From Famine to Feast on FASTer Way to Fat Loss®

I always thought I was fat

Today I want to talk about all things food! I have a long and complicated relationship with food, which left me in starvation mode starting at the age of 13.

My mother always battled her weight, and unfortunately went through that when the only options were strict old-school Weight Watchers and Atkins. She was also bipolar, and would project a lot of her crap on me, including calling me fat.

She took me to Weight Watchers, where they played along and gave me a diet plan. She also tried to take me shopping in Lane Bryant (plus size only), where they laughed at her because I was not plus size.

So basically, I thought I was overweight when I wasn’t. This led me to have no idea of what healthy should look like (apparently it looked like me, but who knew?) and to a place where I just ate 600 calories a day and weight 103 pounds (that is 60 pounds less than I weigh now, and I am at a healthy weight).

I starved myself for decades

From then on, I either ate whatever I wanted and overexercised (I remember doing hundreds of situps in my room at 3am when I couldn’t sleep), or starved and overexercised. After I started endometriosis treatment, and especially after my hysterectomy, I found it impossible to lose weight or fat at all.

I remember carrying lots of snacks and eating little tiny portions every few hours. Stuffing snacks in between Pilates clients was never fun! Then there was the plan that had me counting bites of food (nothing overly controlling about that ;)), the no carb diets (Atkins, South Beach, and Keto - they all ended in a pile of mashed potatoes with bread), and the general calorie cutting plans.

For exercise, I would push myself to do tons of long-form cardio (which I HATED) as well as strength training (low weight/high rep for fat burning, remember?) and Pilates. This took at least an hour every single day. Plus teaching and running around. Why rest?

I was hungry all the time

As you might imagine, I was hungry all the time! All the time!

And I just couldn’t lose weight. I was stressed out, seriously overweight (I went up to 208 at one point), and totally frustrated.

 Me at 163 pounds today

Me at 163 pounds today

 Me at 208 pounds

Me at 208 pounds

Finally, my thyroid and adrenals went. I started a low dose of levothyroxin, and as I started to feel better I searched for solutions.

Enter the FASTer Way to Fat Loss®

My friend Amanda Tress started talking about this program she had developed, and I watched her gain muscle and lose fat before my eyes, as she was literally eating donuts! I tried some pieces, like intermittent fasting and adding two rest days per week, and immediately started to drop weight and fat.

So when she opened the program up to train coaches, I raised my hand! And here I am, over a year later, still eating more than I have in years and helping others find there happy place. I almost can’t believe how much I eat and don’t gain fat!

I eat full calories for an active woman

Having always lived on around 600-1400 calories per day, I had no idea how much I am actually supposed to eat. When I calculated that on My Fitness Pal, I was amazed to see that I could eat closer to 1600 calories every day! I am never hungry anymore.

Did I say “fasting”? How is that a feast?

Intermittent fasting as I practice it and teach it, simply involves eating within a time window. For me that is 8-12 hours a day, which means that I am fasting 12-16 hours per day (a chunk of which is sleep time).

Because I fit a full 1600 calories into that window, I eat a lot! I just ate a giant chicken cobb salad with avocado and bacon for lunch, after breaking my fast a few hours ago with a protein shake. No deprivation here!

Did I mention donuts?

I also carb cycle, which means that two days per week I intentionally eat very low carb. Not every day, just two days per week (matched with HIIT cardio). The other days I either rest or lift weights, and eat balanced macronutrients (50% carbs).

Because I never want to feel deprived, on a heavy weight training day I will enjoy a treat. Donuts, cookies, pastries, ice cream, and even fried chicken or a burger and fries may show up as my treat in any given week.

Life without treats is not a life I wish to live. That is another reason why I love FASTer Way!

I would love to help you come to a healthy relationship with food that you can maintain forever. My next round starts prep week on Monday, October 29th. Click below for more information and to register!

My Results After One Year of FASTer Way to Fat Loss®

Has it really been a year of FASTer Way?

My parents always said that time flies, and I really notice that more in my 50s! It has actually been a little over a year since I started making the FWTFL program a part of my life AND I became a certified FASTer Way to Fat Loss® coach.

My fat loss and weight loss results

Fat loss and weight loss are different things. In the FWTFL program, we do a lot of heavier resistance training and eat enough carbohydrates to support the work it takes to build muscle, combining this strategically with low carb cardio days and plenty of rest. Because muscle is denser and weighs more than fat, you can lose fat and actually weigh more.

