Hey, fit fam! I wanted to share with you all a highlight of my week last week.
I was having my morning coffee last Sunday and began scrolling through IG. I had a message in my inbox from a client; it was a photo of the scale, and in between her bare feet read 144. This day marked 30 weeks that she had been following my customized training and nutrition program, and this marked exactly a 30-pound weight loss.

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When you see that as a reader it looks great on paper, right?! Thirty pounds in 30 weeks for a female in the 35+ age range is perfect; that’s a pound a week! It’s enticing and seems doable, you think to yourself, “I can do that!”

What I’m going to tell you is the same thing I tell everyone when they begin a training program; yes, it is very doable because it’s based on science. Is it easy, no. The reason it isn’t easy however isn’t because of the reasons you would think. Most everyone can agree that working out is the easy part and diet is the hard part. While I think this is true as well, I believe a lack of patience is most people’s primary detriment.

Take my client above for instance. If she lost a single pound the first week, another the second, another pound the third and this was a continuous pattern that she knew to expect every week, that in my opinion seems fairly promising. Unfortunately, that isn’t how it works. You may begin a new training/nutrition program and the first week lose 5-pounds merely because you aren’t eating sodium-filled processed foods every day. While this is exciting and a great feat in itself, these numbers aren’t typically realistic over consecutive weeks. In fact, some weeks you may show no weight loss at all. This is when people lose their patience. “You mean I have followed my menu and workouts to a T and haven’t even lost a pound this week.” Yes, it sucks! It absolutely sucks to step on the scale one day and read 132, and the very next day weigh 133. How in the world does this happen?! It’s defined as homeostasis and electrolyte balance, it’s called being a human!

My client above didn’t throw in the towel at 15-weeks when the scale didn’t show a loss, or at 21 weeks when once again, nothing on the scale. Instead, she emailed me and said she was going to stay off of the scale and only weigh in every two weeks along with her bi-weekly measurement updates. This made me so happy! I check in with my clients every week. Each week they fill out a questionnaire regarding their menu, workouts, how they feel and so on. I have them weigh in once a week (the morning of their check-in), and every two weeks I request measurements. When she said she wanted to weigh in bi-weekly this showed me that she was no longer relying solely on the scale to determine her progression, which ultimately shows me she has found her “fitness and wellness lifestyle.

I have said it over and over, verbatim …slow and steady progress trumps fast fat loss any day. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you must commit to a healthy “lifestyle.” If you weigh yourself every single morning, you can guarantee that at least three days out of the week you will begin your day with doubt and uncertainty. Why would anyone want to do this to themselves? More importantly, why would you let a scale determine a moment of unhappiness in your life.

It’s ok to occasionally get discouraged, once again, we’re human; however, one must learn to control emotions of discouragement and not overeat and dive headfirst into a pattern of binging when these feelings come into play. One must realize that every week will not be a rewarding week on the scale. Every week you will not be motivated. You may slip up and eat two too-many cookies on your treat day, but the main thing is to remain patient and consistent.  If you are consistent with a program science will prevail, but you must have the patience while waiting on the bigger picture. 

 

 

Good morning you all. I believe my last blog entry was an introduction to my interpretation of “wellness” a couple of weeks back. Today I want to address questions that I often get asked regarding flexible dieting versus a diet constructed of whole foods.

Take the picture below for example both options provide 500 calories. So if you look at it scientifically, no matter the food choice, 500 calories are 500 calories. A calorie is defined as the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius; therefore, no matter where the calories come from, a calorie is still a calorie.  

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So what does flexible dieting mean? Flexible dieting is just as its name depicts. As long as your macros (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) fit within the totals that are prescribed for your diet (whether it be for weight gain or weight loss), then you will yield results. 

A diet that is constructed of whole foods means that the individual chooses foods that are non-processed and in their most natural state. The same goes for this approach, as long as your macros (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) fit within the totals that are prescribed for your diet (whether it be for weight gain or weight loss), then you will yield results.

So if both styles yield the same results when it comes to fat loss (or gain), then what is the best approach, or the correct approach to a strategic diet. I will share with you all my personal opinion of each approach and the reasoning behind my choices.

To begin, I want to address my thoughts on flexible dieting. Flexible dieting is an approach to eating that allows you to eat any food you want as long as you can fit it into your prescribed totals. I personally find that this approach works great for a variety of people: those that are new to dieting, those with an untrained palate, individuals that like to incorporate “treat meals,” and the list goes on. Most individuals are familiar with a typical American diet. Americans tend to consume a lot of high-sodium, high-fat, processed foods. If you take an individual such as this and remove all of the foods that they currently consume and replace them with broiled fish and broccoli, the chances of them sticking to this unfamiliarity is slim. If the individual can still consume their usual Tuesday evening Tyson chicken nuggets with the only change being to bake them in the oven and trade in the traditional ranch dipping sauce for a healthier yogurt-based dressing, they will be more apt to follow a plan.

How many times have you heard someone say, or have even said yourself, “I don’t like vegetables,” often followed with the admission of having never tried it, or haven’t tried it since the initial taste (years prior)? If I gave this person a menu constructed mainly of fibrous veggies, then he/she would probably do one of two things: one, he/she would totally skimp on the veggies all together not meeting their totals for the day, or second, he/she goes on a binger three days in because their body is craving everything it’s not allowing for.

I think for someone to dive headfirst into a new eating pattern and replace everything they are familiar with is a disaster waiting to happen. The flexible approach can be a great introduction to healthier eating patterns, not only for those new to calorie (macro) tracking but can be extremely beneficial for those that suffer from an unhealthy relationship with food. 

What about the “whole foods” approach to nutrition? Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed, meaning they have no additives or preservatives. This menu consists of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. Most often than not, you will find those who adhere to a whole foods approach are thoroughly interested in the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) of each food just as well. The idea of a whole foods diet is for improving health and preventing disease. Heavily processed foods are full of refined flours and processed sugars often replacing the numerous beneficial Photochemicals and Antioxidants. 

You have heard “you are what you eat?” Well, if you aren’t getting enough micronutrients (those vitamins and minerals that prevent certain cancers), then what are you eating? Often the most recent fad-diet online is what people believe to be the truth, and unfortunately, this information is usually incorrect.

Here’s what it comes down to, and its pretty simple really. Everything in life is about balance. We are human and one of our primary pleasures in life is food. If you find yourself consuming more processed foods than whole foods, make certain that you are choosing options low in fat and fortified with essential nutrients. Also, try slowly implementing vegetables into your meals to familiarize (or introduce) your palate to new flavors. If you aren’t consuming 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day with two of those being greens, then it is wise to consider supplementing with a multi-vitamin (women over the age of 30 should consider adding an additional calcium supplement paired with Vitamin D).

A healthy diet is one that helps to maintain or improve overall health. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be seduced by the occasional piece of chocolate cake.