How to Feel Better

This morning I woke up with a familiar feeling– frustration.

Yesterday I worked through a list of thoughts that come up for me when I feel frustrated and picked the one I noticed that felt right on the mark.

I reminded myself that thought was optional.

Then, I asked myself “how do you want to feel?”

Instead of frustrated, I decided I want to feed confident.

So I asked myself how thinking about my circumstance would make me feel confident?

Then I decided what actions I would take if I were feeling confident instead of frustrated, and made another list.

This morning when frustrated came up for me, I noticed it and reminded myself that it was an optional feeling.

I then reminded myself of what I would think to feel confident.

We get to choose our thoughts and feelings, and if you want to feel better, then you have to not only stop playing the old tape keeping you stuck, but you have to actively choose the better thought.

It takes work.

I’ll be honest that I have to redirect my brain several times during the day. But I’d rather redirect my brain 10,000 times a day to feel better than to stay stuck.

Wherever you are right now, no matter how you’re feeling, I want to invite you to a life where you don’t have to feel that way.

It’s waiting for you.

You just have to choose it.

Even if you have to choose it 10,000 times in a day– you get to choose.

Is Low Carb Superior to Low Fat for Weight Loss?

With all of the information available about diets these days, it’s no wonder that people are so confused about what to eat when it comes to weight loss.

While everyone is toting the health benefits of green tea, acai berries, coconut and MCT oils whilst demonizing carbs, flour, and sugar– most people are stuck in a catch-22: wanting to both lose weight and be healthy while also managing a lifestyle they enjoy.

One of the things I believe in 100% is providing data to my clients (and the world in general) about what science says about weight loss.

A study was recently done following 609 participants on a weight loss journey. The intent of the study was to prove that a low carb diet was superior to low fat diets because of their anti-inflammatory properties.

What the study concluded was that regardless of whether people at a low fat or a low carb diet, they got results when they followed the plan.

What this means for those of us living in the real world is that we need not be overwhelmed with sales and marketing pitches on the latest and greatest diet fads, but we DO need follow a plan we can stick with that gets results.

What that means is we can put the question of whether or not a low carb or low fat diet is superior to rest!

Yes to both!

They both work!

Which one can you stick with FOR GOOD!

When it comes to weight loss many times we want to take the road of quick results because we think that faster is better– we think a weight loss journey is like sitting in traffic– long and boring.

But when it comes to LASTING results, slow and steady actually is what helps people KEEP the results they have because they learn how to adopt new habits they can maintain long-term!

If you’re curious about how to get started, I recommend checking out one of my previous posts: 

The Best Weight Loss Method. Period.

If you are still confused and would like some extra support getting to you goal, feel free to reach out and click here to schedule a free 30 minute consult with me.

I help high performing women get to and stay at their goal weight for good, so they can truly step into their power and live their dream life. If this is work you’d like to do, then don’t waste another day in confusion. Click here for clarity.

Have a great day!

Why You Should Be Tracking Your Food If You Want To Lose Weight

When I first started coaching, I used to let clients pick their diet plan.

I don’t do that anymore.

As, I’ve grown my practice and knowledge as a coach, I know now more than ever that when people come to me, they want results because they are tired of screwing around on their own getting nowhere.

So today I wanted to share with you why I recommend my clients track macros and why you should too if you want to start getting results.

First, in order to lose weight, you have to be in a caloric deficit, so that means you need to eat less than you burn. So whatever eating style you prefer is fine, but you still have to be in a deficit.

You want to eat low carb? Fine, but you still need to eat in a deficit.

But when I cut carbs before, I lost a lot of weight really quickly“, you may protest.

I get it, but when you started eating carbs again, did you gain a lot of weight really quickly, too?

Exactly.

So if you want results for good, not just results for now, then stick with me here.

In order to make sure my clients are in a deficit, I teach an approach in my program called flexible dieting, where my clients learn how to track macros.

What’s a macro?

A macro is short for a macronutrient. We have 3 major macronutrients that you have probably heard of: proteins, carbs and fats.

When I work with clients I have them track macros, not calories, because tracking macros helps them incorporate a variety of balanced foods in their that are both nutrient dense and enjoyable.

Secondly, in order to get results, after being in a deficit, you have to be compliant. You have to be able to actually stick with the plan that you’re on.

So while eating low carbs may get you results temporarily, what do you do when you are at a party, or when you don’t feel well, or during the holidays?

