Chris Powell Transformation Specialist

Eat Real Food Healthy Eats – Satisfy Your Chocolate Craving With This Protein Shake

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I’m always looking for ways to game the system and satisfy my chocolate cravings while staying within my dietary budget. Fitness expert and trainer Chris Powell (who you may remember from ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition) offers up a delicious protein shake recipe that delivers all kinds of good stuff while feeding my need for chocolaty goodness.

Chris Powell’s Chocolate-Almond Banana Protein Shake
Created by Chris Powell
Serves 1

1 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder (or Powell Perfect Chocolate Ice Cream protein powder)
1 tablespoon almond butter
1/2 banana
1 cup of ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

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It’s almost summer and that means it’s time to get your body ready for bikini season. Chris Powell, master trainer and host of ABC’s “Extreme Weight Loss,” visited “Good Morning America” today as part of our “Times Square Summer Slimdown Week,” sharing his tips to kick your workout into high gear.

On the season premiere of “Extreme Weight Loss,” which premieres tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, Powell helps two twins, David and Rebecca, who tipped the scales at a combined 900 pounds, drop an incredible amount of weight.

For the twins and many others, getting started can be the toughest part of the weight-loss journey, Powell says.

“I know you’ve heard this before but take one thing that you are willing to change in your life, whether it’s moving for five minutes or drinking water, take one promise that you can fulfill, and keep that promise to yourself over and over and over. And then take on another small change,” Powell suggests.

Most importantly, the “GMA” weight-loss correspondent says to lose weight, you must get moving. A quick move that anyone can do in just a few minutes a day, Powell says, is the squat jack.

“A squat jack is a great total body movement,” the best-selling author of “Choose More, Lose More for Life” said.

Credit: ABC

Credit: ABC

Besides being “fun,” the squat jack spikes your heart rate and it’s so easy to combine with other exercises.

Another power workout move with Powell’s seal of approval is jumping rope.

“Jumping rope is back. It was a thing a few decades ago and now it’s back, which is great. It’s endurance, stamina, and it’s a total body exercise. It’s not just the legs, but it’s balance and the shoulders,” he said. “For the beginner there are easy moves, or there are crossovers and lots of complicated things you can do that give you a great total body workout.”

“Choose More, Lose More for Life” is published by Hyperion, which is owned by The Walt Disney Co., the parent company of ABC News. Powell is a paid spokesman for the California Almond Board.

RECIPE: Chris Powell’s Protein Waffle

RECIPE: Chris Powell’s Chicken Tostadas

RECIPE: Chris Powell’s Asian Wraps

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Eat Carbs and Lose Weight

“ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Weight-loss Edition’s Chris Powell” says you can eat carbs and still lose weight! Check out some of his easy and healthy recipes from his new book “Choose More, Lose More For Life”.

Sirloin Steak with Green Beans and Tomatoes

Makes: 2 portions


Sirloin steak, boneless and lean – 6 oz
Olive oil in spritzer bottle – 1 spritz
Green beans – 1 cup
Tomatoes, chopped into large pieces – 1 tomato
Garlic, minced – 3/4 tsp
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a nonstick pan on high heat. Add meat; cook on each side to desired doneness. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Lower heat to medium. Add green beans and sauté for about 3 minutes; add garlic and continue cooking for about a minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add diced tomatoes to the pan and cook for about a minute. Cover pan and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, until tomatoes become somewhat saucy.

Plate the meat with vegetables on the side. Serve immediately with your favorite side for a high- or low-carb day; or portion out and store in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to reheat and enjoy. Green beans and tomatoes can be refrigerated but will not freeze well.

Make this a low carb meal: Serve with a portion of sliced avocado.
Make this a high carb meal: Serve with your favorite carb dish, such as brown rice, baked potato, or baked sweet potato.

Lemon Chicken

Makes: 2 portions


Chicken Breasts – 2 breasts
Olive oil in spritzer bottle – 1 spritz
Lemon juice – 1/4 cup
Garlic minced – 1 tsp
Salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a gallon-size zip-top bag and seal. Gently massage bag to mix ingredients and fully coat meat with marinade. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.

Remove meat from bag and discard any remaining marinade. Broil, or grill over medium-high heat, cooking chicken on each side to desired doneness.

Serve immediately with your favorite side for a high- or low-carb day; or portion out and store in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to reheat and enjoy.

Make this a low carb meal: Serve with a side salad or sliced tomato. Drizzle with salad dressing.
Make this a high carb meal: Serve with a side salad or veggies of your choosing. Serve with your favorite carb side dish, such as red potatoes or couscous.

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From the kitchen of Chris Powell

Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: 1-30 min

Was your New Year’s resolution to lose weight? Trainer Chris Powell, of the hit show “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition,” offers this tasty and healthy recipe to help you reach your goal!

