Question, from our blog comments:
I just enrolled in the Lucille Roberts gym, and I really want to lose a lot of weight but am confused. I’m 16 years old, and I weight 203 pounds. All my life I’ve tried to tell my mom to put me in a gym…I wasn’t active, my metabolism got really low, and I always feel tired or hungry. I’ve become low in self-esteem, more anti-social, and my clothes are starting getting smaller.
When I went to the Lucille Roberts orientation, they talked about the shake supplement but really didn’t explain it that much. Does the shake help you loose weight faster? What are specific things that I should and shouldn’t eat? What are the best meals to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
Thank you for your time,
Answer, from Lucille Roberts trainer Sandra Ferrerio:
Ludley, I am so happy that you have chosen Lucille Roberts as the place to help you change your life! This is a special place. Here you will be comfortable exercising, learning how to fuel your body with nutritious foods, and working toward your goal. Weight loss is not just about a number on the scale. You will find yourself more energetic, self-confident, and truly enjoying the changes you see in the mirror!
It’s important to me that you know in your heart that I am writing this to help you achieve your goal weight—and so much more. I can relate to you on so many levels. I joined my first women-only gym at 13 years old after begging my mother to sign me up! I was struggling with weight gain as I hit my adolescent years, just as many girls do. Needless to say, it worked! Fitness changed my body and my life, for the better and forever! At your age, 16 years old, I became certified to teach fitness classes under a unique mentorship program. I have been teaching, training, and helping women and girls lose weight ever since. I am also a Nutritional Counselor and Weight Loss coach. I am here to help. You came to the right place. So let’s get started!
Let us address your first question concerning our Live Rite weight loss shakes. It’s important for all of our members to check with their doctor to make sure a product or program is safe for them. That being said, yes, our shakes will speed up weight loss. Our shakes are made from whey protein. Whey protein is a milk protein shown in many well-documented studies to increase metabolism and help sculpt and tone muscle tissue. This muscle will speed up your metabolism, as well! Our shakes help control blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. These two factors alone make them ideal for decreasing fat storage and improving energy levels. In addition, whey protein has been found to suppress appetite by decreasing certain “hunger hormones” and increasing satiety hormones. In essence, you will be less hungry all day long, with less cravings and a lot more willpower! I recommend our shakes to my weight loss clients as either meals or snacks. One to two shakes per day will be sure to help spur your weight loss efforts into high gear! Along with exercise and a nutritious eating plan, Live Rite shakes are one of the keys to weight loss success.
When using the shakes as a snack, simply add 1 cup of fat-free milk and blend. You need a bit more calories to fuel your metabolism at meals, so try adding 3/4 cup of berries, 1/2 an apple, or 1/2 banana to that. Unless you are lactose intolerant I always recommend fat-free dairy milk. The calcium and other nutrients have been proven to increase weight loss through a number of different mechanisms. They taste great, too! I like to mix the vanilla shake with raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries with 1 level tablespoon of ground flaxseed. My favorite chocolate shake is with 1/2 an apple and 2 level teaspoons peanut butter. They are delicious, satisfying, and will hold you for hours. Keep in mind—those were meal replacement recipes. When using the shake as a snack, 8 ounces of fat-free milk is perfect! Try having a shake post-workout to increase fat-burning and toning.
Let’s address the second part of your question: what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Everyone’s food preferences are highly unique. I do not like to give assembly-line diet programs with no room for enjoyment and cultural differences. There are literally hundreds of healthful options to choose from, as long as your portions are moderate and as long as you include carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats into each meal. Fruits and vegetables are of course very important because they are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water. Fruits and veggies fill you up for fewer calories, too! I think outlining a few meal options for you would work best. Non-starchy vegetables— such as spinach, broccoli, string beans, and tomatoes are unlimited. Add them to meals however you wish to decrease hunger and give you tons of nutrients!
Breakfast is the MOST important meal of the day because it ignites you metabolism by about 10%, just by eating it! Having a breakfast with carbs for energy and protein for satiety is very important.
Some examples of good breakfasts may include:
- A light whole-wheat English muffin (about 100 calories), such as Thomas’ Light, with 1/4 cup of egg whites made into an omelet, with 1 slice of reduced-fat cheese on top. You can add tomatoes, spinach, or any vegetable that is non-starchy to your omelet to fill you up and to give you more nutrition for your calories.
- 1/3 of a cup (before cooking) of plain, unsweetened oatmeal made with 1/2 cup of fat-free milk, a handful of berries, and 1 tablespoon of slivered almonds. Pair that with a light yogurt for additional protein and calcium. I like Dannon Light n Fit because it has no high fructose corn syrup in it.
