4 Kitchen Must-Haves for Transformation Success

When it comes to transformation, there is no truer statement than “Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym!” Seriously, no matter how many thousands of crunches you do, miles you run, or weights you lift, a bad diet will always outweigh (pun intended 😉 ) even the best exercise plan (which is why we keep adding new recipes and include a full nutrition plan in the TRANSFORM app). 

With that being said, there are definitely some helpful tools to keep you on track toward reaching your goals, and these 4 things, specifically, have been absolutely essential in my own transformation, as well as the transformations of those we work with. Each is super simple, and likely something you already have lying around in your cupboards, so hopefully there’s very little $$$ required to deck out your kitchen! Check out the best gear on the block for changing your body…and your life!

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  1. Slow Cooker: Okay I’ll admit, I wasn’t an adamant slow cooker user until recently. Is it just me, or does the phrase “crockpot cooking” automatically bring back flashbacks of overly salty mystery foods made by Grandma? I’m telling you, these bad boys are actually complete game changers!! If it wasn’t for my slow cooker, I would never have the time to make fresh meals at home. I love the convenience of dumping in chicken breasts and a couple of simple ingredients (like salsa or fresh veggies) in the morning, and having the most tender, delicious meal by dinner time. Perfect for mamas on the go!
  2. Blender Bottle: Water and protein intake are two of the most important aspects to full body transformation, so a proper vessel for both of these is SO vital to success. Keeping a blender or water bottle on hand at all times is the best way to ensure you’re getting enough protein…no matter where you are! I throw mine in my purse in the morning with a scoop of protein powder and have it ready for whenever I need it. Just add water and pair with a piece of fruit, and you’ve got a complete meal (or hearty snack, depending on your meal plan). Rinse it out and fill it back up with ice cold water to make sure you’re getting the hydration you need! HP_BlenderBottleImage
  3. Plastic Containers: This may sound a bit cliche, but it’s oh, so true!! “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.” How do you avoid this? By having pre-made, pre-portioned meals!! This is the ticket to staying on track in even the most hectic of situations. Honestly, at least a few times a week (or day) I’m caught in between a kid’s sports practice and a conference call with little to no time to whip up a diet-friendly meal. By having meals portioned out in plastic containers in the fridge, I save myself the urge to drive thru and grab something fatty or splurge on something off-plan. So convenient, and crucial to weight loss (or intentional weight gain) success! HP_TupperwareImage
  4. Kitchen Food Scale: As much as I would like to tell you that it’s fine to “eyeball”—measure ingredients as you throw them in your pan—anyone who knows me (eh hem…EWL peeps!!) knows this is the HUGEST no-no in my book. If you’re trying to transform your body and dial in your nutrition, then you MUST know what you are actually putting into your body. You can’t possibly know by “eyeballing” your portions…you MUST measure. Having a food scale on hand to make sure you’re appropriating the right amount of chicken, cheese, or any ingredient is imperative to ensuring success. Although it may seem tedious at first, after a few weeks of religious use, it really does become a natural part of the cooking process, and you won’t even THINK about preparing a meal without it!

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My Favorites Plus Some More:


Simple as they may be, these 4 kitchen essentials are the golden ticket to longstanding, full-body transformation! Remember, it’s not as much what you DO as it is what you EAT! Have more kitchen essentials? Post below!

Xoxo,

Heidi

Related reading:

Kitchen Hacks: My Top 8 Tips and Tricks!
Ask the Powells: How Do I Gain Healthy Weight?
Carb Cycling: The Extreme Cycle
The Extreme Cycle | Meal Planning Tips
Ask the Powells: How Can I Structure My Meals?


102 Comments

  1. Katelyn - May 8, 2017

    Hi!
    I just started doing carb cycling and was wondering if anyone has any quick easy recipes for the morning and afternoon snacks for protein. I work two jobs, and it’s sometimes hard to figure out what to eat for my protein and carb (on high carb days) and protein and fat (on low carb days). Typically, I’m at my jobs during the hours that I would normally have the snacks, so I don’t have access to a kitchen. I’m just starting this process and any advice would be awesome!

  2. Trina - May 3, 2017

    Hey guys! We are doing your extreme cycle and am lost on the no bake oats recipe. It just says oats, not if they’re raw or cooked or ????
    I ended up turning them into overnight oats not knowing. Can you tell me what to do with them. Thanks so much!

    • Team Powell - May 3, 2017

      Hi Trina: You’ll use uncooked oats for this recipe. And it’s a great option to turn them into overnight oats. 🙂

  3. Diane Scott - May 2, 2017

    Love the post, your books and the new app! I’m trying to determine the best protein powder to use for the shakes. There are so many out there and I don’t recall seeing anything in the books (although I might have overlooked it). Thanks for your help!

