The Snacks, Workout Rules, and Stress-Relief Practices Chris and Heidi Powell Swear By
The duo gives new meaning to the term power couple—training clients on TV, writing books, and raising four children together—all while staying super fit and healthy.
And their app, TRANSFORM with Chris & Heidi, brings their expert approach to weight-loss to anyone with an iPhone. “We guide you (and ourselves) through whatever transformation journey you want to take on,” Heidi says.
While you wait for it to download, find out more about their many healthy habits, below. Unsurprisingly, the pair is pretty in sync when it comes to wellness.
How Do Chris and Heidi Powell Live a Nutritious Life?
If you had to name your healthy diet, what would you call it?
Chris: We call it Carb Cycling. It’s a patterned way of alternating between a high carb/low fat diet some days (to optimize metabolism and muscle development) and a low carb/higher fat diet other days (to maximize fat loss). Beyond the physiological benefits, it also allows a wide variety of meal combinations, to create a lifestyle around foods that you truly enjoy.
Heidi: Yes, we carb cycle…but with a very flexible and sustainable twist. Deprivation diets do not work for me or for anyone else that I know. We can lose weight on them for a period of time, but after too long the dam will break and binges can happen. This is how we’ve fallen into that yo-yo dieting pattern repetitively for years. By adding in treats or reward foods to our meal plan occasionally—that still fit within the calorie and macro budget—we finally have freedom with food!
What’s your go-to breakfast?
Chris: Typically, it’s a protein shake and some high-fiber starch like bran cereal with almond milk or a whole grain bagel.
Heidi: My reward food comes at breakfast every day! I do a protein shake (because it’s easy) along with a Starbucks Marshmallow Dream Bar (i.e. a rice crispy treat!).
Your go-to workday dinner?
Chris and Heidi: Scrambled egg whites with sea salt and whole grain waffles. Yes, we are one of those breakfast-for-dinner families!
What’s the one food you always have in your fridge?
Chris: Lean ground turkey. It can be used with a ton of meal combinations from broccoli and cheese to mashed potatoes and gravy, to rice and marinara sauce.
Heidi: EXTRA lean ground turkey for me. Same idea, just less fat so I can eat more peanut butter to fulfill my fat requirements each day. Also, unsweetened vanilla almond milk. It tastes so good, and is so low in calories. I cook with it, bake with it, use it in cereal, shakes, etc.
The one food you’d never buy?
Heidi: Whatever your trigger food is. Trigger foods are foods that we cannot eat even once without it triggering bad food behaviors. For some it might be chips, for others this might be chocolate. Know your trigger food and avoid it at all costs!
The snack you always have with you when traveling?
Chris and Heidi: We never travel anywhere without these 4 items: Protein bars, protein powder, low-fat granola bars, and almonds.
RELATED: The 5 Healthiest Protein Bars, Found
Your favorite conscious food indulgence?
Chris: Homemade chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, and oatmeal raisin cookies.
Heidi: Red velvet cupcakes and homemade apple pie.
How often do you exercise?
Chris: I typically train five to six days a week. My workouts are predominantly powerlifting/bodybuilding style, with a short cross-training style ‘metcon’ at the end of one or two of the workouts.
Heidi: I also train five to six days a week. Five days a week of strength and hypertrophy training (iron gym style to sculpt) and one day a week of HIIT with metabolic conditioning circuits.
Which workout would you NEVER do?
Chris: The Shake Weight.
Heidi: Ha! I don’t know of one that I would never try unless it put me in danger. I believe in dating all forms of fitness, even the ones you don’t want to try, to find out what you actually like. You might be surprised!
How do you stay active outside the gym?
Chris: If there is any activity we do outside the gym, it’s running.
Heidi: Are you kidding me? The most active thing I do in LIFE is run around after our four kids. That’s a workout in and of itself!
What’s your go-to tool for managing stress?
Chris: Without beating a dead horse, it’s working out! For me, sometimes I need to put the boxing gloves on and just hit the heck out of a heavy bag for a while. It helps put my mind back in the right place, and helps me keep my priorities straight.
Heidi: A massage! I don’t indulge in very many things in life, but once every couple of months I do a 90-minute massage and just zone out. In fact, I’m overdue for one now.
What’s your weirdest healthy habit?
Heidi: I like to combine peanut butter with rice and extra lean ground turkey. Sometimes I add a little Sriracha for spice! It sounds weird, but it ends up tasting like a Thai peanut sauce and helps me get in all my macros for the day.
Which healthy habit do you wish you had more time for?
Heidi and Chris: Stretching! We have neglected flexibility training, and now our muscles are insanely tight. Time for some more yoga.
Meditation or massage? Chris: Massage! Heidi: Massage.
A hot shower or a soothing bath? Chris: Hot Shower! Heidi: Hot shower.
Almond butter or peanut butter? Chris: Peanut Butter! Heidi: Peanut Butter.
Coffee or tea? Chris: Coffee! Heidi: Grande iced coffee, with one pump of mocha.
A long run outside or a dark spin class? Chris: Long run outside! Heidi: Same…we are made for each other!