Now, I needed to lose both weight and extra fat, and have not only lost both, but maintained it! I lost 45 pounds that I have maintained pretty effortlessly, and gained obvious muscle (my body shape is completely different and I am down many inches - 3 sizes worth).

  AFTER

AFTER

  BEFORE

BEFORE

My cholesterol and thyroid results

I take prevastatin for high cholesterol and levothyroxin for my underactive thyroid. About six months ago I was able to cut the prevastatin down to 3x per week, and my TSH levels improved even more, on top of the low dose of thyroid hormone replacement. My energy is better (I did have to make some adjustments to my fasting schedule to account for adrenal fatigue, but more on that in another post), and I am stronger than ever! I look great, but most importantly, I feel great!

Intuitive eating

After a year of tracking my nutrition and calories per FASTer Way to Fat Loss guidelines in My Fitness Pal (MFP), I am now able to eat intuitively and know what my body needs and when. Some days I eat in an 8 hour window, while others I expand to a 12 hour window, depending on how I feel.

I know now what a day of low carbohydrates looks like and what to eat, as well as a full carb day. Every once in a while I input a day into MFP to check myself, and I am always on point.

What I eat on FWTFL

I eat everything. Seriously, I eat everything. On low carb days I treat myself to higher fat foods - ribs, brisket, salmon, organic aged cheese (I tolerate dairy), lots of vegetables, full fat salad dressings and yogurts, berries for when I need a little sweetness. On regular and rest days I add carbs - rices, pastas, quinoa, and sometimes even good bread. And on leg day I treat myself.

Lately hubby has been baking, so I have had everything from orange iced shortbread cookies to flourless chocolate torte and lemon poppy iced bundt cake! But sometimes my treat is Blue Ribbon fried chicken with sweet potato fries. Seriously, what I don’t eat is junky processed food. Everything else is fair game!

  LUNCH ON REGULAR DAY

LUNCH ON REGULAR DAY

  LEG DAY TREAT - SHORTBREAD COOKIES

LEG DAY TREAT - SHORTBREAD COOKIES

How much do I exercise on FASTer Way to Fat Loss®?

Not too much, actually! I do heavy strength training (including Pilates for full body powerhouse work) for a total of 30-45 minutes, 3x per week and higher intensity cardio for about 30-45 minutes (including sprints + lower intensity fat burning ending), 2x per week. The other 2 days I either rest but for dog walks or do some gentle pilates or yoga.

Nothing crazy. Not an hour of high intensity exercise every day, like some programs require.

Would you like to lose fat and improve your health?

Women and men of all ages have had success with FASTer Way to Fat Loss®. The combination of enough whole foods in the correct proportions, intermittent fasting with carb cycling, exercise, and enough rest, is powerful and life changing. It worked, and continues to work, for me!

My clients ALL feel satisfied and full at the end of the day, because they are giving their bodies exactly what they need. No deprivation, no depression over what you can’t eat - because in your week you can eat all the foods you love. In fact, I usually have to encourage my clients to eat more, since so many of us have eaten way too little for way too long.

My next round of FASTer Way starts prep week on October 29th, and I would love to see you there. Let’s get stronger and healthier together!

5 Ways To Cut The Fat Without Sacrificing Flavor

We are all trying to eat better and live a healthier life, and we’re all looking for a way to do it that’s easy to fit into a busy lifestyle.  One of the most popular ways to eat healthier is to cut down on fat in your diet. This is great if you’re eating too much fat, but you still need to do it the right way to see the results you want.

The low-fat craze actually caused a lot more problems than it solved because manufacturers used sugar to improve the flavor of the low-fat foods they produced.  Sugar is the LAST thing you want to consume more of when you’re trying to eat a healthy diet!

Fat is an important part of your daily macros (carbs, fat & protein), but that isn’t permission to eat as much fat as you want.  Most people need to make sure about 30% of their diet is made up of fat.

But Fat = Flavor and I like to eat good food!

The good news is, you can still eat delicious food, even if you’re trimming the fat to hit your 30% macro goal.  I recently had a fantastic chat over Facebook Live with professional chef Aelie Swift where she shared some of her best tips for lowering fat without lowering flavor.

5 Ways to Cut the Fat Without Sacrificing Flavor

1. Watch Your Red Meat

Red meat can quickly put you over your 30% goal for the day, but you can eat less without sacrificing your favorite foods!  If you cycle your carbs, (like I teach in the FASTer Way To Fat Loss), then save your red meat for low carb day when you’ll naturally consume more fat instead of carbs.

