I workout and then I have at least 2-2.5 hours after my workout to recover.
Step 4: Tips for Working Out
- Do what you like: Ultimately you should do what you like to do. I hate running and love lifting, so this is what I can stick to, and what makes me feel good. If you love running you should try to incorporate some weights, but do majority of running. If you try to completely change and do something you don’t like, you won’t stick with it. The goal is to make your exercise fun and something you can do consistently. In order to do that, you need to do something you enjoy
- Split up your workouts: One issue with working out is finding the time to do it. You may work, have multiple kids, have a high-needs baby (or spouse) or in my case are a single working mom. Whatever your situation is, as a mom we have no time for ourselves. The good news is that workouts are cumulative, meaning you can do 10 min in the morning, 10 in the afternoon and 10 at night and that is as beneficial as a 30 min workout
- Workout at Home. There are so many options to workout at home with workout DVDs that have pre-mixes and short 5-10 min workout segments. Find a style of workout that you love and then just get some DVDs and set up a schedule that you can stick to
- Ask a buddy to share babysitting: Find a friend or another mom who has kid(s) the same age, and you can take turns watching your kids so you can get a workout in
- Hiring a trainer: If you hire a trainer, make sure you get someone who is educated in postpartum and breastfeeding. This may be hard to find. Now, there are a lot of on-line personal trainers, so you may be able to find someone online. Just make sure they are certified and knowledgeable.
Here are some links to some free workouts
Before doing the workouts, make sure you get cleared from you doctor, and if you have diastasis recti, do a program to heal that first before you try anything else.
1 This is my full total body quick-fix from which is about 35 min, just skip the ab section and do the abs listed below instead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xt8FtTBePgk
2. Carrie who does the Diastasis Recit class has a 28 min ab video on Youtube called ‘A Better Way to Work Your abs’. This video focuses on the transverse abs, pelvic floor and strengthening and toning the abs in a safe way.
I hope some of this information is helpful in your breastfeeding journey!
30 Day Free Weight Loss Guide
Nutritional choices are a KEY part of any weight loss program. Think of Nutrition as the foundation, and my workout DVDs as the sculpting tool. This 10 Step Guide is a quick start to eating right, so that you can really get the most benefit from my workouts. This guide is intended to get you started FAST without having to read through tons of material, follow complex recipes, or count a bunch of calories. I’m a busy mom, and I know what is like to be pressed for time. I realize that one of the biggest hurdles to weight loss is TIME! With less time, we tend to sometimes make poor choices with diet, and workout less.
I’m here to help! I am not a nutritionist, nor do I claim to be. I am going to share with you my personal top 10 secrets to losing the weight and keeping it off. You can take this guide and get started today. However, After reading the guide below, If you’re interested in learning more, and need to know exactly what to eat to lose fat the natural way – without supplements, without drugs and without slowing down your metabolism – while also learning the why behind it all, this is one of the best books I’ve personally read that explains it all in a way that is easy to understand: www.burnthefat.com by Tom Venuto.
Exercise is the other 20% and will tone and define your body. For a great deal on my workouts (3 DVDs + a Free 30 day jump start Workout Schedule) go to workoutwithangie.com
Lets get started!
1.Think of Weight loss as a side-effect of getting healthy!
When I actually sat down and listed the top priorities in my life, here is what they were:
- My Family
- My Health
- My Career
You can see that ‘weight loss’ isn’t a priority…but it is! It is actually a side effect of being healthy. If I’m not healthy then it doesn’t matter if I’m skinny or not. If you can mentally train yourself to put your health before weight loss, you will automatically find yourself making healthier choices and it won’t seem as big of a sacrifice. If you are just focused on weight loss, you are only focused on the negative aspects. “I can’t eat the brownie because it will make me gain weight, and I will feel guilty”. Then, you are really going to focus on that brownie. If you can switch your mind to say “What is better for me, an apple or a brownie? The apple will give me energy, supply me with added nutrients, it still will taste sweet AND I can get some extra fiber”. The choice might be a lot easier. You want to think of food as providing a purpose, if it doesn’t provide a nutritional benefit; you want to choose another option that does. I’m not saying never eat a brownie, we are all human and want that brownie! What I’m saying is that you want to constantly think about your food as providing a nutritional purpose.
