0:00:03.8 Kim Schlag: Welcome to Episode 94 of the Fitness Simplified podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. On today's episode, I'm gonna be answering your questions that you post to me on Instagram, full-blown Q&A, talking about PMS cravings, talking about not being able to maintain weight after you've lost a lot of weight, talking about what do you do when you don't have a ton of weights at home and you still wanna be able to workout, talking about what to do if you're constantly yo-yo dieting? Lots of questions and answers coming your way. First, a real quick reminder, if you are a woman over 40, two things coming up for you this Monday, March 29th. I'm offering my free webinar on the menopause fat loss formula. It's gonna be 45 minutes. I'm gonna walk you through step-by-step the six things you need to do to be able to lose weight in menopause. Watch out for that, sign up for it. You can go to my website, email@example.com to sign up to get on there. If you show up live, you're gonna get a free copy of my End Emotional Eating workbook. You'll also be able to get the replay.
0:01:06.9 Kim Schlag: Same day I am launching my menopause weight loss course. This is going to be an incredible opportunity for you to get some coaching time with me. Working together for nine weeks in a group setting, it's gonna be nine modules. You'll get a new module in your course each week and it's going to be the key components. So the webinar is gonna tell you like, "Here's what to do," the course is going to actually help you put it into practice. We're gonna work together to get you real results, losing weight in your 40s. If you're tired, if you're struggling with belly fat, if you're just like, "Why is weight loss not working for me anymore?" This course is for you. Again, look at my website, firstname.lastname@example.org, cart goes live, Monday, March 29th. It will be open for one week, registration then closes, and I won't be offering it again 'til the fall, at which point, price is gonna go up. Alright, let's hit it.
0:02:02.4 Kim Schlag: Hello. Hello. Answering your questions today on this episode, questions I've gotten on my feed, and questions I've gotten in my stories, and questions I've gotten on my DMs that I wanted to spend a little bit more time talking you through. Of course, if you ever want to have me coach you through a question, I love doing that. It's much more of a give and take versus me kind of assuming what I think you might answer to a question. We can have a really in-depth discussion that I then find not only helps you, but helps other people as well. If you would like to do that, you wanna hop on a call, message me, email@example.com. Put "question for your podcast" or something like that in the subject line, and then tell me what your question is, and we will set it up. Nothing to be worried about. It's not anything fancy. It's not like I'd be interviewing you. It's literally a call just between the two of us that I happen to be recording for the podcast.
0:03:00.1 Kim Schlag: Alright, on to my first question today. This is a question that came through on a feed post that I did the other day. It wasn't related specifically to the post, and I find it very relevant to many people, so I'm gonna read her questions here. So I read your post and my question is, is 800 to 900 calories too little? I'm gonna wager to guess if she's read very many of my posts, she knows my answer to that is, yes it is. I am STARVING at that number, yet it's the only time I lose weight when I'm that low. Dieted, exercised and have counted calories for 20 plus years. Is this sounding familiar to you, ladies? I always yo-yo. Right now, I've been fighting my weight for two years, and only gaining. I begin to lose when I cut down... I want you to really listen carefully to the next few lines. "I begin to lose when I cut down to 800 to 900 calories. I don't think I can happily live like that. I can do that for... " And this is the important part. "Maybe two days and I'm a bear, then I tend to binge to 1500 to 1600 calories because I'm HUNGRY. Is that the secret to lose? Is it to be hungry?"
0:04:05.7 Kim Schlag: Okay, listen to this again, 800 to 900 calories. How long did she do that for? Two days, and then she binges, and she's guessing she's eating 1500 to 1600 calories. I can assure you, if she's binging, it is way more than that. And then here's the real deal. She's not at a deficit eating 800-900 calories. When you average it over the week, she's eating more than her maintenance calories. I'm going to wager that she's in the thousands of calories per day. You know, I don't know how big this person is, so I have no idea what her maintenance calories would be, but I have a really strong suspicion that 1500-1600 calories is actually deficit calories for her, not maintenance, which then leads us to believe these binges are actually in the thousands. Look, it is so easy to clear 3000 calories if you're eating cookies, donuts, cakes, pizza. If you have a meal out and then dessert, you're snacking all day, 3000 calories in a day, super-duper easy. Like, I wouldn't even have to think about it. If you told me, like, "Hey, Kim, eat 3000 calories without thinking about it," I am so there. And you are too. You don't know it, but you are.
0:05:12.3 Kim Schlag: So here's the answer to your question. Stop trying to eat 800-900 calories. That's what's doing you in. Eat in a moderate deficit, and I can certainly help you figure that out. A couple of options for you. You can go through my free five-day fat loss crash course. I can help you set your calories there. I have many posts on this in my feed. You can go to my guides. I don't know if you guys are aware of that feature. If you go to my... What is that called? My bio page, and you look right below the highlights tabs, there's these little icons. One of the icons is a book. This is only like half a year old that they have these, and you can click on the little books, and I have made guides on various topics, and there's definitely a guide there on setting your calories. You can look there for some guidance. If you're feeling like you need more intense guidance, it's gonna be a long shot to get in on my one-on-one coaching right now. I have a very extensive wait list, you can absolutely get on there. You can email me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
0:06:12.8 Kim Schlag: The best way to work with me in 2021, if you are a woman over 40, you can hop into my menopause weight loss course which is launching on Monday, March 29th, that's in like three days, three and a half days from now. Super excited about that. Would love to have you in there. In there, not only will I help you set your calories, I'm gonna walk you through nine weeks of me helping you to reach those calories, so give that a look. In the end, the answer to your question is this, no, the secret to losing weight is not to be super hungry, some hunger comes along with weight loss, it is inevitable. It is part of the process. If you are struggling with that, you need to remind yourself what a calorie deficit is, you're literally eating fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight, of course you will be hungry. There is so much you can do to mitigate that hunger, does not need to be extreme hunger. In fact, I would say it should not be extreme hunger that is uncomfortable and likely to lead to you not following through with your plan.
0:07:11.9 Kim Schlag: So you can do things like, eat in volume. So to do that, focus on lots of leafy greens, focus on melon, strawberries, egg whites, shrimp. Those are all foods you can eat in big quantities for very low calories, that's one suggestion. Eat enough protein, protein is the most satiating of all the macro nutrients, so it's more satisfying than carbs or fats, it's gonna keep you fuller longer, so eat plenty of protein, do not skimp on your protein. Get plenty of fiber that also has that filling effect, so look for high fiber foods, so you can... There's so many high fiber foods. Avocado is a high-end fiber, all of a sudden I drew a blank on high fiber foods. Raspberries, avocado. Gosh, seriously, [chuckle] I blanked on high fiber foods. Obviously there's high fiber whole grain, so I like to do Ezekiel bread for a high fiber whole grains, peas, beans, apples, all the pears, artichokes, lots of foods that are high in fiber put high fiber, shooting for 30 grams of fiber, 20 to 30 grams of fiber daily can really help with that hunger piece.
0:08:24.6 Kim Schlag: And then of course, getting some dietary fat, you wanna be careful to measure out with a scale, your dietary fats, because they are higher in calories than your carbs, your proteins, so you don't wanna mess up and overdo those, but having those in your diet is really gonna help with the staying power of your meal. So doing some combination of all of those things while at a moderate deficit is gonna help you actually stick with your deficit rather than slashing down to 800-900 calories for two days, and there goes the yo-yo. I so hope this has helped you. Please reach out again. I hope you're listening to this. I didn't know what your username is, it's a dash and then Krees and then another dash. So Krees, I really hope you're listening and that this has helped you some. Alright, next question, this is a question that came through in my DMs.
0:09:11.0 Kim Schlag: My heaviest weight is 30 pounds. How do I add more weight without buying heavier ones? Okay, so a couple of things I would say here. One, what is your hesitation around buying heavier weights. Is it a cost issue? Is it a space issue? Over the long term, you're going to need access to heavier weights to progress. You will, okay? So a couple of options you have there, one, get a gym membership, it can be a cheap gym membership, if your gyms are open, I realize some people now have gym access, some people do not. Here in 2021, who knows? [chuckle] Who knows if you do or you don't. If you do and you're comfortable going, look, even a place like Planet Fitness, that place gets poo-pooed on a lot, there's a lot of weird stuff about it, right? Like, I don't love the one to one thing, I certainly don't like that they're serving pizza and donuts, but as far as the equipment, it's great. I've had plenty of clients, I currently do have plenty of clients who train at Planet Fitness, it is not a ton of money. If you can swing that in your budget, go for something like that. You'll have the heaviest weights you need there, you'll be good to go.
0:10:12.6 Kim Schlag: If you're like, "No, not joining a gym." Then what I would suggest for over the long term, this is not short-term, we'll talk about short-term in a minute, is that you start really looking at yard sales, second-hand places, online like Facebook marketplace. Equipment is there to be had. Absolutely, you can find it. I would look at buying things... Most of my gym I bought second hand. Not all of it, but a good bit of it, for a pretty good price. If space is the issue, look into getting adjustable dumbbells, they go up fairly heavy, you can certainly get more than 30 pounds, so look into getting adjustable dumbbells and over the door chin up bar, a TRX, they have benches, incline benches that fold, and you can put them in your closet and look into getting something like that. So if space is an issue, look into that. If you're just like, "I don't have the money, I don't have the space, none of that," for right now, look into the future and think, "What will I do?" 'Cause eventually you're gonna need access to this equipment.
