Why slashing calories – and eating cereal for dinner – was a bust.

on Jul 2, 2012 - The Dish

Tamra Barney and Eddie Judge of The Real Houswives of Orange County
Is Tamra Barney actually 40 going on 25? "People often ask me how I lost so much weight and the truth is I only lost 5 pounds. But what I did do was transform my body through diet and exercise," The Real Housewives of Orange County star blogs about her hottie patottie bod.

However, Tamra's post-divorce makeover glow came at a trial and error pace. "I thought I was doing the right thing by going to the gym and reducing my food intake... isn't that what everyone tells you do?" aks the future Mrs. Judge. "I was working out 4 days a week and tried to keep my calories down by eating very little. But nothing was working. I even had my hormones tested -- just to find out that everything was working fine. I just couldn't understand why I couldn't tone up."

That's when she got schooled in Muscle Building 101. "I found out that I was not eating ENOUGH to keep my metabolism going. I thought eating a bowl of cereal for dinner would keep me skinny. WRONG!" writes Gretchen’s bestie. "Most of what I was eating was carbohydrates and I was not able to maintain muscle tone due to too low protein in my diet."

Here's another page ripped right from Tamra's gym rat book: "Be consistent with your workouts. I always thought that cardio was what I needed most, right? WRONG! I still do about 40 min of cardio 3 times a week, I now concentrate on weight training -- because in your 40's, you start losing muscle and there is no better way to build muscle than lifting weights."

Get more of the O.C. 'Wife's "Fit at Forty" advice – as well as her daily meal examples – at Tamra-Barney.com.