Composing Your Body

Chris Tedesco. Photo by ANTONIO PANTOJA

Chris Tedesco. Photo by ANTONIO PANTOJA

Starting a weight-loss plan can be confusing and very frustrating. There are so many programs out there that claim to be the quickest or most effective solution. So what should you do? Where should you start?

In my 20 years as a personal trainer, I have seen thousands of clients struggle with this same question. I always coach my clients to consider two basic questions: What do you eat and how do you exercise?

First, honestly assess your current eating behaviors. Do you eat out of boredom or stress? Do you have a busy lifestyle with no time to cook a healthy meal? Maybe you have a sweet tooth and can’t go to bed without a little dessert. Or maybe you make reasonable choices but your portions are too big. I’ve seen many clients that had amazing self-control when it came to food but struggled to moderate their alcohol intake, resulting in the consumption of hidden calories.

Over the years, I’ve realized that trying to force someone into a specific diet plan almost always leads to disappointment and failure. Rather than encouraging my clients to eliminate foods from their diet or carry a food scale around in their purses, I concentrate on behavior modification. Emily is a client that came to me a few months ago wanting to lose weight for an anniversary trip to Hawaii. I asked her to keep a food journal for a week and write down everything she ate. Once she started keeping track, she realized she mindlessly ate several handfuls of candy at work every day. She didn’t even realize it! Once she acknowledged the behavior that was setting her back, she could finally start to eliminate it from her daily routine.

The second question to ask yourself is how are you getting your activity each week.

You have probably read articles like this that encouraged you to get active by doing things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking at the back of the lot at the grocery store. Unfortunately, these activities will not make a significant difference for anyone wanting to lose weight. My clients focus on metabolic resistance training (MRT), an exercise philosophy that works to change your body composition. Changing your body composition is different than just losing weight. It shapes and sculpts your body, allowing for a healthier, more attractive form.

MRT builds lean muscle and, at the same time, burns more calories than cardio or weight-only training. This means that, while your scale might not show a dramatic change, the minute you put on your skinny jeans, you will see the results of all your hard work. One thing that deters many of my clients is the number on the scale. The single best thing you can do for yourself is lose the scale and replace it with an item from your closet that you haven’t worn in a long time. Use that dress or those pants as your measurement tool. You will see the results more accurately than looking at the scale. And your friends don’t see the scale anyway, but they will see you looking amazing in your clothes!

By embracing metabolic resistance training and honestly assessing your eating habits, you can see dramatic results just like those of my clients. If you want more help, just call my studio and mention that you are a Voice-Tribune reader. We are happy to offer you two complimentary sessions to help kick off your weight-loss adventure. VT

To reach BodyQuest, call 502.836.6709 or visit

Owner, Personal Trainer at Body Quest Personal Training