    • Team Powell - May 3, 2017

      Hi Diane: We recommend low fat (less than 3g), low carb (less than 7g), with around 20-25g of protein per serving. Other than that, go with what you like best!

  4. Ashley - May 1, 2017

    Hi Heidi
    Thank you so much to you and Chris for making the Transform app. I’m four weeks in and loving it! I am currently doing my nutrition through Pro Physiques and wondering if there is a way to input custom macro numbers into the app so that I can use the food within the app as well by just adding suggested meals?
    Thank you for inspiring so many-myself included

    • Team Powell - May 2, 2017

      Hi Ashley: We’re working on the option to add your own meals in a future update, so stay tuned! And we love that you’re loving the app! 🙂

  5. sam ivison - November 10, 2016

    Hi Heidi and Chris,

    I have got to say i Love watching your show, and have Chris Choose More, Lose More for Life book. I’ve been using Myfitnesspal to track my calories and have been hitting the gym and in 8 weeks have lost 29lb.

    I have a just one quick question and I think its a daft one – I have been weighing my raw meats before i cook them and using that weight. But when i buy Cooked meat I use that weight. Is there a correct way to do this – should i be using raw weights or cooked? as they weight less when cooked.

    Thanks

    Sam

    • Team Powell - November 10, 2016

      Hi Sam: Congratulations on losing 29 lbs! That’s awesome! I’d weigh meats raw unless a recipe calls for already cooked meats or if you meal prep and then eat your meat later in the week it’s totally okay to weigh it cooked. The calorie difference is so small that it really doesn’t make a difference in the long term.

  6. Karla deverell - October 30, 2016

    Love these tips… I need to get better about using my slow cooker to prep healthy meals. I’m very guilty of getting home from work and the last thing I want to do is prep and make a healthy meal. I also use a postage scale for my kitchen scale, it works great.

  7. Christina Buckley - October 28, 2016

    I cannot begin to tell you where his blog helped me. Following this I finally made the decision to go but a kitchen scale. It was like $20 at King Soopers (Kroger). I probably use this scale more than I have ever used a measuring cup. I use it with my Blender Bottles, my salads, my tuppa wear. You name it, I’ve used the scale for it. I have had all the other things in this blog and these 4 kitchen items really do make all the difference in the world. Success really is on the kitchen and the proper tools make it even more possible.

  8. Kim Thien-Hoang Cooper - October 28, 2016

    Hi Heidi. I love this post above where you list the essentials to a transformation. I have a 5 month old and have been up until now laid back about working out and getting back into shape. I am now ready to transform my body back to where it was before I was pregnant, but I know that my body will not be 100% the same as it was before. Lol. Being new first time mom, these tips above are definitely a huge help for getting dinner ready, for portion controlling, and for not eating horribly if I meal plan. Thanks for all your blogs and tips to a healthy life. #rubysorbitstrollergiveaway

  9. Lanna - October 2, 2016

    Hi Heidi, what if you don’t like protein powder? I have tried almost every protein powder on the market and I don’t like them. Also, do you have any tips for teens still growing and can’t loose weight? I have been to the doctor and a trainer (did not help). This has made me feel ugly with my body. I refuse to yo-yo diet and have been at this for a year. Thank you for your time.
    P.S- I love what you do! Your an inspiration to all!

  10. Lanna - October 2, 2016

    Hi Heidi, what if you don’t like protein powder. I’ve tried almost every protein powder on the market and their all disgusting. Also, do you have any tips for teens who can’t loose weight and are still growing? I’ve been at this for a year and I can’t loose weight. It has made me feel ugly and I feel that it has and will keep me from reaching my dreams. I have been to a trainer and the doctor (did not help). I love what you do, I think your a real inspiring woman. Thank you for your time.

    • Team Powell - October 2, 2016

      Hi Lanna: If you don’t like protein powder, that’s totally okay! There are so many awesome protein options you can choose from. For teens, it’s always best to work with your healthcare team on any nutrition and exercise program because they can work with you personally now and in the future as you continue to grow and develop. Do you have another healthcare provider who can help you? And I’d be sure and talk with your parents and/or an adult you trust about your concerns. They can be a great support for you as your working to achieve your health and fitness goals!