2.Learn how to conquer excuses you give yourself to not workout
If you say you are going to ‘try’ to do something, you are giving yourself wiggle room, and most likely will fail. If you have a plane to catch for a business trip and need to be up at 5:30 AM, you would set your alarm and get up at that time because if you don’t, you will miss your flight. You would say “I’m going to get up at 5:30 AM”. If you want to get up to workout at 5:30 AM, you might say “I’m going to try to get up at 5:30 AM” and then 5:30 comes around…what do you do? You hit SNOOZE because you set yourself up for failure. Instead, say “I’m going to get up at 5:30 AM” and you will be MUCH more likely to actually do it! TAKE OUT THE WORD TRY.
3.Stop believing in magic supplements, and get a nutritional panel done!
How many times have you seen a commercial that promises the new weight loss secret? How many people do you know that actually lost weight taking those supplements? Think about it. What is the definition of the word ‘supplement’? Here is the definition from dictionary.com: “A supplement is something added to complete a thing, supply a deficiency, or reinforce or extend a whole”. Therefore, if you are deficient in a vitamin or mineral, adding that vitamin or mineral back in will solve the problem. Are you deficient in calcium? Iron? Vitamin C? The only way to really know that is to get your levels checked by a medical professional. I can’t stress this enough. All the weight loss supplements and programs say to check with your doctor first (in tiny print) but I will put this in bold letters GET YOUR LEVELS TESTED BY YOUR DOCTOR. There are SO many supplements out there and they can do different things, and some counter balance each other. For example it is recommended not to take iron and calcium at the same time because they fight each other. It is recommended to take Vitamin D with Calcium because it helps the absorption of calcium. If you try to medicate and supplement yourself, you could be doing more harm than good. Also, if you have been trying to lose weight, it could be that you are deficient in something that is making it difficult for you. Rather than spending a ton of money on multiple supplements and trying every new diet pill, get your levels tested. There are a lot of wellness centers that will do a nutritional panel, or some insurance programs will cover this. Bottom line is that there are deficiencies that can inhibit weight loss, but without knowing what they are, it is not good to supplement with things you don’t even know need supplementing.
OK, so you are going to make ‘getting healthy’ as one of your top priorities, train your mind to get rid of excuses, and if possible get your blood tested for any nutritional deficiencies. Now let’s get started!
4.Stop the Sugar/Junk Food and go Cold Turkey for 4 weeks.
I really should say ‘stop the junk food’ because not all sugar is bad, and any diet telling you to stay away from fruits isn’t thinking about your health. Fruits have a healthy benefit, but I’ll tell you when to eat them. The 4 week part is important. The first 2-4 days will be the hardest, but you CAN do this. There is always an event or something coming up and we tend to push starting the diet until ‘after the event’. Whatever event is coming up, you can get through it. Here is how. The idea of cutting out junk food/sugar for 4 weeks is partly a wakeup call to how many bad choices we make without even knowing it and the other part is that it will kick start your body into burning fat! Sugar raises insulin levels, and with the rise in insulin comes fat storage (it is a little more complex than that, but I promised to write a short article). This is the hardest out of all the steps. However, if you are one of those that if you have ‘just one’, you will eat the whole bag, then this will work for you. Just put your mind to it that you are not going to have ANY junk food for 4 weeks and I’ll show you how to reintroduce it while still being able to lose weight. Remember step#2. You are not going to TRY to stay away from junk food for 30 days; you are just going to do it!
ONLY 4 Weeks!
Don’t have flavored creamers, artificial sweeteners, just allow yourself 1 cup of coffee with cream (not a lot of cream, just a little)
Apply this rule: Always eat twice as many veggies as you have fruits, and on workout days have 2 fruits (one in the morning with breakfast and one after a workout). On non workout days try to have your fruit in the morning only.
