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Housework: Your Secret Workout Weapon

POSTED ON April 7, 2014

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Happy National No Housework Day—the one day of the year you don’t have to do housework! Does that ever really happen—for a whole day? Just Curious. ;) Anyway…while you get the day “off” today, all those household chores you do on the other 364 days of the year can be a secret calorie-burning weapon I bet you didn’t know you had in your workout arsenal!

According to one study, people spend an average of 13 hours every week doing household chores. Whether or not you spend that amount of time, even a few minutes spent doing chores can burn some extra calories that can really add up over the course of weeks, months, and years!


Check out these fun facts about the calories you can burn per minute doing the things you “get” to do anyway:

  • Cleaning the tub: 7
  • Making beds: 4
  • Cleaning windows: 4
  • Loading the dishwasher: 3.5
  • Vacuuming: 3
  • Dusting: 2
  • Ironing: 2
  • Washing the car: 5
  • Weeding: 4

Pretty awesome, right? And I bet you’re looking at your vacuum in a whole new way! ;)


And try out these ideas to burn even more calories while you’re doing all those chores:

  • Instead of collecting several things and making one trip up or down the stairs, only take one item at a time. You’ll burn 9.5 calories every minute while you’re doing those stairs (and even more if you quicken your pace!), and you won’t really be spending that much more time. And the extra calories burned will be so worth it!
  • Do lunges or squats (or “lunches and squaks,” as Cash calls them) while you vacuum and dust.
  • Set a timer and clean for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, do a certain number of burpees for an awesome total body burner. Repeat as many times as you can.
  • If you listen to your favorite playlist while cleaning, stop in between each song and work on your sexy arms or your fabulous abs.

Are you so excited to do all those chores you love to hate? Just be sure to not do the same exercises two days in a row—even muscles need a bit of a rest. :)

So enjoy your day “off” today, and get ready to burn some extra calories tomorrow. And you’ll get a sparkly clean house as bonus! That’s a win-win in my book!


Category: blog / fitness / living

Our New Dessert Diet!

POSTED ON April 1, 2014

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Chocolate Lasagna - Learn more at http://HeidiPowell.net/1059

Chocolate Lasagna

Finally, a diet that allows you to eat any dessert you want, everyday, while still losing massive amounts of weight…

April Fools! I’m sorry, but in the spirit of today, I couldn’t resist :).

Here’s the good news (this is not an April Fool’s joke): there are a bunch of delicious and healthy foods that can be prepared to taste amazing. The best part is there are many of these foods (many desserts) that you can eat to satisfy that sweet tooth…and STILL stay on your nutritional track.

Here are some of our family favorites:

Peanut Butter Power Fudge

Candied Pears

Peanut Butter Lover’s Ice Cream

Red Velvet Cookies

Orange Glazed Poppy Seed Bread

Caramel Apple Cake

Sweet Potato Brownies

CinnaCocoa-Frosted Protein Cookies

Greek Yogurt Pops

Protein Carrot Cake Bars

Yummy Summer Strawberries ‘n Almond Creme

Enjoy! :)

Category: blog / food

All About Calories

POSTED ON March 24, 2014

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Counting Calories

You’ll find them in 99.99% of everything you eat and drink. They can be your greatest friends or your worst enemies. Eat fewer than you need and you lose weight. Eat more than you need and you gain weight. Yes, it is that simple.

Since calories affect everyone everyday, it’s important to understand them: what they are, what they do, and how to make them work for you instead of against you.

Some basic facts about calories:

  • They represent the amount of energy in the foods you eat and drink.
  • They are not partial to certain types of foods. A calorie from a carrot is the same as a calorie from a doughnut (although the carrot calorie is much healthier, of course!).
  • Different types of foods are automatically higher in calories. Take 1 gram each of protein, carbohydrate, and fat. The grams of protein and carbohydrate each contain 4 calories, while the gram of fat has 9. Yes, that’s more than double the calories gram per gram. Yikes!
  • One pound of fat = 3500 calories.

So how do you get calories on your side in your weight loss battle? First of all you need to know your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is the number of calories your body needs every day just to function properly—to breathe, circulate blood, adjust hormone levels, digest food, grow and repair cells, and so on. While there are several formulas to figure out your BMR, here’s an easy one:

Current body weight x 12 = BMR

150 pounds x 12 = 1,800 calories (BMR)

Simply put, if you eat more than your daily BMR, your body stores those extra calories as fat and you gain weight. If you stay below your BMR, you create a calorie deficit and you lose weight. One caution: women should never eat less than 1,200 calories a day, and men should never go below 1,500. Consuming too few calories sends your body into a protective starvation mode and slows down your metabolism, and a slow metabolism doesn’t burn calories as fast and can cause other problems as well.

