Q:  I want to lose weight, but I don’t know where to start!  How do you get motivated to begin?

A:  Well, what are the reasons you want to lose weight?  Think of how different you would feel about yourself and your life if you were fitter and healthier.  There is your motivation! Of course, it always helps when you start off with a positive mindset.  You must believe you will succeed and be excited and ready to change!  Then begin by taking the first step:  sign up for a gym membership, forgo the french fries at lunch, drop on the floor right now and do 30 sit-ups….The more action you take towards your goal, the more motivated you will be to continue.

Q:  What kind of foods do I need to eat to lose weight?

A:  When it comes to diet, I believe that the healthiest way to go is by eating mostly natural, unprocessed/packaged foods.  I like to stick to mostly fresh fruits and vegetables and some lean proteins, like chicken and fish.  Unprocessed whole foods are naturally low in calories and high in nutrients.  It’s like the best of both worlds really, you get to eat more food for less calories and more nutrients!  But of course it is really hard to cut out all processed foods from your diet right away, especially if that’s what you have been used to eating your whole life.  However, even in the land of fast food there are healthier options.  The key rules are to stay away from anything fried (french fries, fried rice, fried chicken), anything creamy/cheesy (cheesy nacho dip, Alfredo pasta sauce..)  and anything too sweet (cheesecake, donuts, candy…you get the idea).  These foods are all high in calories, fat and sugar.  If you are eating these, you are not on the path to weight loss.

Q:  How do you stay on track with healthy eating habits when the rest of your family eats unhealthily?

A:  I know firsthand how difficult this can be.  When I first started out, my family was unfortunately not on the same track as I was.  I would just get home from the gym only to find that my dad had brought home KFC for dinner!  It is SO frustrating when your family or friends don’t understand what you are trying to do and how hard it is to resist the temptation of unhealthy foods.  The only way I could get through a KFC or Pizza Hut family dinner was by making my own dinner (usually a chicken breast with veggies and a baked potato) and then retreating to my room where I did not have to see nor smell the addictive fattening meal.

So these are my tips for you:

1.  Buy (or ask your parents to buy them for you) your own healthy foods for you to prepare at home

2.  Stay away from the unhealthy foods in your house. Eat dinner separately,  hide junk food in the back of the fridge or pantry to keep it out of your sight.

3.  Explain to your family what you are trying to do and how hard it is to stay on track.  Then simply ask them not to eat junk food in front of you.

Q:  I hate to exercise!  Is it absolutely necessary in order to lose weight?

A:  Losing weight is all about burning more calories than you are taking in.  Although you could lose weight by eating less calories than your body needs to maintain your current weight, it would happen more quickly if you were to exercise as well.  Besides, I doubt anyone really hates exercise.  I just think you have not found a form of exercise you really like.  Remember that working out does not mean going to the gym and monotonously climbing the StairMaster for an hour.  Running, walking, swimming, hiking, dancing, jump rope and playing tag with your little brother or sister are all forms of exercise.   You have to exercise for a healthy body.  You will look and feel much better if you exercise along your way to weight loss than if you don’t.


Q:  How do you stay on track with a fitness routine ?

A:  If you want to stay on track with a fitness routine, then you have to actually plan on staying on track.   I mean that your workouts should be your priority, not an after thought.  If your mindset is “I will workout after I clean my room and call my best friend” or “I will workout three days this week, if I can fit it into my schedule”, then you need to change your mindset!  Instead you should be saying “I will clean my room and call my best friend, after I get my workout done”  and “I will workout three days this week, and plan my schedule around those workouts”.   Unless you make a point to stay on track, you will never be consistent.

Q:  I have been working out and eating better, but I still  have not seen results.  When will I start seeing a difference?

A:  When you start seeing a difference really depends on how well you have been eating and how much you have been exercising.  I would say it can also vary from person to person, but I think after two weeks is when you should start seeing some changes.  If it has been two weeks and you don’t see or feel any change at all, then look back at your diet and fitness routine.  Maybe you have not been exercising as effectively as you thought.  Did you workout at least three days a week?  Did you work up a sweat?  Was it challenging enough?  Your diet could be to blame as well.  For example, it’s great that you had a salad for dinner…but if you had waffles soaked in syrup for breakfast and three slices of pizza for lunch then that salad didn’t make much of a difference.  Also, careful what you assume to be healthy eating.  Eating organic cookies is not necessarily any better than eating non organic cookies.  They are still cookies high in sugar and fat, whether or not they are made from natural ingredients.  Pay more attention to your diet and push harder in your workouts and eventually you will start seeing a difference.