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Eat Your Way to a Slimmer Silhouette
by: Shawn Ferrando
Great tasting food doesn't always mean more fat.
Great tasting food doesn't always mean more fat.

Q: I am starting a diet, limiting myself to 1000-1500 calories per day. Is it feasible to try to lose a few pounds first, and then start an exercise program?

-H. Crosby, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

A: First off, I recommend having a physical done before you start on any type of exercise/diet program. I also recommend focusing on losing the weight slowly and correctly. The safest total weight loss per week is 1 pound. There is 3,500 calories in a pound of body fat, so in order to lose 1 pound, you simply need to create a 500 calorie deficit per day. Over the course of a week, this equals out to 3,500 calories or 1 pound.
The best way to hit this 500 number every day is to create a 250 calorie deficit through your diet and another 250 calorie deficit through cardio exercise.

Remember, you want to fuel your body with high nutrient foods and keep your metabolism up throughout the day. The worst thing you can do is limit your food intake to severely which will cause your body to go into starvation mode and hold onto your body fat reserves. Your body is thinking it’s getting ready for a period of famine and will hold onto all the energy it can to survive this period.

I recommend eating at least 1,500 calories per day and make sure you're eating "clean" and nutritious food. You want to make sure to eliminate all the excess and empty calories from your daily intake. The best way to do this is to write down everything you eat. Keeping a diet journal is very beneficial and keeps you accountable for what you are eating through out the day. With busy schedules, many people forget what they eat and snacking and nibbling can quickly add up calories.

I would focus on lean protein sources (chicken breast, turkey breast, egg whites) and non-white starchy carbs such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta and boiled red potatoes.
Make sure you are adding in fruits and vegetables and try to stay away from eating fruit at night.

I recommend starting on a light exercise program after your physical has been completed. You will experience the best results from a cardio program along with a nutritious diet when compared to only focusing on your diet. To create the 250 calorie deficit for cardio exercise choose something that is right for you for example, walking, a stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical trainers, or aerobic classes. Bottom line, choose something you enjoy so you will stick with it and have a greater chance in achieving your goal!

949.292.1799 | 30555 Trabuco Canyon Rd. # 101, Trabuco Canyon, CA

Owner of Shawn Ferrando Studio Fitness, Shawn Ferrando, has over 24 years professional experience in the health and fitness industry. Shawn has numerous National certifications including the National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy Of Sports Medicine Advanced Specialization Sports Fitness Specialist, National Academy Of Sports Medicine Certified Core Stabilization Training, O.C.C. Fitness Specialist/Personal Trainer, Apex Certified Trainer, AA Nutrition Education, Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Indoor Cycle Certification. Shawn has extensive experience in rehabilitation training (post injury/pre-post surgery), sport specific training and is CPR/AED Certified through the American Heart Association. Shawn is also a member of the world’s largest associations of Health and Fitness Professionals, Idea Health and Fitness Association and the American College Of Sports Medicine. To contact Shawn directly, please email her at

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