Wednesday, April 10, 2013

BIGGEST LOSER: Jackson Carter's Weight Loss Tips

Jackson Carter working out post- Biggest Loser
Jackson Carter knows a lot about losing weight. Not only did he lost 138 pounds during this past season of "The Biggest Loser," he's lost another 10 pounds since the finale.
I interviewed Jackson, who lives in Layton, Utah, last week for this story in the Standard-Examiner. And I did a separate blog post where he dished a little about the show and whether Jillian is really THAT mean.
Of course we all want to know his weight loss magic bullet, but unfortunately, there isn't one. It boils down to exercising 60-90 minutes per day and eating mainly lean protein and vegetables. I watched Jackson's homemade circuit training routine — jumping rope, burpees, weightlifting, and throwing a medicine ball against the wall,  and he kept up a pretty intense pace. It's not a leisurely stroll on the treadmill, but it's less strenuous than the 4-8 hours per day of exercise the contestants put in while at the "Biggest Loser" ranch. 
Here are some tips that Jackson shared to help get into  weight-loss mode.  
Burpees are part of Jackson Carter's circuit training.

The Biggest Loser" starts people off with intense workouts... in fact, the first day Jackson fell off the treadmill and had to have an oxygen mask. But that's not the way to do it in the real world.

- Put yourself first: "Something I learned on the ranch is that I have to make myself a priority," he said. "My health had to come before anything else. For every hour of volunteering I do, I spend 15 minutes working out."
Jackson Carter's circuit training post-Biggest Loser. 

Compete  against yourself: In an upstairs corner of the Clearfield Aquatics Center where Carter did his circuit routine. he timed himself, and then tried to beat his previous time. 
The key, he said, is finding out where your fitness level is and then surpassing it. "It took me 22 minutes to do a mile when I started on the ranch.  I just finished a mile in 8.42 seconds a few days ago. Don't be discouraged with your first number, look forward to your next number."
Control stress: "Stress will make you hold onto weight like nothing else," he said. "Take some time out and pull yourself out of a stressful situation if you are trying to get your health in order. That's why some people go on vacations and actually lose weight."
Monitor yourself: He still wears  a Bodymedia device on his arm that tracks how many calories he uses throughout the day.
"It's one of the most helpful tools that we got on the ranch," he said. "We needed to know how many calories we were expending, because it takes 3,500 calories to burn a pound of fat." 

Plan ahead: He grocery shops with a list, and spends a few hours once a week prepping veggies like carrots, celery and broccoli to store in plastic grab-and-go "baggies." Knowing he has healthy food already prepared curbs any temptation to stop at the drive-through.
"In my gym bag I have a whole arsenal of things  — a baggie of almonds for a good, satisfying crunch and a good protein. Also hummus and pita chips, or a dried vegetable such as dehydrated sweet potatoes for dipping. And low-fat string cheese."
Go lean. "Dolvett's big advice was 'lean protein and vegetables to lose the weight.' He probably said that as many times as he said my name. So my dinner plate will be 50 percent green vegetables, and a protein of some sort." 
Breakfast is often eggs, maybe spinach topped with a little cheese, and toast. "Carbs are a good thing to eat in the morning because you can spend the rest of the day burning them off," Carter said.
Calories count. He tries to eat about 2,000 calories a day, "But it's a little bit tough when it's 2,000 calories of vegetables and lean meats like turkey or chicken or lean cuts of beef.  That's a lot of bang for your buck."
Curb cravings. "Cravings are never going to go away.  There are times that I could definitely go for a piece of cake or French fries, but it's a matter of visualizing.  I keep a pair of my size 42 pants in my room. No packet of fries is worth going back to that. It's not a matter of diet anymore. This is my life now."
Strategize. " My friends are never going to stop going to dinner, and since I want to hang out with them, I get creative a little bit. I can find things on the menu that stay within what I need to eat."
And, he fills up on a big serving of steamed veggies right before he heads for the restaurant.
Be accountable: ""A trainer definitely will push you harder than you think you need to be pushed, and it's someone to be accountable to," he said. "If you can afford one, it's great investment. But if you can't, find someone to be accountable to — a friend, one of your kids, a buddy or spouse.  You are less likely to fall off the wagon."
Start small so you don't get discouraged and sore.

 "It worked for us because we had trainers," he said. "But for people who don't have trainers, if you have 30 minutes, go for a walk. It will clear your head and reduce your stress levels, and make you want to eat better. You have to learn to walk before you sprint. It's the little things that add up to big changes." 

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