- No alcohol:
ONLY for 4 weeks, this is a short time. If you must, must, must do it have a glass of red wine to replace one of your fruit servings
None, just water and coffee and if you need carbonation try a sparkling mineral water. If you are one of those people who drink 4-5 sodas per day, cut it down to 3 the first week, 2 the second week, 1 the next week and week 4 don’t have any.
Realize I don’t say (no pasta, potatoes or no carbs). Long term I want you to make better choices such as brown rice or Quinoa instead of white rice and white pasta. If you are REALLY serious about losing weight, cut out white rice and pasta all together. However, it is hard to change all things at once. ‘White’ carbs will turn into sugar faster, so you want to limit them as much as possible, but it really depends on your level of eating habits to start. If you tend to eat a lot of the items mentioned above, just stick with that for 4 weeks (keep it simple). If you tend to already eat pretty well, then substitute ‘white’ carbs with a grains, lentils, oats or quinoa. If you are gluten intolerant, quinoa and rice is a great option. A great tip is saute veggies and user veggies for a ‘filler’ so that your plate is a lot fuller (but fuller with veggies rather than pasta). I try to keep my pasta down to one scoop an overload with veggies.
After 4 Weeks:
You have heard it before. You need to make a lifestyle change, not just a diet. The purpose of the first 4 weeks is to wean you off sugar and get you used to making healthier choices. However, you are human, and wanting sweets is normal. Here is what you do. Make some easy rules to follow.
- At work don’t allow yourself to have any sweets EVER. Just make this a strict rule. That opens you up for family birthdays, BBQs and other times to indulge. Work is a tempting environment, and people are constantly bringing bad stuff in, just make a rule to never eat sweets from work.
- Allow yourself 2-3 sweets a week (not every day). If you know you have a birthday party to go to, and you want to eat cake, then eat it! However, only allow yourself 2-3 sweets a week. The biggest enemy against you losing weight is sugar. Once you have past the 4 weeks, you will have trained yourself to not ‘need’ it anymore. Now you get it for a treat (and technically that is what a treat is). A treat should be rare and not often.
You will notice once you are off sugar, how much more energy you have!
5.Reward yourself for saying ‘NO’ to Sugar!
Just like a child gets rewarded for good behavior, do the same for yourself. Treat yourself to something for each week completed of not having sugar.
- Write down each time you say ‘No’. You will be AMAZED at how many times this is! Even if you say ‘no’ to yourself, this counts.
- At the end of the week, tally up the times you said ‘no’ and equate each ‘no’ to $1.00. This may be 10-20 times. Then go buy yourself something for this (pair of earrings, an accessory for your phone, or download some fun music ) just give yourself a reward at the end of each week
- Note! If you are diabetic or have any other medical conditions, make sure you check with your doctor before drastically changing your diet and cutting out sugar.
6.Don’t reward yourself with a big meal for doing a workout
I can’t tell you the number of times I taught an aerobics class, and afterwards someone says “I’m going to eat a ton of pizza tonight because I’ve worked it off”. Here is a KEY thing to remember. We overestimate how much we burn (calorie watches aren’t always accurate) and we underestimate how much we eat. 3500 calories =1 lb, and to lose just 1 lb of FAT (not water or muscle) is a big deficit. You must burn more than you consume. In 1 week, if you want to lose 2 lbs, that is 7,000 calories (a 1000) calorie deficit a day (which a lot of us can’t do). A more realistic number is 1-1.5 lbs per week. Remember when you workout, think of it as adding to that deficit You want to eat after a workout, but you want to make your workouts count, not cancel out what you ate. This is one of the biggest mind game tricks that can help you overcome your excuses not to work out. Instead of working out to ‘burn off the cookie’ you are actually working out to ‘burn off the fat’! It is amazing how just thinking about it differently can help you overcome your obstacles.