Maybe you get really great at mastering the art of baking with almond flour for a period of time, but in my experience, most people eventually break down, binge, and wind up yo-yoing because they can’t stick with it long-term.

Whatever method you choose has to be sustainable, so you can adhere to it long enough to actually get results and keep them without rebounding.

Finally, you need be able to look at the data.

I’m all about the nerdery and science of weight loss, which is why my clients learn how to track macros. If they are being compliant with their tracking, and hit a plateau, then I know it’s time to tighten the reins a bit, and if they get to their goal, then it’s time to add food.

Some people may feel they can do this intuitively, and to them I would say– good for you.

But, I find that most people grossly underestimate the amount of food they eat in a day, and find it shocking to learn how much they are actually eating.

By tracking macros, you eliminate the drama, the guessing and the confusion, and you get down to the facts: you either do it or you don’t– like being pregnant, you either are or you aren’t.

So if you’ve been a diet hopper and are wondering what you need to do to get results, and you are truly committed to making a change in your life, then what are you waiting for?

You can start on your own by downloading My Fitness Pal, which is a free app for macro tracking.

If you are struggling to make progress on your own, then click here to schedule a free 30 minute solution session with me.

I work with women 1:1 to get weight loss results FOR GOOD!

If you’re ready to get off the dieting roller coaster, and make progress, then today can be your day of change.

Just make the decision and take the next step forward.

Have a great day!

The Best Weight Loss Method. Period.

Happy Wednesday (or whatever day of the week it is when you land on this blog)!

Today I am talking about the best weight loss method. Period.

There is a short and a long response for this– I’ll give you both.

Short answer: The best weight loss method is the one you can stick with FOR GOOD!

Long answer:

As someone who has lost over 70 pounds and kept it off for nearly 2 decades I have tried it all.

I see a lot of people who are lured into doing diets that get results fast because they think that as soon as they lose this weight, they can go back to “normal”.

I get it, I’ve thought that before during one of my failed 21-day juice detoxes.

Here’s the truth– whatever you do to lose weight, must be maintainable for the long-term unless you actually want to regain weight, which I don’t think anyone does.

I know it can be alluring to think that you will do a 1000-calorie a day keto diet with intermittent fasting to get to your goal quickly because you’ve outgrown your yoga pants during the quarantine, but before you do this let me offer something for your consideration…

How much time have you spent over the years doing quick-fix diets?

If you had to tally the amount of time you spent doing things you thought would get results fast, how many times would you be multiplying 21 and 30 days in your head?

If I look back at my dieting history I have easily spent 2 years doing “fixes.”

What if instead of doing fixes, you decided to commit to the ultimate solution– the one you stick with for good?

When you commit to the solution you can stick with for good its a game-changer because you become the one who decides whether or not something is in your plan, worth a splurge, worth the save, and all the other decisions that we make about our nutrition that we have previously outsourced.

When clients work with me, Week 1 we decide what their protocol will be, and when we do, I have 3 criteria that they have to consider when we are putting together their plan.

  1. Enjoyable– They have to enjoy the food their eating, and not be including nonsense food they secretly despise because its “part of the plan.” If you hate your plan, you will quit, so start with enjoyment in mind.
  2. Effective- The plan has to get results. So while you may enjoy eating chocolate cake all day, you may find that after a week, it doesn’t get you the results you want, so you decide to balance it out with some other foods and have chocolate cake once a day or week instead of all day, and the results come. If you aren’t getting results, you will be frustrated, so finding a balance between enjoyment and effectiveness is the sweet spot.
  3. Sustainable- Consider the long-game. Many people think that because they saw a 1200 calorie diet that some celebrity did that they should do the the same. My question to that person would be “are you willing to enjoy that for the rest of your life?” I would them ask them what their plan is when the 1200 calorie diet stops working? Are they going to cut to 900 calories? Sustainability is the true secret because it’s the reality check that reminds us that we aren’t just losing weight for now, we are losing weight FOR GOOD.

How this plays out is in my practice is that I have clients choose exactly what they want to eat based on their goals, they log their food, and we evaluate their progress each week. If we run into a sticking point, whether physical or psychological, we go back to the three: did they enjoy their food, or did they fill their day with diet foods, then feel deprived and then cheat; did they get results, if not we evaluate their macro-intake for the week along with their food choices to see how to get results next week; did they try to “cheat the system” by eating super low calories that week because they wanted fast results, if so, they get back to their usual plan.