- A Live Rite weight loss shake blended as a meal replacement, as suggested above.
If you are not hungry between breakfast and lunch, do not force yourself to eat. However, you should be hungry about every 3-4 hours, and you don’t want to go longer than that without having at least a snack. There is nothing mythical about your body entering “starvation mode” in which one’s metabolism begins to slow down, conserve its own body fat, and catabolize (eat away at) its own muscle for energy. It’s called gluconeogenesis. You must eat to lose weight! Have 1-2 snacks per day.
Here are some snack options:
- 1 small apple with a handful of raw, unsalted almonds (about 12-14)
- 1 small orange or 1/2 grapefruit with 1 light yogurt
- 1 Greek yogurt with fruit such a Chobani blueberry or peach
- 1 Live Rite weight loss shake made with 1 cup of fat-free milk
Lunches are often problematic for my clients because they are at work, school, or on the go. However, a little preparation goes a long way and will get you to your goal much faster! First, purchase a mini-cooler and a freezer pack to keep things cold. This doesn’t have to be larger than a purse. Prepare your lunch the evening before so that in the morning, you can pop it in the cooler and head out the door. You can also keep a few bottles of water in it. Per day, 8 to 11 8-ounce servings of cold water are essential to weight loss success.
Here are several lunch options:
- 2 slices of light whole wheat bread, such as Arnold Light, made into a sandwich with 3-4 ounces of low-sodium, low-fat turkey, lettuce, tomato, mustard, or fat free mayonnaise. 3-4 stalks of crunchy celery or a few carrot sticks make a filling side. I would purchase a food scale to be exact with the ounces; however, if there is not one available, you can eyeball the turkey. 3-4 ounces is equivalent to the size of a deck of cards or your palm. One 4-5-ounce can of water-packed tuna will also be delicious and filling in place of the turkey.
- 1 slice of whole-wheat bread or 2 slices of light wheat bread with 1 level tablespoon of peanut butter (no trans fat) and sugar-free jam or jelly on top. Pair this with some extra protein, such as 8 ounces of fat-free milk or 1 light yogurt.
- 1 large salad made with lettuce and tomatoes, 3-4 ounces of lean grilled chicken, and half a whole-wheat pita. Dress your salad with balsamic vinegar and a bit (1 teaspoon at the most) of olive oil. Stay away from creamy dressings such as Caesar or blue cheese—they are loaded with fat and calories!
Dinners can also be problematic for many dieters because often they STARVE themselves all day in an effort to lose weight. The hormonal fluctuations that occur as a result leave you famished and binge eating by dinnertime. If you have 5-7 hours between lunch and dinner, prepare for a snack. Pack something in your cooler or have healthful choices in the house for when you arrive home. Remember, you can have 1-2 snacks per day. Do not starve yourself to lose weight! It doesn’t work long-term and is detrimental to your health. I have outlined a few of my favorite dinner options, but you and your family can chose anything you like, as long as it’s low in fat and contains carbs and proteins. Veggies are a great way to bulk up dinners.
- 3-4 ounces grilled fish or chicken with a side of ½ cup brown rice. Season with Mrs. Dash sodium-free seasoning instead of salt. 1 cup of steamed broccoli with lemon. 1 large salad with balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil, no more than 1 teaspoon.
- 1/3 of a sweet potato (baked) season with a dash of cinnamon. Pair that with 3-4 ounces of lean meat such as chicken, turkey, or very lean beef (all fat-trimmed), and 1 cup of string beans prepared without added fat. Add a side salad again if desired.
- 1/2 cup whole grain pasta (after cooking), 1/4 cup low-fat marinara sauce on top mixed with 1/2 cup low fat or fat free ricotta cheese stirred in and 1 low fat cheese stick, 1 teaspoon of Parmesan cheese on top, if desired. 1 cup of steamed cauliflower on the side with 5 sprays of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” spray on top. Add a side salad if you wish.
- Live Rite meal replacement shake
You can substitute your own choices if you wish, as long as your meals are balanced. Avoid additives such as high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oil. Natural foods are always best!
Keep in mind that safe, healthy weight loss is about 1-2 pounds per week. Stay motivated, and you will get there! Good luck, Ludley! Please let us know how you are doing!
Sandra Ferrerio is a certified Live Rite weight loss coach, trainer, and class instructor at Lucille Roberts in Yonkers. Read her full bio here.