PART ONE:  Turning With Your Hoop

Today’s challenge is all about working on your turns.  If you are a beginner, watch the tutorial below.  This short video will teach you how to spin with your hoop as a method of recovery when your hoop starts to drop and it’s a basic dance movement as well.

  1. After you have watched the video, practice the breathing method from Challenge #2 as part of your warmup.
  2. Practice turning in your hoop until you can spin smoothly.  For more advanced hoopers, practice spinning in the opposite direction.
  3. Work on waist hooping for at least 15 minutes.

When you have watched the video and completed steps 1-3 above, head to our Facebook page (or leave a comment on our blog) about your experience practicing this with the challenge and what ideas YOU have to incorporate this. 

TRIPLE POINT ENTRIES today for our prize drawing if you post a picture of you practicing on our Facebook page!

And don’t forget to read on for PART TWO, our Habits and Superfoods Nutrition series.

During our next challenge we are going to start connecting waist hooping, turning, and walking for a basic dance combination.

Learn How to Turn With Your Hoop


Get ready! We’ve got a series your way for the challenge, called Habits and Superfood nutrition.

Today we are going to talk about WHY calorie counting MAY NOT be the most accurate method if your goal is weight loss and we’re going to give you a tool you can use to stop micromanaging your calories, boost your weight loss AND make sure you are getting the RIGHT superfoods your body needs to function optimally.

Let me be clear. You can lose weight on ANY diet. You can follow a Twinkie diet and lose weight. But weight loss alone isn’t what most of us are looking for. We are looking for a way to boost our energy, nourish our bodies, improve our health, improve mental clarity and focus, AND protect us against disease and illness. To accomplish those goals means that the food we eat must be rich in nutrients and help correct deficiencies that keep our bodies from working optimally.

Raise your hand if you’ve seen Oprah on the Weight Watchers commercials lately. When I first saw this, I thought oh (pardon the pun), interesting! You don’t see Oprah endorsing many ventures outside her own label so I was curious. Did you know that Oprah invested $43 million in Weight Watchers? I loooooove Oprah, but her weight loss track record has not been the best. We have seen her lose and regain the same pounds over and over, common to many of us. Weight Watchers uses calorie counting to manage weight loss efforts.

Counting calories will work if weight loss is your goal. It may be time consuming to track and manage, although technology has made this easier and easier with apps available at our fingertips. But it relies on a principle of estimating how many calories you need based on a number of factors versus estimating the energy or calories of the food you take in. Let’s take a look at how this COULD be tripping up your efforts.  And let me also say, if it’s working for you GREAT!  Keep going!  If it’s not, then it may be that the estimates are off just enough to throw your efforts off track.

How do we arrive at caloric content of food? Scientists burn food samples in a bomb calorimeter. This then becomes the standard value for your nutrition databases. Some factors that can throw the actual measurement off for how this works in your body:

Starches/fiber content:  The energy measured in a bomb calorimeter will overestimate the calories in comparison to how your body will actually break down and use the starch and fiber.

Data Can Be Outdated: Some data on foods can be out of date and inaccurate

Analytical Methods Imprecise:  The analysis is only a reliable as the testing method(s). The macronutrient and calorie values contained on food label are approximations. Imagine trying to test 40,000+ foods in your grocery as food either is harvested, removed from an animal or produced in a factory. Not happening.

Product Variety:  Different batches of natural and processed foods can vary. So using one sample at a single point in time to represent all batches can be inaccurate.

Soil and Growing Conditions:  Fruits and vegetables grown in nutrient rich soil will vary from fruits and vegetables grown in depleted soil, throwing off energy and nutrient data

Ripeness:  When your fruits and vegetables are picked, affects both nutrient and energy (calorie) estimation

Animal’s Diets: What the animal ate and how it lived will affect nutrients and calorie estimations.

How Long Was the Food Stored?  Nutrient content will vary based on whether the fruits and vegetables were picked this morning versus a month ago in a different time zone.

Preparation of Food:  The amount of cooking affects the nutrients and calories. Cooking usually makes more calories available to us versus raw produce.

With all of the above taken into consideration, energy and nutrients listed on labels and databases can have an error margin of +/- 25%. And most of us try to balance this with energy expended during exercises. This adds even more variability, since this is even harder to measure than the food you eat. All of this means even if you are doing your best to measure this precisely, you could be off by 20% or more.


I am AMAZED at how much food I can eat during a commercial break. It’s astonishing really! We all eat too quickly, and when we eat, we expect to be full at the end of our meal. Unfortunately eating too quickly and eating past fullness will throw your efforts off track. Getting into the habit of listening to hunger, appetitive cues and slowing down will over time pay off huge dividends.

Slow down. It takes 20 minutes for your brain body connection to kick in. Meaning it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to communicate with your brain to tell it your full. We can eat a LOT of food in 20 minutes, often OVEREATING because we aren’t giving our bodies and brain time to communicate.

Try slowing down, taking smaller bites, and WAITING FOR SECONDS. Put your fork down between bites, talk with your family.

THEN try stopping at 80% full. Okay Leigh, how do I know if I am 80% full? Try stopping when you are no longer HUNGRY versus NO LONGER FULL. This will take some practice!

Now, here’s your tool you can use to structure your meal!

Check Your Challenge Progress!

Check Your Challenge Progress 19% 19%

This Challenge Contributed by:

Leigh Little
ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Find me on Facebook!

One thought on “Calorie Counting Challenge #3

  1. Turning in the same direction as the hoop is moving is much easier than the opposite direction! My comment about nutrition is I’ve tried counting calories but I found it to hard. It’s much easier to eat clean and slowly and don’t have seconds!! The more I learn about eating healthy I feel that I make better choices of what to eat because I feel better!!

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