If you’ve read this far and you are working on your own weight loss journey, I’d encourage you to take a few moments to see if your plan hits all 3 criteria and ask yourself if you plan is enjoyable, effective and sustainable? If not, then consider making a shift.

If this is an area where you need some support, feel free to schedule some time with me to see what you can change to get your plan dialed in.

Remember, we don’t want to just lose weight now, we want to lose weight for good.

Have a great day!

Coping with Anxiety and Depression

The other day, my friend Madison asked people on Facebook about how people are coping with anxiety and depression in these insane times.

I posted a somewhat brief response, and read through the 46 comments to see if there were any common threads.

Faith, mental health support, finding activities, limiting news, baking, drinking, and connecting with others were all popular answers.

People also acknowledged they are still working through it, still struggling, still needing support.

I was really moved by the encouraging words people had for one another, so I asked Madison if she wouldn’t mind if I wrote about it, and she agreed– thank you 😉 .

This post really got me thinking because sometimes when life happens, especially in the way it has recently, it can feel seemingly impossible to pull yourself out of the pit.

Before I dig into that, I think it’s important to acknowledge this:

Life is 50% positive emotions and 50% negative emotions.

I know this because it is reality. And as Byron Katie says, “when we argue with reality we lose, but only 100% of the time.”

People think that because I’m a life coach that I go around telling people to be happy all the time. And while there certainly is enormous value in being positive, it is misaligned for times when real hard life happens.

Think about it for a second– do you WANT to be happy when someone dies or your child gets injured? No! You want to choose, in that moment, to have a feeling like sadness or fear.

This is clearly a time when emotions are running high, and people are growing weary of quarantining, face mask wearing, social isolation, and all the things, so I won’t tell you to be happy, instead I will tell you this…

  1. Allow the ugly feelings to surface.
  • Feel sad.
  • Feel bummed.
  • Feel lonely.
  • Feel whatever is coming up for you.

It’s ok. It’s totally normal.

When we allow feelings to emerge we can process them. Many people have a fear that if they sit in boredom or sadness that they will implode. You won’t. Or that they will be uncomfortable. You will. But being uncomfortable is okay. Nothing is wrong with being uncomfortable.

Let me say this again… nothing is wrong with being uncomfortable.

I reiterate this because discomfort was a feeling I used to deeply battle, and whenever I felt any uncomfortable feelings (loneliness, frustration, sadness) I would binge eat.

I got so good at coping with discomfort by binge eating, that as soon as an uncomfortable feeling emerged, I would automatically get a gnawing sensation within me that felt incessant– like I had to do something immediately– I had to silence it! And to bury the feeling, I would stuff it down with food until I literally felt sick.

Learning to allow uncomfortable feelings to surface without trying to bury them was the key for me in breaking my binge eating habit, and creating transformation in my own life, which is why I now help other women overcome their weight struggles in this area as well.

2. Focus on what you can control

Many people want to argue about what is happening right now as a right/wrong/should/shouldn’t situation. We want to blame someone or something right now, but all of “the things” happening right now are out of control for the large percentage of the population.

Instead of fuming about what you can’t control, focus 100% on what you CAN control. Our perspective is everything right now. You can be the victim, or you can be the victor– you get to chooose.

3. Manage Your Autoplay

If you’ve been telling yourself terrible thoughts over the last several months like:

  • This is the worst time of my life!
  • Things will never get better!
  • 2020 can suck it!
  • I can’t do anything right now!

Notice how you have been feeling.

Our thoughts create our reality, so (as I mentioned before), I’m not going to tell you to be happy, but notice that when the autoplay comes up, and your thoughts start looping on a negative track, that you have to intentionally shift your focus elsewhere if you want a different result.

Our brains like to avoid pain, seek pleasure, and be efficient, and if the story you’ve been telling yourself since March is that this is the worst year ever then you will take subconscious action to ensuring it is the worst year ever for you.

Instead, you can take this opportunity to notice when your brain offers you thoughts like “this is the worst year ever” to hit pause on the autoplay, and start a new track that sounds something like:

  • I’m going to take this opportunity to call an old friend I haven’t spoken to in a long time.
  • This is a good time for me to start on that great business idea I’ve had.
  • Since I don’t have to commute to work anymore, I can start going for a walk and cook healthy food.

See what I mean?

We all get to choose how we are being in this time.

We all get to create the results we want.

So let me ask you this?

What is the reality you want to create now?

