Tracy Anderson on How to Lose Weight Fast
TA devotees, goop readers, and staffers alike never run out of questions for Tracy Anderson. The word “diet” has become a lightning rod in our society, but Anderson still fields an enormous number of questions; her approach to both fitness and nutrition are serious and clean clean clean. Here, she addresses a common summer conundrum: The fast-approaching beach vacation, wedding, even high-school reunion you might want to get in shape for. In this new interview, she shares tips for shaping up fast—whether you have a month, two weeks, or just forty-eight hours. Beyond that, we’ve included her summer workout playlist, the scoop on where you can find her/take a class this summer—and we’ve stocked the goop shop with her organic protein bars—an instant goop-staff obsession.
A Q&A with Tracy Anderson
What about people who are stuck and can’t budge past a certain weight or size despite what they’re doing?
This can be really difficult and frustrating, and it’s very individual. Sometimes, it’s a matter of being honest with yourself and/or re-thinking what and how you’re eating and moving. It might be that you need a new routine—dance cardio is great at helping you push past boundaries—but even small adjustments (like cutting almond milk from your coffee) can make a difference if you need it.
For those with sluggish metabolisms, whose emotional taste buds were brought up on packaged cookies, candy bars, muffins, and chips—the “journey to balance” can be a real mountain that just doesn’t even look possible to climb. One of the most effective ways to get off of addictive processed foods that do not serve you is to always be prepared with a healthy option.
Is that how you came to develop your new organic bars?
Around one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese, and some estimates suggest that 500,000 people that will die this year in the US from an obesity-related illness. If we want to help reverse the dysfunctional state of moving less and eating more that we’re in, we need to include everyone, at every price point, at every level of food. Processed convenience foods can be better if we carefully craft the ingredients.
Most of our lives move too fast to make certain we have fresh, whole foods always available to us—we don’t all have organic salads at our disposal. I have had a lot of success over the years helping people to get rid of unhealthy, debilitating weight, in part by eating meal-replacement bars. As I learned more about nutrition and the body, and my work evolved, though, I found I couldn’t recommend the same products anymore because of the toxic ingredients in them. I believe in protein bars as meal replacements for weight loss and weight management, but while the options out there might work for managing weight, they aren’t good for the totality of your health.
When I dug into the back end of the protein bar market, I realized it was even worse than I thought: really healthy-looking marketing packaged with ingredients worse for you than an actual candy bar. I wanted a bar that would be good for the brain and body, and sit on that convenient shelf with other affordable options.
In the first round of CLEAR bars, I got the bars to 70 percent organic; now, I am thrilled to offer two 100-percent organic Ultimate CLEAR bars: Sport Cherry Pie (my personal favorite) and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. They are meant to be a healthy combination of protein, energy, and flavor that will satisfy you, and support your weight management or weight loss journey if you’re on one. (I am also happy that my teenager can enjoy them before a game as a healthy snack that provides actual energy instead of a sugared-up sports bar.)
Obviously, this isn’t ideal, but it is a reality: What do you suggest when clients tell you they have a big event coming up, and they want to shed weight fast? What’s possible in a month, and what do you recommend?
If you have weight to lose, you can effectively do a fourteen-pound weight loss in four weeks. This requires focus and physical, mental, and emotional willpower. You will experience short-term stress (particularly during your cycle if you’re a woman)—but this can end up being less stressful than living with the stress of excess weight. Please keep in mind that these menus are meant for people who have unhealthy weight on them and/or are in need of weight management.
For breakfast, choose one of the following:
2 poached eggs with a sprinkle of rosemary sea salt; side of sautéed chopped kale and cherry tomatoes in rice wine vinegar
1 TA organic Ultimate CLEAR bar
10 ounces chilled Yogi cinnamon vanilla tea with 2 scoops of vanilla ResTArt protein powder
1 cup of blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries
For lunch, choose one of the following:
Salad: chopped romaine, spinach, scallions, raw broccoli tops (shave the top off), cucumbers, yellow onion, sauerkraut (I like Garlic Dill Pickle from Farmhouse Culture), rice wine vinegar; plus 1 snack pack of Eden’s organic tamari almonds
Second salad option: chopped spinach, red onion, parsley, cheese (I do 2 ounces of Midnight Moon cut into chunks). For dressing, I recommend Paul Newman’s organic Italian.