0:11:04.9 Kim Schlag: Am I gonna join a gym? Am I gonna start building up my home gym? In the meantime, there are ways to progress without adding heavier weight, okay? So things you can do and you can do this even when you do have access to equipment, these are things I do to change up client's programming without constantly just being like lift heavier weight. Okay? So you can add a pause to a movement, you can do these with almost any movement that you can think of, I'm just gonna give you the example of a squat. Let's say you're doing a squat, you can add a pause, so you come down to the bottom, distinct pause. I use two seconds a lot, that's not a rule, you can use any kinda second you want, but it should be a very distinct pause, don't blink and come back up, really count like, one Mississippi, two Mississippi. And then, squatting with that 30-pound dumbbell is going to feel heavier, 'cause you have more time under a tension, you were holding that load longer. So pauses, a slow eccentric.
0:12:00.0 Kim Schlag: The eccentric is the muscle lengthening part of an exercise, depending on... For many exercises that is the down portion, the lowering portion, it's not for all. For a squat, it is the lowering, for a lunge, it is the lowering, for a deadlift, it is the lowering, for a row, it is lowering, and for like a lat pull-down, it's actually gonna be the raising part, so the part where your arms are getting straight, but the eccentric is the muscle lengthening piece, so you can emphasize that piece. So again, let's go back to our goblet squat. On the way down, as you're just coming down, you can come down for a very slow count, you could do a count of three or a count of five really slowly, and then back up with power and speed. That, again, is gonna make that 30-pound dumb bell you said you have a lot heavier, that literally doesn't get heavier, but it's going to feel heavier, it's going to tax your muscles more.
0:12:49.9 Kim Schlag: Another option, adding an extra half rep. You can do this again with many movements. For the squat, what that would look like is coming all the way down to the bottom of your squat, coming up halfway, going back down to the bottom, and then standing all the way up, and all of that is rep one, okay? All the way down, half way up, all the way down, all the way up, adding an extra half rep. Love doing those. And then the last technique I would suggest to you is, doing something called constant tension reps. In a squat example, what this would look like, you would come all the way down to the bottom, so you are gonna get full range of motion, at the bottom, then you're gonna come back up, but before you lock out at the top, when you think about the top of a squat where you lock out, you stand straight up, you're not over-arching your back, but you're standing straight up, and you give your glutes that nice little squeeze, your hips are fully extended, okay, not over-extended, but fully extended, you're not gonna get to that position, you're gonna stop short of that.
0:13:42.3 Kim Schlag: So you go all the way down, you come back up but you stop short of that lock out, and you come back down, and you just keep, kind of like a piston, up and down, up and down, staying away from that top end motion where you lock out. That's called constant tension. So that's another technique you can use to make that 30 pound weight feel heavier. You can also use more unilateral movements, so doing one legged-things. So doing a single leg RDL. That's gonna make better use of that 30 pounds than doing with two legs. Doing Bulgarian split squats instead of a goblet squat. Again, that's going to be... You could hold a 30 pound weight in each hand, if you can even do that, right? And that will be harder than holding it and doing a squat, holding the weight with two legs. Obviously you hold the weight with two legs. You know what I mean. [chuckle] Squatting with two legs. So, using unilateral movements more is a really good way to make use of lighter weights.
0:14:45.8 Kim Schlag: Obviously, you can increase your reps. That works to a point. You still wanna take your reps close to failure, and you don't wanna be doing so many reps that it's going to make your workout be super long, or that it's just ridiculously light. But you can certainly increase your reps, you just wanna make sure you're working close to that failure point. Alright, that is my best advice for you. The other thing you can do is scrounge around and look for heavier items. A lot of people did this during lockdowns. One of the smartest things I heard my coach suggest that people do this, and I started suggesting a really great idea, go to a store like Home Depot or Lowes and buy sandbags. You can buy them in varying increments, bring them home, and put them in duffel bags, so you could get several sandbags and stack them together and make them heavier, okay? So, looking for heavier items around the house. That's my best advice for you. Over the long term, still gonna need to find yourself a way to get access to a heavier weight, but you can use these techniques in the meantime while you're doing that.
0:15:46.6 Kim Schlag: Alright, moving on to our next question. This question: "I've lost 97 pounds, but I struggle to keep it off. I am feeling defeated. Any advice?" First of all, can we just take a second to realize how difficult the thing is that you achieved. Losing 97 pounds is a struggle. Holy cow! That is a lot of hard work, that's a lot of hard work. Really, that does not come easily. That was not a fluke. You can absolutely figure out a way to maintain this weight. Let's talk about it a bit. It's important to note, it is easier for a person to maintain a certain weight, never having dieted down to that weight, as opposed to a person who was much heavier and then dieted down to that weight, it is harder for that person to maintain, so keep that in mind. That should not be disempowering. It's not like, "Oh great, now I can never maintain this." You can. One thing I would say that you should really do is evaluate whether it is an appropriate weight for you to maintain at?
0:16:47.9 Kim Schlag: Look, I could diet myself down to 115, 112 pounds. I can tell you for a fact, I've been... The lowest I got was 119 when I was very... I was fit. Like, I've been lower than that and super not fit when I was much, much younger, like a teenager, but as a grown woman who worked hard, built muscle, the lowest I got down to a few years ago was 119. I did not like the lifestyle that I needed to maintain that weight. It was not maintainable for me. It meant not indulging hardly at all, ever, in the foods I liked. It was incredibly difficult for me to maintain that weight. So that for me is a no-go. I don't want the lifestyle that goes with that weight. So that's a question to ask yourself. Do you want the lifestyle that goes with the weight you're trying to maintain? I have no idea where you started and what your weight is now, and what your activity level is, and how tall you are, and how old you are, and all these factors, I have no idea. But give that some consideration.
0:17:46.8 Kim Schlag: Do I want the lifestyle that comes along with maintaining this weight? And maybe maintaining it five pounds higher or 10 pounds higher, you're still gonna like that look, but you're gonna feel more comfortable in your life. Is that a good trade-off for you? The next thing I would say is to consider the habits that you have. Are they supporting you in keeping your weight off? I again have no information from you on how you lost this weight. You could have done a crazy crash diet, and you could have done Optavia. I can never say if I'm telling... Know if I'm saying that word right. You know, where you're just... You're living off their little packages, and it's 800, 900 calories a day, and you're not exercising, maybe that's what you did. And now you have not built a whole host of habits that actually lend to keeping weight off. You haven't done that. And so, now is the time to do that. And you can absolutely do that.
0:18:34.0 Kim Schlag: So what kind of habits am I talking about? Things like strength training. Are you doing it? Do you have a consistent strength training program, minimum two times a week, ideally, at least three times, three or four times a week, strength training with progression, are you doing that? What is your daily movement like? Are you a sedentary person who just switched up their diet, or did you add movement into your life? If you did not, now is the time, or if you just didn't add very much, now is the time. Getting up to minimal, like 6500, that's a really good place to be. And you can even go higher. You can go 7000, 7500, you can go up 10,000, 12,000. There's no reason to go higher than that.
0:19:13.5 Kim Schlag: So adding some daily movement maybe. Are you eating vegetables at most meals, are you eating protein at every meal, are you are having non-food fun? All of your entertainment? All your down time all of the things you look forward to, are they all associated with foods? Are all of your hobbies associated with foods? If so, this is part of a lifestyle change that needs to be made. If everything that you look forward to doing with your loved ones revolves around food, that is an issue for weight maintenance. I'm not saying you can't enjoy good food with your loved ones, you absolutely can and should. You don't need my permission to do that, but if you wanna keep this weight off, finding things you can do with them that don't involve food, and it could be a million different things, you could play yard games. I love playing KanJam with my family. So it can be like, a yard game, it could be going for a walk, it could be like, "Hey, we like to go to museums." it could be, "We like to go for bike rides."
0:20:08.8 Kim Schlag: It could be swimming, it could be doing puzzles, it could be all kinds of different things, but it shouldn't revolve around food. Okay, so that's something to really think about and to tackle. And doesn't have to be family, like if you could be single and be like, "Hey, my friend group, like everything we do revolves around drinking and food," I've had clients with that issue and they have literally had to change their friend group. They have that or had to... Some of them changed their friend group, some of them said to their friends like, "Hey, can we start doing some hiking instead of just going to the bar?" And sometimes your friends will be open to that and sometimes they won't, and that's a clue as to who best fits into your life. Not all friends are meant for all stages of our lives. And I know that can be hard to hear, but if you value being active and not drinking every weekend and your friends just wanna drink every weekend, that's not a great fit, and that's something that you need to address. Again, it's not always about the food, these are big, important, fundamental lifestyle changes. And then another big one is emotional eating, is that something that you have tackled yet or did you kind of brush that under the rug and, again, do some kind of not sustainable diet or just to diet, even if you are calorie counting, but you just didn't address any of these issues? It's something to be addressed.
