Learn to Love Your Curves

Phoenix Carnevale is our new resident Latina.Com fitness guru. We'll be asking her to fill us in on everything we need to know about going from flabby to fabulous! Phoenix can be found regularly on the New York morning news circuit discussing the latest in fitness trends or showcasing one of her classes. She's been featured on Fox 5 News, CBS News, NY1 and the CW11 Morning show. She's also been featured on national programs 20/20 and Lifetime Women's TV Next Stop, New You! Here, she shares some advice on how to pass on all the fads and get real about your fitness!

The truth is that skinny is not always the best goal for us Latinas. Healthy, on the other hand is always a great objective. Our curves are and always will be part of our beauty and our cultura. Having a fit and healthy body will only accentuate your...umm, assets!

One easy way to measure healthy weight is by figuring out your Body Mass Index also known as your BMI. BMI is as a measure of body fat based on your height and weight. You can calculate it using a BMI calculator.

BMI categories

18.5 = Underweight
18. 5 -24.9 = Normal Weight
25 - 29.9 = Overweight
30 or higher = Obese

Another great way to measure your BMI is by measuring your waist circumference. This will give you a pretty accurate assessment of your abdominal fat. Abdominal fat is a reliable predictor of your risk in developing heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Unfortunately, Latinas are at risk for all of these. You are in the danger zone when you start to hit measurements over 35 inches for women. Your curves should be in proportion to your frame or else it can put a lot of stress on your corazon.

You’ve measured, pinched and calculated your way to a pretty accurate assessment of your own body fat and maybe you have a little or a lot to lose... So, where do we go from here?

This is where people get confused...but chicas, starving yourself is not the answer. The trick is in finding out how much fuel it takes for your body to keep going all day long! Once you can gauge how much food you need, consume it in small but frequent meals evenly spaced throughout the day. A calorie is simply a unit of energy. Here's the math, a pound of fat equals about 3,500 calories. If you can manage to burn 500 calories through exercise more than what you eat each day you will lose about one pound per week. Healthy weight loss of about 1-2 pounds a week is what will really help you keep the weight off, entiendes?

NO FAD is going to work here. No new miracle fix-it diet, crash cleanse or magic pill is going to lose the weight for you. The only thing that’s really going to help is the most simple thing you could think of; Get Moving! The United States has a serious problem with obesity because we are eating more and moving less. Find an activity that you enjoy, something that feels like fun and not work and then stick to it!

To take a class with Phoenix here in NYC, check out her local schedule at: