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Tamra Barney's "Fit at 40"

  Tamra Barney Fit at 40

People often ask me how I lost so much weight and the truth is I only lost 5 pounds. But what I did do was transform my body through diet and exercise. 

I found that if I wanted to change my body I needed help to understand why my exercise and diet plan did not work. 

I thought I was doing the right thing by going to the gym and reducing my food intake....isnt that what everyone tells you do? Well, there is a lot more to it than that. I consulted with a trainer and nutritionist to find out why I was "skinny fat" and what I doing wrong. Yes, I was skinny at 115 pounds but I had no muscle tone. I was working out 4 days a week and tried to keep my calories down by eating very little. But nothing was working. I even had my hormones tested -- just to find out that everything was working fine. I just couldn't understand why I couldn't tone up.

I quickly learned that the types of foods you eat and your workout routine -- as well as the way your body metabolizes fat -- play roles in modifying your approach. To change diet and exercise for a healthier body, you need to understand how different weight-loss methods affect your body's ability to store or burn fat.

Here are a few steps I took to get my body back:

Tip 1 -- LOG FOOD: Start logging your food on My Fitness Pal or one of the many apps that count your calories and gives you a breakdown of carbs-protein-fats. It will also make you think twice before you put something in your mouth that you don't need. It is important to look at your breakdown. If you are eating 1200 calories and 90% is carbs...That's a red flag and you need to bring that percentage down. 

(I found out that I was not eating ENOUGH to keep my metabolism going. I thought eating a bowl of cereal for dinner would keep me skinny. WRONG!

Most of what I was eating was carbohydrates and I was not able to maintain muscle tone due to too low protein in my diet.)

Tip 2 -- EXERCISE: Be consistent with your workouts.  I always thought that cardio was what I needed most, right? WRONG! I still do about 40 min of cardio 3 times a week, I now concentrate on weight training -- because in your 40's, you start losing muscle and there is no better way to build muscle than lifting weights. I am very athletic and love to exercise, some of the things I like to do is run, bike and take spin classes to get my cardio in. I also work with a trainer 3 to 4 times a week, which includes squats, lunges, push ups, dips , TRX, abdominals, plyometrics, gravity machine and weight lifting. Some days I am just too busy to go to the gym, so I do things around the house like walking lunges down the hall, treadmill, walking the dog, biking with the kids, arm weights, etc. It's important to keep moving. 

Tip 3 -- WATER: Keeping your body hydrated is very important. Drinking water every couple of hours is beneficial in keeping your systems running smoothly. Of course, one would drink more if engaged in a concentrated workout! I don't think the average person drinks enough water, this is something we could all improve on. If you have a hard time drinking plain filtered water, try this fat-burning green tea beverage:

Take 3 green tea bags and steep them in boiling water. Once steeped pour into a juice pitcher to which you add a teaspoon of honey. Stir together and add some fresh lemon slices. Add some ice cubes to this and refrigerate. Drink this every few hours ... or as you get thirsty.

And one last point about fluids. This is a hard one......keep your alcohol intake to a minimum. 

Tip 4--FOOD INTAKE:  Don't skip breakfast! Many people think that if they don't eat breakfast that they will lose weight! This is not true! Studies have actually shown that those who skip this meal actually gain weight! People think that by eating less calories first thing that they will lose weight! The reason that breakfast is so important is that it gives us the much needed fuel and energy to get moving.

Tip 5 -- MEALS AND SNACKS:  I tend to stay away from processed food  that are loaded in sodium. I DON'T go for the easy solution; that means NO nutrition bars or packaged foods.  I do not starve myself, and so I eat something every few hours to keep my metabolism going.

Here is an example of some of the meals and foods I snack on:

Breakfast:  

  • oatmeal with blueberries 
  • greek yogurt with fruit
  • egg whites with veggies 
  • whole weat waffles and hardboiled egg
  • turkey bacon

Lunch: 

  • chicken breast & veggies
  • ground turkey & asparagus 
  • salad with chicken 
  • turkey sandwich on whole wheat

Snacks:

  • hardboiled egg
  • nuts
  • apple
  • raw veggies
  • 1/2 sweet potato 

Dinner:

  • baked salmon with veggies
  • baked chicken with roasted tomatoes & brown rice
  • large lettuce and veggie salad with shredded chicken 
  • sushi
  • taco salad made with ground turkey 

I hope that helps! Leave me any more questions in the COMMENTS section below, and I'll either answer them or add them to a Frequently Asked Questions page soon! Thanks...

- Tamra Barney