0:21:24.4 Kim Schlag: Look at your emotional eating, how do you handle it? What ways do you have to cope with stress that don't involve food? I have a great video on stress eating and overcoming that on, my YouTube channel Kim Schlag Fitness, you can look there. And of course if you're listening to this before March 29, you can get in on my free webinar, I'm doing a free webinar Monday, March 29th, two sessions, and if you come live, if you actually show up live to the webinar, not just get the replay, you can get for free, a copy of the workbook I made for my clients called end emotional eating and it works you through step by step what to do to overcome emotional eating, it's not a quick process, this is not like, "Oh, do these three things and you have fixed it," but I will give you the tools that over time, you will be able to switch from being a person who was an emotional eater to being a person who has other ways of managing their stress or their loneliness or their boredom.
0:22:20.2 Kim Schlag: Okay. So I hope that that has helped. I know it's a really big struggle, and again, congratulations on losing that weight, you can absolutely conquer the second hurdle, which is how the heck do I keep it off? Alright, next question. Help for PMS cravings, they are ruining my deficit. Okay, a couple of things you can do here. The number one thing I would say that you can do is to try to anticipate this happening, okay, if you struggle with PMS cravings, it's likely not a surprise to you, right? You know that it's gonna happen, you're just not thinking about doesn't... This is funny, ladies, how many years we've been living with this, and how many of us are like, we're acting crazy, we're saying stupid things, we're so touchy? It's not until our period comes and we're like, "Oh right. That's why I thought everybody hates me and the world was ending yesterday. Oh yes, there it is." Why do we do that? Why do you do that? Now, if you are in perimenopause, you might have the struggle of, I don't know when the freak I'm gonna get my period. I never know. I have a tracker, I would suggest you get an app, I use an app, and for me, it is still you just don't know, I'll go six or seven months without having a period, and I will tell you sometimes during those periods, even though I don't get a period, I still have the PMS.
0:23:34.8 Kim Schlag: And it's really hard to pick out, and usually it's when I get a whole conglomeration of symptoms like everybody's bugging me. The world is ending. I'm super tired, I start getting really bad headaches, I'm craving things, and after a few days like that, I'm like, "Ah, yes, this is clearly hormonal, and then I still look at my period." So if you are in that situation, I feel for you, I know it's hard, still keep trying to keep track of that, what is your conglomeration of symptoms so that you can be like, "Ah, that's what this is." If you are somebody who has a regular cycle, amazing, that is a really good knowledge for you, keep that on your calendar, I have some clients who keep that on our shared Google doc where we track their calories so they can anticipate, "Oh, this is the week I'm definitely gonna struggle with my calories, this is definitely the week I'm gonna be struggling with cravings, so I'll tell you some more things you can do about that in a second.
0:24:20.4 Kim Schlag: So that is number one. Anticipate it, the app I use is called My Period Tracker, but there are tons of them. You don't have to get that one. I like that one. So knowing it is coming is really powerful stuff that is helpful to anticipate like, "Okay, I'm going to be craving more," and then you can prepare, "What am I gonna do?" One of the things I do, I just freaking go to bed. I go to bed earlier. If I'm craving food and I'm exhausted and it's PMS week and you know what? Just go to bed. There's just no... If you skip the television shows, you can tell your kids, guys, I'm going to bed early tonight goodnight, if you have little ones, that might be harder, but if they're old enough to be like, "Fine," better if your husband can take over or your partner can take over. Great, that's a big one, I would say, is just go to bed. Keeping sweets out of your immediate environment during that time is so crucial, even if typically you can keep a bag with many Snickers in your cupboard and you're like, "I can just dole out one a day," and when your period comes, if that's not the case, if you're like, I'm eating them by the handful, then that's not necessarily a good strategy for you, so let's get those out of there, don't keep them at home.
0:25:25.8 Kim Schlag: It doesn't mean you can't still eat Snickers, you'll just go out and get them, so if you decide like, "You know what? I'm craving the Snickers, go out, go to the 7-Eleven, buy yourself a single Snickers bar, it can be a full size one, they're like, what? 250, 275 calories, eat it and be happy. You'll come home and eat it, don't eat it at the store and then buy another one, so that portion control is really, really useful.
0:25:47.4 Kim Schlag: Something you might not have thought of that might feel really counter-intuitive and you might be like, "Ooh, I don't know if I wanna do that," I will tell you this works really well. I have done it with a handful of clients. Not everybody wants to do it or needs to do it, but it can work very well, and that is purposely upping your calories during the week that you have PMS. It works especially well if you are on a very regular cycle. You know, "Okay, I'm going to up my calories to maintenance this week." What it helps you to do is actually be at maintenance rather than in a surplus, because if you try and be in a deficit and you're white knuckling it and you're just not being successful at it, and you're having a lot of cravings, and then you're going well over your maintenance calories, isn't it better to stay at your maintenance calories? You're not gonna lose any progress. You're gonna stay right where you are. You still have the other three weeks of the month to be in a deficit. So that is something I would consider giving a go.
0:26:34.7 Kim Schlag: And then the last thing I would suggest is adding some more dietary fat. I have read some things and I wish... I don't have anything to quote for you, I wish I did, I don't know where I put it... That upping your dietary fat when you were having these PMS cravings can actually help. This isn't the weird kind of stuff. You know I totally hate those posts. There's one I have that I saved, it's really dumb, "If you're craving chocolate, you should eat... " and it gives you some weird combination of foods, and the one I have saved somewhere, it's like, "If you're craving chocolate, you should eat rabbit." First of all, where the heck am I getting a rabbit? [chuckle] I don't want rabbit, I want some chocolate. So I'm not saying that, but absolutely if you're a person who is typically a little bit lower on fat, bump up your fat, you bump up your calories through fat and see if that helps with the cravings in that way. So a whole host of things you can do. I know it can be a really... It can feel really out of control at that time, so going into it with a strategy, going into it with a plan, going into it knowing, like, "Ah, here it comes," is much more empowering than feeling at the will of your hormones.
0:27:36.7 Kim Schlag: Alright, I believe this next one is my last question here... Yes. Alright, this one says, "I don't know where to start with exercise. I am really out of shape." I actually made a post about this yesterday. I think I got started writing that post because I'd written this question down to answer here on the podcast today. Such a good question and I want you to know, no matter how out of shape you are, fitness is for you, exercise is for you, and it should meet you literally where you are. You don't have to achieve some level of fitness to feel worthy to step into a gym. You can just start where you're at, and any coach worth their salt is gonna be able to help do that. There's just no question about it. If they can't meet you where you are, that isn't the problem, the problem is with them, not with you. Let's say you're like, "I'm not getting a coach yet. Okay, what can I do?"
0:28:27.9 Kim Schlag: The number one thing I would say to do is start moving more. Start walking. And maybe for you what that means is you literally make a goal to walk for five minutes after every meal every day, and that's it. Then do that for a week. Maybe two weeks. Once you're like, "Okay... "And you don't have to go fast. This doesn't have to be a fast thing, a sweaty thing, a get my heart rate up thing. It can just be moving. You don't have to put on special clothes to do it, just put on some comfortable shoes and go for a slow walk. Five minutes, five minutes, then maybe you could up it to 10 minutes. Increase that over time. Eventually, you can create a step goal for yourself and say like, "You know what, I'm gonna get a thousand steps a day." And then sometime when that feels really comfy, "I'm gonna get 1500 steps a day. I'm gonna get 2000 steps a day." And before you know it, you're a person who moves, and that's gonna feel really, really good.
0:29:16.3 Kim Schlag: Then as far as getting into strength training, if you're very apprehensive about this, my number one piece of advice is to get an in-person coach, or at least a friend who knows what they're doing, and have them walk you through it. And if you're like, "Ooh, that's more money that I can handle regularly," just get somebody for a session or two, or like I said, get a friend who knows more than you do. A person only needs to be a few steps ahead of you to get you started. If you're like still, "No, don't know anybody. I don't have the money," watch my YouTube videos. Go to my YouTube, look at my tutorials, look for ones on the squat, look for ones on push-ups. Don't worry, there's a push-up variety for you, I promise. Look for my hip hinging drills, look for my glute bridge tutorial. Watch those and give them a try.
0:30:00.9 Kim Schlag: You can do them in your own home. Watch the video, try the movement, try the variety that I say like, "Hey, if you're just starting, do this," and do it, and just practice that. You can just go through the motions for a few times and then you can set yourself up a little program and do three sets of 10 of each of those exercises. So do body weight squats, hand elevated push-ups, do the hip hinging drills until you nail those, and then turn those into a Romanian deadlift, and do a glute bridge.