Whatever you want– it’s waiting for you.

You just have to consciously choose it– on purpose.

If you’re curious about going deeper with this work, set up a free 30 minute solution session with me, by clicking here.

Ending Your Lifelong Weight Struggle

Today I wanted to talk to something near and dear to my heart, and that is ending your lifelong weight struggle.

According to Bray, George A et al, “Overweight and obesity are worldwide problems that affect >100 million Americans or 68.5% of the adult population.”*

Obesity has been called an “epidemic,” and studies from Harvard report that there have been $190 billion spent on obesity-related illnesses and the treatment of obesity itself, but there remains to be a single, defined cure for everyone.

So what do we do?

Even if a cure-all drug or diet were released, the challenge of offering a blanket recommendation to the world is that every human is different, and what works amazingly well for one person may work terribly for someone else.

If you are like most people who have struggled with your weight for your whole life, or even a decade or two, you are likely frustrated. You may feel like these statistics support your conundrum, and you may want to blame fast food chains, availability of highly palatable foods, your metabolism, your mother, you name it.

I get it– I wanted to blame people, too! I didn’t want to think it was my fault for creating a body that felt foreign to me– I just felt like I was trying to cope with this life and this body just happened.

The truth is, we can blame a lot of people and some intense life circumstances for wherever we are, but that only serves to keep us stuck.

In order to make progress, we have to desire the freedom in transformation more than we find comfort in the story keeping us chained.

Jack Canfield’s first of his Success Principles (in the book with the same title) is to “take 100% responsibility for your life.”

So, what if we just decided that …

  • We no longer focus on who or what to blame!
  • We figure out the solution for ourselves starting now!
  • The solution is actually finding the cure for ourselves, and not waiting for someone else!
  • We are willing to take 100% responsibility in this area of life!

When I asked myself these question on my own weight loss journey it really broke my brain because it made me realize that I actually have all the answers that I need– I just needed to start testing, have some patience, and create a format for myself that would confirm I was on the right track.

This is why I am beyond excited for my Holiday Fat Loss Challenge October 26th-30th.

In these 5 days, I am going to training you specifically on how to create a plan for YOU that gets results.

Whether you’ve been struggling with your weight your whole life, a decade or two, or have noticed that since you hit 40 you keep gaining weight, I can assure you there is a solution… and it’s not what you think.

If you’d like to join the challenge, then go to my website and sign up for your free guide: How to Stop Overeating When Working From Home, and I’ll let you know as soon as the challenge opens up.

ACTION FOR TODAY: For those of you who don’t know, I am a big fan of accountability. If you are ready to start your journey today, then download the My Fitness Pal app and start tracking your food. You don’t have to hit any goals or targets, just start noticing what you’re eating. Awareness is the first step, so if you are ready to make some progress, then click here to get started.

*Bray, George A et al. “The Science of Obesity Management: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement.” Endocrine reviews vol. 39,2 (2018): 79-132. doi:10.1210/er.2017-00253

Why Am I Quaranteating and How Do I Stop?

Quarantineating?

Let’s be honest, the Quarantine Fifteen is becoming a real thing, and if you are like most people, you may have had more than one day over the past 6 months where you’ve found yourself plowing through snacks like a maniac.

No judgement.

But if you’ve found yourself in a place where you are realizing that living in your Lulu’s has led you to outgrow your work pants, then I want to share with you some insights that may help you better understand what is really going on.

But first, some woo…

Our throat chakra is the center of communication.

It’s where we speak, we feed ourselves, and express our desires.

In a usual situation if we dislike something we use our voice to acknowledge it, to meet our needs.

But right now that voice may be making requests for needs (for things like getting back to normal life, desiring clean air, walking freely without a mask, traveling wherever you want to go), but due to our current circumstances, the requests are not creating freedom.

We may be voicing our needs audibly or internally, but it’s like the universe is saying, I hear you and no.

When those beautiful words are not allowed to get out in a way that provides relief we are seeking, the emotions we experience get repressed; they go inward and start looking for an outlet within the body.

Welcome, discomfort!

We all know that a quick resolution for discomfort is eating– particularly eating highly palatable foods that taste really good.

When we eat, we dull out the vibration of emotions because our body switches focus from feeling emotions to gaining pleasure from food.

Essentially, we’ve given our body a new job: disregard emotions– focus on eating.

While eating may feel pleasurable momentarily, it does not resolve the fact that we are still silenced, so what happens?

