HELLO, Weightloss! Tips

HELLO, Weightloss! Tips

(Healthy, Everyday, Long-lasting Lifestyle Options)


You know you‘re drawn to them when you see them in the store…  Those fitness magazines luring you to buy them because they hold the key to the latest, greatest, fastest weightloss plan—lose 10 pounds in 4 weeks or drop a dress size in 2 weeks.   Plus, supplements and ways to tone and erase those problem areas.  Easy, right?  Sure!  (pssst, there is no spot reduction and you will find most of your results come from eating a clean and healthy diet.)  But have you ever lost weight quickly only to gain the weight back?  Chances are, those extra pounds you put on took a while to show, and the same will be true to take them off—because you need to identify the underlying habits that need to be changed.  

If you haven’t identified those fundamental areas to make a change, then your results will be as superficial as your method.  And they will quickly fizzle.  You need solutions that will help you make long-lasting, healthy changes.


So, I’ve compiled my own simple tips to help you create healthy habits and lose weight by using what I call my HELLO, Weightloss! tips.   I coach my clients on these simple methods and use them myself.  Wanna know why?  They’re simple and they work.  All you need is a little effort. 

Plan your meals

Planning is a crucial weightloss strategy and helps you avoid unhealthy pitfalls.  Think ahead—and plan out healthy meals/snacks for the week.  You’ll be less likely to reach for something unhealthy.  Plus, you’ll feel more in control and you won’t be opening the cupboards at 5 pm going “hmmmm, what I am gonna make for dinner tonight??”  You know you do that!


Choose whole foods over processed

Whenever possible use fresh, whole foods to prepare your meals (for the most part, foods that you recognize in their natural state).  Skip processed foods with added sugar, preservatives, colors and chemicals—your body doesn’t quite know how to process these (pssst, this means your body gets confused and will often store those calories as fat!).  Whole foods are simply better for you—period.  Read the next paragraph and you’ll understand why! 


Learn to read nutrition labels

Go ahead and pick up any package from your pantry, right now.  Can you pronounce all of the ingredients in it?  See any added sugar?  You need to know what goes into your food-- and then make a choice whether or not to put it in your body. The food industry has a sneaky way of making you believe things are good for you by the terminology used.  Two words: deceptive advertising.  “Heart healthy”, “whole grain”, “all natural “and “low fat” all sound great.  But, look closely and you’ll see the other ingredients and chemicals added to ensure a great tasting product.  The more you educate yourself about labels and ingredients the better you will be at preparing and choosing healthy meals. Tip:  Notice there is no recommended daily allowance for added sugar on labels.  The American Heart Association suggests no more than 6 teaspoons, or about 24 grams per day.  Ooops!  Perhaps the food industry forgot to put that one on the label! 


Track your daily calories

Apps such as MyFitnessPal and Just Lose It can help you log—and stick to—a daily calorie budget.  It’s an eye-opening experience to see how much you’ve consumed. A few extra bites of the kids’ food, a few cookies here and there, and late night snacking can add up. Tracking helps to keep you accountable. Plus, you can see your progress over time. 


Be mindful when you eat

Eat to nourish your body, and pay attention to whether your mouth wants it or your belly wants it.  Are you hungry or are you just craving something sweet or salty?  Pay attention to the taste and texture of your food, and put the focus on your food when eating.


Track your emotions when you eat    

We eat all of our feelings.  For all occasions--whether happy, sad, stressed, bored, or angry—we eat.  Just got a promotion? Awesome!  Let’s go for dinner and drinks.  Uncle Vito just died? I’m so sorry, here’s some lasagna and a plate of cannoli. Nervous about that big test?  Pass the bag of chips, please.  By tracking your emotions you can observe areas of your day, and life, that need a closer look.  This correlates to being mindful, and you will think twice before you indulge.


Bring on the support

Tell your friends and family of your goals.  You will have people who will cheer you on and support you. Rah, rah, rah!  This will motivate you, make you accountable, and empower you.


  and Hit the Weights

Is your time limited?  Give circuit training a try. A typical circuit workout alternates muscle groups (such as upper and lower body exercises), and takes you through a series of stations with minimal rest in between exercises.  This gives you a fun, total body workout with cardio and strength all in one—you burn lots of calories and it's a big timesaver for you!  Need help with a program just for you?  Hire a personal trainer to educate and guide you.

The key to successful long-lasting weightloss is to create healthy habits in your nutrition and exercise,  and make small changes that will help ingrain them into your lifestyle.  Then say HELLO, weightloss!


Written by Christine Hales
 ACE Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach

Start Moving Fitness LLC

10 Reasons Women Need to do Strength Training

Significant research exists showing why strength training is not only for aesthetics, but for health as well. Think strong, healthy, and lean.  However, many women still tend to stick to the cardio machines at the gym.  The many health benefits of strength training are simply too wonderful to ignore.

