By Suzanne Fox
FRANCO’S LOSE DAT CHALLENGE
When we decided to put Devin Alexander, the chef of The Biggest Loser on our cover, it seemed like a no brainer to write about our local biggest loser program at Franco’s called Lose Dat.
In an effort to jump-start my weight loss, I decided to join the group and write about my experience. Man, was I in for a big surprise! The Lose Dat program is not just a weight loss challenge that you participate in at your leisure. It’s a way of life for eight weeks and hopefully, if you are on the right track, a complete lifestyle change. Besides, you wouldn’t have signed up if you didn’t need a lifestyle change, right?
First things first. Finding the right trainer is important. In my case, it was a simple choice, Inspire Health Magazine’s exercise guru, Courtney Farnet.
The big surprise came when I found out the workouts were not Monday and Friday as I anticipated, they were every day. Yes, that’s right, every day of the week. Roll out of bed at 5:30 a.m., ready to roll at 6:15. Mondays and Fridays weren’t the only days, they were the hardest days! Circuit training with Courtney, oh joy! Stair climbing, kettle bells, medicine balls, leg lifts, squats, planks and the dreaded burpee. I discovered early on that you need to be in tip top shape before you start a rigorous team training program like Lose Dat. Don’t expect to use it to get healthy. You must be healthy before you start and use the program to get in shape. In my case, I was coming off shoulder surgery, so I had to substitute exercises for planks and burpees.
I think the Lose Dat program is great for those who are having trouble motivating themselves to start a weight loss program.
Here’s what I learned:
Get a complete physical before you start a strenuous weight loss program, especially if you are over the age of 50.
The “Team” is the key. The “Team” is the reason you have willpower not to eat that bag of potato chips. The “Team” is your motivator. They are why you show up and ultimately, don’t quit.
Weight loss is 80 percent what you eat and 20 percent exercise. The nutrition classes that came with the program were great! The things I learned will last a lifetime. Most importantly, protein and fiber are essential for maintaining muscle mass when you are working out like a banshee. It’s sort of unnerving to get on the scale and find out you lost muscle, not fat.
You can’t exercise, starve yourself and have decent results. There has to be a proper balance. You must eat enough calories, enough protein and fiber, and the right amount of carbs to have success. Sounds complicated doesn’t it?
This formula from Ochsner Dietician Carrie Gardache will help. Your goal weight multiplied by 10 will give you the amount of calories you can have per day. Your goal weight multiplied by .5 will give you the maximum number of carbohydrates you should eat to accomplish your goal weight. Using a fitness app like MyFitnessPal or Weight Watchers® keeps you focused. An activity tracker helps you track your calories burned and also your heart rate during your workout.
All in all, the Lose Dat program was a great life lesson and wonderful experience. Even though I only lost 12 pounds, I lost 10.5 total inches., 3 inches off my bust, 4.5 inches off my waist and 3 inches off my hips. I feel better knowing what to do and how to shed the excess weight through healthy diet and exercise. I, like most of my team, am not finished with my weight loss journey. The eight week program was just the beginning.