Have you struggled with your weight or are you looking to get in shape for bikini season? We often hear that it’s difficult to shed pounds around the Christmas holiday because we’re tempted with fattening food, delicious desserts and endless parties, but the same can be said for spring, wouldn’t you say? We have Easter brunch/dinner and celebrations just a week away, spring and summer barbecues with friends on the horizon, Cinco de Mayo fiestas…the list is endless. There is never an easy time to quit cold turkey, and that’s why celebrity fitness trainer Harley Pasternak believes in starting small, especially for beginners. Harley was kind enough to join me for an interview recently to dish on how you can lose weight and feel great by starting a nutrition and fitness routine that you can actually stick with, not just for the holidays…but for good.
Candace Rose: How can beginners start an exercise routine they can actually stick with?
Harley Pasternak: “One foot at a time, literally. I would say that the first thing you need to do is just walk more. Be more active from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. I tell all my clients they should grab an activity monitor. I use a little fitbit, it counts how many steps I take a day (about 10,000 steps a day).
When you’re driving somewhere, when you go to the mall – don’t look for the parking spot closest to the door. Don’t drive around for 10 minutes to find the closest spot. As soon as you get there, park at the furthest spot….I’m sure it’ll be available. Walk those few extra steps to the door. Little things like that over the course of the day, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or the escalator; avoid those moving sidewalks, actually put one foot in front of the other and move yourself. These really can change the way you feel and the way you look without having to join a gym.”
Candace Rose: What role does proper nutrition play in maximizing a workout?
Harley Pasternak: “It plays everything. There’s no amount of working out in the world that can make up for a poor diet. You want to have three meals and two snacks a day. Every time you eat you want to make sure there’s quality protein. So if it’s meal time you want to make sure it’s the size of your hand- whether it be an omelette at breakfast, a grilled chicken at lunch on some salad or a sandwich. For dinner time maybe it’s a stir fry with some shrimps or some salmon. But snack time is when it becomes a little more challenging.
A lot of us will reach out and grab a protein bar which is full of sugar. Look for things like Greek yogurt with berries, bean dip – really, really convenient. Oberto does some great all natural beef jerky and turkey jerky, they don’t have tons of preservatives or additives or nitrates. Remember, you get out what you put in.”
Candace Rose: What would be a great breakfast start your morning with?
Harley Pasternak: “In the morning I’ll have an egg white omelette with some avocado on it and maybe some whole grain toast, or I’ll have one of my favorite smoothies – the white smoothie from the Body Reset diet. For a midmorning snack, maybe it’s a Greek yogurt with some berries; lunchtime I’ll do a chicken panini and open face sandwich or turkey sliced on the sandwich. After the snack I’ll grab some Oberto beef jerky with a slice of apple. And then dinnertime I’ll do a veggie stir fry.”
Candace Rose: Are there certain foods you suggest we stay away from before or after a workout?
Harley Pasternak: “Maybe just before a workout avoid anything that’ll be tough to digest. Raw vegetables and beans and lots of dairy within 30 minutes of working out is not a great idea. And then afterwards, keep in mind that you don’t want to undo the work you just did. Some people will workout, they’ll be starving, they’ll have a big thing of juice and a fat free scone. The next thing you know they’ve eaten a thousand calories of sugar after burning 400 calories. So not only does it wipe out all of the results, it actually puts you a few steps behind. At that point you want to make sure you’re having another lean source of protein and fiber as a snack.”
Candace Rose: What key ingredients can promote your workout?
Harley Pasternak: “Studies have shown that protein can magnify or amplify the benefits of doing resistance exercise and help you lean out and help with your metabolism, and help you feel fuller with the combination of fiber and healthy fats.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?