ABC NEWS : your weight- loss and fitness questions.

Trainer to the Stars Answers Your Questions


One Body One Life, Holistic Fitness Celebrity fitness trainer Gregory Joujon-Roche helped Tobey Maguire bulk up for "Spider-Man" and Brad Pitt get toned for "Troy." Throwback : Joujon-Roche answers your weight- loss and fitness questions.

Question: Whenever I start working out, doing mainly activities that build muscle, myappetite increases to the point where I'm constantly fighting hunger.Needless to say, it's a losing battle. How do I prevent this?



Houston, TX

Gregory Joujon-Roche: Hey, Noelle: When you train to build muscle or do most any type of intense exercise, your body makes metabolic adjustments. Would you believe hunger is actually your metabolism and that hunger is a good thing? It means your body responds quickly to exercise and it's a wonderful opportunity, not a negative at all. The key is to propel this hunger to help you, not block you.

Here are some quick tips: Eat half a banana or apple before you train and the second half after. But the exercise session needs to be at least 30 minutes and pretty intense.Second, eat four ounces of high-quality lean protein and as many green vegetables as you can. This will provide the protein to repair the muscle and add extra fiber to keep your metabolism busy while keeping you lean. Third, go get a protein powder with little or no carbohydrates. I want you to have a scoop mixed with only water in the morning and a scoop before bed. These adjustments should help stabilize your hunger while again keeping you lean. Also, a lot of time hunger can be a sign of dehydration, so drink lots of water. Finally, thank your body for communicating with you so efficiently. It's a great thing, Noelle.

Question: I'm having surgery on my foot to remove a bone spur. Normally, I walk four to five days a week for at least 45 minutes to an hour. Now that I won't be able to enjoy walks for six weeks, what exercises would be good for me to do while I have limited walking movement?Carrie Woodell

Geneva, FL

Gregory Joujon-Roche: Hi Carrie: I hope the surgery was successful. Your walks sound fantastic. and yes, you need to keep your body moving. Carrie, this will take a little effort, but if possible, you need to find a piece of cardiovascular equipment called a recumbent bike. Every gym has one, and if you don't belong to a gym, a temporary membership might be the answer. The recumbent bike is perfect because it allows you to put very little pressure on the pedals and you can position your feet away from the sensitive healing area of your foot. Maybe even a friend has a bike you could use, or you could even buy one, new or used. They are so popular and easy to find. You might not even have to wear shoes on the bike. Check with your gym, but a pair of sandals might work well. The second biggest advice here is you really need to watch your diet. It's so easy to overeat and before you know it, six weeks of modified exercise and poor eating really add up. Good luck, and I wish all the best for a speedy recovery and returning to those great outdoor walks.

Question: I am a 65-year-old grandma who lost her oldest son a little over a year ago, and am in the process of working on a "new me." I have been overweight for years and have developed an "apron" of fat that I need to get rid of. I have lost 45 pounds since Aug. 31, 2005, walk every day, joinedCurves for exercise and would like to know if there is a particular exercise that will help me get rid of this apron of fat.

Patricia Jaseck

Houghton Lake, Michigan

Gregory Joujon-Roche: Hi, Patricia: Sorry about your loss but so happy you are working on the new you. The key to dropping weight and, specifically, around your belly is a combination of three things -- diet, cardiovascular exercise and resistance training. Patricia, because of your age you need to really focus on your diet and then your cardio, which in your case is walking. Try to watch eating after 8 p.m., and try to increase the walks a bit in both length and in pace. Curves is an excellent choice. Try to do the circuit they provide. This is your third element called resistance training, and it will certainly help make a difference. Remember, it's the combination that creates the synergy you need to change your body and your belly, not one specific magical move.

Question: I am having trouble staying with a workout routine. I ordered the CoreSecrets ball and I absolutely love it, but there is a problem. I canbarely move the next day. I believe it is because I'm not stretching well.Could you please give me a good stretching routine that might help?Thank You!

