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Chris Powell unveils weight loss keys: Woman loses 200 pounds on low carb diet

Get weight loss tips from Chris and Heidi Powell.
Get weight loss tips from Chris and Heidi Powell.
Photo by Rachel Murray

When it comes to fitness trainers who take pride in the success of their clients, Chris Powell ranks high on the list. Star of "Extreme Weight Loss," Chris has taken hundreds of individuals through transformations that are both mental and physical, helping them lose weight as they overcome personal challenges. Now he and his wife Heidi are sharing what they see as the three keys to weight loss in an August 11 interview with Access Hollywood.

"Nutrition is the driving force behind fat loss, behind getting super lean, sexy and ripped muscles. Once you get your nutrition dialed in, then you use exercise to accelerate the results," said Chris. And Heidi agrees that diet trumps fitness when it comes to weight loss and a sleek physique.

"So many people think that they have that spare tire around their waist and they think 'Gosh, I've got to do more crunches and abs.' But, you can’t spot reduce," declared Heidi. "You lose fat globally and the way to do it through what you’re eating."

A mother to six healthy children, Heidi revealed the three essentials to weight loss. "It really is reducing sugar, reducing salt and drinking lots of water. You've got to start in the kitchen – you can’t exercise out a bad diet, you just can't," she said.

Chris says that those three keys are the same whether you need to lose five pounds or 50. "First off, drink more water. We always aim for about a gallon a day," he said.

The second step: Slash your sugar intake. "This is very, very important because we eat way too much sugar and sugar is not good for the human body," he cautioned. And in addition to reducing sugar and salt, Chris emphasizes the importance of boosting protein.

"Eat protein first at every meal. Protein is the most satisfying marconutrient of them all. It will make you immediately full, so it takes you out of the red zone when it comes to eating your carbs later," he said.

Chris and Heidi believe in the benefits of carb cycling plans, which involve alternating high carb days with low carb diet meals. But they believe that exercise is also essential for health and weight loss.

"We need to take care of our bodies – we only have one," said Heidi. She and Chris recommend making the most of your gym time with whole body movements. In addition, Chris is a fan of CrossFit.

For those who have significant amounts of weight to lose, however, taking that first step into a gym can be daunting. And when Kathleen Riser weighed 350 pounds, her fear of being ridiculed came true when she overheard a trainer at her gym saying, "There’s another one who will break our equipment."

Kathleen left that gym, but she didn't lose her determination to change. Now, with the help of a low carb diet, she has lost 200 pounds, reported CNN on August 11.

Now a retired teacher, Kathleen spent years of her life helping children learn to improve their lives. But she neglected herself.

"Every morning it was a McDonald’s sausage biscuit or fast-food breakfast," she said. "I ate a lot of French fries, and a bunch of white bread. Really I was just a constant eater."

At her highest weight, Kathleen weighed 383 pounds and had problems climbing stairs. "I was on a one-way street to dying,"she said.

So after finding a new gym with a compassionate trainer, she resolved to change. Her trainer helped her plan low carb diet meals. She drank a protein shake for breakfast. Lunch and dinner consisted of protein and vegetables, following the "Protein Power" model.

And just as Chris and Heidi emphasize, Kathleen eliminated sugar as well as processed foods and white flour. She currently weighs less than 180 pounds and is still losing weight.

"I believe in myself again," she said. "Yes, there are of course days I get discouraged, but that is why it is so important to have someone around to help hold you accountable and love you."

Kathleen's story illustrates what "Extreme Weight Loss" trainers Heidi and Chris Powell repeatedly emphasize. Losing weight must involve the mind as well as the body. And when someone is overweight and struggling with self-esteem, finding the right support system can make a dramatic difference.