If you want some workout motivation, you have only to check out Chris Powell in his hit ABC series, Extreme Weight Loss. His gorgeous co-host and wife, Heidi, will help you work up a sweat, too.

Along with her husband, this sexy fitness coach has a spinoff series, Extreme Weight Loss: Love Can’t Weight, in which the couple help engaged couples slim down before their weddings, as well as a web series on ABC.com. The dynamic duo also has a book coming out later this year, Extreme Transformation: Lifelong Weight Loss in 21 Days.

Looking to lean out yourself? Check out her top fitness tips and more in this exclusive Q&A.

“Our body weight is one of the best gyms we have. It’s built-in machinery, built-in weight that is resistant.”

Give us your top five fitness tips to get back in shape.
1. Less is more: Make a small promise to yourself. So instead of huge goals, where you say you are going to work out an hour a day, five days a week, start small. You can start with just five minutes a day. And then you can build on that. Anyone can do five minutes. You will feel great about yourself, and it’s so much better than nothing! Anything additional is icing on the cake.

2. Add an extra quart of water to your daily regime: Ninety-five percent of human beings are chronically dehydrated. And when we are dehydrated, our bodies actually think we are hungry. And really, it’s that mechanism in our brain that’s thirsty and we just don’t know it! So drink more water.

3. Reduce your sugar intake: I am not going to say cut sugar out, because that is unrealistic. If we say cut it out, you are only going to want sugar! So cut it down a little bit.

4. Cut your portions down: Super easy. Cut your portions down so you are eating five smaller meals a day.

5. Eat breakfast: Most of us have such a hard time eating breakfast. And what that does is slow our metabolism down and bring us to this red zone later in the day. We are starving and we are at work and there is stuff around the office. We grab those doughnuts or whatever is there, instead of actually eating what we need to eat. If you prepare in advance, it’s so much easier to make sure you are eating breakfast, eating five meals, drinking your water, moving for five minutes a day.

What do you do to work out?
When I am not chasing my kids, I go by that five minutes a day idea. And there are days where I get an hour in. I struggle like any other person to get in the gym. So I tell myself, hey, anyone can do five minutes, I am going to go out there and do it. And yea, I might not burn a ton of calories but eventually, I feel like a champ. And I am more likely to do it the next day.

If we can’t get to the gym, what can we do at home?
My favorite thing to do in the house is this four-minute workout routine called Tabata. You pick one move, like push-ups. You do twenty seconds on, so 20 seconds of pushups, and 10 seconds of rest. You repeat that eight times for four minutes. It sounds so easy because it’s only four minutes, but believe me, at the end of the four minutes, your chest, shoulders and triceps are smoked! The best part is, if you are feeling good, you can do another four minutes! Pop up and do Tabata squats! Our body weight is one of the best gyms we have. It’s built-in machinery, built-in weight that is resistant.


Do you believe in minimizing your calorie intake?
Absolutely not. Women should never drop below 1,200 calories per day and men should never drop below 1,500. Even that is so low. I eat 2,000 calories per day because I am trying to maintain. I take my resting metabolic rate and I add in about what I burn each day. The more we deprive ourselves of calories and food, the more our bodies are going to get used to it. We end up storing body fat because our bodies think we are hibernating, and it turns into this big, ugly mess. So take those 2,000 calories for a healthy man, that is maybe not working out, and 1,800 for a woman, spread it throughout the day, and do five small meals. That way we are constantly feeding that metabolism. And you are golden. It’s amazing how much you can actually eat and still stay lean.

What would you tell a guy who wants to look lean and mean for a date?
If you haven’t ever carb cycled, you have to start! It really primes our bodies for fat loss. The day before you go on that date, cut out carbs. Only one day, because our body needs carbs! So lower your carb and sodium intake and do some light walking or running. Keep moving. We don’t realize how much water we store in our bodies because of excessive salt and sugar.

What healthy snack would you recommend?
There are a few that I love, like Quest Bar. It’s the only bar that we allow our people to eat on a low-carb day. It says there are carbs in it, but it’s mostly fiber, so they are non-impact carbs. I love the peanut butter Power Crunch bar—it is so delicious. And there is one wrapped in fudge too! And Kind Bars, you can’t go wrong with them!

What’s a great sport guys can do to stay fit?
Whatever you love to do, that’s what you should do. I am a gymnast at heart. When I was 16, I was doing gymnastics and I still love it now! Chris loves MMA. If it’s a sport you enjoy, you are going to stick to it for the rest of your life. So find what it is that you love, whether it’s running, swimming, tennis, gymnastics, and just stick with it!

Join thousands of men and women who are dressing up for a good cause. Go formal with Made Man and Career Gear on Friday, October 9th to help empower men in need with resources, training and suits they can use to rejoin the workforce. Because for every photo posted to Instagram or Twitter and tagged #FormalFriday, we’ll donate a dollar to Career Gear. Learn more at mademan.com/formal-friday.