I am a huge advocate for women and strength training, and every client of mine is introduced to the world of weights and proper technique. I’ve seen wonderful and full body transformations with strength training.  I want my clients to feel confident knowing exactly what they should be doing, but also comfortable in a typically male environment.  I have my clients lift weights that are safely and progressively challenging for them---sorry, no pink dumbbells allowed!  Muscles need progressive overload to get stronger.



For many of my female clients, they ask “but won’t I bulk up if I lift weights?” Although this erroneous misconception still exists, it is rarely if ever true.  You will not bulk up by lifting heavier weights.  Women simply do not have the amount of testosterone needed to create large muscle mass.  Rather, lifting heavy enough to challenge your muscles is a wonderful way to totally reshape and create definition in your body, along with a host of other benefits.   Now, if you want to see that definition, you will need to accompany your strength training with a healthy, clean diet.

Let me assure you, if you want to bulk up and become a female bodybuilder, you will need significant supplementation, increased calories, and rented space at the gym for your very religious training regime.  Those women work very hard, for long periods of time, to become bodybuilders.   So, now that we’ve put that one to rest, let’s move on.  If you’re still not convinced to start strength training, then keep reading:

Here are 10 reasons you need to start lifting weights, ladies:

1.      To shape and define your body.  If you are wondering why doing cardio only gets you so far, start lifting.  Lifting weights will make you build muscle and gain that lean, toned look. Muscle rocks your body by creating wonderful definition—and helps you embrace your best you.

2.     Torch calories during and after your workout.  Strength training builds muscle, sheds body fat, and places your body at a metabolic advantage. You burn calories long after your workout ends.

3.     Lower your risk of osteoporosis.  Strength training increases bone density, which can reduce the chance of osteoporosis and fractures as we age.

4.     Increase your confidence.  Strength training is very empowering--it feels good to get stronger!  And it boosts the way you feel about carrying out everyday tasks.

5.     Better sleep.  Enough said-- who doesn’t need more rest?!

Reduce your risks of chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.   Strength training may help reduce your risk of getting some of these diseases.   If you currently suffer from any of these conditions, strength training may help relieve some of your symptoms.

6.     Reduce your risks of chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.   Strength training may help reduce your risk of getting some of these diseases.   If you currently suffer from any of these conditions, strength training may help relieve some of your symptoms.

7.     To lift things up and put them down. Strength training makes you stronger, and better able to carry out daily tasks—whether that is lifting up the kids or carrying your groceries up the stairs. 

8.     Better posture.  Strength training your core and back can help you stand taller and keep the muscles that surround the spine strong.

9.     Reduce lower back pain.  Research shows that up to 80% of Americans will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. Regular strength training can help ease chronic low back pain.

10.      To lose fat.  Muscle burns more calories than fat, so you are putting your body at a huge advantage by building muscle.  A bigger engine (muscle), burns more fuel (fat and calories), get it?

So, there you have an arsenal of good reasons to start picking up those weights.  Look better, feel better, be stronger—be healthier. Enlist the help of a personal trainer if you need assistance getting started.  What are you waiting for?


Happy New Year! Have you set SMART goals for yourself?

Happy New Year!  It's time to reflect on the past year, and think ahead to our goals and aspirations for a wonderful new year.  Want to be successful in achieving your goals?  Whether you want to lose weight, add muscle and definition, run that race, or eat healthier--you need to have goals and a plan. You need SMART goals.  SMART goal setting is an effective method to help you define and achieve your goals step by step. We can all use a little help to get us there.  So, to kick start your year with a fresh new beginning, I'm presenting you with the SMART method to help you start a plan.


S - Specific   You need a target!  Your goals should be clearly stated and specific about what you want to accomplish. "I want to lose 10 pounds" is specific.  "I want to be healthier" is general. You need to create a roadmap with a bullseye.  If your goals are too general you'll miss the mark.

M - Measurable  You need to be able to see that you are making progress with measurable goals.  For example, performing a workout three times per week, losing 10 pounds, or being able to measure your body fat percentage.  Those are all measurable goals and can help you to stay on track.

A -  Attainable   Your goals should be realistic and doable, and things that you are able to achieve within the framework of your lifestyle.  Goals should be challenging but not overwhelming.  You can even take one more challenging goal and break it down into mini goals to get there.

R -  Relevant   Your goals should pertain to you and your particular interests, abilities, and needs.

T -  Time-bound   Tick tock, tick tock!  You need to set a concrete deadline for your goals.  Consistently monitor your progress toward your goals within the timeframe that you've set.


You now have the framework to set and achieve what you have set out to do. Having goals can help you overcome obstacles and adhere to your healthy committments.  So, what are you waiting for? Go and write your goals down, and create a plan with a purpose. 

Be SMART about it.   You can do it-- 2015 is waiting for you!