0:30:28.9 Kim Schlag: Do those things, and if you feel like you can add one more, add on a row. You might not have any weights at home, so if you do or just grab something heavy and do a row. That is what I would suggest for you to get started and again, you can do this. Everyone is capable of doing those things. Look, if you sit down into a chair and get up every day, guess what you just did? You did a squat. You do. When you sit down on your chair, and you stand back up, you did a squat, so you can do it. There's no reason you can't. I know it feels intimidating. It feels like people are just ahead of you and like, "Who am I to be doing this?" You know who you are? You're a person with a body who deserves to be healthy, and you can do it. You can absolutely do it. All right, and reach out to me any time for help with those things, I hope these question-answers have helped for you today. Hit me up if there's any other questions I can help you with. Always happy to get you on here to chat, and thank you for listening and spending your time with me. I do not take lightly that you spend your time here with me each week. Thanks so much. Catch you next time.
0:31:38.8 Kim Schlag: Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me, if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people. Thanks so much.
0:00:03.6 Kim Schlag: Welcome to episode 93 of the Fitness Simplified Podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. Before we jump into today's episode, just a quick reminder, my free webinar on The Menopause Fat Loss Formula is currently open for registration. You can head over to my website, kimschlagfitness.com to sign up. Now, the webinar is going to cover four ways that weight loss is different in menopause and it's going to also cover the six parts of the menopause fat loss formula. You'll get a really good idea of what the menopause weight loss course will entail as well. Thinking of those two things, you'd be like, "Wait a minute, what's the difference between this webinar and the course?" The free webinar is going to be like a shopping list. By the time you're finished with the webinar, you will know exactly what is on the list and you're gonna know what's not on the list, so you can stop wasting your time. You will know, "These are the six things I have to have in order to lose weight." That is incredibly valuable information and you will know that all by the end of that free webinar.
0:01:06.9 Kim Schlag: Now, the menopause weight loss course, which goes on sale the day of the webinar, it's gonna be on sale for one week only, is not just giving somebody the shopping list like the webinar, but it's like giving them the list, providing the exact recipe and then walking you step by step through the recipe. That's the difference. So at the end of the course, you will have made significant progress. Not just to have an idea of like, "Here are the things I need to get in order," but "How do I get them in order step by step?" That's the difference between the two. Come to the webinar, you'll learn those specific six things you need to have in order and you'll get more information about the course as well. So I hope to see you at the webinar. Okay, let's hop into today's episode. We're gonna be chatting all about how to lose weight while still eating with your family. Let's go. On today's solo episode, we're gonna chat about a common struggle that I see so many women having, and candidly, it is one that I struggled with. You find yourself prepping two dinners every day so that you can feed your family and eat your "diet food" or whatever form that might be.
0:02:20.7 Kim Schlag: I can, for sure, share my own experience here. One of those experiences was when I did Nutrisystem back in my late 30s. I had my little box of food, my little red box, and that was my dinner. Then I cooked dinner for my family. At least this one was an easy one because my food literally just went in the microwave. That's all I did, microwave them in. So that was a pretty easy one. Not necessarily enjoyable to cook them some nice meal and I had this little microwave meal but at least it wasn't cumbersome. Believe me, Nutrisystem had plenty of other problems besides that though. Now, when I went through my phase where I thought I want to be a body builder, I went many, many months on an incredibly strict meal plan. It was super limited as far as the variety of food that I was allowed to have and of course, the total calories were very limited. On occasion, I would cook the same food for my family that was on my meal plan. They did not like a lot of what was on my meal plan. Mashed cauliflower, I actually thought it was really good. My daughter kinda liked it. My husband and my sons, big fat no to the mashed cauli. The flank steak with a dry rub was a big hit with everyone and I actually still cook that for my family to this day. We just have it like two weeks ago.
0:03:36.0 Kim Schlag: One of the recipes on the meal plan literally made my daughter cry. Actual tears, upset, sobbing at the dinner table and then even got more upset because people thought it was funny that she was crying because of the food, and it was a big mess. You know how that goes at dinner table. Things just go downhill fast. She must have been eight at that time and I made something called meatzza. It's what it sounds like. It's a kind of pizza but it's made with meat. I thought it sounded like a good idea. I actually did like meatzza. Everyone else hated it. My daughter had this terrible reaction to it. Now, here's what it was. Imagine it looks like the shape of a pizza but the crust, I'm putting that in big air quotes, was ground meat, and the kind of ground meat they suggested was bison. I had never cooked with bison before. We had never had ground bison. I don't mind ground bison, it's quite lean, but it smells funny, and the smell is what did my daughter when she looked at it and smelled it, and just burst into the tears. Had I done ground beef, I think it wouldn't have been so traumatic. I don't think the smell would... The smell definitely wouldn't have been here and I think they might have maybe liked it but as it was, no one would do meatzza with me again.
0:04:46.0 Kim Schlag: So basically, the crust was meat and I think it may have had an egg in it. I haven't made it in years. You'd shape that to be the bottom of the pizza, you'd put sauce on top of that and then any kind of toppings you wanted. I obviously had to be super sparing with the cheese because of the restrictions but a little bit of cheese, tons of veggies and then the tomato sauce, and I put more cheese on my kids. So yeah, [chuckle] that was probably one of my worst experiences with trying to cook from this meal plan for my family. Now, if you're currently doing double duty with dinners, let's talk this through. You don't have to do that. There is a simpler way so you can still incorporate your family favorites and lose weight. So the first suggestion I'm going to give you with regards to everything I'm gonna say today is, don't make a big deal about these changes and you decide, "Do you know what? I'm gonna give this a go. I'm gonna try what Kim is suggesting. I'm gonna try this template." Don't make a big deal and then be like, "We're changing thing around here, family. We're doing dinner differently."
0:05:40.2 Kim Schlag: Just start serving meals this way like no fan fare, no sit-down meeting, no discussion about taking away family favorites because we're not. We're not taking away anyone's favorite foods here. They might have those family favorites at a smaller frequency than they're used to, but they're gonna get all the foods they love and they're gonna get used to this new pattern. So here is the dinner time template I followed for years now. This works very well for fat loss, as well as for weight maintenance, and it would absolutely work in a muscle building phase where you eat in surplus because it is so adaptable. You can adapt this to any amount of calories you need to be eating. And if you would like to see all of this in print form, I made a post and posted this yesterday in preparation for this podcast on my Instagram feed. So this is all in written infographic format, there on my Instagram if you want to see it that way. So this is what the template looks like. Each dinner we'll have a protein, a fruit, a vegetable or two, and a non-fruit or vegetable carb. This is what you will serve most nights. So the protein, so many options here and everything... I'm gonna list a bunch here, but there's so many more out there, you don't have to just stick with these.
0:06:52.7 Kim Schlag: But just if you're wondering, "What do you mean by a protein?" Chicken breast, chicken thighs, rotisserie chicken, salmon, shrimp, scallops, tilapia, turkey, ground turkey, pork loin, pork chops, flank steak, sirloin, pot roast, ground beef, eggs, tofu, tempeh, seitan. You can take any and all these proteins, you can bake them, you can crackpot them, you can instapot them, you can grow them, you can air fry them, so all different kinds of ways to serve the protein. But you're gonna have a protein. Okay? So that's number one, you wanna anchor your meal with a protein. To that, you're gonna add a fruit, any fruit you can think of. Some of the common ones that we use in my house, we do apple slices, orange segments, melons of all different varieties. Those all figure very heavy in a rotation. In the summer, we do peaches and nectarines, of course, berries are always a good choice. We do kiwi, literally any fruit you can think of. So that's the next piece. So you have your protein, you have a fruit. Next step, vegetable or two. I like doing two, because not everyone likes the same veggies. I'm very picky about my veggies. I typically do a salad and then something else; peas, green beans, broccoli, asparagus, lima beans. You can prep these however you like. You can microwave, you can boil, you can bake, you can grill 'em.
0:08:13.5 Kim Schlag: We are really simple. Most nights, we'll find us doing some kind of bag salad and a frozen vegetable. So that's your vegetable piece. Okay, so now we're at, we've done protein, we've done fruit, a vegetable or two, and then you add a non-fruit or vegetable carb. So a potato, rice, bean, rolls, noodles. I will tell you, I don't serve this every single night, though you could. Here's why I don't in my family. My family is not lacking in carbs, believe me. In fact, I'd say that the rest of their days are really carb heavy, so I purposely only do a starchy carb a couple of nights per week. So most nights of the week, I stick with just the protein, fruit, two vegetables, that's our dinner. Multiple times a week, we will add... For us, it's typically rice or potatoes, sometimes noodles. The reason this template works so well is that you don't have to cook two meals, but you can adjust what you personally put on your plate to meet your calorie needs for that day. So maybe some days you're serving the family rice. The rest of the family eats the rice, but you've already had a higher calorie early part of your day, so what you do instead, you should put the protein on your plate and the vegetables, maybe the fruit or maybe not, depending again, on your total calories.
