Friday, September 11, 2009

The More Turbo, Less Latte Diet Plan

By: Chalene Johnson
When people ask me what’s the easiest way to “lose weight,” I like to tell them about the “latte diet.” It’s really just a euphemism for cutting something seemingly minor out of your daily habits, which may be the cause of unnecessary, unaccounted-for calories.
I’m 5’2”. Okay, fine. I’m 5’1 and ¾” to be exact! If I gain two pounds, it looks like ten. There’s just nowhere for it to go. In the past couple of years, I’ve really buckled down and done my best to get a handle on the little things that make a big difference for those of us struggling to lose or maintain weight. A light bulb went off for me when people started sending me their own before and after photos representing the weight loss and body transformations they experienced with Turbo Kick™.
Many of these people started to see a difference when they began doing Turbo Kick™ three, four and even five times a week. There was a period of time when, due to poor scheduling on my part, I was teaching only one Turbo Kick™ class a week and a whole slew of other formats I didn’t enjoy very much.
I decided to give up every workout I wasn’t looking forward to, for whatever reason. I added three more Turbo Kick™ classes to my weekly workout schedule. I returned to teaching Turbo three or four times a week. Wow! What a difference I saw and felt in my own body.
Next, I decided to get critical, rather than defensive, about the calories I was consuming. For many years, I reassured myself that I was eating “clean” and working out six days a week and because of that, I was probably as fit as I was ever going to be. I was eating far healthier than most people I knew. Hey, we can only do so much with the genes we’ve been dealt, right?
I decided to write down everything I ate, and I mean everything! I even recorded the left-over crust from Cierra’s sandwich, the handful of cereal here and half a broken cookie there. I looked at the calorie content on the things I was consuming, including the Starbucks soy latte I enjoyed each day. After a few weeks of food journals compared with the calories I burn each day as recorded by my BodyBugg, I realized things were not as “clean” as I had thought. There were quite a few things I could do without. So I set out to cut out and cut back.
I still eat those last syrup-drenched bites of pancakes that Brock (thank God) leaves on his plate, but just one bite instead of four, and I count those calories! I replaced late-night handfuls of cereal with dried cranberries and almonds. If I want something sweet, instead of fat-free yogurt (which is loaded with sugar), I now do sugar-free Jell-O™. But the thing in my diet that I believe has had the most positive impact was cutting out the daily soy latte habit. In doing so, I save nearly $140 a month and about 7,000 calories. What a simple way to lose two pounds in a month!
Everyone has his or her “soy latte.” It’s a metaphor for something you’re eating every day that you really don’t need, that you really wouldn’t miss if you cut it out, cut back or replaced with something containing fewer calories. Most of us know what to eat; we just don’t keep track of it very carefully. It is reported that Americans underestimate their calorie consumption by an average of 40%! Wow!
To break your current plateau, take a close look at what you are eating (and drinking). Really account for every calorie. Use a food journal. There are many free apps available for your smartphone, but a Post-it note on the fridge will work, too! Make a serious effort to consume fewer calories. Consume the right balance of calories, i.e., protein and carbs, based on your activity level. And last, but not least, burn more calories and work those abs by doing the right kind of workout (hint: starts with a “T” and you hear sirens about 30 minutes into it!)

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Melissa Henning said...

great post! I have lost 50 lbs since sept of last year, and am still losing. I started exercising (I heart TJ btw...have seen great results with it!) but I think I saw the best results when I started using sparkpeople's free fitness and nutrition tracker. I track every last bit, like you do...every single bite, because in the end they add up. I just started off adding exercise into my life, and then later realized my body didn't like certain foods, so it was easier to cut it out then. I am glad I did it this way, because I see a lot of people crash landing with their diets because they are changing too much, too fast, and in order for it to stick, we have to take slow baby steps, for it to be a real lifestyle change.

I am living proof (as are you and many others reading this) that this works :).

screwdestiny said...

Great post. I recently cut out candy and ice cream from my diet because I used to very rarely eat them, but I found myself starting to eat them regularly, and they're both just terrible for the body. So I cut them out because I knew I wouldn't miss them that much, and my body is thanking me for it.

Tricia0509 said...

