Intermittent Fasting: Why I'm Obsessed

You guys, I am LOVING the intermittent fasting (IF) lifestyle. It has simplified my life, my workouts are working better for me, and I feel amazing!

Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating; an eating schedule rather than a diet. Your body is always in one of two states: fed or fasted. It takes roughly 12 hours for our bodies to finish digesting food and begin to burn fat for fuel. People rarely get to a fasted state throughout the day because we are always eating. And while eating several small meals throughout the day can lead to weight loss (calorie deficit diets always do), you will likely burn both muscle and fat. When you lose calorie-burning muscle, you lower your metabolic rate and make it harder for your body to burn fat over time. Reducing the hours in the day when we are eating allows our body to switch from sugar burners to fat burners, and that is where the awesome benefits start to transpire.

 

What are some of the benefits of Intermittent Fasting?

Here are a number of other documented benefits of intermittent fasting, all backed by science:

  • boosting insulin resistance

  • reducing inflammation of the body

  • loss of belly fat

  • increasing your metabolic rate

  • improving numerous risk factors for heart disease

  • improvement of brain function

  • Decreased insulin levels and increased insulin sensitivity

  • Increase of the breakdown of fats

  • Improved energy

  • Improvement of muscle tone

  • Increased life expectancy

Let me explain my personal routine with IF:

I begin my fast in the evening after dinner, usually around 6-7 pm. And I break my fast around 11-12 the following day. I enjoy my coffee, plenty of water, BCAAs and tea if necessary during the hours of 6-11 am. I might feel a bit hungry first thing in the morning, but all of those drinks keep me satisfied. When I break my fast I eat a large meal and it's amazing how you really aren't ravenous at this meal. I eat a snack in the afternoon and then dinner in the evening. If I'm still hungry I will have a snack after dinner. 

Most days I get my workout in in the morning, while I'm still in the fasted state. I love working out fasted for the energy boost and the extra fat burn! I drink my BCAAs throughout to fuel my muscles, and if it is a heavy lifting day, I might break my fast with a protein shake. 

You can benefit from IF even just 3-4 days per week! I typically use IF 6 days per week. 

This is such an effective strategy for improved health and fat loss! You'll be amazed at how your body adapts at this eating schedule in a short amount of time!

Go to bed hungry, and other tips for optimal health

Hey Guys! I have a bunch of different advice floating around in my big brain today, so instead of sorting through it, I'm going to blog a sort of stream of consciousness with advice. I'd love your feedback if this is too hard to read or if you enjoy the randomness, ha!

Here are some tips for feeling and looking your best. These are things that I not only do, but advise my clients to do, as well:

  • Go to bed hungry

When you stop eating after dinner and don't eat again until the next morning (or lunch if you're fasting), you allow your body's digestion system to rest. And rest is good for our bodies. This rest tells your body to tap into its fat stores. Now, you shouldn't be so hungry that you wake in the middle of the night, that's no fun. But being a bit hungry at bedtime is a good thing. And guys, you're going to sleep SO soundly! Try it!

  • Drink your ACV

Apple cider vinegar is an amazing addition to your health routine. Make sure you buy the "Braggs Brand" because it contains The Mother, which is a community of digestive enzymes that helps improve your gut health, in addition to about a million other benefits. I drink it more frequently when I think I might be getting sick and it helps me kick it faster. It aids in weight loss, it's an appetite suppressant, it improves skin, and the list goes on and on. Here is a video I recorded about it about 6 months ago with my favorite "recipe."

  • Be observant

You are the only expert on your body. Doctors, trainers, coaches, etc. don't know more about YOUR body than you do. Take careful and observant inventory on how you feel when you eat certain foods, calorie levels, during and post workouts, when you wake up, when you go to bed. Be a scientist when it comes to learning about your body and then you can take what you know and use it to make you better. 