There are three basic ways to create a calorie deficit:

  1. Eat fewer calories than your BMR.
  2. Exercise, because it burns calories and builds muscle, and bigger muscles burn even more calories!
  3. A combination of #1 and #2—the best option by far.

Here’s how this works:

  • If you create a daily 500-calorie deficit, you’ll lose 1 pound a week.
  • If you create a daily 1,000-calorie deficit, you’ll lose 2 pounds a week (remember that cutting too many calories from your diet is not good).

I know, I hear you: “But Heidi, I don’t like to count calories.” You’re not alone. Counting calories is so not fun. However, it’s really important to know what you’re taking into your body every time you open your mouth. Studies show that most people think they’ve eaten 20% fewer calories than they actually have, so trying to estimate your calorie intake is a recipe for disaster.

Until you have an opportunity to weigh and measure your food to figure what your “correct” portions look like, this simple graphic shows a safe and easy way to choose appropriate portion sizes without measuring cups or a scale. This should also help keep you from creating a calorie surplus:

How to make a proper meal using the Choose to Lose portion guide

Some final words of advice:

  • It’s important to recalculate your BMR as you lose weight.
  • Some calorie tracking apps add the calories you burn from exercise into your daily to-eat total, making it look like you can eat more than you actually can, and if you do eat all those calories, you won’t have a calorie deficit at the end of the day. Instead, eat the number of calories in your daily eating plan, and subtract the calories you burned to see your deficit. Remember: one pound of fat = 3500 calories, so work to eventually create a 3500 calorie deficit.
  • You can eat calories much faster than you can burn them, so don’t use those exercise-burned calories as permission to eat more food—“I burned 500 calories this morning, so I can eat this cupcake.” So not a good way to do it!

To learn more about our preferred and proven eating and exercise plan—Carb Cycling—check out Chris’s book, Choose More, Lose More for Life. And when you sign up for his FREE semiweekly enewsletter at chrispowell.com you’ll get a FREE printable handy food guide to help you win the calorie battle and reach your weight loss goals!

Category: blog / food

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

POSTED ON October 2, 2013

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Powell Favorite Pecan Pumpkin Cheesecake - Get the recipe at http://HeidiPowell.net/3688

I can’t believe October is already here! What does this mean for most of us? Baking season and holiday festivities (along with those unwanted holiday pounds) are waiting for us around the next corner. While we could always try to resist the deliciousness of pies, cookies, and festive foods, I must say this method is not for me. You tell me I can’t have a cookie…I will want it even more! I am a believer in the occasional indulgence without overdoing it! If I can find or create a healthier version of my favorite dessert, this is a huge bonus! This holiday season, I’ll be sharing healthier versions of my favorite recipes so you can enjoy the holidays without breaking the calorie meter!

First up, three of my favorite things combined into one: pecans + pumpkin + pie = one heck of a decadent (and lower calorie) pecan pumpkin pie! Before I realized there was a healthier version of this pie, I was consuming over 400 calories per slice (ouch!). With a little tweaking and a few substitutions, the calorie count was reduced to 279 for this heavenly treat .

So, if you have any interest in leaving some of the guilt out of those guilt-free days, give this recipe a try!

Pumpkin Pecan Pie
Serves 12

What you’ll need:

2 cups low-fat graham crackers, crushed until fine
1/2 cup melted butter

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
4 oz low-fat cream cheese
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon Splenda OR Baking Stevia
4 egg whites
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash of salt

Pecan Topping
1 large egg
1/2 cup agave syrup
1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons Splenda OR Baking Stevia
2 tablespoons almond flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans

How to make it:

Make the crust
Preheat your oven to 325* F. Place crushed graham crackers in a large bowl and pour melted butter over the crackers. Mix together well until all of the crumbs are coated with butter.

In a 9-inch pie pan, cover the bottom and sides of the pan with the crumb mixture. Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool.

Make the Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
In a mixing bowl, cream together the cream cheese, Splenda and maple syrup until very smooth. Add the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and continue mixing scraping bowl periodically. Add eggs, gently mixing until incorporated. (Do not over mix.) Pour into the crust and place in the freezer. Freeze just until it is firm to the touch. (The freezing will keep the pecan mixture on top of the pie and not sink into the pumpkin mixture.)

Make the Pecan Topping
Preheat oven to 350* F. In a large bowl, whisk together all of the pecan filling ingredients until well mixed. Pour the topping mixture onto the frozen pie and place it in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes then open ove, rotate the pie 90 degrees, close door, and continue baking for another 23-28 minutes, or until the filling doesn’t move when jiggled.

Allow the pie to cool before serving. Enjoy!

