I reached out to numerous PhDs, nutritionists, TV hosts, fitness pros, celebrity trainers, influential bloggers, authors, and personal trainers and asked them to share their 3 best weight loss tips. They didn’t disappoint.
Below you will find a small section dedicated to each fitness expert that includes a picture, a short bio, and their 3 best weight loss tips. I encourage you to click through to their site if you like what they have to say. I’d also like to thank each of the fitness experts that took the time to contribute to this collaboration.
Let’s get started…
Kim Dolan Leto
Kim is the Director of Family Health & Wellness for the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) – www.kimdolanleto.com
- Trade in your quick weight loss fix for a permanent lifestyle change. Our society has trained us in instant gratification, but when it comes to our health, we need to commit to the long haul. Determine a clearly defined goal and break it down into the daily responsibilities necessary to accomplish it.
- Learn the math behind your weight-loss goal. Educate yourself on what portions should look like. Count your calories until you are familiar with them. Learn to cook all your favorite foods in a healthy way, and take advantage of the organic health food concepts popping up everywhere.
- Find your passion for exercise. Going to the gym to lift weights and do cardio isn’t for everyone. What did you love doing when you were a kid? Get involved in what you enjoy doing, and sign up for an event associated with it.
Jill holds a MS in Human Nutrition and is an ACSM-certified personal trainer – www.jillfit.com
- Choose ONE SINGLE new thing to implement at a time, and focus on being able to do that single thing well for 3-4 weeks or until it becomes effortless. The more new rules we try to implement at once, the more likely we are to fail at all of them. Sustainability is all about being patient and systematic.
- With that said, the first thing I have my clients implement is an increase in protein or eating protein at every meal, at least 15-20g. For women, they should be aiming for 100g day if possible. Protein helps keep us fuller for longer, more satiated and it helps maintain muscle and decreases hunger and cravings.
- Get the biggest bang for your time in the gym by prioritizing weight-training. The more intense the workout, the longer the caloric afterburn lasts. For traditional cardio, the cals are burned during. With weight training, specific hormonal effects allow us to continue for the rest of the day.
Adam is a fitness editor, writer, and NYT best-selling author – www.bornfitness.com
- Consider your lifestyle: If a plan tells you to abandon all carbs and your favorite food is pasta, complete withdrawal probably won’t be a great solution. Your job isn’t to find the magic bullet, but instead determine what plan seems like a good fit for you–and then make sure it’s legitimate.
- Write it down: When you start a weight loss plan, track your foods. I’m not a big fan of counting calories (although I admit that it works), but I do find that most people underestimate how much they eat on a day-to-day basis. So just writing down what you ate–even if you don’t track the exact caloric amount–will be extremely helpful in allowing you to make adjustments to either food choices or the amount you eat. Self adjustment is the best adjustment.
- Sleep more: I can’t tell you how many people underestimate the impact of poor sleep. Oftentimes it’s sleep deprivation that causes people to not only experience more hunger but also crave the foods they know are bad for them. And it doesn’t take much: Sleeping less than 7 hours per night is enough to set you back and throw you off track.
Ashley is a fitness & lifestyle consultant and celebrity trainer – www.ashleyborden.com
- Eliminate anything that has the words “partially hydrogenated oil” in the ingredient list.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to plan and make your meals. Take two days a week and prep your food for lunch and dinner. Use bottom ventilated Tupperware to keep food fresh, not soggy. Keep meals simple and leave restaurants for the weekend.
- Work on your overall strength and performance with any workouts you are doing. Keep your energy on form and not what you look like. TRACK your workouts and you can make vast gains.
Heather is a national figure competitor, personal trainer, and the owner of Smash Fit – www.smashfit.com
- First and foremost, stop focusing just on “weight loss”. Your goal isn’t just to lose weight, you want to feel better, look better, and keep it off forever. Shift your focus to ACTIONS and changing habits. Your day to day and hour to hour choices (the right ones) will have the beautiful consequence of “weight loss”.
