Pregancy and Fitness Goals by Lisa Riccardi

After having read a fitness article reporting misinformation, it was confirmed to me that people are being mislead and bad information is being repeated time and time again. This compelled me to tell my story. I'm forty years old and work in the fitness industry. My husband and I own a personal training company. Our mission and goal in our community is to spread fitness truth, teaching people how misinformation is keeping them short of their fitness goals.

Last November, I found out the most wonderful news, I was expecting our first child. The baby was to be born in July, around my 40th Birthday. I was considered a high-risk pregnancy because I was 39 years old. My doctors wanted me to see a nutritionist at first to help me eat correctly, but I reassured them that I knew the importance of supportive nutrition and I would do my best to ensure my baby was getting the best possible start. As the months flew by and my 40th birthday came and went, I found myself 35 lbs. heavier. Throughout the pregnancy, I had great energy, no aches or pains and very little cravings. I attributed this to the supportive eating. I followed the same principles we teach about metabolism. Of course some adjustments were made to the program due to the pregnancy, but it was basically the same. On July 14th our lives were changed by the birth of our healthy baby girl.

Now I found myself so busy, very busy! As the weeks passed by, I lost the first 15 lbs. After about 12 weeks, and 20 lbs to go with no time to get to the gym. I found myself really relying on the supportive eating. I walked the baby in the carriage on nice days, and got to the gym as much as I could maybe once or twice a week to get moderate cardio with some light resistance training. I now had a new appreciation for all Mothers! I understood why it is so difficult for the Mom's that I trained in the past to come in for their training sessions. Gone were my leisure trips to the gym, now I found it difficult to get there at all.

My knowledge about metabolism was my saving grace. I focused on eating every 3-31/2 hours; this gave me the energy I needed to get through the sleepless nights while still keeping my body in a state of burning fat. I gave in to the fact that getting to the gym was going to be difficult for a while. Four months later, I am back in my old clothes and at my starting weight. I am a firm believer in supportive nutrition and the concept of Synergy. Synergy is a concept my husband and I have adopted that works for every type of person with a fitness goal. Synergy is the right nutrition, moderate aerobic exercise and a concern for muscle. Without all three of these components, exercise for weight loss is futile. All it takes is the knowledge and it's easy. It frustrates me to watch my peers in the community exercise themselves for hours on end, and still be frustrated with their results. It's not necessary to train so hard! I find it upsetting when people say to me, "you must work-out everyday, or "you do hours of cardio don't you?' The truth is, I don't do hours of cardio that's why I was able to lose the weight. See it's funny, the more cardio you do the more cardio you'll have to do in the future to maintain your weight! Doing cardio alone will not get you the body you have always wanted. In reality, you can cardio yourself right into to a weight problem!!!

I hear and read all kinds of crazy advice from people. Like, don't eat before a party or try and eat a small breakfast and small lunch so you can save up calories for the party. Advice like this is so far from helping you maintain weight it will actually cause your metabolism to slow down therefore, setting the stage for gaining weight. Most people think they're eating the right foods because they see the words diet, carb-free or fat free on the label but its all-false advertising. These foods will make you lock in fat, like a magnet clings to metal.

It's all about your metabolism. Learn about foods that will boost metabolism and you will set yourself free. The true definition of metabolism is the speed with which you burn through food. Understand that you are not a victim of your metabolism, you are the creator! In closing, remember that empowerment will propel you to become your best. Learn the truth and your goals will become a reality.

Lisa Riccardi is a personal trainer who has helped many people transform their bodies. She is the co-owner of Higher Level Fitness on Long Island. Together with her husband Joe, their mission is to educate people about the fitness truth. For more information, please call (631) 584-7004.