7.Know your calories (but don’t drive yourself crazy counting them):
There are many calculators available that can help you determine your estimated daily caloric needs. You need to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight. The rule of thumb I like to use is to eat about your RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) plus 20% (or more depending on your level of activity shown in the chart below), and then use exercise as your deficit. Your Resting Metabolic Rate is the number of calories needed for basic bodily functions when your body is at rest (heart, brain, breathing and digestion). Think about it…if you were sleeping all day for 24 hours, and your body needs 1200 calories for brain and heart functions, why would you ever want to go below that? If you eat too little, you are not even giving your body the nutrients it needs at rest for basic bodily functions. This is where starving yourself can help you lose weight at first, but eventually your body’s metabolism slows down because it doesn’t have enough energy for basic functions.
Ideally, you can get your RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) tested to know your exact numbers, but this is expensive. I had my RMR scientifically tested, and at 5ft 6, 125 lbs, my number was 1300. I work at a desk all day, so my daily activity would be 20% on top of this, which is 1560 calories I could consume. I went online to find a calculator that best matched the site shown below:
- First calculate your RMR (http://www.fitnessfrog.com/calculators/rmr-calculator.html) Mine shows I burn 1307 Calories at rest (which is really close to the 1300 calculated scientifically)
- Second, calculate your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure), what you burn doing daily activities (not including exercise). Multiply your RMR by the following:
- 20% (1.2)– if you have a desk/office job
- 35% (1.35)- if you have a moderately active job (teacher, sales associate, doctor, or any other mildly active job where you are on your feet most of the day)
- 55% (1.55) if you are mostly active throughout your day (day care teacher, stay at home mom performing a lot of housework and chasing after the kids, PE teacher who participates with students)
- 75% (1.75) – if you have a fairly active job (waitress, chef/cook, or job where you are on your feet and running around at a fast pace)
- 92% (1.92) if you have an extremely active job (construction worker or any other job requiring a lot of physical labor)
A 125 lb woman who works at an office all day will burn about 1560 (1307 *1.20) calories, and a woman who weighs the same (125 lbs) but is a waitress will burn about 2294 (1307 *1.55), depending on how demanding her job is. I don’t want you to spend time counting a bunch of calories, but I want you to have a fairly good idea of how many calories your body needs, and how much you consume. Here are the components that make up your daily caloric needs:
- Resting Metabolic Rate. (If you were sleeping for 24 hours) the amount of calories you burn.
- 20–92% more calories that you burn doing daily activities (driving a car, going to work, typing, laundry etc). This does not include exercise.
- How much you burn during exercise, (see chart below)
- If you add all three together you get TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure)
Your TDEE will be lower on non-exercise days, which is why I like to count calories burned during exercise separately. Your breakeven point is where the energy you expend matches the energy you consume. Once you know how much your ‘break even’ point is, eat this amount of calories per day, and use your workouts as your deficit. For example:
- RMR = 1300
- Daily activity for office worker= 20% more (1560 total calories)
- Workout for 60 min = 400 calories
- Total Daily calorie expenditure is (1560+400) = 1960
- I ate 1450 caloriesDeficit = 560 Calories.
Fitness level, body fat, gender, age and other factors determine how much you will burn during exercise. This chart below is a general estimate of how many calories are burned for a 60 min workout by varying levels of intensity for both females (5ft 6) and Males (6 ft). The values below are just estimates, and can vary by individual based on the factors listed above. A basic rule of thumb is to add 3% for every 10 lbs and .5% for every inch in height.
Count your calories for the first 3-4 days (just so you are aware of what you are eating). Counting every single calorie on an ongoing basis can be tedious and difficult. Just do it for a few days and get a feel for how much you eat and need every day. Just remember that we always overestimate the amount we burn and underestimate the amount we take in, so if you think you burn 500 calories in a workout, estimate 450, and if you think you ate a 400 calorie meal, estimate 430.