Kelly Hadden

Syracuse, NY

Gregory Joujon-Roche: Hi Kelly: Yes, the ball work you're doing is called ply metrics, and the combination of balance, agility and exercise can make you very sore indeed. Stretching is very important, but the timing of the stretching even more so. I want you to create your own stretching routine. Just go by feeling and intuition. Only you know where you're tight and the areas you need to focus on. My advice is after you're into your routine and your body is warm, take a break right in the middle of your routine and do some simple stretches. Just a couple basics but hold for one minute each, minimum, then go right back to your routine to keep your heart rate up. Take a break one more time before your routine is over and do two different simple stretches. At the end of your exercise session, stretch for as long as you can, meaning you should stay in one particular stretch and focus on your breathing. Also, try a small piece of pineapple at the end of exercising. It contains an enzyme that helps neutralize your lactic acid, which causes you to feel sore. I had a client training for a film in which he had to build his legs through heavy resistance training, and the only way to help his soreness was for him to stretch after every heavy set. Good luck, don't give up and take care, Kelly.

Question: I water-skied most of my childhood and have large arms and large calves. Will walking increase or maintain my calf size? How can I slim both myarms and legs?


Cecilia, KY

Gregory Joujon-Roche: Hi Jennifer: No, walking will not increase the size of your calves. If your overall body weight is high, then that plays a factor in maintaining your calf size because you're putting a load on your calves. In this case, diet is crucial to get your overall weight down, and you might want to think about using a cardiovascular machine called an elliptical trainer. It has zero impact, and it is an excellent way to burn calories. If that is not an option for you, try to walk in as flowing a manner as you can on a soft surface. For your arms, you should try aeroboxing. This a type of boxing that has zero impact because there is no contact, but the overall exercise is great for toning your arms and overall weight loss.

Question: I am 57 years old. I am 45 pounds.overweight. Is it possible to lose weight at my age? I have difficulty sleeping through the night that my doctorattributes to changes in my hormones. I work full-time as a middle schoolteacher. The stress of my job and the lack of sleep make it difficultfor me to exercise. I am totally exhausted physically and emotionally bythe end of the day. Is it hopeless?


Chatsworth, CA

Gregory Joujon-Roche: Hi, Irene: No, is not impossible for you to lose weight at 57. I promise. The problem here is your hormones. Your doctor should handle this and have a supplement list for you and food guidelines. Exercise is important, but sleep takes priority here. Focus on your diet, and with guidance from your doctor, get your sleep regulated without any nonnatural sleep aids. If you have any time on the weekend or maybe even on a school night, try to take a yoga class. You need restorative exercise right now, which means yoga . But don't take a power yoga class. I want you to learn some basic asanas from yoga and do them upon rising and before you go to sleep. It will do wonders, I am telling you. You need to restore your chi energy and bring down your stress. You can run everything by your doctor, of course, and do some homework here with what I am saying.

Question: I am 42-year-old, Latina woman, 5 feet, eight inches and weighapproximately 170. I also have an underactive thyroid and takemedication. What should be my ideal weight, and how can I boost mymetabolism naturally with ethnic foods? Thanks

Luz Marcano

Springfield, MA

Gregory Joujon-Roche: Hey, Luz: Wow, what questions! Your ideal weight has many factors, but if you want a number it's around 125 pounds. Again, you need personal assessment to give you an accurate answer here. When it comes to boosting metabolism, you need to eat right and get exercising -- nothing fancy, just committed general cardiovascular conditioning three to five times a week for as long as you can (minimum 30 minutes). You need to stick to lean protein, four ounces a serving, and lots of vegetables. You can spice your foods but stay away from starches like rice, tortillas or potatoes. Hope that helps, Luz.