I started writing down my calorie consumption upon your advice two years ago when I started Turbo. I realized some days I was over eating and others I wasn't eating enough. Once balancing my diet and of course continuing my turbo, I lost 36lb lbs on my 5'4 frame.....I am tight all over and yes I have abs!!!. Turbo is my addiction and I'll never break the habit.

Anonymous said...

First thank you for being and doing what you do!
I am wondering, about the bodybugg and reporting food. I hae been doing that and it seems I have underreported the food, sinvce my progress is less than my reporting should show. So when I go to the cefeteria for Lunch and I have a whole wheat bun with gouda cheese and some salad, how can I report the actual amounts and calories etc. What I did was look in bodybugg program and assume that it was a normal sized bun (1 piece) etc. Also fo little snacks like gummibears, do the calories in bodybugg differ a lot from other types and could that make such a difference? I hope you have an idea, how to help me accounting for the difference between reported nutrition and progress.
But anyways thanks to you I am not eating much of the junk I used to eat anymore and I am more fit than ever (since I am 16) ;-)so thank you already!

Granite Gourmet said...

Chalene, you're a godsend, not just for fitness but for shaping up one's life! Thanks for what you do!

Quick question, do you count the calories from your veggies? Most diet plans I have been on allow you unlimited leafy greens (starchy vegs like potatoes, corns, beets, carrots are limited). Now that I am getting down closer and closer to my goal weight, I find that I have to really watch those calories extra closely. But I'm not sure if I should also start counting the leafy green cals. Thoughts?

Mrs. Brandi Shepherd said...

So I have heard you talk a lot about Turbo Jam, but I do Chalean Extreme. I do NOT do any type of choreography well...I am so uncoordinated that the warm-ups in CE gave me fits in the beginning. (Actually I am a teacher and have about ten teachers doing CE with me.) It just makes me wonder if you still believe in CE, or if it was a program developed for money. I am hoping you genuinely believe in CE and would love to hear some reassurng words. Thanks for all of your motivation!

Chalene Johnson said...

You hope I believe in it?? Huh? I guess you haven't gotten to know me well yet. So let me give you a quick insight..

But before I do...I want you and your fellow teachers know that I love you! I love teachers! You are the most incredible, influential, self-less people on the planet!

Extreme is a program I developed over 2 years ago and I teach 3x a week here locally. The reason why I most frequently speak of Turbo Jam and Turbo Kick is because I have been doing those programs for over 13 years and have literally millions of people who do them. Bigger audience. CE just came out this year and wont go on tv until later this month, which is why I often speak to Turbo. However, if you look at all of my posts you will see several which reference CE.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I think that as you read more you'll understand that I dont do ANYTHING unless I 100% believe in it. I am lucky enough to say that I dont have to, nor will I ever do ANYTHING just for the money.

If I don't believe in it... I wont promote or be a part of it :)

I hope that helps!


Mrs. Brandi Shepherd said...

Chalene, thanks so much for responding! By no means did I mean to imply that you did CE for money but more concerned that the passion you first had for CE had dwindled after time, although I see how that may have been how I came across. This is the second round of CE for me and the first for these ladies. I am telling them to be patient and give it three months to see results, but also do not want to mislead them. Therefore, I just wanted to make sure you still believed in the program as much as you originally did. We all LOVE CE and what it has done for us as a team of teachers and our self-esteem. Thanks for motivating me so I can in turn moti ate this awesome group of ladies. God bless.

Mindy Kinsella said...

Chalene I follow you on twitter, facebook, blogger, and just subscribed to you youtube and I just wanted to THANK YOU for sharing all this information with everyone. You truly inspired me to be a better person not only in fitness but just in my life in general. I am one of those people that isn't organized, I forget to do things, I have a hard time being on time or having a schedule and as you can tell by reading this I ramble and my ADD kicks in most often than not hehe. Now that I have read all your helpful blogs and lectures I make a to do list which is a must in my life for me and I stick to it. I am so much happier and things actually get done I use to never find time to hang up all the clothes or organize all the mail daily and I just find time to do EVERYTHING now. I also recently became a beachbody coach (actually Jenelle is my sponsor and she is so sweet and helpful I LOVE HER) and I have my list of things to do daily/weekly and my monthly goals and I KNOW I am going to rock it! Thanks again for everything and Im glad God blessed me with finding you and your sister : )