- EAT. Seems to fly in the face of logic but not really. It’s not about eating less food, it’s about eating less wrong calories. So by simply replacing wrong foods with the right ones, you often get to eat MORE food, but it will fuel your workouts, your body, muscles, mood and MIND, and that’s what will keep you on track.
- CONSISTENCY. Pick a way to work out that you’ll love (or like a whole bunch); choose foods you like, and choose a schedule for both that you can live with. Making food and workouts too *hard* will throw off any consistency, and the true path to weight loss and fitness is sticking with it until you get there.
Chris is Chairman of the Board for the American Council on Exercise (ACE), and is also a personal trainer, health coach, author, and speaker – www.chrisfreytag.com
- Exercise in the morning. Many people report being more alert for the day and more productive when they exercise first thing. If it’s first thing, or one of the first things you do, there’s less chance of your workout getting postponed or derailed.
- Be calorie savvy and eat clean. Foods that are full of preservatives, additives, chemicals, processed sugars and other junk don’t jive with clean eating. Eliminate as much processed food from your diet as you can and eat more fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Include healthy fats like nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil and even dark chocolate.
- Muscle up. I know you want to burn calories while working out, but if you want your body to work more efficiently, you want your body to burn calories at the highest possible rate even when you’re NOT exercising. You want to burn calories when you’re sitting at your desk, relaxing at home, or even sleeping. One of the surest ways to do that is by building more muscle mass through strength training.
Jon-Erik holds a MS in Human Kinetics, Exercise Physiology, and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) – www.jkconditioning.com
- Tackle weight loss or improvements in body composition with your spouse or friend. Making change(s) is always better with help.
- Get hands on instruction for tasty and healthy recipes. Have your resources available for meal prep e.g. containers, utensils, and most importantly healthy food!
- Add in 3-5 short but intense workouts per week focusing on developing strength, your cardiovascular system, and good movement patterns.
Jordan is powerlifting world record holder, PN Certified Coach, and Westside Barbell Certified Strength Specialist – www.syattfitness.com
- Stick to calorie-free beverages. Water, seltzer, tea, and coffee (without sugar) are all great options. Not only do they aid in re-hydration but they also blunt hunger, which keeps you satiated (full) for longer periods of time.
- When in doubt, fill up on lean meats and veggies. Lean meats and vegetables tend to be nutrient dense, low in calories, and extremely filling. If you want to lose fat and keep it off then lean meats and veggies should to be a staple within your diet.
- Lift heavy things up. Put them down. Repeat. In other words…strength train! Proper strength training helps to build that lean, muscular look everyone wants to achieve. Whether you’re a guy or girl, strength training provides countless benefits including more muscle tone and an increase in metabolism.
Kate holds a Bachelor’s in Health and Exercise science, and is a Metabolic Effect Level II Hormonal Nutrition Consultant – www.beyondfitphysiques.com
- Just do something! What do you do when you are so busy you barely have time to scarf down a meal, let alone get a workout in? It’s ok if you can’t commit to a full workout today. I suggest breaking up the time into 10-minute increments – then work your way up to 20 or 30-minute sessions as you can.
- Balance Metabolic Hormones! Calories in vs. calories out is NOT the whole picture of weight loss. The key to sustainable fat loss comes in both a caloric deficit AND balanced metabolic hormones. For weight loss seekers who have damaged metabolisms after being caught up in the yo-yo dieting trap, or who are already eating in a caloric deficit but are still stuck at a fat loss plateau, the hormonal balance piece of the puzzle becomes even more important.
- Lift weights! Cardio alone will not cut it – literally. The ideal weight loss program incorporates a balance of activities including leisurely walks, some HIIT, plenty of stretching, core training, and also weight training. Weight training is the #1 way to change the shape of your body.
Christine holds a B.A. in Psychology and Education, and is certified in pilates, pre & post natal, nutrition, Barre, TRX, and HIIT – www.christinebullock.com
- Eat raw nutrient rich vegetables and fruits for at least 50% of your diet. They are simple to prepare and inexpensive if bought in season. Raw foods will not only help you lose weight, they will provide longer lasting energy and are a powerful anti-aging aid.
