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How To Create A Healthy Weight Loss Plan in 4 Easy Steps

weight loss programs st pete Fl , Personal Training Tierra Verde

How To Create A  Healthy Weight Loss Plan in 4 Easy Steps

As a  weight loss coach and personal trainer  in Florida  for over 20 years, I don’t think I’ve gone a day without someone asking me about weight loss programs  or the “secret” to designing a sustainable Healthy Weight Loss  Plan that doesn’t include pills or starvation. 


If you’ve been around a while, you know our mantra is  “Eat Smarter Not Less” ,  and you might have even seen the seemingly impossible results from the raving fans in our  St Pete Group Fitness Programs.

If you have read any of my other posts or know someone who has gone through one of our weight loss programs  you know  we do not count calories , restrict food groups or eliminate “bad foods” here at Fitness St Pete/Tierra Verde Fitness.


That said, if you want to learn how to eat smarter not less, you  should have a basic idea of what your body needs to reach your goals in order to be sure you are eating enough to fuel your body’s needs, avoid starvation and binge eating and, of course, be more easily able to identify when you are eating from habit not hunger.

STEP 1:  

Calculate your BMR (Base Metabolic Rate) 

This is an approximation of calories your body needs to survive each day with minimal activity.


There are hundreds of online calculators to calculate BMR  and caloric needs.  We have a community on myfitness pal . You can go HERE  to calculate your BMR  and feel free to look us up (dianne@mypersonalfitnesscoach.com) and request to join us.


If you prefer to do it by hand, want to know how they are calculated  or just like to geek out with numbers we use the  Mifflin St. Jeor Equation

For men: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) + 5

For women: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) – 161

STEP 2:  

Apply an activity factor to determine your total daily energy (calorie) expenditure 

The only factor omitted is lean body mass. Leaner bodies need more calories than less lean ones. This equation will be fairly accurate for all but the very muscular (will under-estimate calorie needs).

If you are sedentary:(little or no exercise) : BMR x 1.2

If you are lightly active: (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : BMR x 1.375

If you are moderately active: (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : BMR x 1.55

If you are very active: (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : BMR x 1.725

If you are extra active: (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : BMR x 1.9

EX: If you are sedentary, multiply your BMR (1745) by 1.2 = 2094. This is the total number of calories you need in order to maintain your current weight. 

STEP 3: 

Determine Your Energy Needs Based on Your Goal

If you want to maintain your weight without making any changes
or simply want to reshape your body:  skip straight to step 4

If you want to gain  weight or need extra calories for endurance sports:  add 500 – 1000 calories

If you want to lose weight and body fat: subtract 500 calories. (Don’t fool yourself into thinking cutting more will enable you to lose fat faster, You  can read  “Why Counting Calories Is Making You Fat” to learn why this is a sure fire way to gain your weight back plus a few)

STEP 4:  

Pick Your Calories & Find Your Corresponding Exchanges


Calories   1200 (this should only be used for calorie staggering purposes and not as a continuous daily intake)

Servings Per Exchange group: 

Protein G :                                          93 g
Starchy Carbs:                                    3
Fruits:                                                    3
Veggies:                                                 4
Fats:                                                        5


Calories – 1500

Servings Per Exchange group: 

Protein G :                                        105 g
Starchy Carbs :                                   4
Fruits:                                                    3
Veggies:                                                 4
Fats:                                                       5


Calories – 1600

Servings Per Exchange group: 

Protein G:                                         138g
Starchy Carbs:                                    5
Fruits:                                                    3
Veggies:                                                 5
Fats:                                                       6


Calories – 1800

Servings Per Exchange group: 

Protein G:                                         150g
Starchy Carbs:                                    6
Fruits:                                                    4
Veggies:                                                 5
Fats:                                                        7

** If you are a Transformation Challenge participant or Group Fitness Training Member, a printable list of best and worst foods and exchange/calorie list is available in the Private Group :)

You can read How To Lose Weight Without Counting Calories or Being Hungry for a list of best fat burning foods in each group and how much equals a serving.


Check out one of my fav recipes Mexican Chicken Skewers W/ Quac to see how delicious a properly balanced meal can be !


group fitness training st petersburg, florida, weight loss, personal trainers

Committed To Your Success & Awesomeness,

Dianne Villano, Your Personal Body Shaping Expert

Fitness St Pete I Tierra Verde Fitness


P.S. Hearing from our readers is one of the best parts of my day. Drop a comment if you have any questions or come join us in our FREE Facebook Community Transform St Pete. Just click HERE to join.

Have You Met Mike ? This over 55  hard charger  took control of his food, body and health after years at a desk left him overweight and unhealthy! You can check out the inspiring story of his mind and body transformation HERE 

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Dianne Villano

Your Personal Body Shaping Expert

Hello, my name is Dianne Villano. I help busy men and women over 35 who struggle to look and feel their best and teach them how to eat more, train less, and get better results than they’ve ever experienced.

St. Pete & Tierra Verde residents come to me when all else has failed and they have reached a breaking point of finally being ready to achieve the body of their dreams.

Raving Fans

"I didn’t think this weight loss program would be so easy! I dropped 20 pounds eating deliscious foods and working out 3X/week. I know I keep saying that but it’s true! At 63 years old I thought I’d never look and feel this good again! Seriously, I feel like 40 now" - Pattie A, Tierra Verde, Fl

"As a 10X full Ironman finisher, I foolishly came in thinking it would be easy given my background and boy was I wrong. Every time you think you’re getting the hang of it Dianne adds an extra twist to increase the difficulty . I lost 10 lbs and my strength increased." - Tony S , St Pete. Fl

"I had my doubts when I came in on the 14 day rapid results program, however I have become a true believer in the program. In 2 weeks, I had already begun seeing results, both physically and mentally. I feel better, make healthier food choices (most of the time), and am excited for every workout. I thoroughly enjoy the group setting and I appreciate the opportunity to develop new friendships with the other group members!" - Caren, St Pete

"After interviewing a number of different trainers, I met Dianne. My initial impression was that she was knowledgeable in her field and extremely enthusiastic. Being a physician, it was very important that I work with a trainer that had a solid understanding of the science behind the exercises, understood the importance of a multifaceted approach to to a wellness a lifestyle, including not only the physical exercise regimen but also the n nutritional and psychological aspects of their client in order to help them achieve a sustainable, healthy lifestyle for the long haul The bottom line is this: If you a are serious and committed to getting yourself in shape and developing a healthy a and sustainable nutrition and fitness program, then Custom Bodies is where you need to go….It’s as simple as that." - Dr. Michael Sprintz

14 Day Rapid Results


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