After getting her start in the movie industry playing a prostitute in the Coen brothers’ movie Fargo, Melissa Peterman found her niche as a comic actress. Roles in the hugely popular and long running sit-coms Reba, starring singer Reba McEntire, and Baby Daddy, followed. These established her as one of America’s favorite comediennes and funny ladies. Along the way she’s also hosted shows like The Singing Bee, Dancing Fools and Bet on Your Baby.
Standing nearly 6 foot tall and being naturally well built, she has also very publicly lost, and gained, weight during her career. Melissa Peterman’s most notable weight loss occurred after the birth of her son in 2005. During 2006 and 2007 she lost around 60 pounds and has been quoted as saying she did it entirely naturally. She exercised regularly with the help of her trainer and monitored what she ate. Her diet predominantly consisted of foods very high in fibre with plenty of protein and she cut right back on sugar, carbohydrates and fats.
And as for motivation to lose weight? She credits her son with that. He was a big baby and she had to be capable of lifting him.
Today Melissa Peterman still looks great. Even though as a mum she admits that eating, especially that all-important first meal of the day, is often done on the run whilst getting her son ready for his day. Cottage cheese eaten out of the container and an apple in the car on the way to dropping him off at school! But, as they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor, and weight gain, away. And munching on cottage cheese, even straight out of the container, is a great way to get your early morning get up and go burst of energy. High in protein and calcium, and low in fat and calories, what’s not to love about it.
If you watch TV or read the news, you’ve possibly seen or heard about a celebrity weight loss supplement touted as the “secret”, and absolutely safe (because it’s natural!) alternative. Well, today it’s a secret no longer because we’re here to tell you all about it.
A very real and significant concern when losing weight is how you’ll look. You could end up with sags and bags, or you could end up lean and buff. If your body shrinks in size as you lose weight without the skin area also “shrinking,” you could end up with loose skin hanging around your upper arms, waist, stomach, and other areas. By the time you attain your ideal size, the only solution for tightening up your skin is plastic surgery.
Avoid weight-loss sagging
You can avoid sagging skin by starting strength training now and continue throughout your weight-loss program and beyond as you maintain your new size. That way, your skin will shrink along with the rest of you. By the time you attain your ideal size, new people you meet will have no idea that you were ever overweight. Why? Because your skin will fit your body. Do this with strength training.
Stamina, Energy, and Strength Training
You want quick results in losing weight, and you can achieve them with strength training. After only three months of two hour-long strength-training sessions a week, your body will become smaller. Your waist will be smaller, as will your upper arms, and your stomach will be flatter.
You only need to do two sessions of strength training a week. If you feel really ambitious, you can do three, but don’t do any more than that. Strength training causes small tears in the fibers of your muscles. This is good, because as they repair on your “off” days the muscles become stronger and tighter. If you do strength training every day, your muscles won’t have time to rebuild between sessions.
- Strength training approaches
- Free weights. Very popular, easy to use, widely available. Start with 2- to 3-pound weights and add weight as your body adapts to the weight.
- Stretch tubing. A stretchy thin tube with handles on each end. Resembles a jump rope. You can purchase in several levels of resistance.
- Flex band. A long, wide, stretchy band used for resistance training.
- Ankle and wrist weights.Strap them on for resistance as you do strengthening exercises.
- Body bar. A long, weighted bar used for resistance training. May or may not have additional removable weights on either end.
- A big inflated ball on which to do exercises. Seems innocent enough, but provides really challenging strength-training exercise.
- Magic circle. A circular handheld ring, about 15 inches in diameter with handles across from each other. By compressing the circle with legs, arms, and other body parts, you can get quite a workout.
- Pilates classes and equipment. An exercise method that creates long, lean, and strong muscles, plus very strong abs and terrific posture.
- Exercise machines. Set the resistance of the machines to match your strength levels.
- Power-pump classes. Lift weights while you keep pace with the music.
Muscle weighs more than fat. Because of this, a person with higher muscle mass could weigh more, and yet wear a smaller size. In addition to using your weight as a measure of attaining your ideal size, take into account your body fat percentage.
Body Fat Percentage
Having a higher body fat percentage brings with it significant health risks including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and autoimmune disorders.
When you have your body fat tested at a health club or at a health practitioner’s, you’ll receive a reading of body fat, water, and muscle percentages. All three add up to 100 percent. Assuming that the amount of water weight remains almost constant for each individual, the variables are body fat and muscle. The more muscle you have, the less body fat you have (and vice versa).
Here are ideal body fat percentages:
- Up to age 20: 14-21 percent
- Age 20 to 50: 17-27 percent
- Age 50+: 20-30 percent
- Up to age 20: 9-15 percent
- Age 20 to 50: 14-21 percent
- Age 50+: 19-23 percent
Understanding Body Fat
In body fat measurements, lower is usually best, but don’t go below the recommended guidelines. A person must have at least some body fat to be healthy. Fat pads internal organs such as the kidneys, and it also offers protection against cold weather. For women, the minimum recommended fat percentage is 12 percent. If a woman has less, her menstrual cycles could cease. Men must have a minimum of 5 percent to stay healthy.
Improving Your Muscles
By doing strength-training exercises for two to three hours a week, you can reduce your body fat percentage by as much as 10 percentage points within six months.
Having less body fat and more muscle gives you more energy, higher stamina, more muscle definition, and a higher metabolism. This means you’ll burn through calories faster and can eat more food without gaining weight.