Chelsea Handler - How To Lose Weight And Keep It Off.

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I met Mark Macdonald three weeks before my twenthy-seventh birthday, and he changed my life forever. I was sick of starving myself and never losing any weight, and not exactly open to the idea of cutting alcohol out of my life. After spending an hour with Mark, I realized how little I knew about food, and how many bad habits had been formed from my childhood in New Jersey.

Growing up in a household where you would find Twix bars in your nightstand, and where a bowl of freshly made macaroni and cheese was considered an after-school snack, it became clear that I had a lot of mental deprogramming to do. I was basically starving my body and weighing myself three to four times a day. I had gotten so delusional about my food that I believed a chicken wing was a more logical snack than an apple because it weighed less.

When Mark explained to me how important it was to feed your body every three to four hours, I was elated. When he told me I had to cut back on alcohol, but not eliminate it completely, I was furious.

Mark gently explained to me how the body works and showed me how much actual fat, protein, and carbohydrate was necessary for me to feel satisfied. I had no idea that a salad drenched in dressing was basically the equivalent of a piece of pizza. He broke down all the components of fueling my body and what ratios would be effective in retraining it to stop storing fat-and finally release a little. It had never occurred to me that by starving my body, it was holding on to fat.

The first time I walked out of Mark's office, I was intent on following all his directions to a tee. Within the first three days, I had more energy than I knew what to do with. I felt satisfied after every meal, and I actually began to crave working out. In the first week, I lost 2 percent body fat - but I gained three pounds (Disclaimer: As with any nutrition and fitness program, your results may vary, and will be based on your ability to follow instructions and level of desire.). I was beside myself and had a complete breakdown in Mark's office, where he urged me to stay with the program and not worry about the number on the scale. He had warned me that, because of all the years I'd been tricking my body, I would probably gain a few pounds before I lost. But he encouraged me to focus on the fact that I had been successful in losing fat, and he reminded me about my increase in energy and workout stamina.

It was only one more week before I lost another 2 percent body fat and my body started to drop weight due to my muscle/fat ratio (Disclaimer: As with any nutrition and fitness program, your results may vary, and will be based on your ability to follow instructions and level of desire.). My clothes all fit better than before, and my muffin top started to dissipate. I watched my body lean out everywhere: my arms, stomach, and face. It was the first time anyone in my family could claim to have a set of abs. I was euphoric and so relieved to know that my body wasn't that different from everyone else's and that there was an actual program that would work for me.

I have learned that with a busy lifestyle, it's not always easy to eat right, so it's important to get in the habit of carrying healthy options with you and filling your refrigerator with clean food. I'll prepare grilled chicken, shrimp, and turkey meatballs for the week and eat something different each day. I always have arugula salad with me, and protein powder that I mix with water for a snack at least once a day. My mind-set has changed in that I now know that I am fueling my body, and not snacking because of cravings. The healthier and leaner I am, the fewer cravings I have. I always start with protein and work my way from there. If I'm drinking, I skip heavy starches and know I can fill up on fresh steamed veggies and small amounts of fat. I eat more frequently than I've ever eaten before, and my mind and body are sharper because of it.

Since that time, I have fallen on and off Mark's nutrition plan, but he has always been there for me when I decided I didn't like the dimples forming on the back of my ass. More recently, I posed for the cover of Shape magazine and worked with Mark daily to get myself back on the program and back to healthy, lean eating. It took less than a week for me to see the definition in my stomach and arms (Disclaimer: As with any nutrition and fitness program, your results may vary, and will be based on your ability to follow instructions and level of desire.). Any cellulite on the back of my legs had completely disappeared, and I have to say, I looked borderline amazing (Disclaimer: As with any nutrition and fitness program, your results may vary, and will be based on your ability to follow instructions and level of desire.). I did combine the nutrition with Pilates and some cardio, but in the past I'd done an hour of cardio a day without focusing on nutrition, and I didn't have the same results. I now know that the nutritional component is the most important aspect, and I know that if I want to maximize my energy level and feel great about myself in a bikini, I have to be responsible about my food. I get to drink my Belvedere, stay lean, and help my friends when they're serious about getting their bodies in better condition.

– Chelsea Handler
Actress/Author/Television Host

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