3 oz. cooked extra-lean ground chicken breast or ground turkey
¼ each chopped water chestnuts, tomato, onions
1 leaf Iceberg lettuce
1/3 avocado, sliced
1 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce

Cooking Directions
Arrange chicken or turkey, water chestnuts, tomatoes and onions on lettuce leaf.
Drizzle with soy sauce.
Place avocado on top.
Wrap and enjoy!

Recipe Summary
Main Ingredients: lettuce, cooked lean ground chicken or ground turkey, avocado, tomato, onions, water chestnuts
Course: Snack, Lunch
More Info: Kids Friendly, Low Fat

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Originally published on

From the kitchen of Chris Powell

Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: 30-60 min

Was your New Year’s resolution to lose weight? Trainer Chris Powell, of the hit show “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition,” offers this tasty and healthy recipe to help you reach your goal!


3 ½ oz. cooked chicken breast
Corn tortillas
1/3 cup boiled or canned black beans
2 cups (mixed) chopped onions and peppers, chopped iceberg lettuce
3 tbsp. salsa

Cooking Directions

Lightly spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray, and set the stove to medium heat.
Saute onions, peppers and chicken for 5 minutes.
Mix in the beans and heat. Remove from heat, and mix with lettuce and salsa.
Tear tortillas into 1 inch-pieces, and sprinkle over the top (Optional: Heat on stovetop or in microwave.) Enjoy!

Recipe Summary

Main Ingredients: cooked chicken breast, corn tortillas, black beans
Course: Snack, Lunch

Comments Off Chris Powell’s Protein Waffle

Originally published on


From the kitchen of Chris Powell

Cook Time: min

Powell likes to top this with fresh berries, and if he’s feeling extra indulgent, some agave syrup. He serves it with a nice cold glass of vanilla almond milk (unsweetened) and hot coffee!

  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Cooking Directions

Put oatmeal and baking powder in food processor or blender and process until powdered.

In a food processor blend cottage cheese, eggs, water, vanilla, and olive oil until smooth.

Mix the dry and the wet ingredients to form a batter.

As the mixture stands it will thicken and it may be necessary to add more water, (a tablespoon at a time), to a get smooth, not lumpy, consistency.

Cook in a waffle iron according to the iron’s specifications. Powell’s waffles take about 4 minutes each.

Nutritional Data: 313 Calories, 18g Protein, 29g Carbs, 4g Fiber, 2.5g Sugar, 13.4g Fat

If you top this with coconut whipped cream, it adds an additional 60 cal, 5.2g fat, .8 carbs, and .8 protein

This recipe was styled by chef Karen Pickus for “Good Morning America.”

Recipe courtesy Chris Powell.

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Carb Cycling 101

Carb cycling is the foundation of what I do every day and with every client.  It works!  I’m going to introduce you to the basics of carb cycling and the four different carb cycling plans—Easy, Classic, Turbo, and Fit—as well as 9-Minute Missions, which work in combination with carb cycling for optimal weight loss results.

First up, the carb cycling basics.

What is Carb Cycling?

Carb cycling is an eating plan with alternating high-carb and low-carb days. It’s that simple. It also has built-in reward days or reward meals (depending on the plan you’re following), so you can still eat your favorite foods on a regular basis. Sounds pretty much perfect, right? You can eat healthy foods, enjoy foods you love, and still lose weight.

While each plan has a different mix of high-carb and low-carb days, each day works basically the same:

  • Eat five meals—no more, no less.
  • Eat a high-carb breakfast that includes both protein and carbs within 30 minutes of waking.
  • Eat your remaining 4 meals—either high-carb or low-carb, depending on the plan you’re following—every 3 hours.
  • Choose approved foods (Sign up here to receive a FREE printable food guide!)
  • Drink a gallon of water.

How does it work?

In order to lose weight, our bodies need the right combination of proteins, carbs, and healthy fats. Here’s why:

  • Protein builds and maintains muscles and these muscles burn calories like an inferno. Protein also breaks down more slowly than carbs and fat, which burns even more calories and helps you feel fuller longer.
  • Carbs are the preferred fuel source for your muscles and organs, and they come in healthy versions (vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes), and not-so-healthy versions (cakes, cookies, soda, doughnuts, candy, and many processed foods).  Healthy carbs are also crucial for burning calories, and since they break down more slowly than those not-so-healthy carbs, they keep your blood sugar and energy levels steady, and they also keep your calorie-burning furnace hot so it burns more calories!
  • Healthy fats (unsaturated fats) eaten in moderation help the development and function of your eyes and brain and help prevent heart disease, stroke, depression, and arthritis. Healthy fats also help keep your energy levels steady and keep you from feeling hungry.

So why do we alternate high-carb and low-carb days in carb cycling? On high-carb days you’re stocking your calorie-burning furnace so that on low-carb days your furnace burns fat, and lots of it! This pattern tricks your metabolism into burning a lot of calories, even on those low-carb days. It’s an amazing and well-proven process.

What are the benefits?

