Have you ever watched The Biggest Loser and thought they're losing 5-10 pounds a week, so why is it so hard for some of us to lose just 10 pounds (not 50 or 100) and keep it off? For some there are health issues, others can't seem to find the time, and others just aren't ready. I have always been active and had a setback recently, but I'm ready to commit to being a healthier weight after a recent physical showed I am on the borderline of being overweight! I'm healthy and nothing is stopping me now from starting a weight loss program. Make sure you speak to a doctor before you join me, but I hope you do for my next three weeks of Losing It!
I headed to In Tone Fitness in Greenville for my first real workout in months..
"So I am putting my health in your hands," I said to Mike Vann, owner of In-Tone Fitness and my trainer for the next 4 weeks. "So where do we get started?"
"We get started by taking your weight first," said Mike.
I stepped on the scale, and I won't tell you the number, but it is not great. After some measuring, squeezing, and calculating, Mike told me I need to lose about 15 pounds and get my body fat down to about 25-percent to be in an ideal range for my age. I'm in my 30's now, and I feel like it's a lot harder to lose weight, but is it all in my head?
So I asked Mike: "When you get older is it harder to lose weight?"
"April, yes it tends to be. Don't you wish you were in your 20s again? You never had to work out. All you had to do was go here, go there and never worry about it too much. As you get in the your 30s, and 40s especially, your metabolism tends to slow down."
Plus, since I have been an athlete or active most my life Mike says I've reached a plateau.
"You want to lose 10-15 pounds. It's a lot harder for you especially if you've been working out for a while. What you've done is reach what we call a plateau, and the way to overcome a plateau is to try different types of exercises," said Mike.
His advice: start slow and try new things.
"Make sure you're doing the exercises right. Condition your body first. Cause you can't run a marathon in one day. Give it a few weeks and once your body gets used to the exercises then you can kick it up a notch," said Mike.
So it was time to get started with my first workout in a while. I squatted, swung, kicked, and tortured myself for about 45 minutes with lots of new exercises I've never tried. Then we finished up with cardio making sure I was at my optimal heart rate. I asked Mike why The Biggest Loser contestants lost so much weight so quick and he said they have more weight percentage-wise to lose.
"ACSM, the American College of Sports Medicine, it's what all personal trainers go by- recommends that you only lose 1-2 pounds a week. So realistically, losing 10 pounds in a week, that's really not realistic," said Mike.
People on The Biggest Loser have trainers and nutritionists too and don't have the stress of everyday life- leaving their families and jobs for the show, but Mike says it's best to never become obese.
"If you are 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 pounds overweight you're more prone to diabetes, osteoporosis."
That's a good reminder for me to get back to a healthy weight, one step at a time.
I have learned this is hard work. Tracking my exercise and what I eat everyday including caloric, protein, carbohydrates, and fat intake takes time and discipline. You'll be amazed at the amount of calories you consume in a day if you aren't writing it down. I am eating about 1500 calories a day with 135 grams of protein, 150 grams of carbs, and no more than 50 grams of fat a day. Next week I'll take you with me grocery shopping with a nutritionist. We'll be answering questions you've posted on Facebook or witn.com. Post your questions now in comments on this story. If you want to lose weight and need inspiration, you can watch The Biggest Loser Tuesday nights at 8:00pm on WITN.