0:09:27.7 Kim Schlag: Other days you're like, "Yeah, I'm having the rice or the noodles, or the potatoes. Maybe some days you need extra protein, you could double up on that, you see it is just so flexible. You use these one ingredient foods and then you can pair them up as needed on your plate to make a full meal. And I didn't specifically mention dietary fat, absolutely use it. You will likely find that a lot of your proteins have enough fat in it. Then, if you cook with some oil, or if you do things like add avocado to your salad or some nuts to your salad, you're gonna get those dietary fat in there. I'm not saying to skip the fat, there are just easy ways to get them in there, and they don't need a whole section of your plate, is my point. So there are loads of sample ideas I can give you and you will see some of my Instagram posts that I made. I'm gonna give you some more now. If you're like, "I can't picture in my mind, Kim. What does a whole meal look like using this template?" I'm gonna give you a handful of ideas now. So you could have air fried chicken thighs, plus peaches, all sliced up, plus lima beans plus baked potatoes. There's one sample.
0:10:32.1 Kim Schlag: Here's another sample meal. You're gonna have salmon, mixed berries, asparagus and rice. And again, you see how each component is separate, so you can easily track it, you can easily take on or add, take off anything you want for your particular plate without cooking a separate meal. Here's another suggestion. Grilled shrimp, pineapple, and a salad. There's an example where you didn't put a starchy carb. Or you could pop any starchy carb you wanted on there. So grilled shrimp, pineapple, salad. Another example. Lean ground beef or turkey meat balls, either is good, you could do a mix of them, plus apple slices, plus tomato sauce, plus a salad, plus pasta. Let's put those meatballs and sauce on. An important mindset switch with this type of pasta dish, and this was a big "aha" for me. As an American Italian, I grew up with super heavy pasta dishes. We were really into pasta in my house. I think that's definitely an American Italian thing, not an Italian thing, the way I've heard it. The change that I made was thinking of the pasta as the side dish, seriously a small side dish, not the main. The main is the meatballs and the vegetables. That's the main. The Pasta's just the side dish. That hits different, right? That turned my pasta dishes on their head.
0:11:56.7 Kim Schlag: Now, that what I've just described is the template for most of your meals most of the time. Then a few times per month, make your more traditional family comfort foods, whatever those are. I'm gonna give you some that I typically use. So chicken and dumplings, casseroles. If you're a casserole fan, you know how delicious they can be, you also know how high calorie they can be, and if done wrong, what I think is wrong, they can be terribly unhealthy. Or you can make them with more... And when I say healthy versus unhealthy, I'm not talking about replacing your noodles and your tuna noodle casserole with zucchini noodles. I'm not talking about that. I'm just saying sometimes casseroles just have crazy ingredients that are like super highly processed canned soups, and I do that, sometimes with casseroles, but not all the time. There's so many easy recipes that just have you using more nutritious forms of the foods to make delicious casseroles. I love a good casserole. So I love tuna noodle casserole, I have a wagon wheel casserole. I love a good casserole. So things like chicken dumplings, casseroles, lasagne, chicken fried rice, chicken pot pie, all of these kind of recipes that are more nutrition dense, mac and cheese, but they're family favorites. So you serve them a couple of times a month.
0:13:10.5 Kim Schlag: Now, how do you fit this into your plan? If you are on a calorie deficit, you might not have enough calories to have such a high calorie meal fit into your day without doing a bit of back-end work. What you would do is, first, we limit the number of times you have to even do this work by serving them only a few times a month. Then, eat them with a half a plate of vegetables. So half a plate of vegetables, and then keep your portions in line with your total calories available that day. Use nutritional compromises to free up more calories for this dinner. So maybe what that might look like for you is maybe in the morning you typically have a big bowl of oatmeal with some shredded almonds on it, and then you have your eggs mixed into that. So maybe on this day, you're gonna take some of those calories from that meal and you're just gonna have an egg white scramble with veggies, and then you free up the calories from those shredded almonds and the oatmeal to have later in the day for your casserole. Does that make sense? So look to change things to free up more calories, I'm not saying skip meals. You just lighten up the total calories, be more protein and vegetable heavy earlier in the day to save up extra calories for your dinner that night.
0:14:25.6 Kim Schlag: Then top your salad with extra protein as needed because if you don't have a lot of protein in your casserole or your lasagne, and you're like, "Oh, how am I gonna get all this protein in?" You might be okay just switching for earlier in the day, but if you still need some more protein, add some protein onto your side salad that you're having on the side of whatever your family favorite is you're cooking that night. So I cook frozen. I don't cook it. I keep frozen rotisserie chicken that's already shredded in my freezer to pull out for occasions like this. You just pull it out, defrost it, and then you just throw it right on your salad. So again, you're not making a second meal. And remember, you don't have to lighten up every dang recipe. Do not feel the need to take your lasagne and turn it into healthified lasagne. Again, I'm putting that in air quotes here, 'cause it's not necessarily healthier, by using some special wholewheat noodles or something. You can just use your regular recipe. Now, this might be an incredibly different way to eat for your family. If you're hearing this and you're just like, "My family's not gonna buy this," maybe what you need to do is ease things in a bit more, and that's totally cool.
0:15:34.0 Kim Schlag: Maybe serve more of those traditional high calorie foods, maybe do that more than just a few times a month to start, and over time, start to flip the balance of the one ingredient, nutritionally dense food to comfort food ratio, until you are doing those one ingredient nutritionally dense foods more often. And so just over time. So maybe at first or you're doing the old way for your family five nights a week, and you start adding two nights, separated by time, with this new pattern of eating, this new template, and over time you switch it to three days and then four days, and then over time, you get to this place where most of your meals follow this template. I promise you, you can get there. Kids will adapt, they will. Spouses might be a bigger hurdle. That can often be worked through with a conversation about your goals and why this is important to you. I hope that this has helped. It has been a system that's worked really well for me. It works really well for my clients.
0:16:33.3 Kim Schlag: Thank you so much for joining me here today. Let me know. You can drop me a note on Instagram Stories. Let me know what your thoughts are about this episode. You can always email me email@example.com. And yes, that's it. [chuckle] Having a brain fog moment there. I'm thinking "Is that what it is?" Yes, it is. Also remember that the link for the free webinar is at my website, kimschlagfitness.com. Alright, thanks so much for being here today. Catch you next time.
0:17:13.3 Kim Schlag: Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people. Thanks so much.
0:00:03.1 Kim Schlag: Welcome to Episode 92 of the Fitness Simplified Podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. On today's episode, I am joined by my friend and colleague, Jordan Lips, before I tell you what Jordan and I are gonna be chatting about, I wanna give you a heads up, next Monday, Monday, March 15th, a link will be live for a free webinar that I am hosting on the subject of the menopause fat loss formula. Can't lose weight after 40? Really struggling with that? This is for you, look for that link to go live, sign up for the webinar, the webinar will be happening on Monday, March 29th, there will be multiple different time slots that you can sign up to attend the live, you're gonna want to attend the live, 'cause there's gonna be a chance for a Q&A. I will put the replay of the live event available for you if you can't make it live however, look for sign-ups, registrations open on Monday, March 15th. Okay, let's talk about this episode. Today, Jordan and I are talking about where the sweet spot is for change when you are trying to lose weight, change too much, you're living that biggest loser lifestyle, we all know how that ends, right? Too much change, you can't sustain it. On the other end of the spectrum... You know how the saying goes, "If nothing changes, nothing changes." So where is the sweet spot? How much do you want to change? Let's go.
0:01:30.5 Kim Schlag: Jordan Lips, welcome to the program.
0:01:33.2 Jordan Lips: How's it going? Great to be here, thanks for having me on.
0:01:35.4 Kim Schlag: Absolutely. So, Jordan, tell us a little bit about yourself, give us like five bullet points about you so people know who on Earth I am talking to today.
0:01:43.4 Jordan Lips: Oh man, okay. I am, my name's Jordan Lips, I am an MNU certified nutritionist and certified personal trainer, and had been doing that for about a decade before going fully online, which I absolutely love. Things obviously have been very good to online coaches during the pandemic, but it's just been a great thing overall quality of life, it's been nice to help more people and help them in a way that I'm feeling a little bit more fulfilled. And so, yeah, I started as a personal trainer, I did that for about a decade, then I owned my own gym over the last two years of that decade, and...
0:02:16.3 Kim Schlag: You owned your own gym?
0:02:17.8 Jordan Lips: Yeah, a friend of mine...
0:02:18.5 Kim Schlag: I didn't know that.
0:02:19.3 Jordan Lips: Yeah, we worked under somebody for a long time and we tried to become partners of our original gym, and he wasn't having any of that, and so we decided, "Okay, screw it, we'll do our own thing," and we did, and it turns out... I feel like a lot of personal trainers think that owning a gym is the next step in their... It's like, "Get really busy," I was very busy, I had subcontractors, I was giving business away and things were really good, it's like, "Alright, You should... Next thing is own a gym." It turns out that's not a forward step, it's a lateral step, it's a different job. It wasn't really like I stopped coaching as much, I wasn't doing a lot of nutrition coaching at all, I was doing a lot of payroll, a lot of more clerical work and hiring and interviewing, and it just... It didn't feel like I was moving forward, it felt like I had changed careers, and so I quickly learned that that was not for me, and I was like, "What I really want to do is coach people," and so that was important for me 'cause I had to take that step, which turned out to not be a good step, but I had to take that to really realize, "Okay, this is what I... My purpose and my passion is like I wanna actually be working directly with people."