- Do 2-3 different types of workout a week. Mix up types of exercise in order to avoid plateau and injury from overuse of the same muscle groups. My week includes weight training, HIIT, boxing, yoga and Pilates!
- Your biggest meal should be mid-day. Try a nutrient rich shake for breakfast and a lunch packed with protein, vegetables, and healthy fats. Reduce your caloric intake at night and don’t eat 2-3 hours before bed-time!
Dylan holds a BS in Nutritional Sciences, and is the Head Nutritionist for the Rutgers Football Team – www.nutridylan.com
- Establish a sufficient caloric deficit. This is perhaps the most important tip when it comes to shedding the pounds. And while it might sound obvious, it bears repeating. It doesn’t matter what special diet you are on or how “clean” you think you are eating, without a sufficient caloric deficit you will not lose weight. Period.
- Don’t mess with the protein. When reducing caloric intake, first set your protein intake (~0.8-1.0g/lb bodyweight) and make reductions in carbohydrate and fat. This will ensure maximal retention of muscle tissue while losing body fat.
- Make small, sustainable changes to your diet/training. Making major changes to your diet and/or training – like reducing carbohydrates and/or calories by too much or by starting off with way too much cardio – may work in the short term (i.e. a few days to a few weeks), but is not sustainable in the long run. By making smaller changes that are not so drastic you will ensure compliance with the diet and training which will lead to longer-term fat loss that you can keep off.
Suzanne holds a BA degree, and is a NASM-certified personal trainer and ACE-certified small group trainer – www.workoutnirvana.com
- Pinpoint self-sabotaging thoughts and attitudes. Do you feel like you have to clean your plate? Do you eat when you’re stressed or bored? Knowing when your cravings and overeating occur gives you power over them.
- Cook wholesome foods in batches and freeze. Portion and freeze cooked chicken breasts, turkey meatballs and patties, brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and healthy casseroles and soups. Serve with veggies or as a salad and bring to work or warm for dinner!
- Join a fitness community. Belonging to a group fitness studio or class is incredibly motivating for staying on track (I recommend weights and cardio circuits). If you can’t join a class, participate in an online fitness community where you can check in regularly or get points for your workouts, or join a group of friends who have similar goals.
Jennipher Walters & Erin Whitehead
Jenn and Erin both hold journalism degrees and co-created Fit Bottomed Girls and Fit Bottomed Mamas – www.fitbottomedgirls.com
- Have a veggie with every meal and a fruit with every snack. Set a goal to have at least one vegetable serving with every meal (preferably two or three!) and a piece of fruit with a little protein for every snack. It’ll keep your belly full on fewer calories and it’ll help you to eat more fruits and veggies!
- Before you eat, always check in with yourself. Ask yourself if you’re truly hungry. And then, if you are, what are you hungry for? Being more mindful and aware of your true hunger — both physical and emotional — is super powerful and important on your weight-loss journey!
- Visualize yourself at your goal weight. Every day take a few minutes to focus on your weight loss goal. Visualize how fantastic you’ll feel and how much energy you’ll have. Doing this daily will help to keep your motivation high and your goals within reach!
Amy holds a BS in exercise physiology, is a contributing editor for numerous fitness magazines, and was a former world competitive power tumbler and coach – www.amydixonfitness.com
- Be sure to cross train. Avoid getting in a rut where exercise starts to feel boring or not very challenging. Mix it up.
- Weight loss requires a well-rounded approach to exercise. Strength training is just as important as cardio for staying healthy and strong. You can strengthen muscles in multiple ways – not just with weights. For example, try kettlebell training or exercises on the BOSU Balance Trainer.
- Even short bouts of exercise help for weight loss. Avoid the trap of thinking you have to exercise for an hour at a time or it’s not worth it. Research shows you can gain health benefits and burn calories from breaking up exercise into short bursts, such as 10 or 15 minutes at a time.
Amy is a fitness coach and the creator of The 30×30 Project, a tour of donation-based bootcamps that benefit suicide prevention charity – www.stronginsideout.com
- Stop counting, start feeling. Pay attention to your hunger cues and the purity and cleanliness of the foods you eat, and stop counting calories!