  • Fuel your workouts

When you exercise, you should be eating to fuel them so that you 1) feel your best, and 2) get the most benefit from them. I like to eat carbs directly after my more intense workouts because my body will burn them faster. I also like to have a clean source of protein following my workouts to help repair my muscles. Working out fasted is another strategy that I frequently use because I love the energy I have, and doing this allows my body to burn body fat faster because it's not busy burning the food I just ate. 

  • Rest days are important

Overtraining is a real, actual problem. You must have a rest day or two or three each week to allow your body to repair. It's actually during the REST that our muscles grow, not during the workouts. Listen to your body and schedule rest days as needed, or schedule them in advance. I like to schedule them, and then adjust as necessary if I need to make changes.

  • Sleep plentifully 

Just like our bodies need rest days, we also need plenty of sleep to repair those muscles. Think of your body like a machine. It can't work as well if it never gets turned off, right? When you're eating right and getting the proper amount of exercise, sleep will be good! So treat your sleep like a workout: schedule your bedtime and wakeup time and stick to them!

  • Try intermittent fasting

IF is such a great strategy that will improve all areas of your health and fitness, and it's a pretty easy strategy to implement. Not only will it help you burn more fat, but it will allow your body to reset and rest during your fasting window. Intermittent fasting is not calorie restriction; instead, it just reduces your window of eating so that you are only eating for an 8 hour (or less) window of time. Honestly, it simplifies the day! You'll sleep better, have more energy, and burn more fat without changing your diet. Here is a video I recorded about IF.

  • Plan ahead

No matter where I'm at in my fitness journey, one thing is always true: planning ahead makes everything easier. Being good at making a plan, and adding that to your weekly agenda, gets easier with time and practice. But it's always something that you have to make time for. Even 4 years in to this lifestyle I still make time to write out our meals, create our grocery list, and plan my workouts. If you want to improve your health and fitness, you've got to give it your attention.

  • Enjoy your treats

Life is too short not to enjoy treats occasionally! I've spent a lot of time studying treats and how best to enjoy them, and what I've found is that they taste better when they are limited, but not obsolete. Planning regular treats is good for your sanity and your mental resolve with your fitness goals. And planning ahead helps to prevent from binging and ruining progress. Plan your treats, enjoy them, and then move on.

Tips for Enjoying Your Vacation AND the Body You've Been Working On

Hi There! I just got back from an amazing, although quick, trip to Palm Springs, California with my husband. The weather was...exquisite. Don't you just love vacation??  Ahhh, I could talk about vacationing for days. But this blog post is to give you my tips for truly enjoying your vacations while not undoing the progress you've made with your health and fitness goals. 

This is something I take VERY seriously because enjoying life (and vacations) is SUPER important to me. And so is keeping up with my fitness and nutrition. So trust me when I say I've spent A LOT of time practicing this methodology and thinking about it, too. 

Tips for Enjoying Your Vacation AND the Body You've Been Working On:

1. Plan an active vacation.

Look, I LOVE sitting by the pool as much as anyone, but when you're on vacation, it's so fun to experience things with the people you love! Get out and do some exploring! I guarantee that you'll make more memories by DOING something than by napping beside the pool! When you plan your days, plan something active each day and then be sure to include some down time/chill time. I've found that that is THE BEST combo for a happy vacation. Plus, being active (hiking, swimming, golfing, basketball, canoeing, etc. etc.) is a great way to burn some of the extra calories that you'll be consuming. 

In California, we went hiking in the canyons for about 3.5 hours and it was not only a killer workout, but it was my favorite part of our trip because it allowed us 3.5 hours without any distractions to connect and talk. It was lovely! If we had just been laying by the pool for that time, we would have fallen asleep, been on our phones, etc. 

I also love to get a longer, more leisurely workout in on vacation. I think it's fun to check out the gym at the hotel, or try some yoga outside in a new location, or just TAKE MY TIME with my workouts. And because we rarely get to workout together at home, it feels like a treat. Again, it's that quality time together.

