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30-Day Get Fit Challenge | Q&A With a Celebrity Trainer

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Staffer Gretchen Parker, 35, is working out with ExerciseTV celebrity trainer Kathy Kaehler (past clients include Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston) for Us' 30-Day Get Fit Challenge! She's blogging a few times a week. Here, Kathy answers your reader-submitted questions:

How often should you change up your workout?
Weekly. I always recommend changing so that your body doesn’t acclimate to the same workout over and over again. Cross training puts your muscles through different range of motion. You work harder. Your body will change, and you won’t get bored and quit. 

While working out regularly, how many calories should a woman consume in a day?
It varies from person to person with age, weight and height, but you can determine it by finding your BMR, which is your Basal Metabolic Rate. A great Web site that will lead you through the steps to find your own caloric intake is at Your Total Health on

What are the optimal times to eat? How soon before each workout should you eat?
It is best to eat when you get up, to start your engine burning calories. You should eat at least 30 minutes prior to working out. This can vary person to person. You should also follow your workouts with protein.

What is the best way to get rid of baby weight, post-birth?
Start slowly. Listen to your body. Talk to your doctor, and you can use a great program I created for Cindy Crawford called “A New Dimension.” It is a three-part workout that will get you back in tip-top shape.  

Do you practice what you preach?
Every day of my life. But I am not perfect and have days that don’t pan out like I would like. But I get right back on the wagon the next day.

How often do you workout?
I do something every day.

See photos from Gretchen's first training session with Kathy. 

What kind of diet are you on?
Fresh, real food. I try not to eat anything that I don’t know what is in it.

What are celebrities’ secrets for staying fit?
They are committed to their work, and if they have to look a certain way to work, they are going to do the work that it takes.

Do you do fasts or cleanses?

Why did you decide to go into celebrity training?
I loved my P.E. class, and I still love to work out and teach people how to. 

What do your meals consist of?
Beans, brown rice, salmon, eggs, spinach, kale, salads, Greek yogurt, tomatoes, cottage cheese, almond butter, garlic, onions, oatmeal, molasses, red wine, hull-less organic popcorn popped on the stove, red cabbage, Healthy Ones Deli Meat Turkey (LOVE IT). And I take all my supplements from USANA as well as my shake in the morning. Learn more about my Sunday Set Up Plan!

What are your tricks for keeping arms and abs toned?
Push-ups, push-ups, push-ups. And bicycle abs.

What is your philosophy on losing weight and keeping fit?
To lose weight you have to be patient. You put it on over time and you need time to take it off. There will never be a quick fix.  If it sounds too good to be true, it is. A pound is 3,500 calories, so do the math.

Read Gretchen's previous blog entries:

30-Day Get Fit Challenge: Meet Us' Gretchen Parker!
30 Day Get Fit Challenge | Week 1
30-Day Get Fit Challenge | Week 1, Workout 2
30-Day Get Fit Challenge | Week 2
30-Day Get Fit Challenge | Week 3
30-Day Get Fit Challenge | Week 3, Workout 2
30-Day Get Fit Challenge | Week 4


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