  11. Charlene - September 7, 2016

    Hi Heidi, I bought the book choose to lose on Amazon and I also subscribe to a service that has it available as an audio book.
    I keep reading there is a pdf to the book, like grocery lists and quick references. How can I get that? I don’t see any type of access code to get book 🙁

    • Team Powell - September 7, 2016

      Hi Charlene: The PDF should be in your music/audio book library, but it can be tricky to find. If you’re not able to find it, I’d contact customer service for the service you purchased it from.

  12. Wendy - June 10, 2016

    I’m allergic to almonds. What would be a substitute for almond milk? Thanks!

    • Team Powell - June 10, 2016

      Hi Wendy: If you’re only allergic to almonds, I’d look at other unsweetened nut beverages with about the same calories. 🙂

  13. Amy Margis - May 31, 2016

    I do not eat fish. I have never liked it. I can eat tune in a can that’s about all I can stomach. Can I substitue other items for the fish and shrimp recipes?

    • Team Powell - June 1, 2016

      Hi Amy: Yes, you definitely can! Any other meat protein sources should work, and the calorie differences should be very small (if any). 🙂

  14. Jennifer - May 12, 2016

    I had a quick question. Me and my husband just started the Extreme Transformation challenge. The Green Machine pancakes makes 6. Is 6 pancakes the serving for both of us?

    • Team Powell - May 12, 2016

      Hi Jennifer: 6 pancakes will be the serving for each of you. You’ll make both the men’s and women’s recipes if you’re eating together. Welcome to carb cycling!

    • Jennifer - May 12, 2016

      Ok thanks! You guys werent kidding about the amount of food, lol! All the recipes have been good so far. Thank you guys for inspiring us!

  15. JAZZMIN MEDINA - May 4, 2016

    Hi Heidi!

    I had a quick question about food, as I am a full-time college student and full-time Nursing Assistant in the ER at the university hospital, I work nights and thus my sleeping and food timing schedule is completely different from most. I was wondering if you had written a previous blog or know of some articles on how to plan meals and nutrition around a night-time job for optimal transformation.

  16. Minette - April 29, 2016

    I’m 5’5 191lbs looking to get my weight down to approx 145-150 I exercise approx 30-45 minutes of Cardio and then do some light weights for approx 30 minutes. ..or sometimes walk/run 4-5 miles I’m wondering what a healthy calorie intake would be. I recently watched one of the extreme weight loss and I know some days I just don’t have appetite but I want to do it and be healthy not malnourished. .

    • Team Powell - April 29, 2016

      Hi Minette: You can learn about Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in this post: http://heidipowell.net/9060. Their program will outline everything you need to know and do to achieve your transformation goals!

  17. Melissa McMahon - April 23, 2016

    What kinds of low fat granola would you advise to eat?

  18. Melissa McMahon - April 20, 2016

    Hi Chris and Heidi! I bought choose to lose and choose more, lose more for life and I have 1 question. For the protein, should I weigh it before cooking or after? Thanks
    Melissa

    • Team Powell - April 20, 2016

      Hi Melissa: If you’re putting your own meals together, weigh after cooking. If you’re following a recipe, use the amount that’s specified in the recipe and you should be good to go!

  19. Keely - April 19, 2016

    Hey Chris & Heidi,
    Seeing all your posts about getting healthier it inspires me, but I fall short.
    I’m 25 years old and I’ve had stomach/health problems since I was 19 years old. Eating anything healthy or any food made my stomach hurt to the point I went gluten free and still had stomach aches. I got it all resolved but then went crazy eating after and gained a lot of weight. I’m always tired, sluggish, and just want to lay down all day. For 2 years I had 2 jobs so I would work 6 full days and only one day to recoup. Having both jobs it was ally hard to stay healthy. I needed quick foods which led me to a lot of fast food or microwave foods. I know you have great books and blob videos, but I’m more of a visual and kinesthetic learner. I’ve tried gyms and personal trainers but it came down to- I became self conscience at the gym and I just can’t afford it : / I’m not asking to be on TV or anything like that, and I know you’re both really busy. I just know I need to make this change or I’m going to go downhill. Plus I want to be an example to my family (Hispanic family-if you know what I mean when it comes to cooking) I need guidance.

    • Team Powell - April 20, 2016

      Hi Keely: Chris and Heidi truly wish they could personally help everyone, but since that’s not possible, they’ve put all their transformation tools on this blog for everyone to use. And their exercise program requires no equipment or gym membership, so that should help you too. Make that first promise to yourself, choose a cycle, and go! You can do this!