2. Plan your treats.

Just like I advise when you're home, a plan makes everything go smoother. Go into each day with some sort of plan for what treats you'll be enjoying. Are you taking the kids for ice cream? Having wine by the fire? Making tacos for dinner? You probably have some idea of what the next day will be like, so take inventory of what indulgences you will have and stay clean the rest of the time. Remember too, the more sugar you have, the more you will want it. So I like to try to keep my dessert treats towards the end of the vacation. If I start out by having dessert and a cocktail on the first night, I find that it's much harder to get back on track because my body is asking for sugar. 

What's a good number of treats per day? Well, that's up to you and your goals, but I personally try to limit it to something that's a bit outside my normal eating (a latte from Starbucks, for example) and then one thing that's REALLY outside of my normal eating. That would include a trip to the dessert bar on our recent vacation (#worthit). But I try really hard not to order a cocktail, deep dish pizza, nachos, and cheesecake in one meal. Know what I mean? Plus, guys, eating all of that crap in one sitting = nausea, indigestion, and tiredness. That's not fun. 

3. Assess, but don't obsess.

Something that was really helpful for me on this trip was the dialogue between my husband and me about how we were enjoying our food, and more specifically, how we felt after each meal. This helped me keep the question "How will I FEEL physically after eating this" in the front of my brain, which helped me make better decisions. When you feel really great, you really don't want to jeopardize that by eating junk, you know? So we were constantly assessing whether a cocktail or dessert or whatever it was would make us FEEL good or not. For example, one day I was by the pool and really wanted an icy sweet cocktail. But I didn't want to FEEL sluggish and tired. So I ordered a virgin version and it was perfect. And I didn't need a nap! 

However, feeling guilty about every treat and misstep you have is just not fun. And it's not fun for the people around you. No one wants to hear you lament about the brownie you had and how guilty you feel about it. So if it's going to give you that much trouble, just say no ;) 

4. Keep doing what you're good at.

In your normal non-vacation life you are really good at some health and fitness habits. Maybe it's that you CRUSH your water every day. Or you get loads of veggies in. Or you are an awesome carb cycler. Whatever it is, KEEP IT UP!!!  There is no reason not to do the things that are working for you just because you're on vacation. Those things help you to FEEL your best, and you certainly want to keep feeling your best while on vacation. 

One of the things I'm really good at is getting up and getting going in the morning. And so while in California, we got up early every morning and got our workout in. Followed by coffee at a leisurely pace. No need to sleep until 9 just because we could, when I know that that doesn't really feel good to me. 

5. Water water water

Water is important ALWAYS, but especially on vacation when you're having more treats than normal (and likely more alcohol too). Water will serve to detox your body and help stave away hangovers. Not to mention that water is a natural appetite suppressant so it can be handy for keeping the treats at bay. Bring a cute water bottle with you and carry it everywhere!

I hope these tips are helpful for you in navigating your health and fitness goals AND enjoying vacation. In my next post I'll talk about what to do when you come home!

XO, 

Katie

My FAVORITE workout apparel

Hi Ladies! I was able to head out of town last weekend and I got some new workout digs, and that inspired me to share my FAVORITE workout apparel by brand and type with you. I think feeling cute in your workout clothing is SO important, and before you think I'm just being shallow, hear me out. Have you heard the phrase "dress for success"? Well, it's totally the same in fitness. If I throw on an old t-shirt and some baggy sweatpants I am MUCH less motivated to give my full effort in my workout, or even complete a workout, than if I have on a fitted outfit that I'm confident in. Think about how you feel when you give a presentation; aren't you much more confident when you dress up a bit? I know I am. So that you have a point of reference, my workout clothes need to work for strength training, mind-body workouts (i.e. yoga), and cardio too. So I have a little bit of everything when it comes to fit, coverage, and breathability. Here are some of my favorites:

