"Saturday Slim-Down": 3 Viewers Trying It

Three viewers with one goal combine to make up a new Early Show series, "Saturday Slim-Down."

They all hope to shed excess pounds by Labor Day, and accepted our challenge of letting us show them the way - and putting it on national TV as we do!

Day One saw AOL diet and fitness expert Liz Neporent explaining which workouts are best, and why - and pointing to inexpensive equipment for them, to boot!

The volunteers:

Karla, 38, of Brooklyn, N.Y. She lost 190 pounds after a gastric bypass operation a year ago. She bike-rides 12 miles, three times a week, but still can't shed the last 30 pounds she wants to. Her starting weight: 201.

Deirdre, 41, of Rye, N.Y. She went back to school and put on the "freshman 15" at 41! She's always been thin and can't figure out how to shed those 15 pounds before her wedding anniversary in September. Her starting weight: 118.

Taia, 27, of Manhattan. She's getting married in May and wants to lose 20 pounds and go down two dress sizes. Her starting weight: 196.8.

The workouts:

We've all heard it a million times: You can't lose weight properly without exercise.

But you have to know which routines are the wisest.

You want to start slowly. Do ten minutes per day; you don't want to do a full hour if you haven't worked out in a while. Gradually increase to 10-15 minutes per workout.

Do cardio three times a week and weights twice a week.

Try to work out every day, but no fewer than three times a week of cardio will get results, and no fewer than two days a week with weights.

A big secret is to do One Day of High Intensity: You get what we call the after-burn and continue to lose weight. Don't stick with long, slow distance: Do higher-intensity - it helps maintain metabolism, and gives temporary boosts in metabolism.

Aim to burn 300 calories from working out and cut 300 calories out of your diet each day - that would get you to lose about one-to-two pounds per week of fat weight. You want to loose fat, not water or muscle.

The big secret is, you won't lose unless you use weights. It's a well-kept secret formula: Work out with weights; it helps you lose weight and helps your metabolism, and helps eliminate the "yo-yo" effect and maintain wait loss.

Diet and Exercise go hand-in-hand; one doesn't work without the other.

Women:

  • Jump rope uses 10-15 calories a minute.
  • Running on a treadmill uses 8-11 calories a minute
  • Walking on treadmill, 5-8 calories a minute
  • Treadmill with incline burns more calories, and helps your butt and thighs.
  • Bike burns 4-7 calories a minute. Park it in front of a TV and just go! It's non-weight-bearing, and easier on your joints.
  • Once a week, do a fast/slow.

    GO TO PAGE 2 FOR DETAILS ON THE EQUIPMENT SHOWN ON THE PLAZA

  • The equipment:

    Jump Rope: $20 - $40
    Merit Home Treadmill $260 - 499
    Schwinn Upright Bike $349
    Bowflex Dumbbells $149 - $699

    The following information was provided directly by the manufacturers:

    Merit 720T treadmill

    Make it easy and affordable to get into shape in your own home with the Merit 720T treadmill, which folds easily for storage. A great choice for both walkers and recreational runners, the 720T has a 1.25 continuous horsepower motor that provides a speed range of 1 to 10 miles per hour. It also offers a 0 to 10 percent elevation range for added resistance with 400 pounds of thrust. The computer console has a brickyard LCD screen showing levels as well as four additional LCDs displaying speed, time, and distance and 10 quick keys. It also features two cup holders, a hand contact heart rate monitor, and four preset programs--manual, intervals, rolling, and weight loss.

    Specifications:

  • Motor: 1.25 continuous horsepower, 2.25 total horsepower
  • Speed range: 1 to 10 miles per hour
  • Elevation range: 0 to 1.75 percent
  • Running area: 18 by 50 inches
  • Running deck: 0.6 inch
  • Cushion system: AeroSoft
  • Belt thickness: 1.3 millimeters
  • Roller size: 1.6 inches
  • Weight capacity: 250 pounds
  • Warranty: Frame - lifetime; motor - 2 years; parts and labor - 90 days

    Schwinn 130 Upright Exercise Bike

    Save money on monthly gym fees and get yourself in shape at the same time with the compact, comfortable Schwinn 130 upright exercise bike. The 130 boasts a full complement of workout programs, with six preset courses (calorie goal, BMI measurement, recovery test, results mode, quick start, and manual mode), 10 profile courses, and 16 resistance levels. The backlit LCD computer display, meanwhile, shows all the relevant workout statistics, including time, interval time, RPM, watts, distance, pulse, speed, calories, and resistance.

    Riders will love the variety of comfort features, which range from wide Schwinn Bio-Fit pedals to a Bio-Fit Comfort saddle with a micro- adjustable fore/aft seat slider. Other features include adjustable handlebars with integrated heart-rate grip sensors and bottom transport wheels that both protect your floors and make the bike easy to store.

    Features:

  • 16 resistance levels
  • 6 preset programs and 10 profile courses
  • Programs include calorie goal, BMI measurement, recovery test, results mode, quick start, and manual mode
  • Backlit LCD monitor
  • Workout stats include time, interval time, RPM, watts, distance, pulse, speed, calories, and resistance
  • Extra-wide comfort seat with micro-adjustable fore/aft seat slider
  • Premium, extra-wide Bio-Fit pedals
  • Handlebars with integrated heart-rate grips
  • Mast water bottle holders
  • Transport wheels for easy movement
  • 10 year warranty on frame, 1 year on mechanical and electrical, 6 months on wear items, 90 days on labor.

    Bowflex Dumbbells

    Two dumbbells, unlimited options. Complete Bowflex home-gym capacity at the turn of a dial. The leader in strength technology has put a home gym worth of results in a supremely compact, adjustable lifting system that gives you 15 sets of weights in one. Change resistance from 5 to 52.5 pounds with a simple turn of a dial; lower-weight increments start at 2.5 pounds to help you gradually increase strength without bulking up.

    SelectTech Dumbbells will change your idea of dumbbells forever. Bowflex has re-invented the dumbbell by condensing 30 separate barbells down to just 2, saving you both space and money. SelectTech Dumbbell's unique weight system lets you adjust each dumbbells from 5 lbs. to 52.5 lbs. quickly, easily and safely. Just rotate the dial to the weight you want. SelectTech tumblers automatically fasten to the weight you want to lift.

    Some extras!:

    Gift certificates for all three volunteers from Amazon.com for $250 and Modell's for $50, along with three-month memberships in Bally Total Fitness Gyms.

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