0:03:19.0 Kim Schlag: I find that happens a lot in life, we think what we want is one thing and we end up going somewhere else, but we needed that step to help us realize what it actually is that we should be doing that's best for us, that kind of stuff, so not wasting time, it's still a really important lesson for you there.
0:03:34.3 Jordan Lips: Totally, it was clarity, I wouldn't feel like... It was closure, it was like, "I know this now, I have no... " Like thinking about that, that was something I thought about for a long time, and I'm trustful like, thankfully not looking at it anymore.
0:03:45.3 Kim Schlag: Yeah, yeah. And when you're not talking nutrition and fitness, what are you most likely talking about?
0:03:51.6 Jordan Lips: Oh my god.
0:03:52.0 Kim Schlag: What's your passion outside of it?
0:03:56.8 Jordan Lips: That's funny. I like dogs and I...
0:03:58.8 Kim Schlag: Are you gonna tell me nothing?
0:04:00.5 Jordan Lips: I like dogs and I like soccer. And those are two things that I'm passionate about, my family come from the Netherlands, and so we're big soccer fans, and it's definitely something I enjoy with my family, and Jenna and I both played in college, so she's much better than I was.
0:04:12.2 Kim Schlag: Okay.
0:04:12.7 Jordan Lips: And so, yeah, we have a lot of fun with that, but outside of nutrition and fitness, soccer, dogs, we're pretty low-key.
0:04:18.4 Kim Schlag: And do you have a dog?
0:04:19.6 Jordan Lips: We do, her name is Carly, she's a sweetheart, I'd never had pets growing up, and so we got her about a year ago, and I don't know, it's super cliche, but entirely life-changing, just an amazing experience, so we have a blast.
0:04:31.9 Kim Schlag: So what kind of dog is she?
0:04:33.4 Jordan Lips: She's a Havanese and the Shih Tzu mix.
0:04:35.5 Kim Schlag: Okay, I have to tell you, Jordan, I'm getting my first dog, we're picking...
0:04:38.7 Jordan Lips: Oh my god, yeah?
0:04:39.3 Kim Schlag: We're picking our puppy next week, so we've been on this list to get a puppy, our puppy, we've been watching the puppies now, our breeder luckily posts on Instagram every day, so we get to watch all the dogs and next week is puppy pick week...
0:04:50.5 Jordan Lips: Wow.
0:04:52.3 Kim Schlag: And then April 5th, my dog comes home, this is gonna be our first puppy.
0:04:55.2 Jordan Lips: What kind?
0:04:56.9 Kim Schlag: It's a mini goldendoodle.
0:04:57.3 Jordan Lips: That was... That one... Jenna's gonna be pissed when she hears this, that was our number one.
0:05:00.7 Kim Schlag: Oh, was it?
0:05:01.8 Jordan Lips: We still have... I'm sure we still have deposits down on mini goldendoodles.
0:05:04.6 Kim Schlag: They are hard to get.
0:05:05.7 Jordan Lips: They're tough to get, they're a high commodity, they're like... And they're beautiful, and they're... People... Some people say hypoallergenic is not a thing, but they're less allergenic, and so I'm hypo so... I mean I'm allergic, and so that would have been a great choice as well, so that's super exciting, oh my God.
0:05:21.4 Kim Schlag: Yeah, I had no idea, so see we're so naive about dogs, we're just like, "We decided to get a dog, we're getting a dog." That's what I thought like I'll pick one and then I get it, when people were like, "There's a two-year waiting list," I'm like, "What do you mean?" [chuckle]
0:05:33.1 Jordan Lips: Oh my God.
0:05:33.6 Kim Schlag: "How is that a thing?"
0:05:35.9 Jordan Lips: Totally.
0:05:35.9 Kim Schlag: We luckily found somebody who was sooner than that, but, wow, I'm super excited, so. Well, that's...
0:05:41.1 Jordan Lips: Yeah, one of my best friends... One of my really good friends is an amazing dog trainer and so the day we brought, her name is Carly, brought her home, he was over and he was like, "This is what you're doing, this is what you're not doing, this is how like... " And so she's been... She very well-trained and well-behaved, and she has been on like... She's a tiny dog, and so she's like 17 pounds, but she's been on five, six, seven mile hikes with us in Sedona, and she's like... She's a complete adventure dog, and so it's been super fun, yeah.
0:06:07.4 Kim Schlag: Oh, I love that, that's fantastic. Alright, so I invited Jordan to come on specific... I've been meaning to have you on anyway, but I reached out specifically after I read a post of yours, 'cause I was just like, "That was good." It was so well put. So I wanna read the first, I think it was the first line of the post that you had done, this is what Jordan said, "If you're trying to eat 1700 calories while clinging to your 2400-calorie lifestyle, it's gonna be tough." That's a good... That's a really solid message, so Jordan talk to us a little bit more about that.
0:06:36.8 Jordan Lips: Yeah, and it goes kind of well with another post, and I wrote... I didn't even write that one down, I wrote a different one down about not everything about your fat loss regimen needs to be sustainable forever, and so it's interesting because the things that you do optimally to adhere to your deficit don't need to exactly mirror what your life is at maintenance, and...
0:06:56.7 Jordan Lips: We can boil down to the two things that we just said to, you're allowed to change some stuff even if it's not forever, and that goes against a message that permeates through social media of, "If you're gonna change something, if you can't see yourself doing it forever, don't do it." And when you had said that we were gonna maybe talk about this, I thought very in-depth about it, and I think that there are some issues with it, but I still wholeheartedly agree that your... Fat loss is not a lifestyle, and so... Your fat loss calories are not a lifestyle. Somebody who is living a fat loss lifestyle is dead. Just [chuckle] calorie deficit is not forever, and so the things that you do to adhere to your lower calories, it makes sense that if you're eating, let's say you have a 2400-calorie maintenance, we're gonna use some, just throw around numbers, and you're using 1700 as your deficit, like, man, things are gonna have to change, if you cut your pay, if your company cuts your pay by 20%, you're gonna change your spending habits, and that seems totally reasonable to me.
0:07:54.2 Jordan Lips: And it just goes against this idea of if you change something, it has to be forever and I think that that can be... Every time, there are a couple of things like that that are in the industry that kind of, not rub me the wrong way, but they're... That's not a comprehensive statement, it's kind of a lazy opinion because I know where people are coming from, and it comes from a good sentiment of, "Well, Jordan won't transition to maintenance be harder if I change a whole bunch of things?" Yes, that is true, but that doesn't mean you can't change anything and it... I think that there are a lot of good coaches out there who are saying, "Hey, let's look at really foundational habits that you can sustain over the long-term, and let's build those." And I totally agree with that. But I also feel like it builds up this resentment towards changing anything at all, and I think that there's... Listen, calorie deficit, you could... The home of the conversation of should people be losing weight, whatever, but if you're trying to lose weight and you wanna be in a calorie deficit, it's inherently, there's gonna be some form of restraint, some form of a restriction.
0:08:48.0 Jordan Lips: It is literally, by definition, giving your body less food than it needs. Something's gotta give. And I do believe in discussing non-negotiables with clients, if there are things like, "Hey, that you really need, that you really want, that you wanna keep, that you're not willing to give up, let's have a talk about it." But everything can't be non-negotiable, something has to give. You're gonna have to change something to better adhere, and so I just... The message, I hope, that gets across today is like, "It's okay to change some things to adhere better, even if you know in your gut that it's not something you would be doing at maintenance."
0:09:20.6 Kim Schlag: Yeah. So, I think, as usual, everything exists on a spectrum and people kinda tend towards one end of the spectrum or the other, so either everything has to change and you should be eating boxed meals that you've not given any thought to, and it's super low-calorie and it's like biggest loser lifestyle, or the reverse of that, which is you shouldn't have to change anything and all of your habits should be exactly the same. And those are kind of the two ends, and really, what's gonna work for most people, what makes the most sense is gonna be somewhere in between. I will tell you, I certainly say things more along the lines of, "Guys, your habits now should be your habits after." But when I saw this, I'm like, "It's totally right. Some things have to change." And where I'm coming from with this as a person who, I have lost a lot of weight in my life and regained it, and the times when I regained it, I'll give you one example, because it's the biggest one in my mind, is when I did Nutrisystem.
0:10:17.0 Kim Schlag: I don't know if you're familiar with what exactly what...
0:10:18.8 Jordan Lips: Sure.
