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Celebrity trainer's 'Total Body Transformation' supercharges weight loss

Take off the pounds and keep them off.
Random House

Bye, bye fat: hello, fabulous. Michelle Bridges is the celebrity trainer of Australia’s "The Biggest Loser." Now she's created a complete body transformation designed to supercharge weight loss. Result: You can take off the pounds and keep them off permanently. It's all detailed in her new book: "Total Body Transformation: Lose Weight Fast-and Keep It Off Forever!" (click for details).

What you get:

  • Diet details that range from delicious recipes to tasty meal plans.
  • Workouts that teach you how to get maximize results in minimal time.
  • Motivation to get you going and keep up the momentum.

In an exclusive interview, Michelle shared her insights. When it comes to counting calories versus counting carbohydrates, Michelle says:

It is an interesting question, and I do a little bit of both really. I work a lot with calories: all of my recipes will tell you how many calories are found within the recipe. In addition, I work with my heart rate monitor everyday, and I encourage my clients to do that too, so that they can see how many calories they are burning throughout the day.

I also tend to restrict the amount of carbohydrates during certain periods of the day (like the end of the day.) The thing with carbohydrates is that a lot of people don’t really know much about carbohydrates, and when people think of carbs they straight away think of the dense carbohydrates: they think of pasta, of bread, and they think of rice. In reality, fruit are carbohydrates and vegetables are carbohydrates as well. So there are plenty of carbohydrates in that genre found within my recipe plans.

Dense carbohydrates can be high in calories, but can also be high in energy as well, which is great if you are going to go on a very big run! As such, I still have carbohydrates in my diet, but I basically start to restrict them as the day progresses, reducing the amount when we don’t particularly need them for energy. So I have them more in the morning and less at night.

Portion sizes play a key role in taking off the pounds, says Michelle. She suggests dividing up your plate into food group sections.

"I like to keep things really simple, and I think my clients really appreciate that. When I talk about portion sizes, I take a look at their plate, and divide the plate up - so half the plate should be your vegetables, then the other half of the plate should be divided into quarters. A quarter should be carbohydrates like beans, and maybe some fats like avocado. The other quarter should be your proteins. That might be fish, chicken, or meat."

How much should you exercise? Michelle says:

I am a big fan of regular exercise and I actually have my clients do 6 days a week. A lot of people gasp in horror when I say “you are going to be exercising six days a week”. But what that means is that you are not going to be training like an Olympic athlete every single day – rather, that you’re active. What I try to do is break it up, so three out of the six days, I would suggest an intense workout, and two days out of the six will be moderate, and one day out of the six might be passive, like a hike or walk.

Now the reason why I ask people to do six days a week is because it sets up habit and routine and I am a major fan of habits and routine. You just get into the grove - its like brushing your hair every day, its like brushing your teeth every day, its like making your bed every day, you get into the habit. You don’t have to set the world on fire every single training session – I mean come on, if you had to go into every training session, six days a week doing that, you wouldn’t want to do it! So I take the pressure off people and allow them to have some days where they are a little easy or even passive, but it sets up a routine, and consistency, and that is what clients need in order to see results.

We also asked Michelle to share her own favorite recipe. Get the details below. And get more information on Michelle's new book, including how to order, by clicking here for "Total Body Transformation: Lose Weight Fast-and Keep It Off Forever!"

"One of my favorite recipes is a stir-fry. It is quick to prepare, nutritious, and allows you to use a wide variety of veggies, proteins, and seasonings! I usually include 5 vegetables, 3 spices, and 1 protein (meat or tofu). For most of my combos, the calories add up to around 300!

Here are a few options:

Protein: firm tofu, free-range chicken breast, shrimp

Veggies: onion, broccoli, baby bok choy, broccolini, red pepers, snow peas, Chinese mushrooms, scallions, asparagus, string beans, eggplant, baby corn

Spices/Herbs: ginger, garlic, chiles, cilantro

Directions: Spray a nonstick wok with olive oil & heat until hot. Cook the meat or tofu, stirring until constantly, for 2 minutes or until browned (cooking time will vary depending on type of meat). Remove and set aside in a bowl. Give wok another light spray, brown the onion and garlic, then toss in the ginger, chile, and vegetables and cook for 2 minute until tender but still crisp. Overcooked veggies taste like c**p, so keep them moving in the wok. Add soy or teriyaki and meat or tofu plus any juices, and cook for one minute.

My secret to a good stir-fry? Have all of your ingredients prepared before you start, and keep the wok hot!

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