Sautéed chicken: Sauté 1 chicken breast with garlic. In a separate skillet, put 1 cup organic tomato sauce with a little red pepper. Sauté ½ yellow onion and ½ zucchini. Shred chicken and add in with garlic.
Grilled chicken: Have a grilled chicken breast with a side salad of chopped organic iceberg and butter lettuce, chopped scallions and cucumbers, with rice wine vinegar and lemon.
Bone broth mix: Put bone broth in a pot to simmer (I do two cartons of lemongrass chicken bone broth from Pacific). Chop 1 cooked chicken breast and add to the broth along with scallions, celery, carrot. Once vegetables are cooked, add chopped curly kale to only slightly soften.
Taco take: Fill 2 gluten-free corn tortillas with Bethmale cheese or mozzarella, chopped tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and sea salt
Fish: Get 1 can of tuna in water and add mustard and capers. Eat on sliced cucumber.
For dinnerAny of the following fish (wild-caught), or an organic chicken breast simply grilled or steamed:
Wild Chilean sea bass
Black sea bass
Cherry tomatoes and onions
Zucchini and onions
Sweet peas with rosemary and pearl onions
Spinach with lemon and capers
Collard greens (try sautéing in rice wine vinegar)
Aim for a half bar of Alter Eco’s Dark Velvet chocolate. [You can see the goop guide to good-for-you chocolate here.] Full bar is okay, too. But if you can do without the chocolate bar some days, that’s great.
Other suggested guidelines
Try to eat all/as much organic as possible
Drink plenty of water
Opt for zero-calorie, fresh-brewed tea (as opposed to be pre-made); can have flavor and/or be caffeinated, but no additives
You can add one Nuun tablet to water during exercise if you’re looking for a boost
Don’t eat eggs twice in a day
May have 1 to 2 glasses of wine per day. If you are drinking, it is best to have a glass before you go into a hungry time. For people that tend to crave carbs or sugar, go for a crispy, cold white. If the wine can be organic as well, that’s great. An organic red will have more health benefits than white, but the white is better for curbing cravings if you’re looking to lose weight.
Movement is key; you really want to get a solid sweat in for one hour, every day. If you’re in for TA, but not able to come to the studio, check out the streaming options. You could stream a master class each day, or even do the beginners version twice a day. Ideal is to exercise in a room with space heaters and humidifiers for a greater sweat.
CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF
Weigh yourself on the same scale every morning so you can know how much weight you are losing. If you are on a four-week plan, you’re likely to drop a bit of weight, hold that weight for a while, and then drop again—that’s normal. Regardless: You should make the choices that you need based on what your body is telling you. If you need a day off, or to eat something else, do.
What if you only have two weeks, or one?
Follow the above plan for just two weeks, or one. If you go no carb, people can generally lose around eight pounds in this timeframe.
If you only have 48 hours, I would go with the leanest eating options. For example: the tea with protein powder at breakfast, a poached egg and small salad with rice wine vinegar for lunch, half of the chocolate bar for a snack, and steamed/grilled plain fish with steamed spinach or asparagus for dinner. With this eating plan, plus a sweaty muscular structure and cardio workout, you could be down four pounds, but most likely two, unless you are a really good physical performer and you have the heat and humidity perfect in your workout environment.
Your summer workout playlist?
Can you share a bit about the new 59th Street studio vibe and how the launch has gone for you?
Every studio I build, I get the opportunity to improve. There are so many things I love about this new studio. I meet with every single member personally for a deep dive into the history of their physical self, and where they would like to go. I love meeting all of the people that will come and move and improve with us every day—they are all part of the solution. Two highlights: We combined infrared heat and humidity to create a temperature system that is the most anti-aging, glorious workout sweat ever. (I feel like I can say that after all of the places I have sweat—ha!) The TA cafe, with all organic produce and proteins, is special to me because it provides members and people stopping by for a class with a place where they can know they are eating in a way that is aligned with how they moved.
What else are you working on?
We are opening new studios in the US and internationally later this year (stay tuned for where!). This summer, we have ViTAlity weeks in the Hamptons, Charleston, and London.
We have a couple of other fun additions to the Hamptons: My favorite fitness stylist Karen Shapiro is curating really fun pop-up fitness shops for our Hamptons locations this summer, in East Hampton and Watermill. We are also doing a partnership with The Golden Pear to carry my favorite protein-powder smoothies with all organic produce at their four Hamptons cafés. I also have two books coming out this year, which I’m really excited about: Total Teen and Total Woman.
The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of goop, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.