What’s in it:
Each slice has 279 calories, 5g protein, 31g carbs, 16g fat, 2g fiber and 277mg sodium

Category: blog / food

You Ate It, Negate It

POSTED ON August 9, 2013

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My hubby, Chris Powell, shows Tamar, Adrienne and Loni from THE REAL what exercises they’d need to do to negate the calories they just ate!

Category: blog / fitness

Ask Heidi Anything: Carb Cycling While Prego?

POSTED ON June 14, 2013

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Ask Heidi Anything: Carb Cycling while Pregnant? - Learn more at http://HeidiPowell.net/2275

Q: Do you still follow carb cycling while pregnant and nursing? Or do you modify it and how? ( I just had baby# 3 this week)

A: First (and MOST importantly), congratulations! Baby #3 was a huge accomplishment for me, and it is for you too. Your body has been through a lot over the years, so be sure you aren’t too hard on it. It will take time to get back to your pre-baby body, or to your new fitness goals.

Let me preface my response by saying I am NOT a doctor, and you should ALWAYS run your diet and exercise program by your doc before beginning. But I am more than happy to tell you what worked for me.

While I do NOT carb cycle to lose weight while pregnant or nursing, I do follow some of the same criteria that is outlined in Chris’ carb cycling books.

  • 1. I eat within 30 minutes of waking up, ALWAYS.
  • 2. I eat 5 meals a day.
  • 3. I eat every 3 hours.
  • 4. I eat protein at EVERY meal (the only exception was 1st trimester this round, protein made me sick as a dog).
  • 5. I eat proper portions.

A couple things I do NOT follow from Chris’ program while nursing or pregnant:

  1. 1. I NEVER eat a meal without carbs. NO LOW CARB DAYS!!!!
  2. 2. I eat 300 MORE calories a day than my pre-pregnancy plan called for (after my first trimester) while pregnant, and about 300-500 calories a day more when I am nursing. Your body needs it! Listen to what it’s telling you. Dwindling milk supply? You may need to up the cals even a bit more!
  3. 3. I eat a portion of fat with at least 3 meals a day when pregnant and nursing. This is typically where my extra calories come from. And when I say “fat”, I mean healthy fats: avocados, nuts, and seeds to name a few.

I guess, in a nutshell, I kind of hybrid high and low carb days when pregnant or nursing. Enough calories is very important, and neither of these phases are a time to focus on losing weight. If you are eating real, whole, natural foods, in moderation (NOT binging because your nursing or “eating twice as much for two” because you have an almond-sized baby in your belly), the weight will come off naturally, when the time is right.

Don’t stress. Just put your focus on eating the foods you want your baby to eat! Essentially, this is what is happening – what you put in your mouth will eventually make it’s way to your baby, whether pregnant or nursing. Do you want your little one to be made of healthy fats, carbs, and proteins? Or processed foods and hydrogenated oils?

Choose wisely, because these foods will be developing your baby’s little brain, Its heart, and rest of its organs.

Happy baby making!

I have so many people asking some great questions! While I don’t have the answer to everything, I do have quite a bit of experience to share :). ASK HEIDI ANYTHING by sending an email or sharing on Facebook and I’ll do my best to answer and post for others to benefit from too!

Category: blog / food

Pickles and Chocolate Ice Cream

POSTED ON June 7, 2013

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Chocolate Banana Ice Cream - Get the recipe at http://HeidiPowell.net/2108

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

After 16 LONG weeks of keeping this bun in my oven a secret, I’ve got major baby on my brain, and I’ll be talking about him/her a lot! If not about him/her, then I’ll talk about my belly, body, feelings, and pregnancy in general. It’s literally ALL I can think about…in the middle of season 3 airing, season 4 casting, 3 kids, one husband, moving to another state, career, extended family, and a partridge in a pear tree. So maybe I have a bunch on my plate…but it doesn’t keep me from seeing pink and blue.

I was SO thrilled to learn that today is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day! Surprised about my happiness toward such a topic? Me too. Coming from someone who (pre-pregnancy) rarely had cravings to veer from a plan that kept me in line and worked, I’m telling you – this growing bundle in my belly is changing my game … yet again! #cravingsgalore

So how do I tame these cravings? It’s tough, to be honest. So I’ve figured out how to indulge in a smart, healthy and moderated way. Moderation is key though! Most of us think that just because we eat organic and gluten-free means the calories stop counting…I hate to break it to you, but that’s a myth ;). Yup – calories still count, and for a pregnant woman in her second trimester, I only get 300 extra a day! That’s can be as little as one bagel, or a half of a muffin. It can also be as big as three whole pieces of fruit, or a tablespoon of almond butter with a banana and 3 rice cakes!

