Nadeen Boman knows how to motivate people to get fit. The former pro cheerleader and certified trainer has helped whip women into shape as co-host of reality shows like "Bulging Brides" and "The Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp." As a Vancouver-based fitness and nutrition consultant, she helps clients make the diet and lifestyle changes that will allow them reach their fitness goals. We sat down with Boman to pick her brain and get her advice on how to eat healthy and get fit.
When did you first decide that you wanted to make fitness your career?
I was always an active kid -- captain of the soccer team, played all the different sports -- but I didn't really know how to work out properly. I didn't realize that until I did a co-op program at school with a company that supplied a trainer and I said, "Wow, I didn't know what I was doing." I started enjoying it and getting into it more and more. I couldn't wait to get out of my office job -- I love what I do now.
Do you have a vice that interferes with your personal fitness goals?
I'm not just a sweet tooth, I like everything. I'll eat chips, a burger, sweets, but everything in moderation. That's what I try to do to maintain my weight, and then I'm consistent with the workouts.
Is it okay to treat yourself from time to time?
We all need to treat ourselves, but if you're treating yourself three times a day is too much. It's hard to cut out treats -- it just takes practice. Developing a habit takes about 21 days. The other thing about sugar addiction is once you're off of it, your body won't crave it anymore. It's only because we're giving it to ourselves that we want more of it. It's like nicotine or any other substance -- you have to go through withdrawal.
You've help brides look their best on "Bulging Brides" -- are there quickie ways you can slim down a bit if you've got a wedding or special party coming up?
You can't spot reduce, but if you're really looking to lose weight in the short-term, it's about eating right rather than exercising. It's cutting out the junk, because 3,500 calories equals one pound of fat and fat takes up more room than muscle does, so if you're losing a pound of fat, you're losing space. You can burn 500 to 1,000 calories in one exercise period, so it would take up to seven days of exercise to lose the same amount. The most effective way is cutting out a few hundred calories here and there.
When it comes to eating right, how can people stay on the right track?
One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking they can only eat vegetables and lettuce. It doesn't have to be salads every day -- you can make changes over time that fit in with what you're doing currently because when you make drastic changes it's impossible to stick with it. It's that boomerang effect, it's going to come back worse than before.
I'm also a fan of Controlex -- it's a plant-based, natural appetite moderator, not a suppressant, so it works really well for cravings, at night especially when people are tending to overeat due to boredom more than hunger. We're overweight because we've expanded our stomachs to be larger than they should be -- they should be the size of a fist. The Controlex fills the space, but doesn't stretch out the stomach so when you come off it, it's a lot easier to stay eating healthy and not gain the weight back.
When we are craving snacks, what can we fill up on?
Fruit and vegetables are key. People say I don't like fruits and vegetables, but think about how many there are and find some you do like: Fruit like apples, oranges, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries; vegetables like baby carrots and baby cucumbers are great. That's what I snack on a lot.
Pair these items with a protein like boiled eggs -- a lot of people don't think of them, but they're easy to tote around with you -- to help you feel full longer. A handful of nuts or cheese -- only the size of your thumb -- or granola bars that are full of fibre also make great snacks. You should be consistently feeding your body the protein it needs or it won't be a smooth-running machine.
What's the biggest hurdle that gets in the way of exercising for most people?
I think it boils down to people not finding what works for them and their lifestyle. People think of being fit as having to hit the gym five times a week and that's not necessarily true. For some people maybe it's outdoor activity or playing a sport or playing with the kids or running around with the dog. It's about small steps -- they can make a big difference.
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