Make sure you talk to a registered dietitian or your doctor if you have any medical conditions. Eating a high protein diet can be harmful if you have kidney issues. Also, most people do well on a higher protein diet, but 25% of people actually do better on a higher carb diet. Try quinoa, lentils, or quinoa pasta and brown rice as grains. If I eat just protein and veggies I find I don’t have enough energy to get through the day, I need some grains. Everybody is different. Start off by keeping it simple. If I am aiming for 1400 calories, I will try eating 300 calories for breakfast, 100 calories for a snack, 350-450 for lunch, 100 for a snack, and then 400-500 for dinner. (This is about 1400 calories) but you may need more or less depending on your needs
Here is a sample meal plan:
8.Cook with Salsa!
Here is a great tip. Use salsa to cook with and add a ton of veggies. Double your vegetables (they will act as a filler and make your plate look even fuller). I use salsa all the time. I take Brussels sprouts, salsa and walnuts and sauté them on the stove, and they are SO good. Another one of my favorites is ground sirloin or turkey with brown rice and veggies, with salsa on top and some slices of avocado.
9.Make sure you have a protein and carb with every snack/meal:
Your body NEEDs carbs. This crazy no-carb thing has to stop! Guess what? A fruit and a vegetable are carbs! It is my opinion that any diet telling you not to eat fruits and vegetables doesn’t have your health in mind. Remember, losing weight is a side-effect of getting healthy. What makes you healthy? Fruits, veggies and exercise! Fruits are sugar though. I like to eat my fruit either in the morning or after a workout where I use weights (my muscles need the sugar to recover) along with a protein. Follow these steps:
- Eat twice as many veggies as fruits
- Eat your fruits only in the morning or after a workout
- Eat a Carb, protein and healthy fat with every meal
- Great carb choices are lentils, quinoa and brown rice or choose corn tortillas over flour ones. Black beans are great for protein and fiber.
- Lean proteins include: low fat cottage cheese, eggs, White Fish, Tuna, Salmon, Lean Beef, Chicken, Turkey. Stay away from processed lunch meats and go for the chicken breast. Also, don’t be afraid of eggs, they have healthy omega 3’s and other great nutrients in them. You can eat 1 whole egg and then 2 egg whites.
- Healthy fats consist of: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Fish Oil, Avocados, Almonds and Walnuts.
Yes, that is right. Eat GOOD fat. Some of my favorites include avocados, walnuts, almonds (raw), chia seeds, olive oil (extra virgin). Try using some olive oil and lemon pepper for dressing, and put a slice of avocado on your dinner. Chia seeds are also a really good source of fat. Fats are higher in calories, so you still want to use them in moderation, but a salad with some fresh olive oil and squeezed lemon tastes amazing and is much better for you than dressing! The flavored olive oils and butter flavor oils that you can use in recipes in place of butter. Coconut oil is also a great oil to cook. Butter is not the enemy, but use it in small doses. It is much better to have real butter than margarine. Raw almonds make a great snack, and also have many health benefits. Healthy fats should typically make up 20-25% of your daily caloric intake but could vary by individual needs.
- To calculate your fat intake needs, take your desired daily percentage of fat calories and divide by 9. For example if you are on a 2000 calorie diet, take 20% of 2000 which =400 calories, and divide by 9 = 44 grams. This tells you how many grams you should aim for each day. The Chart below shows how many grams are needed based on various calorie plans:
Below are some sample serving sizes:
- 1 serving of almonds (24), 160 calories and 14 grams fat
- ¼ avocado, 70 calories and 7.5 grams fat
- 1 tsp fish oil, 40 calories, 4 grams fat
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, 120 calories, 14 grams fat o 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 120 calories, 14 grams fat
- Following these 10 steps can quickly help you jump start your body transformation. Use this guide along with my Exercise Calendar to achieve your weight loss (and healthy lifestyle) goals.
- You can find all 3 workout DVDs + the free workout schedule at www.workoutwithangie.com.
- Remember that every person is unique.Also listen to your body. If you are feeling sick or low on energy, increase your food intake. Your calculations may be off, and you want to go by how your body feels, not the number on a piece of paper.