Question: My big problem is my abs. I just can't seem to get them slimmer no matter how well I stick to my diet. Any suggestions? And what can I do to keep myself motivated? When I dropped the weight before it was because I could no longer fit into a bridesmaid gown, and needed to drop the weight fast.Maureen

Devon, PA

Gregory Joujon-Roche: Hi, Devon: You mentioned diet but no exercise. You need both, of course. Besides your cardiovascular exercise, try to take a group exercise class or an abs class. If that is not your thing, how about taking up a discipline like martial arts or kickboxing? My point behind this is not only do you need variety, but you need intensity and camaraderie. Sounds like the bridesmaid dress was a shared experience for the wedding, so you were motivated through friendship and maybe a little vanity. Group exercise or a new discipline will bring out motivating elements and commitments, guaranteed, as well as self-empowerment, which is the ultimate motivator.

Question: I am beginning my weight-loss program. I started with a one-mile walk on my treadmill this morning. I need a jump-start exercise program. Help!


Glasgow, KY

Gregory Joujon-Roche: Hi, Tresia: Your wish is my command, and I'm so proud you have started a program toward weight loss and overall health. OK, let's start with the treadmill. The next time you're on it, let's mix things up a bit. After you're warmed up and you're at a walking pace, increase the incline all the way to 4. Now I want you to hold the handles on your treadmill and pretend you're pushing a truck. Really dig in to the treadmill. Walk low with your butt, not your knees. Try to walk like this for one to two minutes and really breathe. Your heart rate will skyrocket. After you lower the treadmill back to flat, take your time to recover. When you feel ready, make sure your pace is not too fast, and put your arms straight out to your sides, like airplane wings, and do small circles forward or backward. Try to count to 100, but stop if needed. Your balance is everything here. Try to repeat each of these twice, and you'll certainly jump-start your exercise program. Take care.

Question: How do you get yourself motivated to exercise daily? I begin toexercise, lose weigh,t then I find excuses not to exercise.


Oxford, Ohio

Gregory Joujon-Roche: Hey, Richard. Sounds like a couple factors going on here. First of all, you need to change your exercise routine. You sound bored. Second, why are you bored? It's not the exercise; it's the routine of it and the perspective you're taking in with you. Change your perspective, change your experience. It's that simple. Getting a little deeper, usually clients of mine who are bored are not in their body, meaning they are not focused and not present when they train. The mind is cluttered with other life issues and responsibilities. Richard, try to honor your workouts a bit more, and get more from them besides just losing weight. These other aspects will keep it fresh and cleansing for you. If you think I am full of fairy dust on this one, I respect that. I am from Hollywood, after all. In that case, maybe do a sport or any activity that requires a little more form and function to change your experience this time around.

Question: Some people say they have a pear-shaped body. I have a Clorox-bottle body. My waist is a 20 and my buttocks are a 45. I take a size 8 on top and a14 on the bottom. What exercises do I do to minimize the size of my butt, upper and lower legs?


Bow, NH

Gregory Joujon-Roche: Your body loves to funnel everything in one place -- your lower body. You need to break up this cycle through a nonimpact form of exercise. Swimming is a great exercise because it's major cardio and nonimpact. If you can, grab a kickboard and kick across the pool as well as swim some, too. You want to swim for long durations if possible, and it takes some practice to get there. Also, you might want to try acupuncture for internal balance and proper circulation.

Question: I have lower-back pain and would like to know if yoga or Pilates wouldbe good for me. I currently walk on a treadmill and do strength trainingbut would like to vary my workouts. What would you suggest?

Ann Snook

Fort Wayne, IN

Gregory Joujon-Roche: Hi, Ann. Back pain? Please be sure to get checked by a doctor or chiropractor so you know what you're dealing with. As for exercise, yes, Pilates is amazing for your back because it establishes integrity through your entire midsection without ever compromising your back. Once your midsection is strong, your back can relax and not take on so much, so to speak. Thus, no more back pain through developing strength and mobility of all the surrounding areas.Yoga is great for flexibility and strength. You just have to be careful and take the proper yoga that supports your back, not challenges it too much. Start off with a slow-paced, lower-level yoga and work your way to the desired level. Pilates will adjust to your level but your yoga won't unless you take a private class. Just remember, with yoga there is no right or wrong. Take your time and go by feeling, not how flexible you can or think you should be.



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