Get Fit For 2013: Chris Powell Answers 'gma' Viewers' Questions

Chris Powell[1], the uber-trainer who has helped people lose hundreds of pounds[2] and change their lives on ABC’s ” Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition[3],” appeared on “Good Morning America”[4] today to share his fitness tips and answer your weight loss questions.

Jumpstart Your Weight Loss : CLICK HERE to Ask a Celebrity Trainer a Question! [5]

You Asked, Chris Powell Answered!


Kathy asked: I am addicted to sugar. I have been since about age 13. I will binge on sugar, sometimes up to 1,000 grams per day. What is the best way to break this, and what food will take the craving away until sugar is out of my system?

Chris answered: I personally believe the best approach is not to go cold-turkey. You need to believe that you CAN remove sugar from your life. The only way to realistically do this is a little bit at a time. Right now I want you to think of one source of sugar for your day. Perhaps it is soda. Don’t remove it altogether, but your commitment to yourself should be to remove just one or two sodas a day from your pattern. Once you successfully do this for a week or two, you will begin to realize and BELIEVE that it is possible. Then you’ll be ready to commit to removing a little bit more. Take your time with this. It may take months to eventually come off of sugar altogether, but you will be getting healthier each and every day. Be sure to drink plenty of water, as it is one of the strongest ways to curb cravings – at least half your body weight in ounces daily!


Cassandra from Meridian, Miss., asked: I am 37 years old and morbidly obese. I had a massive heart attack at 35, and another lesser heart attack almost a year later. I am terrified I won’t live to see my 11-year-old daughter grow up. I plan on starting Atkins again because I lost 17 lbs. The first2 weeks I tried it last year. Exercise scares me. I get out of breath so easily and just don’t know what I can do. I have reached my rock bottom. I have to change now. I need your help and know how to teach me a new way to live. Please help me learn how to LIVE!

Chris answered: Pick one thing to change with your nutrition – maybe it is to eat breakfast, maybe it is to drink more water, maybe it is to remove soda from lunch. When it comes to exercise, walk in place while watching TV for just 5 minutes every day. That’s it. That’s how you begin your journey. Once you realize that you can do that, then you will realize that you can do more. This is where it all starts! Just these small changes will change your body more than you can imagine. Little changes over time are the secret to long term weight loss success!

MORE: Extreme Weight Loss: How One Woman Lost 395 Pounds [6]


Frankie from Cape Coral, Fla., asked: Good Morning! I have lost 95 pounds (woot woot)! Since Nov. 1, 2011. I started out by walking, watching what I eat and every day when I walked I would add another street in my neighborhood. I would also do some exercises in my home. I then found a boot camp and started that, 3 days a week. I have a HUGE problem area, my upper arms. They are horrible. With the weight loss, I just have this excess skin that just flaps! At boot camp when I run, you can actually hear it. I intentionally run either faster or slower than fellow campers, again you can hear my arms flapping! Is there ANYTHING I can do aside from surgery (not an option $) that I can do to at least shrink them a little bit? I won’t wear anything strapless because of them. BTW I am 45 years old. Thank You.

Chris answered: First and foremost, a HUGE congratulations on your amazing success!! Here’s the catch – when it comes to the skin, there are two possible ways to tighten it up: surgery, or develop the muscle underneath! It is like blowing up a balloon underneath some wrinkly sheets. It eventually pulls them tight! Depending on how much skin you have, you may only be able to develop the muscle to a certain point – then surgery may need to do the rest. Regardless, you should be DARN PROUD of that skin and the work you put in to get it!!


Danielle from Middlesex, N.J., asked: What are the best foods to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks? Also how long should I stay at the gym for?

Chris answered: Lean proteins, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, some light dairy, and whole grains are the way to go! When at the gym, stay as long as you promise yourself you will be there. This can be 5 minutes or 50 minutes. Remember, any movement is going to send you in the right direction. Health and fitness are totally a choice for a better quality of life – you WANT to do this, you don’t need to!

READ MORE: Chris Powell’s Tips for Eating Carbs to Drop the Pounds[7]


Debbie from San Bruno, Calif., asked: My question for you is what kind of advice can you give to someone with Hashimoto’s disease (underactive thyroid)? I work out three times a week doing kickboxing and boxing, so exercise is not the issue. I eat reasonably healthy, but have an issue with weight, I’m 5-foot-2, 56 years old and weigh about 145 right now. My problem spot has always been my tummy. No matter what I do it never goes away, and weight comes on super fast if I don’t watch it. Any advice?

Chris answered: First and foremost, check with your doctors to make sure your thyroid medication is stabilized. Once it is, you can make a few small changes to your diet to see how your body responds. Try removing most dairy and grains. Some people are sensitive to these foods and they can cause inflammation in the gut, leading to unwanted water retention and poor absorption of your foods. See how that works for you!


