Heidi Powell knows what she's talking about when it comes to getting in shape. Not only has she been a certified personal trainer for over a decade, but she and her husband Chris were also the longtime host of ABC's Extreme Weight Loss. Plus, they've authored several successful weight loss books and launched a new weight loss app along the way. Fittest couple in America? Most likely.
Not only are Heidi's clients' transformations seriously inspiring, but her own transformation is pretty amazing as well. Fifteen years ago, Heidi weighed only 89 pounds and was obsessed with the number on the scale and what she was eating. "I had 'EATING DISORDER' written all over me," she wrote in an Instagram post showcasing her transformation.
Now, she credits her 30-pound weight gain to Chris's support, a 2,400-calorie daily diet and gym sessions that don't include your typical cardio. Still, her ultimate success is not allowing food, workouts and poor self-image to take over her life. "Because young girls need to know that STRONG is SEXY - NOT sickly skinny, contrary to what many ads try to make us believe."
Today, Heidi tracks her macronutrients and cycles her carbs. That means every day she's eating a different amount of carbs (the main energy source keeping your body going) and also aiming to eat a certain amount of macronutrients (protein, carbs and fats). One particular sample day is full of 120g protein, 250g carbohydrate, and 50g fat — a lower carb day for Heidi, but a pretty good example of what a typical macro budget should look like (about 50% carb, 25% protein, 25% fat).
Heidi Powell shared her daily diet and macro breakdown with Womanista — check out a day in the life of her healthy diet:
Meal 1: Protein shake + Starbucks Marshmallow Dream Bar. 25g protein, 49g carb, 5g fat.
Meal 2: 5.3 ounces nonfat plain Greek yogurt, 1 cup of strawberries, topped with ¼ cup of low-fat granola. 18g protein, 37g carbs, 2g fat.
Meal 3: 1 cup of brown rice pasta with 3 ounces extra-lean ground turkey, ¼ cup marinara, 1½ cups of steamed broccoli. 26g protein, 52g carbs, 3g fat.
Meal 4: 3½ ounces grilled chicken, ½ cup jasmine rice, 1 ounce teriyaki sauce, mixed veggies. 25g protein, 34g carbs, and 3g fat.
Meal 5: 3 gluten-free Eggo waffles, 3 tablespoons all-natural chunky peanut butter, ⅛ cup pure maple syrup, 1 low-fat mozzarella string cheese. 26g protein, 78g carbs, and 37g fat.
If you've been doing the math, you know that those all add up to fit Heidi's macro budget of 120g protein, 250g carbohydrate, and 50g fat perfectly. She says she uses apps like MyFitnessPal and macro calculators to stay on top of all that math.
Calculating all those macros isn't just for fun; they're carefully crafted to ensure a good workout. Being a busy mom of four and balancing the family business, Heidi has to fit in workouts whenever she can. Her go-to quick workout? "A big ol' GIANT SET!" she tells Womanista. Heidi's advice is to choose five moves and do as many rounds as possible until your time runs out, whether it's 20 or 30 minutes.
For a lower body workout, Heidi says she'd go for these moves, resting 60-90 seconds between rounds, but still moving quickly.
- Hip thrusts (15 reps)
- Banded side squat walks (15 steps each direction)
- Machine or back squat (10 reps)
- Jumping lunges (12 each side)
- Pop squats (10 reps)
While the exercises are customizable, Heidi says the key is to "go heavy without compromising form, and to move quickly. You will get your heart rate up AND will tear down muscle fibers!"