A great option for a lower fat (but still delicious!) burger is to cut in some ground chicken or turkey when you are preparing your patties.  Use about half ground beef to half ground chicken or turkey and you’ll have a flavorful burger that helps you hit your macros.  This is a lower fat option than 93% lean ground beef.

2. Cook Protein Over High Heat or with Low Heat

If you don’t have a sous vide option at home, a great way to increase flavor without using much fat is to cook it over high heat.  For example, if you cook a chicken breast in a 350℉ oven for 20 minutes, it will be cooked but bland. If you take that same chicken breast and sear it on the stovetop, then put it in the oven at a high heat to finish, you’ll have beautiful caramelization and incredible flavor with minimal fat.

Sous Vide (French for “under vacuum”) is a cooking method that produces tender, flavorful meat by placing it in a vacuum-sealed bag and cooking in a low-temperature water bath.  No fat is required and the results are moist and delicious. You can cook steak, chicken, salmon, or even poach eggs this way. Sous Vide is used by virtually all high-end restaurants because of the superior results, and recently, home options like the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker have become available.

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Roast Vegetables to Caramelize the Sugars

Roasting veggies caramelizes the natural sugars and develops a lot of delicious, fat-free flavor.  You can omit the oil (or cut it down drastically) when you roast instead of steam your veggies. As with chicken breast or steak, using high heat to develop a beautiful, caramelized crust is the key to more flavor with less fat.

As a general rule of thumb, roast veggies at 400℉ until they’re nicely browned (the timing will vary based on the size of the vegetables).  

Use Aromatics

Infuse flavor into your food using aromatics like garlic, onions and herbs.  They provide incredible flavor that you can’t get any other way, not even with fat.  Use fresh herbs to finish your food, and dried herbs for a longer cooking time. If you’re using the sous vide method, add your aromatics to the bag with your meat.  You’ll enjoy restaurant-quality meals at home for a fraction of the cost.

Add Citrus and Salt

If your dish seems bland or lacking, add some citrus to lift up the flavor.  Lemon is delicious with chicken.  Orange is a great compliment to salmon.  Sometimes acid is all a dish needs for the pop of flavor you want!

Don’t be afraid of salt!  If your dish is flat, it might just need a little seasoning to bring out the flavor.  You don’t need a lot of salt to make it delicious, just be sure to season to taste for best results.

You can enjoy delicious, restaurant-quality meals at home with less fat and more flavor—all while sticking to your macros and living the FASTer Way lifestyle.  

Hungry For More?

If you want to cook more from home but need some help figuring it out, you can check out Aelie’s 4 week meal plan for delicious lunch and dinner options.  

Wondering about the FASTer Way so you can easily live a healthier lifestyle?  Join me for the next round. We start soon, so don’t wait to register! It’s the best program on the market and it’s transformed the health of thousands of women.  Join the ranks, we’re saving you a spot!

How To Eat Carbs and Still Lose Weight

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Carbs DO NOT make us fat or cause weight gain.

I know this goes against a lot of trendy information circulating in the fitness world, but there’s a lot of science to back this up!

Our bodies run on sugar and carbs, so when you consume a very low carb diet (also known as a ketogenic diet), it puts a lot of stress on your liver and kidneys to process all the protein and fat you’re consuming.  Our organs are meant to process primarily carbs, so a typical diet should consist of 50% carbs every day.

This is not a free pass to eat donuts all the time!

The quality of carbs you eat definitely matters.  Let’s take it back to school here for a minute.  There are two kinds of carbs, simple and complex.  All carbohydrates are made up of sugar molecules, but the difference between simple and complex carbs is the number of molecules that join to form a carbohydrate.

Simple carbs are made of just a few molecules while complex carbs consist of hundreds or even thousands of sugar molecules.  This makes simple carbs quick and easy to digest.  Quicker digestion means you’ll get hungry faster, which means you’ll have to eat more frequently to feel full.  Complex carbs are harder to digest, so you’ll feel full longer and they’ll give you sustainable energy.

Why Complex Carbs

Complex carbohydrates are high in fiber and nutrients, which is an important reason to include them in your diet.  When you cut them from your diet, the lack of fiber can cause digestive problems, making it very difficult to go to the bathroom.  Not only that, excluding them from your diet also means you’re missing out on important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body needs.  