Shirt by Under Armour, shorts by LuluLemon
Shirt by Under Armour, shorts by LuluLemon
  1. Victoria's Secret Sport: I LOVE their sports bras. You can get moderate to full coverage, and they go anywhere from lightly lined (my personal fav) to padded. There are loads of fun patterns and strap arrangements. They also have fun tank tops with cutesy sayings like "Crunch before brunch" or "I'll meet you at the barbells." And for lighter impact workouts, their pants are super cute too!  With their frequent sales you can get an entirenew outfit (pants, shirt, and sportsbra) for around $50!  That's a steal!
  2. Nike: Well, their shoes are just awesome, but we already know that. I'm also a big fan of the pro shorts and capris by Nike. They are thin, so you don't get too hot, but not so thin that cellulite shows, haha. They hold you in and pair really nicely with a looser fitting top. Nike also has some great V sports bras that are lightly lined, and offer full coverage for the smaller chested girls. These work well for shirts that are a bit lower in front.
  3. LuLuLemon: Ahhhh, to shop at LuLu is an experience! I only have a few things from LuLu, but they are my favorite pieces of workout apparel. They are SUPER expensive, but have been worth EVERY penny. The quality is superb and they are designed to perform AND make us look good!  My favorite thing to buy there are the workout pants. They hold you in, let you breathe, and you can conquer the world in these pants. Every pair I've bought from their becomes my new BFF.
  4. Reebok: I love their leggings! The patterns are super fun and the material is smooth and silky. My graffiti leggings from Reebok get the most comments! I have a little trouble getting the sizing right at Reebok, though, as some things fit big and some things seem to fit super small (these would fit my 7 year old...?)
  5. Under Armour: I'm adding this one for my husband! This is his favorite brand for shirts, athletic shorts, and warm-up pants. But ladies, I love it too! I have a pair of UA shorts that have held up for years and are super flattering, as well as a few really cute and unique tank tops. They have upped their fashion game lately, and it's showing! But expect to spend $40-$60 on a pair of shorts or pants.

If you are starting a new fitness regimen this year, or just recommitting, do yourself a favor and buy a new outfit that you feel confident in when you hit the gym (or even your basement!). It really does help to dress the part. I'd love to hear some of your personal favorites, too!! Comment below and let me know what they are!

One of my FAVORITE recipes! You will love it!

Guys, you're going to LOVE this!!

 FAVORITE recipe!

FAVORITE recipe!

I have a delicious recipe for you! It's my mom's FAMOUS BBQ, with a clean(er) spin. You can call it a sloppy joe or BBQ on a bun, but either way it's delicious. I dislike reading long blog posts about how recipes came to be, so I won't do that to you. Let's get to the good stuff!

Makes 4-6 servings
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 lb ground turkey or 90% lean ground beef
  • 1 cup ketchup, reduced sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TBS apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBS mustard
  • 2 TBS agave or honey
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ⅛ tsp allspice
  • Mini whole wheat rolls

Brown ground turkey and drain. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and continue to cook for 40 min or until juice is boiled down. Serve on mini whole wheat rolls. 2-3 rolls per serving.

If you are looking for more balance in your life, I can help you, too! Click this link for more information about my 4-Week Slim Down Program, where I teach you how to get fit and how to bring your family along. I am also offering private coaching, as well. To discuss private coaching, respond to this email so we can set some goals for you!

favorite recipe 1

Gift Ideas for the Fitness Lovers

I was a guest on Q 96 this morning. We talked all about the perfect gifts for the fitness fanatic in your life. Check out the video below and then comment here or go to Facebook and tell me what your must-have fitness gift is this holiday!  

How I Make it Work

Using a workout calendar is what motivates and is the difference in me finishing any program! Want to learn more about how I can help you take your fitness up a notch, contact me on Facebook.

Whats Next? Find out my plan!

I've been working out with friends and family since finishing Insanity Max, but, I am also starting a 3-week yoga retreat! Join me in on Facebook and follow along!

Favorite Things, and A Facebook Tip Too!

Good things from this week, from Pumpkin Patches, home based businesses, rest days (they are awesome), Facebook communities and friends are the absolute best and so much more, watch the video and connect with me on Facebook!  

Healthy Meals for Kids

Let's talk about what to feed those picky eaters. It is all about giving healthy options to your kids and allowing appropriate snack choices. We all deal with this, but, here is what works for us!

Don't forget to connect with me on Facebook.