Everyone wants to know the answer to this question, but the answer is one we often do not want to hear and usually don’t want to do.

Behavior Modification

More specifically, modifying behavior with regard to food choices is the key to becoming thin.

Of course, there is exercise to think about also. With few exceptions, it’s safe to say that exercise DOES NOT make you thin. Exercise makes your muscles toned, your body firm, it makes you feel good, gives you energy, it can increase metabolism, it reduces risk of disease, and on and on. The benefits of exercise are endless.

Exercise certainly supports and promotes weight loss, but it is not the primary key to losing weight. In fact, most of the time exercise makes you hungry and if you are not in the habit of choosing quality foods, you tend to eat more of the foods that keep the pounds on.

99.9% of the population needs to modify food choices to reach their goals. This is why I am in the process of getting certified in Fitness AND NUTRITION! The best personal trainers teach behavior modification and understand that modifying your behavior with regard to food is the key to becoming thin. When it comes to achieving a fit, toned and thin body, I want to be more than an exercise coach. I want to teach people using comprehensive fitness programming…. promoting complete behavior modification so my clients will get results.

Any program that supports a goal of creating a healthy, fit and vibrant body are going to be outcome based. If you honestly follow the program, your outcome will be a successful one

I hear things like

“I eat healthy, but I am still 20 pounds overweight”

“I make good menu choices, but I can’t seem to lose weight”

“My diet is great, but I have no energy”

“I have a low cal, low fat diet, but still struggle with high cholesterol”

Is it possible that someone can eat a “healthy” diet and still be overweight, low on energy, or have other life-style related issues. Sure, it is possible, but it is very unlikely. Most people who think that they are doing a good job, but don’t have the physique that they want or the healthy profiles that they want, really aren’t doing a good job.

Good nutrition requires honesty and results. If you don’t have the results, you are not being honest with the what your diet really looks like.

So when you’re thinking about losing weight and getting trim, remember, your food is the thing that must change in order to achieve lasting success. The exercise will take that success and make it look awesome! Modify your behaviors regarding food and food choices and your success is guaranteed.


Cardio is never the most fun part of working out but highly necessary for weight loss. If you are going to go to the effort of doing cardio, then make the effort a good one. I often see people reading books or magazines while doing cardio. As a general rule, if you can read while doing cardio, you are not working hard enough…at an appropriate intensity level to really burn a good amount of calories and get your heart rate going.

My husband I were at the gym the other day doing cardio. We started to talk about how slow or fast we should go. You may have heard that exercising at a slower pace is more effective for fat loss than working out more intensely. Many cardio machines even have “fat burning” programs that keep you at a slower pace. But this can be very misleading.

During low-intensity aerobic exercise, your body does use fat as its primary fuel source. However, and this is key, picking up the pace allows you to burn more total calories, as well as more fat calories. The most important factor in exercise and weight control is not the percentage of fat calories burned, but the total calories burned during the activity. The faster you walk, bike or swim, for example, the more calories you use per minute, and you will be burning more total calories, and in turn, will lose more weight.

Here’s how: If you go walking for 30 minutes at a leisurely roll, you might burn about 100 calories — about 80 percent of them from fat (so that’s 80 fat calories). But if you spend the same amount of time running, you might burn 300 calories — 30 percent of them from fat (that’s 90 fat calories). So at the fast pace, you burn more than double the calories and 10 more fat calories. Which is better for weight loss? Burning 100 calories or 300 calories (in the same amount of time).

Keep in mind; if you can’t sustain a faster pace long enough to make it worth your while, a slower pace will allow you to exercise longer, so you’ll end up burning more calories and fat that way. So you need to find a good balance, and change it as you gain more endurance. As your endurance increases, your intensity must increase. For the best weight loss results, you should try to complete at least 15 minutes of your cardio exercise at the most vigorous pace you can. 30 minutes is even better.

There are all sorts of formulas for figuring out your target heart rate and then using that number to calculate your desired intensity. This is another area where my eyes start to glaze over a bit…. One of my favorite websites for advanced training makes this question easy for you to answer on an individual basis without having to figure out all those numbers and continually take your heart rate. Askthetrainer.com has a great chart .

As you can see, this “formula” is based on how you feel, not a bunch of numbers. Don’t get me wrong, finding out your target heart rate is important, but for me, this is a better guide and easier to use on a consistent basis, especially as I gain more endurance, and strength. It also takes into account how I am feeling on low energy days and high energy days.
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