Published December 2, 2012

12 Days of Fitness 2: Making the Impossible Possible

by Helen M. Ryan
12 days of fitness day 2

Sometimes we all need a little help. The 12 Days of Fitness continues, with 12 experts giving you the lowdown on weight loss, fitness, becoming healthier and having a better life. Who knew you had friends in such high places, eh? "We get by with a little help from our friends..."

Today, Day 2, we hear from Brett Hoebel. Brett has made the "impossible possible" for people all over the world. From being one of the trainers on Season 11 of NBC's The Biggest Loser to his recent appearances on Food Network’s Fat Chef and Dr. Oz, Brett gives people practical lifestyle tips that they can actually live with.

Avoid Junk Food:
Find "healthier" versions and bring snacks with you. Most people have their favorite "junk food," whether it's candy, cup cakes, etc. I have mine and I've found that eating a healthier version, like a lower-sugar protein bar than a junk food bar, helps a lot. I still get the feeling I'm eating a treat, but without all the calories.
Brett Hoebel Keep It Super SImple
Have Time To Cook Healthier Meals:
Make meals that contain five ingredients or less. Use the KISS principle (Keep It Super Simple). The more time you save cooking, the more you will cook healthier meals. Take one day a week to do food preparation. Sunday is a great day to "bulk cook" foods like steaming chicken breasts, turkey burgers and steaming greens that you will use in meals later in the week.

It's important to block out time for you and focus on fitness

Schedule Time for Workouts:
Just like you do any other appointment for yourself or your family (doctor, school meetings, play dates, hair, etc.), schedule your workouts. It's important to block out time for you and focus on fitness. It doesn't matter what type of physical activity it is, as long as you are moving!

"...taught me the value of "Walking My Talk," which helped me lose over 50 pounds and regain the self confidence and self-worth I had lost"

Walk Your Talk:
If I were to give one tip for helping women, it's called "Walk Your Talk." Walking your talk means you believe in yourself and you are accountable to yourself. This builds inner strength and confidence, which are key to changing your body and your life. As an adopted child, I was lucky to have two very amazing parents who served as great role models for me and taught me the value of "Walking My Talk," which helped me lose over 50 pounds and regain the self confidence and self-worth I had lost.
Brett Hoebel ab

Fat Burning Tips:
Here are some of Brett's tips to burn fat when working out:

  1. Burn Fat. The number one thing you need to do to get great abs is to burn the fat from your stomach. You can crunch till the cows come home to build up your abs underneath, but if there's a layer of fat covering them, you'll never see them.
  2. Spot Reduction: There's no such thing as "spot reduction," so doing crunches will not burn your belly fat. You have to burn fat off your entire body to reduce belly fat and this requires integrated full-body exercises, not crunches or other isolated exercises.
  3. Three Forms of Training: [highlight color="yellow"]Ab exercises alone do NOT burn enough calories to reduce body fat. You need to do a combination of full-body exercises that combine ab training to build your abs, interval training to raise your metabolism and burn fat off your entire body and strength training to build lean muscle, because muscle burns fat.
  4. Food is 50%: Eating healthy is definitely 50% of the battle getting in shape. It take hours to burn 1,000 can take minutes to eat them. Get a general understanding of how many calories are in your favorite foods and types of cooking. And remember, you are what you eat - so eat things that will fuel your body, not your emotions.

It take hours to burn 1,000 can take minutes to eat them

Foods to eat for better health:

  • Lower calorie, but higher nutrient dense foods like "super-foods": organic blue berries & gogi berries, wild salmon, seaweed, chia seeds, raw honey.
  • Single ingredient foods that were here 1,000 years ago like kale, apple, beef, chicken, fish, almonds , etc.
  • Water! Drink your body weight in pounds in ounces of water daily. Your body is 70% water and dehydration can prevent weight loss.

Foods to avoid for weight loss
 Foods to avoid:

  • High calorie, but low nutrient dense foods like "white devils": white sugar, flour, rice, milk, salt.
  • Processed foods: anything out of a box, bag or can and has ingredients you cannot pronounce.
  • Allergenic foods: many people suffer from food "allergies" and even more people suffer from "food intolerances" which can cause bloating, digestive problems and weight gain. Cow dairy and gluten at the top of the list of "allergenic" foods and can be substituted with gluten and dairy free alternatives like almond milk and brown rice bread.
  • Alcohol: a little won't hurt, but too many of these "empty" calories affects your sleep, judgement and waistline!
brett hoebel then and now


As one of the trainers on NBC’s The Biggest Loser season 11 and health expert on Food Network’s Fat Chef, Brett is one of the most sought-after weight loss, nutrition, and lifestyle coaches in the country. A 15-year veteran in the health and wellness industry, Brett has helped some of Hollywood’s finest shape up. Brett is also hitting the road as part of a national “Health reVolutionaries Tour,” whose goal is to activate and educate children and families, through community workouts and special events. Visit his web site at or connect on Twitter @bretthoebel.

Did you miss Day 1? Well, here you go. Click back and take peek at what advice Tara has for you.