Q&A with Liz Josefsberg - Health coach to stars Jennifer Hudson and Jessica Simpson PART I

by Alexandra Feeken September 24, 2015


Alexandra here! This week I was able to talk to Liz Josefsberg, the healthy lifestyle and weight loss expert who is best known for her hands-on involvement with Oscar winning singer and actress Jennifer Hudson and most recently helping Jessica Simpson shed 50 pounds of baby weight. Nadya and I first met Liz when we were visiting NYC, and we all had a great conversation about the importance of behavior modification for losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I talked to her again this week with some questions that I think the Hidrate community will really be interested in.  She has great, practical tips on how to change your lifestyle so you can begin living the healthy life you want! Liz is also coming out with a new book soon, so you're going to want to follow her! You can find her on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram @LizJosefsberg. 

I split this interview into two parts. In Part I we discuss Liz's overall approach to behavior modification and weight loss, and in Part 2 we talk about Liz's top 3 recommendations to help new mothers get back in shape. 

Q: When it comes to weight loss, what is your overall philosophy? 

AMy philosophy is very realistic; I believe in balance and not deprivation. At the same time, to lose weight you have to make a focused effort to change behaviors. Behavior modification is really what weight loss is about today.

And things also have to be simple and easy in order for them to work. I spent 11 years at Weight Watchers and Lifetime Fitness, and the changes you make need to be sustainable.

Q: When you take on a client, what are some of the first things you start with? 

AWell, you don’t do everything at once - we choose 2 or 3 behaviors we want to modify and we work on those. It’s too overwhelming if you try to make a lot of changes at the same time. 

A really clear example -if someone eats dinner in front of the TV it’s proven that they’ll eat 30% more without even noticing it! So this is one behavior that may be getting in the way of weight loss. So I help people go in and change that. 

With behavior modification you have to work backwards and think about how you’re going to make it happen.  You have to actually make a plan. Ask yourself why you're eating in front of the TV. Maybe your table is too cluttered. It sounds simple, but you need to make a plan to clean off the table so that you can sit down and eat there instead of eating by the TV.

You need to get very specific about what you are going to do! It is kind of sad because that is the basis of all of this, and not many people focus on it. It all comes back to behaviors. 

Q: Ok, so behavior change is a big part of what you do! Once you identify the behaviors that are keeping your clients from reaching their health goals, what do you focus on next? 

AWe focus on these things: 

  • Carbohydrates 
  • Water 
  • Stress relief
  • Movement 

As far as refined carbohydrates go, people are adding sugars and carbs to foods don’t even need them. Sugars are being added to places that they don’t even belong! I aim to keep my clients under 100g carbohydrates per day, which is a natural way to limit calories. You’re pushed to go to the healthy fats and proteins by getting the 100g of carbs. 

Next comes water. A lot of people say that you need to get 64oz of water per day, but it works best for my clients when they’re drinking 100oz. And that’s a behavior change! I really like your water bottle because it’s going to remind people to drink their water, and coach them until it becomes a habit.

The great thing about water is that when you’re hydrated, you eat less. Before they begin consciously drinking more water, most of my clients are usually dehydrated, not actually hungry. When you begin adjusting your water intake, you eat when you are hungry, not when you’re dehydrated. Not drinking water is like trying to run a car with no gas! 

Once you can get water right, weight loss and food intake becomes easier because you’re not fighting dehydration and energy deprivation.  

For stress relief, I recommend 100 minutes of some type of stress relieving exercise a week. It could be yoga or meditation - you’ve got to figure out what works best for you! 

I really like using meditation with my clients because it teaches mindfulness. Food is so readily available everywhere we go! It’s a natural response for us to eat food when we see it. With meditation, my clients are able to slow their responses down, and make better food choices. 

Movement is another form of stress release. It’s really important to exercise to keep our bodies and our minds healthy! 

*This site is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual. Always consult a health professional before you begin any new nutrition or exercise program. 

Alexandra Feeken
Alexandra Feeken


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