- Stress less, lose more. Stress causes hormonal changes in your body that make it more difficult–if not impossible–to lose weight. Be active about relieving your stress; try yoga, meditation or just channel it out in your next HIIT workout!
- Lift like you mean it. By combining short-burst cardio with your strength training routine, you will burn fat like a mofo while increasing your metabolism with lean muscle. Boom; two birds, one stone.
Laura is a Board Certified Health Counselor (AADP), weight loss & detox coach, and speaker – www.lauralondonfitness.com
- Eat the best quality food you can find. Your body knows what to do with real food from “Mother Nature”. It does not know what to do with or how to process processed foods, especially artificial sweeteners. Being fit is about exercising. Being healthy is about eating healthy natural foods, and finding balance in your life.
- Write down your vision and goals: My advice would be to have a vision and a plan. Planning is the most important step in reaching your goals. Write down your goals, and like a staircase, take small steps. When you reach one cross it off and move up the steps to the next one. It is a proven fact that people who write down their goals and read them are more successful at reaching them.
- Give the body some love and detox: Sometimes the body just gets overloaded with stress, a poor diet, and external pollutants. Give your body a break every once in a while. Take a day where you relax from “technology”, eat whole foods for the day or even try a juice or green smoothie day.
Doug is a personal trainer and fitness blogger – www.healthhabits.ca
- Have a plan that works for YOU. Even the best weight loss program is useless if you can’t make it work with YOUR lifestyle. Take a long hard look at your day-to-day life and find ways to absorb new weight loss habits into that life.
- Control your carb intake. Replacing grains & starchy vegetables with crunchy vegetables is a sure-fire way to lower caloric consumption AND create a hormonal environment that will encourage fat loss.
- Exercise daily. Exercise is important to a successful weight loss plan not because of the calories you burn, but because of the mental & emotional benefits. Emotionally, exercise works to increase your happy brain chemicals and reduce your sad/depressed brain chemicals. This helps to reduce the incidence of emotional eating & binging.
Tamara holds a PhD and is a BCRPA Personal Trainer, Weight Trainer and Advanced Group Fitness Leader, and MenoFitness Certified Trainer – www.fitknitchick.com
- Eat food in its most natural form. Many people approach weight loss from a calorie-centric view. They meticulously track the calories in their food and the calories they expend during exercise. By simply reducing your consumption of packaged, pre-made and processed foods, you’ll naturally reduce your caloric intake, as well as the grams of sugar, salt and saturated fat in your diet.
- Start your day with protein. The standard North American breakfast is carbohydrate-heavy; toast and jam, bagels and cream cheese, cereal and milk, donuts and coffee. All foods that elevate your blood sugars and trigger an insulin response, leaving you hungry again in just an hour or two. Adding a little lean protein to your first meal of the day not only ameliorates the effects of carbs on your blood sugars, it leaves you satiated and able to make it until lunch time without caving in to the temptations of the coffee cart.
- Move a little more every day. While exercise is an important contributor to weight loss, it’s not necessary to hit the gym seven days a week to lose weight. Adding an extra 30 minutes of low intensity, stress-reducing movement to your day can accelerate weight loss goals by increasing your metabolism and reducing your body’s production of cortisol, a stress hormone that promotes fat storage.
JC is a personal trainer and the creator of LGN365 – www.jcdfitness.com
- Train with weights to maintain your shape/build some muscle.
- Don’t follow fad diets like Paleo, Atkins, and don’t go low-carb.
- Give yourself time and be realistic. Any expectations to lose more then 1-2 pounds per week is just not doable for most people.
Darian holds a PhD in Sports Education Leadership and is a NSCA-certified personal trainer – www.doctordarian.blogspot.com
- Nutritional Moderation – Studies of blue zone (geographic locations where people live the longest) inhabitants indicate that long living people who have lower body weight tend to stop eating before they get full. Moderation has always been important to a successful weight loss program.
- Exercise Consistency and Intensity – Consistency and intensity drive results with exercise and with most anything in life. Develop a plan that provides a stimulus that is great enough to elicit weight loss results.