0:10:18.9 Kim Schlag: Nutrisystem is, the little red boxes, at least they used to be red. And so what I... And I lost 40 pounds, a little over 40 pounds. All I had to do was every day I'd wake up and I'd pick for each meal which red box. I changed, nothing, that's a big change, then I'm like, "If I go out to dinner, I'm bringing my own red box." But those weren't in any way teaching me how to live next. So when I woke up one day and I was like, "I cannot eat another one of these boxes." Like I was... The food was tasty, but it got to a point it was like, "I cannot do it another minute." And in my mind, I was like, "I'll just keep losing weight on my own." I'll just like... I don't think I thought like I'll take what I've learned, but I was just like, "I'll just keep doing this without this." And what I quickly realized is I had not learned a darn thing. I had no habits in place, no systems, no structure, no knowledge, and I regained over half of that weight in just a matter of months because I hadn't learned anything. And so that's, I think, where I'd come from, where I'm like, "You know you guys, you gotta get your habits in line, but they're not going to be exactly the same." So, let's talk more specifically, what do you think are some specific examples of, "We're not gonna try and live our 2400-calorie lifestyle on a 1700-calorie diet." What are some examples of things that might need to change?
0:11:27.1 Jordan Lips: Yeah, and I think you make a good point, and I think that it's conflating two ideas that I think you would agree with 100%. I think you need a good base foundation of habits that will be sustainable long-term, and maybe a basic understanding of basic nutrition. But some things are going to change, and so I think that it's... Again, it gets lost in the fact that what we are talking about here has a bit of nuance and that's difficult to communicate sometimes in social media and maybe offline, you're having these talks with clients and coaches are that, are a bit more nuanced, but it doesn't really get across in social media where it's like, "Yes, you can change some things, but if you change everything and you don't have a foundational habit, then you are, unfortunately, most or many people who are like, "Oh, I just go keto and then I don't know what to do afterwards." And it's like keto's issue is not to do with keto, it's that it usually creates such a drastic change that is done by people who don't have a good foundation beforehand and an exit plan for after.
0:12:24.8 Kim Schlag: Yes.
0:12:26.3 Jordan Lips: And that combination of things where, "I don't have a foundation, then I change a lot, and I don't know how to change back to because I don't have anything, a foundation to begin with," that's a recipe for disaster, I totally agree with that.
0:12:36.1 Kim Schlag: That is a recipe for I just need to keep doing this over and over, right? [chuckle]
0:12:39.6 Jordan Lips: Yeah, totally. And you asked some specific examples of sometimes things can change, and I hate using myself as an example, but it was helpful 'cause I have... This is the first deficit I've done in quite some time, I was doing a gain for a very long time, and I was trying to expose myself to intentional weight gain and a bit of discomfort and work through some of my own shit on that, because I think that that's something that's not always easy to do, even for fitness professionals or whatever. So now, I'm in a place where I'd like to do a deficit, 'cause I also do wanna expose myself to that side of things, but I caught myself, I dropped a 1000 calories from my surplus calories to my deficit calories. And I was like, "There are just things that are going to have to change about the way I eat." And so for me, and I suppose clients as well, this isn't necessarily just a me thing, but adjusting my feeding window has been helpful. I used to... When I was trying to eat at maintenance or at surplus, I would eat first thing in the morning and it would be fine, that worked really well for me, it's something I do like doing.
0:13:34.5 Jordan Lips: And when I dropped my calories and I started to continue doing that, I just kept... I did that, I dropped my calories, I was like, "Okay, I'm just gonna keep everything the same, change a little bit about my meal structure to adhere a little bit better. No big deal." I found myself very hungry later and I found myself more adherent and more enjoyable when I very gently pushed my first meal back, not super rigid, Kenny to one, but didn't try to eat first thing in the morning. And I think that that is something I know in my gut I'm not going to do if I have 500 or more calories. I'm just not gonna do that. I'm gonna eat first in the morning, it's something I like to do. But right now, it's super helpful. And so intermittent fasting, we can call it that or we can just call it moving your first meal back a little bit. [chuckle] That has been helpful. I know I'm not gonna do it long-term, it's not something I love doing. But it's helpful for me right now. I can have a cup of coffee, I can push my first meal back. I have not eaten yet today, it's 9:43. I'm not overly stressed about the time, but yeah, I know that that for me will be a helpful strategy even though I'm not gonna do it long-term.
0:14:27.0 Kim Schlag: So, adjusting people's meal times, so people like looking at... Your meal timing and your meal frequency might be something that needs to change to support you living in a deficit.
0:14:36.4 Jordan Lips: Yeah.
0:14:36.6 Kim Schlag: That's a good one, that's a really good one.
0:14:38.6 Jordan Lips: I have a bunch of ones here, but I think one that I just... I'm excited to talk about is like counting calories. Counting calories might be... I get goosebumps. Counting calories might be something that you do during a deficit because it is something that allows you to be more accurate, more directly get yourself into a calorie deficit, but it might be something you know in your gut you don't wanna do long-term. Like that...
0:15:03.2 Kim Schlag: Absolutely.
0:15:04.6 Jordan Lips: Is the quintessential example, people are like, "Should I track my calories at maintenance?" It's like, "Maybe, maybe not." But should you track them in deficit? I think you can lean that maybe, maybe not a little bit towards maybe, yes, because a deficit is a little bit less intuitive and likely helpful if you're a bit more intentional with it. And so, tracking calories is not something I'm going to do forever. I know in the deficit that that habit for me is helpful, and so I think that that's a huge one.
0:15:30.7 Kim Schlag: Yeah, and going along with that one, weighing your food more than just eye-balling it, that is not something I wish for any of my clients who permanently do. But while they're in a deficit, and especially when they're just beginning, or if they're pretty lean, trying to get leaner, that weighing is gonna be so key till you have weighed enough that you're really good at eye-balling. And even then, look, I feel like I'm pretty experienced at this and I'm in a deficit now, I'm weighing every bit of my food because I wanna get into this deficit and I wanna get back out, and I realized that the fastest way to do that is gonna be to be adherent. And so the easiest way to do that is to weigh in grams literally everything I eat. Do I want to do that like two years from now? I don't even wanna be doing that six months from now. [chuckle]
0:16:15.1 Jordan Lips: Well, you said something, and I think that this is an underlying... When people talk about your experience dieting or how skilled you are at dieting, I think one of those skills or that inherent understanding for people who have maybe done this a couple of times, it's like this is not... This is voluntary and this is not forever. And when you understand those two things, you're better able to compartmentalize these changes where you're like, "I'm gonna weigh everything." And it might not give you the kind of anxiety it might give somebody else 'cause you know that you're doing this for a goal in the short-term, short-ish term in relative sense to your life, and you know that you're feeling confident about undoing that habit and moving back to your higher calories where it might not require that level of meticulous tracking. And so for a lot of people doing that habit can feel daunting. Weighing... Somebody's out there weighing your spinach leaves, it can feel like, [chuckle] "Oh my God, I can't believe I'm gonna have to do this forever."
0:17:05.6 Jordan Lips: But if you are somebody who's maybe a little bit more experienced or you're working with a coach who can communicate this, like, "This is not forever. It serves a purpose. Here's our exit plan. Here are your base foundational habits. Here's what your life's gonna look like at maintenance. Here's how we're gonna practice it throughout our deficits so that you know your reverse diet back to maintenance isn't the first time you've ever done that. We should practice it in small chunks before we get there." And so you can do those things 'cause you know in your gut, "Hey, this isn't forever, I'm gonna transition back to my normal life at some point. And so no worries, I can do this for the short period of time."
0:17:36.3 Kim Schlag: Yeah, that's a really key point. Alright, hit us with some more, more specific examples of things that might need to change.
0:17:42.7 Jordan Lips: Yeah, and this something you and I talked about on my podcast, is the idea of how to handle temptation in the house. Now, I know my food shop looked very... I cracked up. So, Jenna, my girlfriend and I, are both in a deficit together, that's one of the reasons I was doing it. It's 'cause it would be pretty miserable, me in a surplus, her in a deficit, not fine. [chuckle] And so we did our food shop together, and when we were in a surplus, the food shop looked very different. And when we were in deficit, it looked very different. And you had said something that stuck with me, it's like you're not morally a better person by being able to have those certain temptation foods in your house and not eat them. And again, I think it isn't personal context, individuality exists, but I know that I'm just not going to buy certain foods I know aren't helpful.
0:18:27.1 Jordan Lips: Now, that doesn't mean I'm gonna only be eating chicken, and broccoli, and brown rice, and berries. Of course, I have some foods that are more snack foods, more hedonic enjoyable foods, or whatever, but I also know that the way I'm gonna set up my environment is a little bit more around abstinence, a little bit more about not having that stuff around. Again, because I know it's short-term and because I have an exit strategy. And so I think those are... I have a foundational basic good habits, I know it's not forever, and I have an exit strategy. So, I think those three things are important if you're gonna change stuff, if you're gonna... The more you change, the more you're gonna have to change back, and the more you change, the more it's important to have that foundation and practice it and have an exit strategy. But for me, I know that for the next eight to 12 weeks, it's just probably a good idea for me to not buy Cape Cod chips and Ben & Jerry's. This is probably not a good idea, not helpful, and I can do that without feeling overly restrictive to a point where it maybe has some counter negative effects, because I know it's not forever and I know that my life...
0:19:30.0 Jordan Lips: Your deficit calories aren't forever, and so if you're eating 1700, but you know when it's all over, maybe your maintenance comes down a little bit, you're like, "Okay, I eat 22, 23." When this is all over, you can have those things. And so if you're compartmentalizing, if you're recognizing that this isn't forever, you can probably rationalize better making some of those changes.