If you eat a very low carb diet, your liver and kidneys will be under stress, and this results in YOU being under stress.  You’ll feel tired, bloated, constipated and hungry.  

Complex Carbs to Eat

  • Green leafy veggies
  • Cruciferous veggies
  • Potatoes (sweet and white—eat the skins, too!)
  • Low glycemic fruits, like berries

Even though a ketogenic diet isn’t good for your body long term, cycling your carbs is an effective way to get the benefits of a low-carb diet without eliminating carbs.

Why Carb Cycling

Carb cycling is an intentional variation of carb intake throughout the week.  I recommend 2 low carb days every week, paired with high intensity cardio.  This helps you burn through any leftover glycogen (sugars) in the muscles so your body can burn fat.  This is exceptionally effective for fat loss, which also makes it exceptionally effective for weight loss.

This is one of the components I teach my clients in the FASTer Way To Fat Loss, and they’ve seen incredible results!  The best part is, I teach you how to incorporate it into your lifestyle so you can still enjoy desserts and even alcohol.

How To Carb Cycle

If you’d like to learn more about carb cycling and how to pair it with intermittent fasting, tracking your macronutrients, and performing highly effective exercise, then check out the FASTer Way To Fat Loss.  It’s truly the most effective program on the market!  You’ll spend 6 weeks with me online learning and implementing these strategies and you’ll see the best, most sustainable results you’ve ever had.  

Losing body fat isn’t difficult as long as you know the correct strategies to implement and follow the science behind them.  Carbs are an important part of your diet and critical to living your healthiest life.

My next round of FASTer Way To Fat Loss starts prep week on Monday, March 26. I would love to see you there!

Why You Aren't Losing Fat (the answer will surprise you)

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1. Your body will hold onto fat if it thinks you are starving

Fat storage is a main way that our body holds onto energy for later. While most of us know that our bodies store excess calories as fat, you may not realize that if you eat too little, your body will hold onto that stored fat as long as it can, in case you start to starve.

To get your body to let go of that stored fat, you must give it all the calories and nourishment it needs. You can use a free app (I like My Fitness Pal) to plug in your height, weight, and activity level to see how many calories you need to eat to maintain your weight, as well as lose weight.

2. Your body will keep fat if you are eating all the time

As many of you may know, I am huge proponent of Intermittent Fasting (IF) as part of an all-over weight and fat loss strategy. I used to eat all the time. Small snacks starting with an early breakfast to "start my metabolism" and eating every 3-4 hours from there. And no matter how how much I exercised, or how low my calories, I didn't lose fat.

Why? Because I was never in digestive rest, where our bodies really do use the nutrients we are eating, as well as repair and restore for the next day. I now practice a 16/8 IF schedule, where I eat 8 hours out of the day. This takes some planning, as I need to fit in all my calories and nutrients within that 8 hour window. But it saves me having to deal with snacks and packing food all day!

3. If you are always hungry, you are not eating enough!

A few of my friends shared with me that they "tried Intermittent Fasting" but stopped because they were so hungry. This is most often due to not eating enough in your eating window, and to not getting the right balance of nutrients.

For example, I need to eat 1950 calories per day to maintain my weight. So when I break my fast, I start with a protein shake (especially if I am running around). Then a large salad with chicken, avocado, nuts, some fruit, and an oil & vinegar-based dressing. For supper I will have another large meal, say some steak, rice or potatoes, and lots of vegetables. Then for dessert I will often have berries with greek yogurt or cultured cottage cheese and a few dark chocolate chips.

When I eat less, or don't get all my nutrients in (enough protein, carbs, and fat), I wake up hungry. For more information about Intermittent Fasting and being hungry, watch this video on my Facebook page.

And, if you are ready to get healthy and start losing fat now, my next FASTer Way To Fat Loss group starts prep week on Monday 2/19. Registration is open now! Click here to register.

Why I Take Probiotics

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I take quality probiotics every day, and since I started my health has been better, I sleep better, and my digestion and elimination are much more regular. There are several quality brands of probiotic supplements on the market. Probiogen and Hyperbiotics are two of my favorites.

Why Take Probiotics?

The bacteria in our guts plays a role in most of our important body functions. We now know that the micro-organisms in our guts have a direct relationship on our digestive health, our immune systems, brain and nervous system, urinary tract health, allergies, and levels obesity. That's a lot!