More eating. We then train ourselves to follow the dopamine hit we get from eating rather than feeling the discomfort of energy running through our bodies.

So what do we do???

  1. Pause & Breathe: Take a deep breath- nothing has gone wrong. Your body is simply responding to a stimulus it wasn’t prepared for.
  2. Feel: In your pause you will notice that there may be something else going on– there might be some kind of static, gnawing or discomfort that you want to escape from– if you are super uncomfortable then you are right on track.
  3. Explain: Take some time in your feeling to explain to yourself what is happening. Do you have tightness in your chest or neck? Is there a pulsing or a fluttering?
  4. Identify: If this motion in your body were a feeling, what would it be? If you have a hard time identifying emotions and feelings, then use a tool like this wheel below to start identifying what that motion feels like.

Once you’ve identified your feeling, I want you to notice it, and continue to explain it to yourself, and watch the urgency behind the feeling dissolve.

I also want to assure you that it’s acceptable to feel uncomfortable feelings.

The human experience is truly 50% positive emotions and 50% negative emotions.

Feeling negative emotions or uncomfortable feelings doesn’t mean anything has gone wrong. You just have to decide how you want to show up when those feelings surface.

You may not be able to control circumstances, but you can control how you show up for them.

So the next time you notice that you are showing up for an eating event that is not aligned with your goals– mindless snacking in the pantry or eating a whole meal of whipped cream from a can while standing in front of the fridge— take the pause, and go through the steps above.

Secrets of the Top 5% of People Who Lose Weight For Good!

We’ve all heard the statistics about how 95% of people regain weight they lose. As many of you know, I dropped over 70 pounds nearly 2 decades ago, and when I first started coaching one of my greatest visions was to create a sustainable weight loss program for people that would help them keep the weight off for good.

While I did my own due diligence about how to create dietary protocols through personal training, nutrition and coaching certifications, I also got really curious about the other 5% of people like me who had sustained a weight loss of over 30 pounds and kept it off for over 5 years. What were they doing that helped them keep their pounds off?

The following data is according to the National Weight Control Registry Study of Successful Weight Losers (and of course I’ve added my own two cents for your entertainment– you’re welcome 😉 ):

So here you have it..

They exercise (shocker, I know)! While I don’t believe you need to be an athlete to lose weight, I can tell you that working out is something that has built my confidence (and many friendships) over the years. The group reported 200 minutes a week, which may sound like a lot, but note that this is what they do to maintain their weight. We also don’t know if this is walking, running, gardening, weight lifting, or power yoga, but we know they exercise. Start with 5 minutes of walking a week and then add a minute each week. Starting small is key. Rome wasn’t built in a day, people.

They limit television watching to less than 10 hours a week. I’ll admit, when COVID hit, this went out the window for me. And for the days I don’t watch TV, I know I watch a hell of a lot of YouTube videos, so this is a rule I break. Also, with all the tvs on cardio equipment these days, I wouldn’t call this rule essential unless you’re not working out and eating healthy, yet you can’t seem to “find time” to do those things, yet you have tons of time to binge-watch Netflix #reconsiderpriorities .

They monitor their intake. The group reported eating an average of 1380 calories a day with less than 30% coming from fat. Whether you count calories or use the hunger scale, people who have success do so because they have some kind of monitor. I’d suggest starting with a tracking app such as My Fitness pal. Also 1,380 is a relative number based on the metabolism of the reporters, so I’d actually recommend calculating your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) first, which you can do by clicking here. Eat at your predicted maintenance calories for a couple weeks to establish a baseline. If you want to lose weight, you will have to eat less, exercise more, or a little of both. If you need help with this, just DM me.

They eat a consistent diet and similar foods (you know you’re doing this when your grocery list pretty much looks the same from week to week). This doesn’t mean that you can’t have something different, but that you likely have some healthy staples you consistently purchase. I’ve been eating a chicken salad mostly every day for lunch for the last 2 decades and that doesn’t mean that some days I don’t have a steak salad or a chicken wrap, but for simplicity sake, I keep it consistent.

They eat breakfast.

If you don’t follow me on Instagram, then you may not know this, but I have a bit of a waffle addiction 🙂

High dietary restraint. They do not overeat to accommodate internal (emotions) or external cues (availability of food). This is definitely one that sounds easy to master, but it’s where I spend 90% of time with clients. I just put out a new workbook on habits to implement if this is a struggle for you, which you can find here.

