Husband-and-wife celebrity trainers, Chris and Heidi Powell, give new meaning to the term “power couple”. The dynamic duo makes writing books, hosting TV shows, creating workout apps and raising four kids — all while staying ridiculously fit — look like child’s play. The couple are probably best known as the former hosts of ABC’s “Extreme Weight Loss”, where they coached and coaxed dozens of contestants to reach and maintain unimaginable weight-loss goals. Now, they’ve translated their life-changing weight-loss regimen from show into a new iPhone and Android app they’ve aptly named Transform.
We met up with Chris and Heidi at studio in New York City to pick their brains about the things they wish their clients — both virtual and in-person — knew about how to lose weight and keep it off. And here’s the thing: Yes, they’ve made their bones (and killer abs) in the gym, but some of their best get-fit advice is all about what you need to do before you even lace up your sneakers. Here are five things they want you to know about how to shed those extra pounds — for good.
1. Weight Loss (and Better Health) Begins With Water
Before you roll your eyes and say, “tell me something I don’t know,” consider this: One in 10 medical consultations for tiredness and fatigue can be attributed to dehydration. If you’re dragging at 7:00 am, how are you going to get up and get your butt to the gym? What’s worse, Chris Powell says, is “the mechanism in our brain that signals thirst is often mistaken for hunger,” which certainly isn’t going to help you win the battle of the bulge. If you have trouble drinking enough water, Powell points to his “10 Gulp Rule” as a surefire way to keep thirst (and cravings) at bay. “Every time a a water bottle touches your lips, drink 10 gulps before putting it down and you’ll be well-hydrated all day long.”
Chris and Heidi Powell, celebrity trainers and creators of the fitness app Transform. Allison Tyler Jones
2. A Toned Body is Made in the Kitchen, Not the Gym
If you’ve read anything about health in the last five years, it has been this: You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. And there a couple of reasons for that. One, exercise — not even an hour of SoulCycle — can compensate for a diet that’s fueled by a nightly dose of Mexican food and margaritas. After all, those 528 calories you burned on the bike are quickly eradicated after two frozen margaritas, which clock in at 760 calories. And here’s that second reason: When we exercise, we tend to use food-based rewards to treat ourselves for a job well-done.
“It doesn’t matter how many crunches you do; if you’re not eating right, you’re never going to see those abs,” says Heidi Powell. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should scrap that exercise routine for a restrictive low-calorie diet. You just need to pay attention to what’s fueling you — and your workouts. Experts recommend eating a well-balanced diet that features plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole-grains, and lean meats and dairy. “Nutrition drives weight loss and nutrition drives muscle gain,” says Heidi Powell.