intermittent fasting

Top Characteristics of Successful Clients

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Hi There!

I have worked with hundreds of clients on their nutrition and fitness over the past 4+ years. During this time I've noticed some things that are common among the clients who are successful at reaching their goals and I wanted to chat through some of those things today.

Common Characteristics of Successful Clients:

  • They keep it simple:
    • Clients who don't obsess over specifics do better! Why? Because the success isn't really in the details, but in the BIG PICTURE, right? An extra tsp of honey in your coffee isn't going to make or break you. Having your protein shake an hour later than you want won't make a difference. Keep the big picture and mind and work on the details once you get the main ideas down. Like writing an essay!
  • They have a long-term mentality
    • When clients come to me with a quick goal of losing weight for an event and they are so super focused on that, they might achieve their results, yes, but they often don't sustain this long-term. This is because their focus is on the number on the scale instead of all the ways their HEALTH is improving. It's super important to focus on how you FEEL during my program because that is what will keep you moving forward beyond our time together. When you focus on improving your health, the weight will almost always follow suit.
  • They are coachable
    • During my IF You Carb Cycle program, I ask my clients to do some tough things! I ask them to remove pop, sugary drinks, artificial foods, bread and pasta from their diet. I ask them to complete one 24-hour fast. And a lot of other things that they might not have done before. It's not easy! But it IS simple. The clients who follow my lead and trust me and the process do better long-term. If you come into the program already talking about what you CAN'T or WON'T do, your chance for success is much less than those who say, "Tell me what to do and I'll do it!"
  • They have support systems in place
    • It's much easier to be successful when you have an accountability system (that's me!), a plan in place, a support system at home, and a fully stocked refrigerator. Yes, I lay out the details for you in my program, and I'm there cheering you on the whole way, but clients who put their own support systems in place at home are more successful. That means taking ownership over your situation and setting yourself up to be as successful as possible. When we are prepared, organized, and go in with a plan, we can do better!

If you are interested in trying on this lifestyle of carb cycling and intermittent fasting, the next round of IF You Carb Cycle will start again on October 2nd! I'd love to take your hand, show you the plan, and help you achieve your goals! XO

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!

Three Tips for Staying on Track

I love to share strategies that will help you become a healthier version of yourself! There is no one-size-fits-all approach to health and fitness; instead, I think it's best to collect different approaches and solutions and try them on so that you can complete your Study of One and find the best tools that suit your life and your current goals.

Here are some of my favorite tools that I use to stay on track:

1. Automate

Automating your life means you’re setting up systems to make healthy choices and avoid unhealthy choices without having to think about it too hard. It makes the choices automatic.

Is willpower subjective per person or do we all have a set amount of willpower per day and then it resets?  I like the second one.  The idea is if you go through the day and are constantly saying, “No. No, I’m not going to eat that” then by the end of the day you can feel worn down and then give into temptation.  But if you can automate a lot of your decisions throughout the day so you don’t have to use your willpower muscle to say no to things, then it allows you to have extra willpower at the end of the day so you don’t give in to temptation because you’re tired.

Here’s an example: I keep my kitchen automated.  I don’t buy things to keep in my kitchen that are going to tempt me.  I mean, I love, LOVE potato chips but I don't buy potato chips because then I would be tempted to eat the whole bag. If I can avoid buying them in the store, then I don’t have to use my willpower muscles later when I’m at home.  When I’m cooking in the kitchen, it’s easy to find a healthy option and it’s difficult to find an unhealthy option because I just don't buy things that will tempt me.  Also, we don’t keep ice cream in the freezer because my husband is magnetized to it!  It’s just another thing that he doesn’t have to use his willpower muscle on.

Another example of automating is if you are trying to create the habit of getting up early to work out, you could lay out your clothes the night before.  Also, set lots of alarms on your phone.  Finally, make the evening before a routine so you have the mindset of getting up early the next day to workout.  Make it easy on yourself! Automate everything you can so you can save your willpower! 

2. Accountability

This has been huge in my love for fitness and business!  I got started in fitness by joining something called an accountability group.  Every night I checked in with my points for the day based on a system that my coach created.  That system transformed my life!  It gave me things to strive for each day that I didn’t even know I was supposed to be striving for.  It taught me a lot about clean eating, and it held me to a different standard than I would have held for myself.  And that’s what I do for my clients as well. I coach them through my programs, and I keep them accountable by requiring a check-in from them each night. The clients that check-in daily have more success than those that don’t. Accountability works!

Another way to be held accountable is to get a workout partner.  I love to meet my friends for early morning workouts. It forces me to get out of bed because I don't want them to be waiting for me at the gym by themselves! If you can connect your goals with another person it is so helpful because then you don’t want to let someone down.  Also, if you can set a time to meet early in the morning, it’s great because then it’s too early to call and cancel.  If it’s in the evening, you have all day to cancel.  And that happens, but if you plan to meet in the morning it is almost too late to cancel.

3. Make a Plan

Having a plan for anything in life makes you more successful.  Having a plan is huge!  So when I go to the weight room, I have a plan.  I don’t just walk around and grab things.  I know exactly what I’m going to do.  I have a plan for my workouts each week.  Usually some time over the weekend I plan the week out, and I do it in a way to balance the different types of workouts I like to do: weight training, mind body, cardio.  Fitness doesn’t just happen.  I have to schedule it.

Also, have a plan for meals each week.  Now, I’m not a good meal prepper.  I’m not the person to make all of the week's meals made on Sunday, but I do have a written plan for what we’re going to eat.  If I don’t do that then I don’t have a good grocery list.  If we don’t have a good grocery list then we end up throwing things together or eating out more.

Another example for having a plan is carb cycling.  I love this program because it gives me a focus for each day.  Is it a low carb day or a high carb day?  If it’s a low carb day, I’m having low carbs and no fruit.  I eat veggies, protein, and high fats.  If it’s a high carb day, I’m going to be scheduling a higher intensity work out, and I know I need to have some healthy carbs in my day like oats, quinoa, rice, or sweet potato with some protein and my veggies.  It gives me something to focus on, and having something to focus on is really helpful.

Automate what you can, find accountability, and make a plan!!  These three tools are vital for success in achieving your health and fitness goals!

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.