Danielle Schupp has a rap sheet of accomplishments worth mentioning, including registered dietician, author, sports nutritionist, and is certified in weight management by the American Dietetic Association. She has single handedly managed to win my heart by creating a perfectly balanced snack combo under 200 calories and just the right amount of protein, fat, fiber, and carbohydrates. Her brand new line of Smart and Skinny Snacks has now debuted landing an award in two of the most important categories – nutritious and delicious!
In addition to promoting her newfound discovery, BN asked Schupp to share her insight on the underlying culprit of weight loss and how to channel it to achieve maximum results.
BN: Every BN reader I am sure is dying to know what is the biggest factor in weight loss?
DS: Eighty percent of weight loss is due to diet not exercise. Weight loss is simply a calorie game–calories in vs. calories out. So it would stand to reason that whether one ate less or exercised more, the end result would be successful weight loss, which is somewhat true. But, there are two issues why exercise doesn’t play the major role in weight loss.
1. We don’t burn as many calories as we think we do when we work out. The typical person is not burning 500 calories per workout, even though they feel like they do. In other words, just because you took a spin class, it doesn’t entitle you to eat more.
2. Our bodies get accustomed to exercise. Essentially, our bodies become more efficient at doing them, so after time we don’t burn as many calories to complete the same exercises.
I get clients coming into my office all the time saying, “I work out every day! Why can’t I lose weight?” I simply say, “You’re eating wrong! Too much, too little, too much at night, you skip breakfast, etc…”
The current research supports the fact that exercise plays a greater role in maintaining weight loss rather than in weight loss itself. However, I do not recommend to not exercise when trying to lose weight since it does help to prevent lean muscle mass and in general people tend to make better food choices when they exercise. Exercise, does play a role just not the primary role.
Reducing your caloric intake will result in a greater calorie deficit. Therefore it is the key to successful weight loss!
BN: What is the main cause of cravings and how can you control them?
DS: There really are two reasons you crave something:
1. A craving is our body’s way of telling us it is missing out on something. For example, if you are restricting your carbohydrates in an effort to lose weight you will soon start dreaming of bagels and pasta. If you are avoiding fat, you will crave fat! Our body will tell us what it needs, which is why if you try to eliminate a food group in an effort to lose weight, the weight loss you do achieve will only be temporary since sooner or later you will give into your cravings and overeat!
2. Sometimes we crave because we are simply letting our blood sugar drop. When our blood sugar is low, we are simply hungry and want to eat. For women, the main craving we get is for carbohydrates.
The bottom line, there are no “good” or “bad” foods, simply good and bad portions. So to avoid cravings consume the appropriate amount of calories, eat every 3-4 hours and answer your cravings. If you avoid your mid afternoon craving, it will only return ten fold at night. A craving can be satisfied in as little as two bites. So have that little piece of chocolate after lunch and you will avoid the large chocolate pig out at 10pm!
BN: I’ve heard that lack of sleep and avid stress can aid in weight gain. True? or False?
DS: Answer: True
Lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain for two reasons.
1. When you are tired, you look to eat something to help give you an energy boost. I tell my clients, if you are truly tired from lack of sleep then nothing you eat is going to give you the energy that you are looking for. Take a nap!
2. There are two hormones that regulate our appetite, Ghrelin and Leptin. Grehlin is the “hunger” hormone and Leptin is the “I’m satisfied” hormone. When you sleep these hormones reset themselves, but when we don’t get enough sleep they are essentially out of whack. The result, we are hungrier than usual and our normal signal to stop eating isn’t working as well. So not only are we tired and looking for food for energy, we are hungrier and don’t get as satisfied with the normal amount of food!
BN: Due to lack of time, breakfast can be one of the most challenging meals of the day. What are some quick and healthy recipes you can recommend to our readers to help beat the morning rush?
DS: My favorite make at home on the go breakfast: 2 slices whole wheat raisin bread, topped with peanut butter and ½ a banana. It contains protein, healthy fat and whole grain carbohydrates and you can eat it in the car or walking down the street (as I do). It’s like a party in your mouth!
You can also make a morning pit stop at quick breakfast places such as Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. Believe it or not, they have low-calorie breakfast sandwiches that are between 300-350 calories. Add a piece of fruit and you have a great breakfast!
BN: Aside from increasing the amount of meals you consume per day, what is another way you can help boost your metabolism?
DS: There are 3 ways to boost your metabolism, one of which you already mentioned.
The second way is to make sure you are eating enough calories. Many women in an effort to lose weight reduce their calorie intake too low and as a result they slow down their metabolism and do not lose weight. The minimum any women should eat is 1200 calories. I typically recommend 1500 calories for most women and more if they are taller (5’6+) or less if they are shorter (5’0-5’2).
The third way to boost metabolism is via exercise. After we do a cardio workout we have already increased our metabolism. However, there is controversy as to how long our metabolic rate stays elevated following a workout. In addition, weight training adds muscle and muscle burns more calories–the more muscle you have the more calories you burn just to sustain your body, i.e. even when you are sitting on your but!
But unlike men, women don’t have the capability to pack on a lot of muscle. So when it comes to weight loss, focus on cardio not weight training!