Our levels of bacteria are affected by pollution, stress, poor diet, and antibiotics. Since I live in NYC, have a reasonable amount of stress, and have only recently lost over 40#, my gut flora are a concern.

Choosing a Probiotic

The most important qualities in a good probiotic are that it contains useful strains of bacteria, and that they are alive in sufficient quantity when they hit your gut. Your supplement can contain billions of bacteria, but if they are all dead or not of a useful form, the supplement is useless.

Your supplement should not require refrigeration. If the bacteria cannot survive heat, how exactly will they survive your digestive tract? You want live spores in your digestive tract. Really!

Probiogen

Probiogen is formulated by microbiologist Kiren Krishnan, who specializes in nutrition research. He chose the most needed and effective bacteria, DNA-verified the strains, and made sure they could stay alive.

probioticsThey make several formulas, including allergy, stress and mood, and weight balance. I have tried just about every formula, and my body has responded well. The herbs that support the probiotics are well chosen, and the supplements do help.

For the weight balance supplement, Krishan did his own hunger study with healthy college kids, testing their ghrelin levels after a fasted state and also after a 2000 calorie fast food breakfast.  The out-of-whack Western ghrelin response was nearly identical. But after 30 days on the probiotic strain included in the Probiogen Weight Management formula, their ghrelin levels dropped after the calorie-laden meal, as did their insulin responses.

Easy to take and no refrigeration needed. Dairy-free, soy-free, vegetarian, non-GMO.

Hyperbiotics

probioticsHyperbiotics was founded by Jamie Morea, who developed the line after she took a life-changing trip from Guatemala to Thailand and contracted Entamoeba histolytica, a rare intestinal parasite most common in developing countries.

She pulled together a team of microbiologists and started creating a probiotic supplement that works. Hyperbiotics also gives back with carbon-offset programs and the Change for Women Collective.

Again, easy to take, no refrigeration needed, and these you can buy at Target!

There Is Still Time To Get Fit This Summer!

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Don’t think you have time to get bikini ready?Want to rock those shorts, but don’t think you can make it happen? And would you like a solution that is easy to implement, is backed by science, and is sustainable and healthy for the long term?

The people in my FASTer Way to Fat Loss program are slaying their summer body goals, and you can do the same! There is still plenty of time left to get lean, toned, and fit so you can feel confident hitting the beach this summer.

BUT… lean is not the only thing you will get through the FASTer Way to Fat Loss. Your results will stretch way beyond a rocking summer body! Don’t worry, you will find those abs and sculpt those legs...but the FASTer Way is about so much more.

  • The FASTer Way is about getting the most fit, healthy body possible...all year round. 
  • The FASTer Way is about increasing your energy so you can live your life more fully present.
  • The FASTer Way is about feeling more in control of what you eat, so you can live in freedom, not guit. 
  • The FASTer Way is about creating greater health, building your immunity and enhancing your overall quality of life so you can be there for your family and friends. 

And of course, the FASTer Way is about helping you look incredible whether you are hitting the beach, the ballfield or a night out on the town.

There are lots of ways to get bikini ready for a short period of time, but most will have you yo-yoing back to your pre-summer body before the leaves start to change colors.

The FASTer Way is not a quick fix with results that will be gone faster than they appeared! Instead, it is a flexible, simple lifestyle that can be done at home and on vacation. It will not only help you look amazing, but will help you feel incredible.

It won’t JUST get you that summer body, but it will get you in shape year-round.

There truly is no program on the market as effective as the FASTer Way in terms of better health, improved energy, effective fat burning and greater confidence. Thousands of people have experienced the life-changing power of this program and you could be one of them!

It’s not too late to join us. In fact, there is NO better time to get leaner, stronger, healthier and more confident than today. You still have time to smash those summer body goals and carry that confidence, energy and strength into the year ahead!

To join my next round of the FASTer Way, beginning July 10th, click the link below.

This program will truly change your life and finally give you the tools, accountability and support you need to hop off the diet hamster wheel that’s left you feeling defeated for years. It’s time to finally start seeing results that last.

Join us! Spots are almost gone!

Sign Up Here!

More info on the program - FASTer Way to Fat Loss.

Skype/Facetime Sessions are a great way to fit private Pilates and Fitness training into your life! We can do just about anything, including Pilates mat and apparatus (if available to you), bodyweight training, TRX, and weight training, Click here to buy 3 sessions for $200 (save $70).