- I highly recommend keeping a journal on how you feel after you eat something. You will begin to notice a trend. If after eating fish tacos on corn tortillas and an apple, you are 100% satisfied, then try eating the same balance of carbs/fat/proteins in other meals. If you eat a ton of protein and veggies (no grains) and are completely drained of energy, try adding a little grains the next time. There really is no diet that is right for everyone, but there are some basic rules/guidelines you can follow to get you started
- If you want to read more, ‘Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle’ by Tom Venuto is one of my personal favorites. Click here to learn more
Lose Weight, Get Toned Arms & Legs, and Have Fun Doing It!
I’m going to introduce you to some of the best home workout videos. The DVDs are from different instructors (yes, I’m promoting my competition!) Why? Because working out to the SAME instructor, regardless of how great they are, can cause you to hit a plateau. These instructors are some of my personal favorites, and deliver incredible results. In order to change our body, we need to challenge it. Below you will find some of the best exercise DVDs on the market that do just that!
Best Exercise Videos for Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced
Tips for Weight Loss
- You MUST do cardio and weights. If you are a cardio junkie, you will become a smaller version of yourself, but you will not get toned. You absolutely must do both.
- Alternate body parts. You don’t want to over-work the same muscles two days in a row.
- You have to follow a healthy life-style eating plan with the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time eat clean and 20% or less you can cheat
See the checklist below to see if these workouts are good for you
- If you currently enjoy DVDs from some of TVs favorite stars, you will love these workouts. These DVDs are created by certified fitness professionals.
- You are a big fan or super high intensity workouts, but have become bored with your current DVDs, then these will be a great change to your workout routine.
- You love interval and circuit training.
- You are any fitness level (beginner, intermediate or advanced) then these workouts will be a challenge (I will break them down into categories for you).
- You are ready to challenge your body and take it to the next level.
Below is a list of some of my favorite workouts of all times, along with a description of why I love it. In addition, I’ll show you a sample workout routine that utilizes all the DVDs.
**Note that the instructors listed below are in no way compensated for these reviews. These are videos that I love to do, and are some of my favorite instructors who I feel are the best in the industry. Advanced exercisers can also use the DVDs mentioned below. I have them as part of the beginner suggestion since the DVDs offer low intensity modifications, and contain exercises that I feel beginners can start with and increase their resistance as they become stronger.
| Angie Gorr
Type: Cardio and Weights
| Jari Love
Type: Weights Only
| Tracy Effinger
| Sylwia Wiesnberg
|| Type: Cardio and Toning (mostly lower body & Abs)
Any of the DVDs mentioned above can be intermediate or advanced as well as long as you increase the duration of the exercise segments and add heavier weights. Below are some of my favorite intermediate/advanced workouts.
| Angie Gorr
Type: Cardio and Weights
Type: Cardio Only (Tabata Style)
| Zuka Light
Type: Cardio Only with Body Weight Resistance
| Jari Love
Type: Cardio and Weights
Type: Cardio and Toning (Fusion Pilates)
Intermediate/Advanced Sample workout
- Day 1: Ultimate Sweat and tone Lower body calorie torcher with Angie Gorr
- Day 2: Breathless with Amy Dixon, entire DVD (Cardio)
- Day 3: Extremely Ripped 1000 Hardcore with Jari love (interval cardio and weights total body workout)
- Day 4: Rest
- Day 5: Zuka Power Cardio DVD (choose 3 workouts which is 40 min of pure cardio and body weight resistance)
- Day 6: Dream Body with Darby Brender (do as much as you can as this is tough- total body workout)
- Day 7: Rest or do cardio
Future days, mix and match. Also use some DVDs from the beginner section and use a higher weight and higher level of intensity. For example my 50/50 cardio and weights and the Cardio and Strength Interval Circuit has a level 3 which is designed for more advanced exercisers.
most importantly …
ENJOY YOUR WORKOUT!