New Lily

Take Some Advice From These Fitness and Nutrition Experts!

I just finished reading TIME’s recent health blog in which they asked 10 fitness/nutrition experts from various backgrounds to talk about their plans for healthy eating and living (to read more click here).   I found a lot of food for thought, but basically I related to their idea of simple living, functional fitness, and not-too-complicated eating.  I drew from some of the highlights of the article and commented on why I liked what they had to say…

Will Gadd

Who: Will Gadd, pro-outdoor sports guru

What he said about Diet: I spent years trying every diet under the sun, and every single one failed not only for me but for everyone I knew. Stunningly, I kept trying another one. Eventually I realized that any form of “diet” was flat-out crazy, and I stopped doing that and started actually listening to what my body was saying. Today I eat food that makes me feel good long-term, I exercise a lot because it’s fun, and I feel great. Most of us have completely disconnected what we “want” to eat with what we need to eat; Oreo ice cream is not actually what your body will run really well on and in fact will cause a severe blood sugar swing, but it tastes great. I’ll eat some occasionally, but I’ve been eating basically the same way for ten years now: Simple, mostly unprocessed foods that fuel me up for being outside and active.
What I liked about what he said:  Most people try “dieting” and it doesn’t work.  I agree that the best thing we can do is to follow the cues from our bodies.  When we don’t eat well or we aren’t balanced in what we put into our mouths, our bodies react.  Either we don’t feel well, are sluggish, gain weight, or actually get sick.  I have tried to start to listen to my body and it usually tells me what I need.  I also like his balanced approach.  I have found that when I try to go extreme, it back fires!

Neda Talebian Funk

Who: Neda Talebian Funk, FITiST Co-Founder and CEO

Her general thoughts on weight loss, and healthy living: I don’t focus on weight loss, but rather on making sensible decisions that lead to a healthy life. Start small. They say it takes five days to create a routine. Once you have a routine and healthy eating habits, it’s much easier to maintain it.
What I liked about what she said: I totally agree that habits can be good or bad and they are created in less time than we think.  Establishing a routine is difficult, but not impossible. I find that if I cut back on sugar for about 7 days, then I crave less of it. I also agree that focusing on weight loss is a limiting way to think…it is better to think of lifestyle and to honestly assess how you want to live the rest of your life.
Dr. Sonu Ahluwalia 

Who: Dr. Sonu S.  Ahluwalia, Clinical Chief, Division of Orthopedic Surgery at Cedars Sinai Medical Center

His general thoughts on weight loss, and healthy living: Moderation is the key to healthy living. You can eat everything, but just not too much of anything. Eat multiple small meals a day, and work out regularly—even small things like walking up and down stairs instead of taking the elevator helps a lot.
What I liked about what he said: Moderation, moderation, moderation. I think it was Aristotle who first said, “In the middle lies the virtue”.  Again, when we try to reach for extremes, we often lose momentum for even small change.


(Not Pictured) Who: Michael Olajide, Jr., Co-Founder of AEROSPACE High Performance Center.

His general thoughts on weight loss and healthy living:  Have unconventional eating habits. Treat food as fuel, and don’t eat out of habit. We generally, as a society, consume far more than we need. The body can subsist on very little, especially if you aren’t in a profession that requires you to be physically active.

What I liked about what he said: I recently read an article about minimalist eating.  I was intrigued, but haven’t really thought about it since.  What Michael says reminds me of the article and brings me back to the idea that as a society, we over-consume, whether it is our portion sizes or just our belief about how much food we actually need to eat.  I realize that we need to be careful about proposing this idea, especially among young girls who are so influenced by the media and the skinny models.  What Michael is suggesting (and what the article was promoting) is something different. We have added so many artificial things to our food and we tend to over eat sugar and refined flours…cutting back on those things and eating more whole foods is a place to start.


(Not Pictured) Who: Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General

What he said about health resolutions: I occasionally make health resolutions, but my weight has been the same for almost 30 years. So my resolutions are to continue to eat healthy and be physically active. The time that I set aside for physical activity is in the morning, for about 45 minutes before I have breakfast.
What I like about what he said: Again, it is a simple mindset that Dr. Satcher promotes.  Nothing too drastic.  He sticks with what he knows works for him. He basically eats healthy and tries to exercise 45 minutes most days.


Matthew Furman Photography

Who: David Kirchhoff, CEO of Weight Watchers International

What he said about health resolutions: Slow down and be more mindful! Put my fork down after every bite, and eat more meals at tables.
What I liked about what he said: This is so simple!  But I need to be more mindful of putting down my fork after every bite and sitting at a table when I eat.  We are always on the go and I often eat my breakfast on the go… sometimes lunch too.  Basically what David is recommending is that we slow down and savor our meals.  I love visiting Rome because this is how they eat there.  They don’t even take their coffee on the run.  Food is meant to be enjoyed and the Romans certainly enjoy it.  Although we often enjoy it, it isn’t often savored and then we are off and running again.  Slowing down, enjoying conversation, savoring the meal….those are things I want to work on.


Victoria Davis Photography

Who: Tamal Dodge, owner and founder of the Tamal Yoga School

His general thoughts on weight loss and healthy living: Whatever you do, make sure it’s a commitment you can follow. Don’t over-commit. Then, when you’re ready, make a slight upgrade. You’ll see better results that way. In my experience, drastic changes don’t work.

What I liked about what he said:  Anyone else seeing a pattern here?  Commitments are more successful when they are reasonable.  Slight upgrades and small changes are what can often bring about the most effective real long-term changes in nutrition and lifestyle.  It doesn’t need to be complicated!



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