Jackie Warner explains how hormones, sugar, and other factors affect weight.
Q: How do you start your day?
A: I practice what I preach. I make my signature power shake with frozen spinach, an orange, flaxseed oil, whey isolate protein, creatine, BCAAs, glutamine, and carnitine. Then I train myself.
Q: What’s your favorite
A: Having a nice dinner with friends and great conversation.
Q: If you were stranded on a desert island, what one food and one supplement would you want to have with you?
A: Salmon and a good multivitamin.
Q: What’s your favorite
A: Pizza and ice cream.
It seems whatever celebrity fitness trainer Jackie Warner touches turns to gold. In 2002, Warner founded the nation’s premier full-service health and medical practice, Sky Sport & Spa. It wasn’t long before Warner’s day-to-day challenges were chronicled on Bravo’s hit docudrama Work Out. From creating exercise DVDs, her own fitness-clothing line, and now producing and starring in Thintervention with Jackie Warner, a new series for Bravo, Warner’s ventures, like the woman herself, are genuine, no-nonsense, and inspiring. And now this dynamic wellness guru and entrepreneur has added author to her list of accomplishments. Better Nutrition recently spoke to Warner about her new book, This Is Why You’re Fat
(And How to Get Thin Forever).
Q: You say that weight largely has to do with hormones. Why?
A: In my late 30s, I’d suddenly begun feeling sluggish for an extended period of time, and I couldn’t understand it, since nothing had changed physically. My doctor ran a blood test and found that my progesterone and blood sugar levels were low. I started doing research on ways to balance each, and I was shocked at the significant connection between weight gain and hormone levels. Hormone imbalance changes body chemistry, and when our bodies are out of whack, we gain weight. When hormones are balanced, we become fat-burning machines, and we look and feel great.
Q: Why is sugar the Devil?
A: I cannot say it enough. Sugar is the single leading cause of weight gain. Refined sugar weakens the immune system, throws off metabolic function, and is highly addictive. Because it has no health value, the body has to borrow from its stores of nutrients in order to process it. When the body consumes sugar, it spikes insulin levels. When insulin levels are spiked, we get hunger pangs and end up eating unnecessarily. By the time the pang hits, our insulin levels are so low that the body stores food as fat.
Q: What are the three organs that make you fat or skinny?
A: Get to know your adrenal glands, thyroid, and liver. These three organs rule metabolism. When they are not functioning properly, it’s very difficult to build muscle or burn fat. The key is to eat detoxifying foods, like beets, blueberries, and green leafy vegetables. You also need to drink between 2 and 3 liters of water a day, and increase your fiber intake with high-fiber foods, like fruits, veggies and whole grains. Whey protein is also an excellent detoxifier, as are foods rich in vitamin B, vitamin C, and magnesium. And, of course, you need to exercise!
Q: What does “eat more, cheat more, and lose more” mean?
A: My book was written for those who’ve tried diets and failed. People need a program that works in the real world. So for the first two weeks, I recommend that instead of eliminating foods, add in specific foods. This changes the body chemistry and satisfies food cravings so the body gradually stops craving junk. As the body adjusts, the compulsion to eat badly goes away.
I’m the only fitness professional that allows for two cheat meals. I’ve found that one cheat meal doesn’t work for most people. When they can have two cheat meals a week, people are more motivated to eat better. There is one caveat: you must eat healthy for five straight days, and cheat meals cannot exceed 1,500 calories. If you follow these rules, the pounds will start falling off.