- Social Interaction – Interacting with others who share a common interest in being fit ultimately influences your own health and wellness behaviors. Seek out others who also want to be healthy and fit.
Amie is an NASM-certified personal trainer, national TV and magazine contributor, speaker, and creator of FitKit – www.fitkit.com
- When a sweet tooth craving comes on, brush your teeth. Cravings be gone.
- Need morning motivation? Jump in the shower for 10 sec. No more.
- When you don’t feel like working out, tell yourself to go for just 10
min. 99% of the time you’ll stay for a full workout.
Frank is a TV/Film star, fitness model, competitor, and ISSA certified personal trainer – www.frankfata.com
- Eat breakfast. An a.m. meal made up mostly of carbs and protein with some fat keeps blood-sugar levels steady and hunger pangs away so you’re not susceptible to pigging out come lunch. Oats, egg whites or a Whey Protein shake is great.
- Snack smartly. Grazing between meals used to be on the weight-loss hit list. But nutritionists now know that it’s better to satisfy a craving with healthy grub than ignore it and risk a junk-food binge later. The best picks are filling, protein-packed snacks, such as one stick of string cheese, a tablespoon of peanut butter on a piece of fruit, rice cakes, or a small bowl of edamame.
- Sculpt 3 times a week. Doing 5 minutes each of push-ups, lunges, and squats (in 30-second intervals) will help build and maintain muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be, so you’ll torch more calories as you go about your day.
Jen is a figure competitor, cookbook author, and trainer – www.jen-fit.com
- Be willing to finally make the changes necessary to see improvement. Take full responsibility for your past, and change your focus towards looking forward. Don’t allow yourself to “give up” like each time before. Want it bad enough to do it for yourself.
- Give yourself permission to take the time necessary to see results. Unhealthy diets and gimmicks might give you short-term results, but they don’t help you make the necessary changes to keep the weight off. Make deliberate healthy decisions each and every day, and with time those healthy decisions become habit. And when healthy habits are in place, that’s when you can make sustainable change.
- Don’t try to change everything at once. Analyze your life, schedule, and training, and make small changes on your own set timeline. Focus on implementing one change at a time, however small they might be. Each will contribute to the new healthier lifestyle you’re trying to live.
Malia holds an M.A. degree from UCLA, and is a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor – weightloss.about.com
- Know the difference between a serving and a portion. If you don’t understand serving size, you’re likely to eat the wrong amount of food. And even if the food is healthy, it will derail your diet (this is a common diet mistake!)
- Count calories. Sure, it’s old school but it’s effective. Don’t get sucked into fad diets that don’t work. Learn how to count calories correctly to make sure you get the right amount of energy to stay active but still lose weight.
- Move more. This doesn’t just mean that you should exercise. In fact, sometimes exercise causes weight gain. Move more all day long with both exercise and non-exercise activity (NEAT).
Kris is a medical student and personal trainer – www.authoritynutrition.com
- The most important nutrient for weight loss is protein. Studies show that a higher protein intake can reduce appetite, enhance the metabolic rate slightly, and in many cases cause automatic weight loss, even without calorie counting or portion control.
- A great way to lose weight without much effort is to cut back on carbohydrate intake. Refined carbs like sugar and wheat are the worst. Keep in mind that “healthy” sugars like agave and coconut sugar are still sugar.
- It is important to experiment and find something that works for you. Choose a way that makes sense to you, that you like and that you can stick to in the long term.
Andrea is a leading fitness expert, celebrity trainer, author, speaker and fitness entrepreneur – www.andreametcalf.com
- When you wake up, start the day with one large glass of water and a positive thought to get you hydrated and happy. New studies show that positive thoughts enhance performance.
- Veg Out. The more servings of vegetables and fruits you eat, the more they will help you lose weight. Strive for 9-11 servings a day – helps decrease inflammation as well as boost fiber.
- Daily vs Done. Short daily exercise bouts have a better effect on metabolism, attitude, and sleep than a few workouts done 2-3 times per week for the same amount of time. TIP: try the 10 minute before & after – 10 minutes of walking before or after each meal equals a 60 minute calorie burn.