Loralee from Ohio asked: I lost 40 pounds on the Atkins diet. Then we got pregnant. After baby arrived I lost all the weight but now it’s back. How does a working mom who works from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. – plus does all the house chores and cooking – get on a good diet again? The Atkins diet just isn’t feasible at this time because of money issues – we can’t buy the expensive meat all the time like before. Any advice would help. By the time I pick up the baby and get home, cook, clean, give a bath and playtime, it’s time to go to bed. I don’t sit around and eat junk. I hardly sit down at all in the evenings. I also have polycystic ovaries so I definitely need to lose weight. Thanks

Chris answered: Have you tried carb cycling? I’m personally a big fan of it, and it yields pretty amazing results! For your protein sources, try eggs, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or whey protein – they are MUCH cheaper than meat, and a LOT easier to prep – especially since you have your hands full with the baby. Because of the PCOS, you should stay away from processed and refined foods, sugar, etc. Keep it to whole grains, vegetables, and healthy fats like avocado, nuts and olive oil. Hope this helps!


Julie from El Dorado, Ariz., asked: What is the best way to maintain your weight once you’ve achieved your ideal weight? I am 5 feet and hover around 107 to 110 pounds. It is very easy for me to be go above and below my ideal weight. Being so short, a few pounds either way can be obvious. My goal is really to target those problem areas and tone and build a little muscle. Currently, I run to stay in shape. Thank you for any advice you can offer.

Chris answered: In my experience, finding “maintenance” is a highly customized process. You must feel rewarded on a regular basis, whether it comes from personal confidence, feedback from others, reward foods or an event (shopping, nails, massage, etc). If you like to run, you should keep running! Make sure it is something that you truly ENJOY, though. If not, maybe it is time to “date” a few other types of exercise (maybe tennis, hiking, rowing, Crossfit?) If you want to “tone and build,” it is time to pick up some iron – that’s the way we can get a muscle to grow. Keep up the great work!

RELATED: Apps to Help With Weight-Loss Resolutions[8]


Dorothy from Princeton, N.J., asked: How do I get started with exercise when knees hurt, I’ve had one knee surgery, back pain and weak hand strength with numb fingers at age 60? Please give me an exercise to do for stomach weight removal that I can handle.

Linda from Exmore, Va., asked: Seven years ago I had gastric bypass surgery and I did super great and am very proud of my accomplishments. I lost 170-something pounds. I weighed 363 and got down to 189 with no problems. I was very happy with my accomplishments because I was able to shop in regular shops/stores and loved to be able to walk without heavy breathing or sweating. After my husband’s death I started to put the weight back on slowly, not realizing until after I reached225 and kept going up, now weighing in at 248. I want and need to lose this weight but I have very bad knees (and am) waiting to have both knee replacements done. I can’t do walking or active workouts. Question: What is the best way to work on losing the weight that will not put pressure on my knees? Also working on changing the foods I eat? I still can not eat large meals at one sitting, plus I live alone. Please help!!!!!

Chris answered: One word: Swim!! Find a local public or private pool nearby and jump in (er, actually use the stairs). You will feel amazing. You will use every muscle in your body. You will absolutely love it! I have worked with several people who couldn’t even walk – had them swim for their entire transformation and they lost 100 to 200 pounds!

‘GMA’ Jumpstart January: Playlists to Stay Motivated During Workouts[9]


Deven from Clearfield, Ky., asked: I am 21 years old, am 5 feet, 2 inches tall and am just about 200 pounds. I recently had a baby. What are some ways that I can start losing baby weight? I would like it to be something I can do at home with my baby.

Chris answered: Congratulations on your baby! How exciting! To lose the baby weight, breast feed if you can (it burns 500 to 600 extra calories every day!) and walk. That is the best place to start. Get a stroller or baby carrier and start doing laps around the area. If weather doesn’t permit or it isn’t safe outside, then simply walking in place while watching TV is actually a pretty darn good workout. Drive those knees up high and keep breathing. Try making it through an entire sitcom – go get ’em!


Debra from Hendersonville, N.C., asked: I’m so discouraged. My doctor has told me I am a stroke or heart attack waiting to happen. Today is my birthday – I am 49 and weigh 334 pounds. I am so self-conscious – I hate going out in public. I am taking medical leave as we discovered how I had let my fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue grow steadily worse, and of course my weight has been a factor in that. My doctor wants me to consider surgery – where they tie in a band or something like that. I have no motivation and I wish I had someone to show me the way, coach me along the way, and urge me on in the difficult days.

Chris answered: Debra – remember, this is your choice! There is no right or wrong decision in this. There will be difficult days; we all have them. That’s life! But you gotta start small. Lost motivation means that you broke promises to yourself and haven’t corrected them yet. You need to believe in yourself again. This can only happen when you start fulfilling the small promises you make to yourself. Pick one thing with your nutrition that you choose to change. Start by moving just 5 minutes a day. Once you realize that you can do those things, you can make bigger promises. Little by little, you will keep bigger promises (and, oh yeah, the number on the scale will start dropping like a rock). But it’s not about the diet and exercise; it’s about keeping the promises to yourself. Let everything else fall into place!