Self monitoring. They weigh themselves at least once per week and daily track their food intake. I like to take this a step further and weigh myself and measure my waist daily, and take weekly progress photos. I also track and weigh my food.

So there it is! Now that you have the secrets, all you have to do is get started. I find one thing at a time works best. If you don’t exercise now, just start with 5 minutes a day. If you haven’t weighed yourself in a decade, get a new scale. If you don’t monitor your food, start with one meal a day. Change is possible my friends, and if you commit to making one change a month, then in 6 months you could be on your own path to weight loss success.

I am going to be doing an email series on all of these items separately over the next couple weeks, so if you don’t want to miss out, then you can get my free guide: How to Stop Overeating When Working from Home and get on my email list so you don’t miss out.

How to Get Over Food Fears!

I recently saw that Krispy Kreme launched a seasonal Reese’s Peanut Butter cup donut, and I’ll be honest, I couldn’t wait to get in and try it– what can I say, I’m a sucker for seasonal goodies. 😬

I even did a video on it on my Insta, in case you want to check it out.

I wanted to share this with you because I used to really freak out about eating donuts, and it got me thinking a lot about FEAR FOOD!

Quick story time…

When I was in high school, and over 200 pounds, I remember sneaking donuts, cookies and brownies from grocery store bakeries and eating them as quickly as I could before I got home.

Because of my weight, my mother was always putting me on a diet, so whenever my mom would catch me enjoying one of these foods, I would get repremanded.

I felt so much shame.

All I really wanted to do was to eat, and to eat without being judged. So whenever I was alone I would eat and eat and eat and became a secret binge eater.

Initially when I lost weight I did it by highly restricting my food.

There were years when I didn’t eat donuts, cake, or sweets at all because I was afraid that if I “slipped” I would go right back to my old ways.

Eventually, when I did have them again, I DID go back to my old ways because I was still afraid.

I had hated myself thin, so in my pursuit of perfection, having one of anything (cookie, donut, cake) off of my plan meant for me that I was a failure, I was doing it wrong, and I had no control.

This is why I am so committed to teaching women about losing weight with a maintenance mindset, and to ditch their all-or-nothing thinking when it comes to their goals.

Over time, I learned through flexible dieting, that by incorporating delicious treats (like the Reese’s donuts mentioned above) with an already well-balanced plan, MASSIVELY reduced my desire for binge eating, and actually helped me get to my weight loss goal because I was actually MORE compliant on my plan than when I tried to restrict certain foods.

So, I’m curious… how do you handle foods like this?

Do you restrict because you think eating just one will “set you off” and that you’ll be unable to control yourself?

Do you include treats on a regular basis?

If you’re anything like I used to be, then you know what it’s like to live in fear, and to worry that you “can’t handle” having one.

Maybe you tell yourself that you can’t tolerate carbs.

Maybe you tell yourself that gluten (and you’re not a celiac) and sugar are poison.

I get it.

I used to think that too.

What changed for me is that I noticed that by fearing foods, I actually gave THEM the power.

I made food sacred, and gave it control over me.

By allowing ALL food, and re-creating my relationship with all foods, I found peace with food and enjoyment with it.

My mission is to empower women because, friends, this doesn’t have to be a struggle.

Click the link here to set up a time to talk to me.

I offer a free 30 minute solution session to anyone who is curious about how to get to their goal weight, but is struggling to quit fearing food.

If it has been a struggle for you, then please know I am here.

I got you.

Why You Suddenly Can’t Seem to Lose Anymore Weight.. and What to do About It!

You know how exciting it is when you first start on a new weight loss plan?

At first it feels like weight just falls off your body– your pants are getting loose, you’re feeling really good about yourself, you start getting compliments from other people, and you even start winking at yourself in the mirror– you can’t help it when you look so great!

And then all of the sudden weight loss slows down. Maybe it even stops, entirely. Gasp!

At this point, if you are like most people, you freak out and start doing a number of things to get weight loss going again…

  • Eat less
  • Exercise More
  • Cut Carbs, Gluten, Sugar, Flour, etc.
  • Eat only whole foods
  • Restrict, restrict restrict
  • Get B12 Shots
  • Juice, Cleanse, Fast
  • Eat 500 calories a day…

While our intentions are right (get the scale moving again), sometimes our implementations of the efforts above get results, but over a period of time the results slow to a screaching hault or even stop entirely.