  20. meghann - April 18, 2016

    hello,
    Right now i am 5’4 and weight is 140 and my goal is to get back down to 120 in just in 6 weeks before summer starts. i was just wondering if you could help me with that goal of my

  21. Steph - April 16, 2016

    How do I apply for you to train me now that the show is running on tlc? I was not chosen last year, I thought I could do it myself. Then life got in the way and I gained all I lost and then some. I am an army spouse setting up home again at our new duty station, and am recovering from two car wrecks that happened within the same month. I was too proud to say it in my submission last year, but this year has humbled me. I need help. I need the life changing help you offer, Heidi. The weight is exasperating my injury and I am in pain every day.

    • Team Powell - April 17, 2016

      Hi Steph: As much as she wishes she could personally help everyone, Heidi isn’t taking on clients right now. But you can begin your transformation journey today with the same program Chris and Heidi use on the show, and you can learn about their carb cycling program here: http://heidipowell.net/9060. And as with any nutrition and exercise program, especially since you are still suffering from injuries from you car accidents, it’s best to discuss this program with your healthcare team first and then follow any modifications they might recommend. You can do this!

  22. Kevin - April 15, 2016

    Hi Heidi,
    I really enjoy reading up on you and Chris alot, and it has started to really motivate me. On the other hand, my wife doesnt seem to help with her side. We have a 3 almost 4 year old beautiful daughter. We are planning to have a second wedding next year, and both of us need to lose weight. I’ve got a shoulder problem and have also had a knee op. I really want to lose weight and know eating right is the key at first. How can I get my wife to motivate herself when I am at work to either train or prepare meals? She works shifts at a hotel,so sometimes she works night shifts which is a pain, but I need to help her, but she isnt staying strict while I am not around. Please help, as you and Chris are hige motivations for me. Thanks very much for taking the time to read this. If you have any suggestions,please can you respond to my email address please.

    • Team Powell - April 16, 2016

      Hi Kevin: Thank you for your comment and for sharing your story with us. We understand it is difficult to watch a loved one struggle with her obesity or health challenges. Remember that ultimately the transformation has to come from within. You cannot do this for your wife—she truly has to want it for herself. One thing you might try, and this is the first step Chris and Heidi take with every single client they work with, is to have her make and keep a small daily promise to herself. This promise doesn’t even have to be health related – the important thing is to build her confidence and personal integrity. Read about the process here: http://heidipowell.net/8679. For you, here’s a link to Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program, and you might find some things you can use to achieve your transformation goals: http://heidipowell.net/9060. And please discuss this program, or any nutrition and exercise program, with your healthcare team first and then follow any modifications they might recommend. Do the best you can, make and keep those small promises to yourself, choose a cycle, and go! You can do this!

  23. Hayley - April 14, 2016

    Hi Heidi I am a huge fan of the show. I am 320 pounds and 5’7. I have a 5 month old baby boy and am desperate to get into shape so I can not only be alive for him but be able to be a good mom. My insurance does not cover a dietician and and I can’t afford one. How do u recommend I figure out a meal plan because obviously my way is not working

    • Team Powell - April 15, 2016

      Hi Hayley: Congratulations on your new little boy! Here’s a post that outlined Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program: http://heidipowell.net/9060. Their plan outlines everything you need to know and do to achieve your transformation goals, and be sure and follow all the links within the post too. You can do this!

  24. Katelyn Copeland - April 14, 2016

    hello,
    I am try to lose weight in about 6 to 7 weeks and right now i am 16 years old , weigh 136.8 and my height is 5’4. my goal is to get done to 115-120 pounds. I was just wondering if you can help me to get to that goal of my because i am having a hard time coming up with a workout plan and a food plan for to lose that fat off of me and also get musle at the same time.

    • Team Powell - April 14, 2016

      Hi Katelyn: It would be best to work with your healthcare team to put together a nutrition and exercise program since you are still a teenager. They are the best ones to help you since they can work with you on a one-on-one basis as you get older. We wish you the best!

    • Katrina - April 14, 2016

      Hi”my name is Katrina I”have read lots of comments that the adults struggling /accomplish there golds,Well how about I”have 17 year old Daughter weigh 370lbs please help me she’s a junior in high school I”will love for you to help her before her graduation that give her a year to accomplish this journey I’ve watch your show a lot !!!!! &,say this man can help me pleeeeeeese SOMBODY

    • Team Powell - April 14, 2016

      Hi Katrina: Chris and Heidi truly wish they could personally help everyone, but they’re not taking on clients right now. And since your daughter is still in her teens, it would be best for her to work with her healthcare team to put together a nutrition and exercise program since they can work with her personally now and in the future. Here’s a post from Heidi’s blog that might give you some helpful tips too: http://heidipowell.net/7201/teens-and-healthy-body-image-its-not-just-about-the-pounds/. We wish you both the best!