Also Read[10]


  1. ^ Chris Powell (us.lrd.yahoo.com)
  2. ^ helped people lose hundreds of pounds (us.lrd.yahoo.com)
  3. ^ Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition (us.lrd.yahoo.com)
  4. ^ “Good Morning America” (gma.yahoo.com)
  5. ^ Jumpstart Your Weight Loss : CLICK HERE to Ask a Celebrity Trainer a Question! (abcnews.go.com)
  6. ^ MORE: Extreme Weight Loss: How One Woman Lost 395 Pounds (gma.yahoo.com)
  7. ^ Chris Powell’s Tips for Eating Carbs to Drop the Pounds (abcnews.go.com)
  8. ^ Apps to Help With Weight-Loss Resolutions (gma.yahoo.com)
  9. ^ ‘GMA’ Jumpstart January: Playlists to Stay Motivated During Workouts (gma.yahoo.com)
  10. ^ Also Read (abcnews.go.com)

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Chris Powell's New Year's Fitness Tips


  1. Reply

    What Is Are Some Of Your Favorite Weight Loss Tips? What are some of your most succesfull weight loss tips?? I have my few that I live by, but I am looking for some tips on cutting down. Please only share different/ unique tips.
    I know about all the common ones…. lots of water lots of rest six small meals etc.

    thank you so much in advance!

      • HealthNut
      • January 5, 2013

      Hi CollegeGirl

      In my opinion, no weight loss tips are truly successful on their own. Lots of water is not necessarily a good way, because how much water a person needs depends on the BMI of the person. 6 small meals maybe hard at times, especially when you are stuck at school or office and have no chance to eat, and then you need to eat more when you have the chance. Well, dieting is a good way to lose weight, but then it is hard to stick to a diet. For example, something like this:

      2 egg, low fat Cheddar cheese omelette – 320 calories
      2 slices wholemeal toast with thin smear butter – 200 calories
      Large slice melon – 47 calories

      Spicy Turkey Salad recipe – 304 calories

      Muesli or honey nut Health Bar “Sainsbury” – 180 calories

      Baked potato with 100g “Heinz” baked beans &/or Cottage cheese if desired – 300 – 400 calories (350 average)
      Large helping salad fruits &/or vegetables – 100 calories

      Another weight loss tip is to do interval and turbulence exercise.

      Turbulence Training is a fresh plan that requires finishing three 45-minute exercise sessions each week with marginal equipment. It is an increasingly trend-setting fitness plan with the intention of helping you in the reduction of weight.

      Interval training is the fitness world’s equivalent of a visit to the in-laws. The shorter and more intense the visit, the better. An interval is a short period of exercise performed at a given intensity for a specific length of time. Each interval is separated from the next interval by a short rest or lighter activity. There are no strict rules on how long or how intense the interval must be, however, changing the interval length or intensity changes the way your body works and responds to exercise.

      But people have a short willpower. It may be strong at the beginning but will eventually fade as time goes on- as they realize that going on a diet is not actually as easy as they think it is. Of course, the strength of willpower differs from one person to another. This is the reason why there are people who can actually maintain a diet and exercise program for 1 year and there are people who can only maintain it for few months. Nonetheless, willpower is a big factor that dictates someone whether to continue losing weight or not.

      And in my opinion, besides sticking to a diet and exercise plan, it is the ultimate willpower to stop yourself from overeating that is the #1 tip to lose weight. But that is the hardest part if you are accustomed to eating lots of food even though your body does not need it. It is partly because of the delicious taste of the food causing a craving for more. There are certain ways to fight this craving ad I found one that maybe helpful. It is a type of chocolate that can actually suppress your appetite. It will can provide Good Energy that promotes a healthy weight by providing energy while burning fat. And it helps suppress cravings for sugary snacks.

      Good luck!

      PS: Information on the Special Chocolate that I mentioned can be found on the website in the source box. Recently, they are giving away a one month free trial.

  2. Reply

    Can Someone Give Me Some Weight Loss Tips? I do gymnastics and dance. I am a female, 13 yrs, 5’4 and about 130 lbs. I feel gross. I at least want to be 100. I am planning on running in the morning along with an excersize video, at school we run for 5 minutes every day, in the evenings I will take my dogs for a walk, and doing gymnastics/dance stuff downstairs. Can anybody give me any weight loss tips.

      • HealthNut
      • January 5, 2013

      Drink more and more water and don’t eat oily and junk food . Walking, gymnastic and dancing are good way to reduce weight. You will achieve your desired weight in some days.. Keep going..

  3. Reply

    What Are Some Good Work Out Routines And Weight Loss Tips For A 16 Year Old Male? I’m a 16 year old male and I am about 6foot 2 and weight around 185-190lbs. I was wondering what a good work out routine I can start and any good weight loss tips?

      • HealthNut
      • January 5, 2013

      Just get into the habit of swimming every day or two and stick to it.

      Also for a normal (non drastic) diet that works you might want to see:

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