SRG: There are so many different theories and ideas about weight loss and weight maintenance out there. What’s your approach when working with people?
LP: I take a totally individualized approach. I am working with a new client who is drinking four 20-oz bottles of Mt. Dew per day. That is where we start; reducing the Mt. Dew. I have another client who is training for a ½ marathon followed by a ½ iron woman so her goal is to properly fuel her workouts. Each person is unique and has his or her own special needs. I calculate the proper ratio of protein, fats and carbs for each of my clients based on their body weight, activity level and body fat percentage. I also look at the ideal calorie level for them as well as any foods to avoid based on their medical conditions such as high cholesterol, IBS, Type II diabetes, and so forth. I am finding more and more clients who do best on a gluten free menu.
SRG: Can you say a little bit about the role of nutrition in weight loss?
LP: Nutrition is critical to weight loss. I am more concerned that a client is fueling their body properly than I am in weight loss. The old adage, “you are what you eat” still rings very true. In my opinion weight loss without proper nutrition is a no win situation.
SRG: What are some strategies you promote to help people manage their weight during the winter months?
LP: During the winter months I encourage my clients to find indoor and outdoor activities they enjoy whether it be cross country skiing, indoor roller skating or tennis, dancing to the oldies, participating in “Exercise on Demand” in front of the television. You name it; whatever they like to do that will keep them moving.
SRG: What is your opinion about snacking between meals? What do you consider a good, healthy snack?
LP: I believe that for the vast majority of people a healthy snack between meals is crucial. I recommend eating something healthy every 3-4 hours. A protein with a fruit or a vegetable is ideal. It is important to have the protein and not just the fruit because the protein takes longer to digest and will keep you fuller longer and help maintain an even blood sugar. For example, I eat breakfast about 7:30 am so at 10:30 am I eat ½ cup of fruit and 2 TB of unsalted almonds or cashews. For some folks breakfast is later so there is no need for an a.m. snack. The afternoon snack is particularly important to prevent overeating at dinner. I suggest another fruit or a raw veggie with a protein. For example, a cup of carrots with 3 TB of hummus, or a Baby Bell Light Cheese with a small apple.
SRG: How did you get involved with weight loss coaching?
LP: I became a certified Weight Loss Coach and Nutrition Specialist after struggling with my own weight and self esteem issues in my teens and twenties. I had very disordered eating as a young adult so after losing 50 lbs. three times I finally developed a healthy relationship with food and learned to separate my emotions from my food. After finishing my Master’s degree and teaching for a number of years I felt compelled to help others learn more about good healthy food and exercise so I started Advance Weight Loss & Fitness. I have been in business for 7 years.
SRG: Anything else you’d like to share?
LP: If you are struggling with your weight, if you eat when you are depressed, stressed, or lonely and want to change your relationship with food, know that help is available and you are not alone.
Lisa Prince is a certified AASDN Nutrition Specialist, ACE certified personal trainer and AFFA certified group fitness instructor. She has been in the field of nutrition and weight loss for the past 7 years. She holds a Master’s degree from B.U.