  25. nathan - April 14, 2016

    Hello Chris ,Helen

    i am 32 years old,5 ft 7 live in England. i love your shows , I can get motor active doing weights and sit ups push ups and running and skipping, for about 2 weeks then . i lose motor active. am not fat and am not thin am the right size which i like but i would love to get my 6 pack and build up my arms any ideas please i have read all your books and read everything on your website. also am a very fussy eater, i don’t eat the food i should like fruit and veg. so i hope you help. i do like a new challege.

    • Team Powell - April 14, 2016

      Hi Nathan: Here’s a post that talks about Chris and Heidi’s #1 transformation tool, and I think it could help you: http//heidipowell.net/8679. And all the tools you’ll need are on this website and in Chris and Heidi’s books, and they can work no matter what your transformation goals are. Choose a cycle and go! You can do this!

  26. Joshua dailey - April 12, 2016

    Hi… My name is Josh. I recently bought the transformation book for the extreme carb cycling.. Only on page 46, but was wondering if they tell you how to make the meals and what the breakdown is for each of the protein, carb, fat, and calories? Or is there a separate recipe book i need to get..Also what’s a goodmultivitamin you recommend? Thanks!

    • Team Powell - April 13, 2016

      Hi Joshua: All of the recipes (with complete nutritional information) are in the back of the book. And you can choose any multivitamin you want!

  27. Elizabeth - April 12, 2016

    How do you stay motivated or even get started when everyone else in the house is demanding of your time and they all eat like crap (seriously… my husband thinks that he can eat whatever he wants as long as he works out, which he hasn’t been doing). I was eating healthy and working out almost every day until I got pregnant, then it all stopped. I’m struggling to even begin again. I want so badly for my life to improve and want to get healthy, but I’m struggling even starting. I’m also stressed out because we cant even afford a gym membership, and cant even afford quality healthy foods. I have 70+ lbs to lose, and I’m struggling getting started. What can I do to keep up the motivation and remind myself to not eat those cupcakes that someone brought to work and to workout even though I’m exhausted and the 14-month old has just fallen asleep at 9 p.m. My husband is a cop on night shift so I’m basically a single parent right now.

    • Team Powell - April 12, 2016

      Hi Elizabeth: Thank you for sharing your story with us. Here’s Chris and Heidi’s #1 transformation tool, and it can really be a “light bulb” moment for many people, and it’s the first step on any transformation journey: http://heidipowell.net/8679. And Chris and Heidi’s exercise program requires no equipment or gym membership, and their nutrition program is very doable too. Learn about their complete carb cycling program here: http://heidipowell.net/9060. Just take those baby steps one after the other, and you can do this!

  28. STACEY - April 11, 2016

    Hi team Powell! I am a huge fan of the show and are a local AZ resident. I am also looking to start with a recognized weight loss MD in Scottsdale. But i have to say your show inspires me as i gson the courage to to take this leap to change my life for my physical amd emotional health. I am going to incorporate your tools and tips in my home. Thank you for all you do. My question today is do you amd or Chris ever hold local events of any kind? Thank you for all you have done.

    • Team Powell - April 12, 2016

      Hi Stacey: Congratulations on beginning your transformation journey! Keep an eye on Chris and Heidi’s social media channels for any announcements of events in AZ. ?

  29. Tammie - April 11, 2016

    Hi,
    My husband and I are beginning the program and we are both excited. We have already lost together about 40 since February by cutting out lots of junk food and exercising. Now we want something more structured and healthier so that we can change our lifetime habits. My question is because I am somewhat of a picky eater, I will probably have to come up with some of my own recipes and I wanted to know what should I watch for in the way of sodium content. I have issues with edema in my legs which has continued even after losing some weight and eating better. I did read in your book that it could be cause by to many carbs which your plan will help with, but I was wondering about sodium. What should I be looking for when buying items and how much sodium is healthy?

    • Team Powell - April 11, 2016

      Hi Tammie: You’ll want to aim for less than 2000mg of sodium a day, so hopefully that will help. And congratulations on losing 40 pounds together – that’s awesome!

  30. Joshua dailey - April 10, 2016

    Hi. My name Josh. I’m about 5’8 175. I’m around 13% body fat. I’m looking to get a lot leaner and was wondering what carb cycling program you recommend? I’m extremly active snd workout 6 to 7 times a week. I’ve gotten down to 7% body before but felt extremely tired and hungry doing so! So I’m hoping doing it this way would make me not feel that way! I think getting right around 165 would really get me to how I want to look. Any advice would help thanks!

