The Best Weight Loss Advice Ever!

"I have been doing Weight Watchers for almost a year now. I was at an unbearable weight and knew I needed help. Weight Watchers was offered at Riverside Medical Center, and I was able to participate during my lunch. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to begin my weight loss. As of my weigh in this week, I am down 55 pounds. I am feeling so much better and feel more positive about losing more. There are always challenges, but there is always the opportunity to start fresh the next day. Weight watchers provided a code for online support that is wonderful. It helps track food and provides points for food for their smart point system. Being accountable for intake is critical and makes me aware of my food consumption. It’s not always easy, but shopping for smaller size clothing is always a great incentive."

— Mary Kleinert, the departmental secretary of environmental services at Riverside who has lost more than 55 pounds





"If I had to give you my ABSOLUTE BEST weight-loss advice, it would be this. You have to remember your body is a feed as it goes and fuel as it goes machine! At the end of the day, It HAS to be fed and more importantly it HAS to be fed the proper things: proteins, carbohydrates and fats. We need protein to assist in muscle growth and to help maintain our muscle because it contains all the essential amino acids that our muscles need to thrive. Protein includes anything that comes from an animal. (this is a great way to 'figure out' what is a protein!) Carbohydrates is our energy source, which is what gives our body and our brain the fuel that it needs to 'go!' Carbohydrates includes, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa. Lastly our body needs good fats, such as avocado, nuts, coconut or olive oil, or natural nut butter, these are just a few examples. Good fats, slow the digestion process, and also aides in the bodies ability to release bad fat that we are storing! So my best Weight-loss advice would be to "Eat in 3s' starting within an hour upon waking and every 3 hours throughout the day. P-F-C every 3! 100 percent success!"

— Kelli Bonomo, Kelli Bonomo's Vault 360, 2099 W. Station St., Kankakee

“As the employee wellness manager of Riverside Healthcare System, my advice would be to balance nutrition with physical activity. Moderation is key in daily diet. Do not deprive yourself of your favorite snack, but limit the amount that you take in and balance it with healthier choices throughout the day. It is all about balance. It is also important to fit exercise in where ever you can throughout the day. If you can’t get to the gym, commit to parking farther away and walking a longer distance into work or opt for the stairs instead of the elevator. The REACH Wellness Program at Riverside feels strongly that an individual is much more successful in weight loss when they have a group or partner to work with. This may be a weight management group, friend, wellness coach, or spouse; just someone to keep yourself accountable to your plan. Riverside has three Weight Watcher On-site groups in which employees are reimbursed for their participation, collectively, these groups lost over 2000 pounds in 2016. That success is the result of committed employees and a program that supports these key principles.”

— Lynn Christian, Riverside Healthcare's Employee Wellness manager

"Stay away from fad diets, program that tells you to cut out carbs, or the newest pyramid diet program on the market. Make life style changes you can stick with smaller proportion, Protein at each meal, vegetables and fruits at two meals, don't skip meals, three low-calorie high protein snacks about two hours after each meal, switch to whole grain pasta and breads, stay away from processed foods, and pop, keep sweets small proportions and occasionally, eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, Cardio and weight training program you can stick with. You don't have to starve or ditch your social life to loss weight."

— Cindi Whittington, owner of Body Works Fitness Center, 800 W. Broadway St., Bradley

"My best weight loss advice:

  • Weight management and weight loss are a matter of energy intake versus energy output. The challenge for most people is finding the long term balance between the two. To have success with weight loss and maintaining the goal weight a person must embrace a healthy life style that includes eating good nutritious food and exercise.
  • It is important to have a balance of essential vitamins and minerals by eating a variety of foods every day. Consume at least two servings of dairy foods per day; two servings of meat, poultry or fish; four servings of vegetables and fruits; and four servings of whole grain bread, cereal, and pasta.
  • Avoid unrealistic goals: It’s good to have weight — loss goals, try to keep them general, and not for just a specific event. Try to focus on health, not just weight loss. The goal should be overall health and a healthy life style for the long term."

— Yvonne Mills, personal trainer/health coach at Kankakee Community College

"The best weight loss advice I have, summed up, is eat mostly plants, a variety of plants and a lot of them because plants are nutritionally dense and high in fiber. They will fill you up by giving you the nutrients your body needs and will leave less space for the bad stuff. The 'bad' stuff is OK in moderation but it's hard to moderate when you haven't given your body what it needs. Have you ever noticed that you can keep eating and eating ice cream, chips, etc and not get full? It's because those foods aren't sending the signals to your brain that you've gotten the nourishment you need. Americans can definitely tend to be overfed but undernourished.

Fill 3/4 of your plate with green veggies, starchy veggies, beans or legumes and the remaining 1/4 can be dairy or meat. Follow these guidelines and you'll be full and your body will begin to find it's natural weight. (Just make sure those veggies are cooked in a healthy fat or water, not drenched in a buttery sauce! My faves are unrefined coconut oil and olive oil)."

— Crystal Gray, yoga and wellness coach at and yoga instructor at Align Yoga Studio, 255 S. Schuyler Ave., Kankakee

"Believe that you can and you will! Know your WHY — why are you doing this? This can continue to motivate you for the rest of your life. I never once thought I was on a diet — never expected perfection. I enjoyed each day eating what I loved and chose to eat. I am healthier today as a result of this. I eat better, feel better and have so much more energy. I joined Weight Watchers in September 2008 and reached my goal thirteen months later losing a total of 88 pounds. I have kept it off for 7 1/2 years."

— Claire McElroy, Weight Watchers leader who lost 88 pounds and has kept it off for 7 1/2 years

"I would have to say find someone to keep you accountable. It is very difficult to conquer any goal without someone by your side through the challenges and celebrations. At the Kankakee Area YMCA, we offer members an opportunity to meet with a trainer for one hour a week to keep them accountable. Other sources of accountability can include a friend, co-worker, partner, or even social media!"

— Fiana Comer, healthy living director, Kankakee Area YMCA

"My best advice I have is that a person has to want to improve their health and well-being before beginning their weight lose journey. That switch has to be turned on in one's brain for weight loss to be a success. There are programs out in our community such as Weight Watchers, Ideal Protein and such that can help one with their weight loss. We have to be willing to change our way of eating to include healthy foods and increase our water consumption to at least six glasses of water a day. Healthy food includes fresh fruits and vegetables. Start by making your shopping habits include shopping the external perimeter of the store where the fresh food and preservative free foods reside. Each person should have five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Protein is also a very important part of one’s diet and can be from small servings of meat, eggs, legumes, peanut butter and so on; be sure to follow the portion size on the food label. Speaking of labels, it’s important to know how to read them too avoid too much fat, sugar/carbohydrates, sodium and preservatives in our daily diet. One should not deny themselves but pay attention to portion size and adjust accordingly. Next, each person should have at least one hour of physical activity a day.

"This can be achieved by walking inside or outside, playing with pets and our children. Activity can be working out at a gym, but does not have to be. Keep moving for your joint health as well as your general health. Stay away from too much screen time (playing video games, watching TV and so on). Zero sugary drinks. Drink water, low fat milk and avoid soda, diet soda, high sugar count juices and other liquids. Also, even when it's cold outside make time to enjoy the sunny days by spending just a few minutes outside absorbing its rays which gives us much needed vitamin D. For our mental health we need to think positive and smile. :) A person needs to look at it as a lifestyle change to be happy and healthy."

— Debbie Caise, Presence St. Mary's Hospital, Kankakee


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