Carb cycling has many benefits:

  • It fits any lifestyle.
  • You’ll learn how to shed weight and body fat, and how to make smart lifestyle choices for the rest of your life. This puts YOU in control.
  • You’ll feel better and have more energy.
  • You’ll eat the foods you love.
  • You’ll build lean, strong muscles.
  • You’ll be empowered physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

We’ve touched briefly on carb cycling. Learn more about my four Carb Cycling plans to find your ideal one and let’s get cycling!

Easy Carb Cycle

Classic Carb Cycle

Turbo Carb Cycle

Fit Carb Cycle

We’ve just skimmed the surface of carb cycling here. Get even more details on carb cycling in my books Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution, and Choose More, Lose More for Life

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Carb Cycling: The Fit Cycle

Do you want to “lean up” without compromising your athletic performance? Do you want to train for long periods of time? Then the Fit Cycle is the cycle for you. The Fit Cycle not only eliminates fat, but it also supplies your body with the fuel it needs to perform successfully, no matter what sport you choose to excel in.

Unlike the other three carb cycles, the Fit Cycle only has two low-carb days per week, and there’s a very important reason for this: The extra high-carb day allows your muscles to absorb more fuel (glycogen), which you’ll need for maximum athletic performance. During your low-carb days, when this supply of glycogen gets depleted, your muscles will develop insulin sensitivity. When you then have a high-carb day or your reward day, these insulin-sensitive muscles will actually soak up more carbs, your body will burn this extra fuel instead of storing it as fat, and you’ll still lose weight. It’s an amazing process!

Here’s what a Fit Cycle week looks like:


With the Fit Cycle you won’t lose weight as fast as with the Turbo Cycle, but you will be able to maintain your athletic performance. However, if you do experience a slight decrease in your athletic performance with this cycle, and you’re not as concerned about losing weight, try combining the Fit Cycle with pre- and post-workout supplements or meal replacement shakes with some extra macronutrients.

And as with the other cycles, you can stay on the Fit Cycle or change cycles at any time. It all depends on your weight loss and athletic goals.

For more information on the Fit Cycle or any other cycle, check out my book, Choose More, Lose More for Life.

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Carb Cycling: The Easy Cycle

Do you have a hard time going without your favorite foods, but you still want to lose weight? Then the Easy Cycle is for you. In this cycle you alternate low-carb and high-carb days, and on every single high-carb day you can have a reward meal, as long as that meal isn’t your dinner meal. That’s right, you can eat the foods you love—four days a week— and still reach your weight loss goals. And by favorite foods I mean pizza, ice cream, bacon, chocolate cake, cheesecake—they’re all okay. The power of this cycle is that if you get those favorite food cravings on low-carb days, you only have to wait until the next day to satisfy them. Anyone can do that! Success can be yours with this cycle.

How is this possible? First of all, you’ll be following my low-carb/high-carb eating plan for your non-reward meals, and the success of this pattern has been proven many times over. And even though you’ll be rewarding yourself, you’ll be rewarding yourself less often. Let’s say you usually eat seven servings of ice cream a week. With the Easy Cycle you’re already eliminating three bowls of ice cream a week, and that’s a lot of calories! You’re satisfying your cravings without depriving yourself, and losing weight.

Here’s what an Easy Cycle week looks like:


For all your meals, on both low and high-carb days, try and eat smaller portions than you would pre-carb cycle. The more calories you can cut, the faster you’ll lose that extra weight!

And yes, you won’t lose weight as quickly as you would in other cycles, but the important thing is that you will lose weight, and you’ll also be forming healthy habits that will last a lifetime. And when you’re ready, you can move onto another cycle if you want to. Or you can stay with the Easy Cycle throughout your weight loss journey. It’s totally up to you!

For more information on the Easy Cycle or any other cycle, check out my book, Choose More, Lose More for Life.

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Carb Cycling: The Classic Cycle

I first introduced the Classic Cycle in my first book, Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution. While the Easy Cycle is the easiest cycle, the Classic Cycle is the simplest carb cycle. It offers a quick and easy introduction to carb cycling and results in fast and steady weight loss.

Unlike the Easy Cycle, which has a reward meal incorporated into every high-carb day, the Classic Cycle has an entire reward day every week. Imagine that—a whole day to satisfy those cravings for your favorite foods! And you’ll still lose weight.

Here’s what a Classic Cycle week looks like:


With the Classic Cycle, besides losing weight at a quick and constant pace, you’ll also be able to tune into what is happening in your body during this carb cycle process. You’ll learn and actually feel how food affects your body, and while you may experience some brief periods of nausea, headaches, low energy and other symptoms as you change the way you fuel your body, these will be temporary. In the end, you’ll have a whole new appreciation for this marvelous body you have! And as with the Easy Cycle, you can stick with the Classic Cycle throughout your weight loss journey or move onto another cycle. You are in control!

Find more information on the Classic Cycle in both my books—Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution and Choose More, Lose More for Life.

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