  31. Josephine - April 7, 2016

    Watching your program on TV for the first time tonight #extremeweightloss wondering if you would help me lose weight the last time I was able to find a scale that could weigh me I was 450 + .since then I have gained even more weight with dieting , I probably weigh 500lbs . I never feel full. Please help me. Please

    • Team Powell - April 8, 2016

      Hi Josephine: Thank you for your comment! Chris and Heidi truly wish they could personally help everyone, but since they can’t, they’ve made all their transformation tools available for all of us to use to achieve our goals. You can learn about their carb cycling program (the same program they use on the show) in this post: http://heidipowell.net/9060. You can do this!

  32. Niki - April 7, 2016

    I have to say I love my pressure cooker, which can also be used as a slow cooker. I’m pretty busy so being able to cook a good meal fast is super helpful! I’m on my second week of the program. Last week I did the program in Chris’s first book but this week switched to the Extreme Transformation program. I was SHOCKED when I lost 13 lbs last week! 32 more to go and I’ll be at my goal. I have found the program pretty easy as I didn’t have to change what I was eating as I was already eating what is recommended. I don’t eat processed foods or garbage and rarely eat out at restaurants. What really helped me, being vegetarian, is having protein at every meal and rearranging when and what I eat (used to eat a lot of starchy veggies, especially for dinner, which I now know is a no no) and eating smaller portions more often. It’s made a huge difference. I used to eat lunch then get home from work but not eat dinner until late because I would go and ride my horse, which I can’t do on a full stomach. Then I would come home and eat dinner at 8 or 9 in the evening and be so hungry that I would overeat and eat the wrong food for that time of day. Or even worse, snack while I made my dinner and then ate too much! Now with smaller meals, more often, better balanced, I don’t face that challenge any more. I had been so frustrated for some time by not being able to loose weight when I am very active, go to the gym, competitive dressage riding, and eating the right kinds of food. I knew I had to be missing something. Thank you for the great program that I can keep for a lifetime and finally being able to understand why I wasn’t successful in the past and being able to know I can and will do this and believe in myself. So happy – thank you!!!!

  33. Stephanie Patterson - April 6, 2016

    Hi Heidi! What type of protein powder do you recommend? I am new to this and the selection is overwhelming.

    Thank you!! 🙂

    • Team Powell - April 6, 2016

      Hi Stephanie: Chris and Heidi recommend low-fat, whey-based powders with between 15-20 grams of protein and less than 5 grams of carbs per serving. ?

  34. Anna-Lena - April 6, 2016

    Hello I love this page Heidi 🙂 so man good recipe. I just had your Protein Waffles for breakfast…. And it was so good .
    You say in the carb cycle to eat every third hour from that your breakfast start…but if you are not hungry then, when it is time to eat?? Must I eat or can I wait ?

    • Team Powell - April 6, 2016

      Hi Anna-Lena: So happy you like the waffles! It is best to eat every 3 hours, hungry or not. Eventually, your body will get used to this eating schedule. You can do this!

    • Anna-Lena - April 6, 2016

      Thank you for answering 🙂
      I will try my best 😉 but I find it very hard to eat so much and so many times.I have started with 5:2 diet, don´t know if you herd of that? But you have two days with just 500 calories and he rest of days you got to eat normal, but in a healhty way of course 🙂
      So far I just lost 11.02 lbs but I´ve at least 22lbs more to loose. But then I saw your carb cycling and started to read…it was interesting. Think I´mgonna wish me your book on my birthday 😀
      Xo Anna

  35. Diane - April 5, 2016

    So much yes to all of this. Life is so much easier when I have breakfast, lunch and two snacks ready to throw in the bag to take to work. It takes some planning (and work) on the weekend, but it helps me not to have to think about those things during the week, especially at 6 a.m. on the way to work.

  36. Dana - April 5, 2016

    Hey guys! Thank so much for all the helpful tips on this blog. I am struggling… I am only on day 2 of the classic cycle and I’m sorta struggling with “What do I do now?” I have read so much on this blog, plus Chris’s “7 Day” book. I have also DL’ed “Extreme Transformation” and am beginning to read that, mainly for the daily meal plan. I feel like I have read myself into confusion! I DL’ed the “Carb Cycling Days” chart from this blog, as well as the smart foods list, so I am trying to use those two to build my meals and snacks on low and high carb days. But I feel like I’m going to be eating the same stuff over and over again… I found a “snacks on the go” post on this blog but it’s locked with a password (??). I often eat my snack and meals in my car, so I have packed a lunchbox the last two days. As far as mealtimes go, I am struggling with feeding myself as well as my family. I have a husband and 2 kids so I want to make sure they get variety and all their healthy food groups. I just feel overwhelmed and I don’t see how I’m gonna make it for 12 weeks! Please help!

