Hip hop star Missy Elliot stunned the audience at the Alexander Wang H & M launch event recently with her 30 pound weight drop. Missy has totally transformed her body and she puts it all down to one thing . . .
The secret to Missy’s body make-over, according to the woman herself, is the Shaun T Insanity workout from Beach Body. Missy has struggled with her weight all her life. Things came to a head back in 2002 when her doctor warned her that she was on the fast track to a stroke unless she lost weight quickly. That was the impetus to a 70 pound weight loss that came about my severe diet restriction.
Looking back, Missy realizes that the way she went about it back then wasn’t the healthiest or the smartest. She basically didn’t eat. That meant that she was depriving her body of vital nutrients. And, while she was dropping scale weight, a lot of it was muscle tissue and water.
Not surprisingly, Missy gradually piled the weight back onto her frame. However, over the last decade she has worked hard to make exercise and healthy food choices a natural part of her life. She has managed to pull herself away from sugar laden, fried foods and she also stopped eating bread.
In 2008, Missy was diagnosed with Graves Disease. This condition is an autoimmune disorder which affects the thyroid. It leads to weight loss (the unhealthy kind), anxiety, heart palpitations, insomnia and sweating. It is a life-long condition that can be treated with drugs. However, Missy prefers to use diet and exercise to keep the condition in check.
Enter Shaun T
Missy first heard about the crazy workout DVDs put out by celebrity trainer Shaun T in 2013. Shaun had trained such stars as Mariah Carey and Nick Carter. Yet, it was one of her back up dancers who told Missy about the kick-ass workouts he was getting by following along with Shaun’s Beachboy DVD workouts. Missy decided to give them a try.
Shaun T’s Insanity workouts challenged Missy with sports training techniques that took her body – and her fitness level – to new heights. She discovered that the workouts were a mixture of cross-training, plyometrics, speed and agility, combined with strength, power, core and balance exercises.
Each workout used a series of progressions that took Missy to the next level. The workouts introduced the multi talented performer to two key pieces of workout equipment:
- The Agility Ladder
- The Speed Rope
These training tools challenged Missy to develop a new level of concentration and focus in order to build skills and improve her speed and coordination. She learned to slow down and use good form in order to master the moves.
Needless to say, the workouts were the hardest physical challenge that Missy had ever encountered. Yet, she fell in love with this type of training. She learned to push her body beyond what she ever imagined she was capable of. And, of course, the fat began to melt off. The combination of cardio, plyometrics and speed training allowed her to burn up to 800 calories in a single session.
Missy Trained five days per week on the Insanity program. Here’s what the workout schedule looked like:
Day One: Speed and Agility – this was an intense cardio workout that used moves from sports like track, football, and soccer. They were designed to make Missy faster, more fluid and more agile.
Day Two: Vertical Plyo – This workout had Missy jumping higher with a lower body power workout.
Day Three: Strength – This was a weight resistance based workout designed to increase strength and power. It made use of resistance bands, a chin up bar and her own body weight.
Day Four: Back to Core – This workout targeted the glutes, hamstrings, calves, core and back.
Day Five: Game Day – This workout brought all of the skills developed in the previous four sessions together with elements of rick climbing, soccer, basketball, tennis, track and skiing combined into one massive calorie scorching session.
Missy did her Insanity workout sessions early in the morning before breakfast. This allowed her to rely on stored body fat as opposed to carbs to provide the energy for her sessions. She trained at her dance studio along with two or three of her back up crew.
Key Nutritional Principles
Over the years of battling with her weight, and then factoring in her medical condition, Missy has developed a set of very simple principles which have served as the foundation for her eating plan. Let’s check them out:
Missy eats 5 meals per day. That may sound like a lot of food, but she eats smaller portions many times throughout the day. She eats every three waking hours.
Go Light at Night
Missy has her largest meal in the morning. Each meal from then on gets progressively smaller, so that the last meal of the day is the smallest and the lightest.
Missy doesn’t believe in limiting calories, but she does watch her portions. She believes that eating frequent small meals revs up her metabolism. But she is very careful not to make her portions too large.
Missy believes in the mantra ‘eat clean to get lean’. But eating clean doesn’t mean eating boring food. Missy has worked with a nutritionist to prepare great tasting food that will get her lean while delighting her taste buds. She eats plenty of lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats.
Don’t Neglect Carbs
Missy eats her carbs and starches early in the day, and limits them in her last two meals. She opts for whole grains rather than refined white carbs.
Missy chooses to avoid cheese and dairy. Instead she opts for rice milk, almond milk and the tons of other dairy free products on the market.
Missy knows how important it is to stay hydrated. Water is obviously the best option. She aims to take in 64 ounces per day, often adding a squeeze of lemon or lime. She stays away from juices and sodas.
Of course, Missy loves to enjoy life, which means that she indulges in a glass of red wine with dinner. But she limits her consumption of alcohol, well aware of how calorie heavy beer is.
Missy avoids butter and cheese, because they are very high in saturated fat. Instead she goes for foods that are rich in healthy fats, such as avocado and nuts. In fact, avocado are her favorite food, and she eats them at each meal. Avocado are filled with monounsaturated fats.
The Result:Marvelous Missy
By adopting the key eating rules as part of her lifestyle and by sticking to the Shaun T Insanity workouts, Missy has managed to drop the excess weight for good. She now looks fantastic. What’s more she feels great – and her body is working at peak efficiency. Not bad for a woman in her mid 40’s with a life long medical condition.
Way to go, Missy!