So what do we do? We bear down and cut even more, restrict even more, we go to extremes. We call ourselves “hard core.” But if you are like many women out there, you find that your “hard coreness” eventually backfires, creating obsessive behaviours, excessive hunger, lack of energy, injury, lack of period (for women), hormone imbalances, rage, binge eating, weight gain, exhaustion and a number of other symptoms.

We beat ourselves up; we think we are broken and destined to just “remain at this weight forever,” so then we do the opposite– put on our stretchy pants, bust out the ice cream and zone out on our next Netflix binge.

I’m sharing about this because I have been in that exact spot. I can’t even count the number of times through my 20s and 30s I tried diets that were 1200 calories a day or less, thinking that if I could just stick to that plan; just stick to 20 net carbs a day, that I could finally lose weight!

But then I would break, binge, and hate myself. Can you relate?

If you’ve experienced any of the above, then I want you to read this…

Nothing is wrong with you. Period.

Our bodies are built for survival, so if you regularly train your body to exist on 1200 calories a day, it will absolutely adapt to doing that even if you are still above your goal weight and your stomach is growling.

Your body doesn’t care that you still want to lose weight. Your body cares about staying alive. So if all you’re giving your body to survive on each day is 1200 calories, you are metabolically adapting to maintaining survival on 1200 calories.

The problem is that you may not be that far along on your journey, or you you may still be 30 pounds over your desired weight. If that is the case, dieting on 1200 calories doesn’t give you much room to work with, so what do you do?

My friends, let me introduce the concept of reverse dieting.

Reverse dieting is a process of metabolic repair that may seem counterintuitive to many people because essentially you have to do the opposite of what you may think you need: exercise less, eat more.

If you are only eating 1200 calories a day and you are an active person, then cutting fat would require a sub-1000 calorie a day diet, which I would never reccomend.

Instead, appreciate that you are in a place where your body needs a diet break, and while you may have done an amazing job dieting, it is now time to reverse your diet by slowly adding in calories (50-100 per week) over a period of several weeks until you are at a “normal” maintenance level.

When I say normal maintenance, I mean that you can eat your projected caloric intake and maintain your weight.

How do you know what your normal calories should be?

I would recommend starting with a simple online calculator to measure your BMR (basal metabolic rate) and activity rate to see what yours should be. Click here to do your own calculation.

So, for example, if you were a 150 pound female, at 5’4″ and moderately active, your maintenance calories may be 1990 calories a day (let’s call it 2000 for simplicity). If you were currently maintaining your weight at 1200 calories, then the process to get the scale moving again would be to repair your metabolism by implementing a reverse diet of slowly increasing your calories up to 2000 calories a day.

Typically a reverse diet would include starting out at your current maintenance (1200 for our example) and increasing calories by 50-100 each week. Let’s say you took the slow approach of 50 calories per week. To increase from 1200 calories to 2000, you would take 16 weeks if you consistently added 50 (50 calories times 16 weeks = 800 calories). If you wanted to go even slower, you may take 24 weeks to build in a few weeks for adaptation, or if your body happens to have a big weight jump one week and you don’t want to add.

One of the main benefits of reverse dieting is an increase in energy. For people who lift weights, they may be able to lift a lot heavier weight, and gain muscle in this process (don’t worry ladies, this process will not transform you into a female bodybuilder overnight). Building muscle will serve you well in increasing your lean body mass and raising your metabolism, along with providing some additional muscle, which will ultimately make you look better naked 😉 #win

Once you’ve arrived at your maintenance calories, you may have gained a couple pounds, but you may now begin cutting again from a much higher caloric level– perhaps 1750 calories instead of 1000.

The benefit of this process is that not only do you get a mental break from dieting, but you strengthen your metabolism, so you can make progress on your fat loss goals with a lot of room for progress.

So if you are in a place where you have been consistent with your protocol, but things just aren’t changing for you, then you may consider implementing a reverse diet to help improve your metabolism for the long-game.

If you have questions about reverse dieting, and would be curious to know what it’s like to work with a life coach for weight loss and metabolism repair, click here to schedule a free 30 minute solution session with me.

If you’d like to further explore information specifically on reverse dieting, I encourage you to check out this article by Precision Nutrition: https://www.precisionnutrition.com/reverse-dieting

Layne Norton, PhD & Holly Baxter, MS have also written an entire book about reverse dieting, which you can find here: https://biolaynestore.com/collections/accessories/products/the-complete-reverse-dieting-guide-e-book