    • Team Powell - April 5, 2016

      Hi Dana: You can use any of the foods on the approved foods list to put your meals together, as well as any of the recipes in any of the books. There are a few differences between the new Extreme Cycle and the other cycles, and you can read about them here if you haven’t already done so: http://heidipowell.net/10503/carb-cycling-the-extreme-cycle/. And it really is all about taking those baby steps and making changes a bit at a time, so please give yourself some time to learn this way of doing things. There are some other meal planning tips in this post, and while it’s geared to the Extreme Cycle, some of the options can work for any of the carb cycles: http://heidipowell.net/10617. I hope this helps – you can do this!

  37. Jennifer - April 5, 2016

    Wait I read “clean eating” by Chris and he said not to use plastic.

  38. Kateri - April 5, 2016

    You talk about measuring but in Chris’s book it uses Palm, fist, thumb measurements. This was hard for me since I prefer measuring. Any suggestions how to equivalent these?

    • Team Powell - April 5, 2016

      Hi Kateri: For the Extreme Cycle, you can get some great info in this post: http://heidipowell.net/10617. For the other cycles, try and stick to these macro percentages:

      High-Carb Meal:

      Protein: 40%
      Carbs: 40%
      Fats: 20%

      Low-Carb Meal:

      Protein: 40%
      Carbs: 20%
      Fats: 40%

      Hope that helps!

  39. Adrianne - April 5, 2016

    I just read your book Extreme Transformation. I love it but all the different recipes for each meal everyday are too much prep for this working mama. Can I get the same results with coming up with my own combos or even repeating menus for several days?

    • Team Powell - April 5, 2016

      Hi Adrienne: Here’s a post that outlines several meal planning options for the Extreme Cycle: http://heidipowell.net/10617. Hope it helps!

    • Marsha - April 5, 2016

      Adrianne, I usually use my own meal combos-easy. Once in a while I’ll try one of their recipes. I think as long as you get what’s needed that day: protein, veg, carb/fat.

  40. D - April 5, 2016

    I would love to learn some new super healthy slow cooker recipes ! I too am just coming around to using the slow cooker, but I am at a loss for truly good recipes so I keep doing the same old chicken and salsa trick.

  41. Amanda - April 5, 2016

    What kitchen scale do you recommend??

    • Team Powell - April 5, 2016

      Hi Amanda: If you’ll click on the highlighted link in the post, it will take you to an awesome one on amazon.

  42. Janice - April 5, 2016

    Hi Heidi! I’ve been following your extreme transformation book since Jan 16th. My weigh in is this Friday but so far I’ve lost 31 lbs! Yay :). 19 to go!! The absolute must haves I’ve used from this particular post are: the reusable containers – they are part of my daily life now. Every thing is preplanned. I always know what I’m eating today and tomorrow. One week I got lazy and figured I knew the plan enough and I could just wing it – I gained 1.1 lbs that week. Sticking to the plan forever now and being prepared! It works!! Secondly: the water bottle. I never leave home without it. 3 -4 litres every single day. I don’t like protein powder though I’ve tried. I can use it my baking ( your recipes from the book) but not my water. I did use the scale in the beginning but I don’t now. I do know what my portion sizes are by now and also my tummy tells me when I’m full and I believe it. I don’t use the slow cooker but that’s because I cook up my meat in batches like it says in the book for a couple of days at a time. Then I just add veg and fat (for dinner). My hub takes the protein and veg and adds starches and sugar to the kids and his meal. It works out great. When hub is not around the kids eat what I eat (they’re 12 & 14 so not littles anymore). This program has been life changing for me! I will forever eat this way. I’m looking forward to maintenance and getting to add some daily hugs but other than that everything else will stay the same. My relationship with food has changed. I used to think that everytime I put food in my body it should be something I though was good and yummy – ie/ choc, fat, salt etc. Now I look at food as fuel to my body. I respect my body more. I think about how hard it’s been working to get rid of this weight and I want to give it the food it needs to flourish and be healthy. Its such a wonderful way to think about food. Friday’s are my treat day. I eat whatever I want. All week if I get a wee craving – and this is what is so amazing about this program – I don’t get cravings – my body’s needs are completely filled by the good food I’m eating – it naturally does not want that other crap. The way I eat now is how my poor bod was probably calling out to eat for my whole life. It feels so good. My weakness is Coca Cola (so bad!) so every Friday I get some. And it’s delicious. And it works because it’s what it’s supposed to be now – a special treat. When I want it in the week I tell myself I can have it on Friday. And I do. And it works. Thank you for this amazing plan! You and Chris have changed my relationship with food and for that I will be forever thankful!! I think you guys are great! Very real and down to earth and loving of your peeps!! Love it!! All the best :). Janice

    • Team Powell - April 5, 2016

      Hi Janice: Love, love, love your post – thank you! And congratulations on losing 31 pounds! That’s awesome! I have no doubt those 19 pounds will be gone soon!