Lesson to learn: real, whole, natural foods carry a lot less calories for their bulk! Use nature’s desert (aka fruit) to tame that sweet tooth, whether you’re pregnant or not, to keep you full and get you the nutrients your body needs.

I can’t end this blog on National Chocolate Ice Cream Day without an ice cream recipe. So here is it, my favorite healthy ice cream…meant to be eaten in moderation!

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream
from Jacqui McCoy’s kitchen

What you’ll need:
1 banana, sliced and frozen
½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tablespoon Justin’s chocolate almond butter

How you’ll make it:
1. Put the banana pieces, almond milk, and almond butter into a blender.
2. Puree, turning off the motor and stirring the mixture two or three times, until smooth and creamy.
3. Pour into a bowl and serve.

What’s in it:
215 calories, 9 g of fat, 33.5 g carbohydrate, 3.3 g protein.

Category: blog / food

Life & Beauty Weekly – Eight Fitness Tips to Get in Shape for Summer

POSTED ON May 9, 2013

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Does the thought of slipping into shorts or a swimsuit leave you panicked? No sweat. Visit Life&BeautyWeekly to get my 8 easy fitness tips, to get in shape for summer! There’s still time to get in summer-ready shape without going on a crash diet. Thanks Rachel for a great interview!

Eight Fitness Tips to Get in Shape for Summer - Learn more at http://HeidiPowell.net/1564

Does the thought of slipping into shorts or a swimsuit leave you panicked? No sweat. With these easy fitness tips, there’s still time to get in summer-ready shape without going on a crash diet.

Taking small steps will put you in the right direction, says Heidi Powell, personal trainer, life coach and co-transformation specialist (with husband Chris Powell) on Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. Here are her eight best fitness tips to get you ready for the season:

1. Make a Small Change — And Stick To It

“Make one goal to yourself at a time,” says Powell. “Maybe it’s removing soda from your lunch or moving for five minutes a day. Just make it attainable and commit to it.”

Once you master that first goal, you can add another to it, and so on. “When you do what you say you’re going to do, the scale will follow,” says Powell.

2. Be Realistic

As much as we’d all love to drop 10 pounds in a week — especially as summer approaches — it’s not very doable without going to extreme measures.

“Instead, strive to lose one percent of your body weight a week,” says Powell. “That’s a healthy goal.”

3. Watch Your Calories

Nutrition is more than half the battle in weight loss. And while you don’t have to obsess over every bite, you do need to be aware of how many calories you’re taking in. The average woman should aim for 1,500 calories a day.
4. Eat Real Food

Forget the packaged diet dinners and low-fat snacks. “You can’t out-train bad food,” says Powell.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are higher in nutrients than processed meals — plus, they’re rich in fiber, which will keep you feeling fuller longer. Lean meats like turkey are high in protein and will help you burn more fat while building muscle mass. And yes, you can put some steak on the grill — just eat it in moderation. “The calorie count is higher in red meat, so opt for three-ounce portions instead of the four ounces you would eat of chicken or fish,” Powell says.
5. Don’t Skip Carbs

“Chris and I both have wristbands that say I <3 carbs!” says Powell. “Carbs fuel the body for weight loss.” Just remember that not all carbohydrates are created equal: White bread, rice and sweets are nutritionally poor, but sweet potatoes, brown rice, steel-cut oats and whole-grain bread are both delicious and healthy.
6. Work Out at Home

You don’t have to commit to a gym to get your exercise. Powell, a busy mom of three, says she’s lucky if she goes to the gym once a month. Instead, she focuses on fat-blasting moves she can do from the comfort of her home…which is where her next two tips come in!

7. Learn to Love the Burpee

“I have a love-hate relationship with burpees,” admits Powell. They’re tough, but “they hit nearly every muscle in the body and get your heart rate up.”

To perform this whole-body exercise, start by squatting with your hands on the floor in front of you. Kick your legs back into a push-up position, jump back into the squat, and then jump to a standing position. You can modify the move by doing the push-up on your knees or going directly from the push-up to a standing position.

8. Try Interval Training

For the optimal metabolism-boosting workout, sprint on a track or treadmill as fast as you can for 30 seconds, rest for 90 seconds, and then sprint again. Ten sets of sprints will give you a heart-thumping 20-minute workout — plus your body will continue to burn calories at a higher rate for the rest of the day. “You put your body in an oxygen debt, so the body has to overcompensate and work harder to oxygenate the body,” says Powell.

By making easy changes and following these fitness tips, you’ll be confident and beach-ready before you know it.

Read more: Eight Fitness Tips to Get in Shape for Summer | Health | Life & Beauty Weekly http://www.lifeandbeautyweekly.com/feature/health/summer-fitness-tips/index.html#ixzz2TuE3VGUS

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