    • Nicole - April 6, 2016

      Hi Janice,

      Would you mind offering up a couple samples of what you have been eating for a HC and a LC day? I did the first 21 days, but I do confess that I cheated a little, and I was able to get from 131lbs to 126lbs – not too bad. I am trying the cycle again and am 2 weeks in, and this time nothing is lost.

    • Janice - April 6, 2016

      Hi Team Powell – thank you for your reply, it made my day 🙂

  43. Amy Johnson - April 5, 2016

    What protein powder would you recommend as a meal replacement? Thanks! Amy

    • Team Powell - April 5, 2016

      Hi Amy: For protein powders in general, Chris and Heidi recommend low-fat, whey-based powders with between 15-20 grams of protein and less than 5 grams of carbs per serving. This would serve as the protein portion for any meal. Add a fat for a low-carb meal or a carb for a high-carb meal. Hope that helps!

  44. Pauline Boyce - April 5, 2016

    I love watching Chris and Heidi , I was 28lbs overweight, I’ve lost 14lb so far . You are both so generous with advice and so honest, you have inspired me xxx Pauline

  45. Silvia - April 5, 2016

    About the containers, how long does it stay fresh? And how do you fill them? Your kids need to eat so do mine but how do i use containers for the whole family of 5? Do you Cook everything and than fill the containers or fill it with RAW and than Cook when needed? I hope you understand what i mean ?

    • Team Powell - April 5, 2016

      Hi Silvia: You can either pack each meal separately (like if you’re going to work, etc.), or if you’re prepping foods for your family, you can put each food in a container so it’s easy for your kids to get to and easier to use when you’re ready to prepare meals. Meats are cooked before you put them in containers, and you can either cook veggies first and then store them, or store them raw and then cook them. Hope that helps!

  46. Kelli - April 5, 2016

    What is your favorite “simple” and healthy crockpot meal?

    • Team Powell - April 5, 2016

      Hi Kelli: Heidi loves chicken topped with salsa!

  47. Michele Okumus - April 5, 2016

    Hello! What are you eating in the above picture? It looks like pulled chicken ?l Where are your recipes?
    Thank you so much!

  48. Holly N. - April 5, 2016

    I would say my oven and the grill pan for the stovetop. They both have been a great way for us to cook chicken, fish, and veggies a lot healthier. Just roasting or grilling with a little olive oil and S&P and the natural flavors come out incredible. Sometimes you don’t even need the oil. Super easy and healthy! Thank you Heidi for all the daily tips and advice! I look forward to learning something new each day! ?

  49. Holly - April 5, 2016

    Hello!

    Your tips and positive attitude are so refreshing!
    What would be your advice for someone like myself. I work full time, am a full time student, and have a busy social life. I get intense cravings and just love to snack! My goal is to lose weight (about 60 lbs) and become more fit.
    Thank you!

    Holly

  50. Corrina - April 5, 2016

    A decade of hypothyroidism has left me 60lbs overweight. Proper meds and a mainly lifting gym schedule has changed nothing…help! (please?)
    Thank you
    Corrina

    • Team Powell - April 5, 2016

      Hi Corrina: You can learn about Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in this post: http://heidipowell.net/9060. And please discuss this program, or any nutrition and exercise program, with your healthcare team first and then follow any modifications they might recommend. You can do this!

  51. Sjones - April 5, 2016

    When you are making a stir fry for the family how would you measure it out to get the right amount per carb, veggies, and protein?

    • Team Powell - April 5, 2016

      This is a great question! I’d measure out the portions for each person for each macro ahead of time, then cook it all together, and then divide it evenly between all the members of your family. “Combined” foods like stir fry can be tricky, but it can be done!

  52. Swati - April 5, 2016

    Hello I lyk u a lottt
    And wanna meet u plz come to Mumbai India
    Please please please

    • Team Powell - April 5, 2016

      Hi Swati: Heidi so wishes she could personally help everyone, but since she can’t, she and Chris have made all their transformation tools available for all of us to use to achieve our goals! You can learn about their carb cycling program here: http://heidipowell.net/9060. You can do this!

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