0:19:46.2 Kim Schlag: Absolutely, and I think so many, particularly women, maybe men too, but particularly women, I think they live with a dieting mentality like semi-permanently. And so hearing this skills really hard, 'cause they see no end to the diet. They just don't see it has an end, and that's a real problem. So you should have an end date, not an end date by like, "I will stop this when I've lost X number of pounds." But an end date as in, "I'm doing this for 12 weeks. I'm doing this for four months, however long it's gonna be, at which point I'm going to take a nice maintenance break." That is a very different feeling, than, to be like not bringing the Ben & Jerry's home versus whenever I lose 50 pounds, I get to bring Ben & Jerry's home.
0:20:27.3 Jordan Lips: Yeah, for sure. I think that...
0:20:28.0 Kim Schlag: That's a significant difference.
0:20:29.6 Jordan Lips: Yeah, absolutely. And again, it's how you're framing what you're doing. If you think every change that you're making is gonna be forever, well then you're gonna view not buying Ben & Jerry's in a very different light and you're gonna say, "I'm never gonna have this again?" And that whole "I'm never gonna have this again" usually leads to this is some last supper mentality where any time you do get your hands on it, you're gonna have it like crazy because you're like, "Oh, I'm never gonna have this again." But you know you will. It's tricky, though, because there are gonna be other people who having a little bit of Ben & Jerry's creates the optimal deficit environment for them because they can have that sort of indulgence. I just don't think you have to be that way. And I think it's okay if you can compartmentalize the deficit into like, "Hey, this is a short-term thing I'm doing to lose fat, and when I have more calories afterwards, I'll be able to do X, Y and Z. I'll be able to undo X, Y and Z habit. I'll be able to start having breakfast and getting the chips and... " You can do all of that all the time. It's not a can or can't, it's a decision that you're making that you know is gonna help you be most successful at the task currently at hand, which you're recognizing isn't forever.
0:21:32.0 Kim Schlag: Yeah, absolutely. I think another good example of things that might need to change, another good one is less eating out.
0:21:38.3 Jordan Lips: Oh, for sure.
0:21:39.4 Kim Schlag: For me, that has been... Not to say you can't lose weight eating out. You have to probably change how you're eating out, where you're eating out, what you're getting when you're eating out, but for many people, the easiest thing to do is just less eating out.
0:21:51.3 Jordan Lips: Yeah, I totally agree. I think that's a huge one. I think it's not something that people wanna hear because people want to go out and they wanna have their cake and eat it too. I was trying to do my best to play devil's advocate going into this conversation, 'cause I figured we'd have lot that we would agree on, but the question that people are asking while they listen to us is, "Well, won't I just gain it all back when I do transition out of this?" And it's the question on everyone's minds, a question that I have every time a client has a little bit of success in fat loss because of making some of these changes, they start to associate success and feeling good with this change they've made. And they start to counter-associate, "Well, what if I don't have that, then I'll probably have this counter-feeling of gaining weight." And I understand that fear. Frankly, I totally get that. It's solely natural.
0:22:35.5 Jordan Lips: It's like, "Okay, I'm intermittent fasting and I started losing weight. So when I stopped intermittent fasting, will I just gain the weight?" It's a legitimate fear, I get that. But you do need to understand... And that's why having a foundation, practicing it during your deficit and talking with your coach about an exit strategy are imperative to making any changes. If you don't do those three things, first of all I don't think you're ready to be in deficit anyway, but that's something we could talk about another time, but I get it. If you're making changes and those changes lead to success and you're worried that undoing those changes will make you gain all of the weight back, I think it's all the more important to be practicing maintenance during your deficit, having diet breaks, having longer maintenance phases where you do undo those habits and you practice not gaining all the weight back.
0:23:18.6 Kim Schlag: I think the other reason people have that fear is because they've had so little experience with intentional maintenance. They really have bounced from I'm losing weight to I'm gaining weight, I'm losing weight to I'm gaining weight. So if I'm not actively losing weight, what's the other option? The only other thing is I'm gaining my weight back. And they don't understand that there is this entire space between those two, which is weight maintenance, which does not require the level of strictness with calories as a deficit does. And so really working with people to help them, women specifically that I work with, to understand you're not just gonna gain all this weight back, what we're gonna do is put you at maintenance, which is not the lifestyle you were previously leading. What you were living before was a surplus, an unintentional one, but it was a surplus.
0:24:00.7 Jordan Lips: Yeah, intentional maintenance freaks people out. It feels like intentionally standing still, but it is actually the thing that... I think something I believe wholeheartedly, if I looked across my clients, one of the more indirect proxies of success or traits of successful clients or whatever, is your ability to be at maintenance without viewing it, without doing it reluctantly. By doing it and enjoying it and knowing that it is crucial. It's not a break, it is an intentional... Something that you're doing intentionally to set yourself up for later success. And I think that there's... And I posted this yesterday, and I'm believing it more and more, like wanting to lose fat and being ready to lose fat are just totally different things. And I think being ready to lose fat, there has to be some basis of intentional maintenance before that. I don't know if I can stomach taking on clients who have never, ever, ever done intentional maintenance, just putting them directly into a deficit, because while practicing maintenance during your deficit is super helpful. Just that whole process of going from your deficit calories back to maintenance and seeing that the scale maybe goes up a tiny bit, and going through that and having that expectation built where you're not assuming you're gonna just maintain your lowest weight and never gain anything back in that transition to maintenance. That's super important. But it's also tough to do if you've never done it.
0:25:19.5 Jordan Lips: It's tough to go transition to maintenance if you... I just don't know if I want to be creating those foundational habits on the fly, and even if it's two weeks at intentional maintenance or a month or something, there has to be some form of buy-in to... I think that it's less about getting more people to do deficits, it's more about the percent success rate. And I think that that percent success rate will go up if people practice intentional maintenance first. I'm not saying forever. You don't have to put your fat loss on hold. But you do need to recognize that there's some sort of buy-in. This is not something your body wants to do, and part of that buy-in is proving to yourself that you can be in intentional maintenance without doing it reluctantly and feeling guilty about it and feeling like you're supposed to be doing something else, even if you're not at your goal weight. Especially if you're not at your quote "goal weight" yet.
0:26:05.5 Jordan Lips: Being able to maintain there, out feeling guilty, not doing it reluctantly, really like... I do believe that taking a break, whether it's a deload, or a diet break, or a rest day, if you're not doing it permissively, if you're not giving yourself permission to take the rest, if you're doing it reluctantly and you're doing it the whole time feeling guilty like, "I should be training. What is this deload? I should be... I should be in a deficit. What is this diet break?" You don't actually get the benefit of taking that break. It's psychologically, it's not relaxing for you. It's supposed to be a break. And so I think that there's a lot of the things there that are very intertwined.
0:26:38.8 Kim Schlag: So to your point of someone wanting to lose weight, but not necessarily being ready to lose weight, somebody listening to this right now who wants to lose weight, what are some things that would be... That you would say would be signs that they're not ready? So I want to, but I'm not... But am I ready?
0:26:55.2 Jordan Lips: Yeah, I think at face value, taking a look at... Having ever done some period of intentional maintenance, having... If you... If... When is the last time you did months, not weeks, of not trying to lose weight? And if the answer is, "I've been trying to lose weight for the last of decade, more or less," with the switch flipped on cruise control, well, then I do think that that's something where it's like, "Yes, wanting is necessary, but it's not sufficient." And so, you want to lose weight, but it's not enough. I think spending some time intentionally on maintenance is psychologically important, because it gets you into a place where you're okay eating without seeing the scale go down. And then, it's practically important because it's practicing the thing you're gonna have to do afterwards and during.
0:27:38.8 Jordan Lips: It's also physiologically important getting your hunger hormones, your satiety hormones... It's like all of those things that are going on in your endocrine system to a place where you'd actually be able to withstand multiple consecutive weeks in a deficit. And so, it's important for a lot of reasons. I also think, the all important assessing your relationship with food, I think if you're having inch restrict episodes, or you're still feeling like you're fighting this good-bad food dichotomy, if you're still looking at foods as, "I can and can't have." And so I think that... I think a lot of those things actually... Ironically are fixed by doing or improved by doing some intentional maintenance. I think that that's... The constant pursuit of lower calories inevitably leads to periods of higher calories, you can't always be trying to eat less, and so, if you've never tried to eat at maintenance, a lot of good things happen there, for sure.
0:28:31.1 Kim Schlag: I think another one is, look at what's going on with the rest of your life. If you're in a period of intense stress, you're not sleeping, for whatever reason things are crazy at work and with the kids. If there's multiple layers of big life changes happening, this might not be the time, and I think some people jump in 'cause they feel like, "I need to look better right now for X, Y, and Z reason of these big changes that are happening," it might not be the best time to add the additional stress of, "Now I'm eating at a deficit." That is stressful for your body, and if you've already got all these other things going on, it might just be a better time for you to be in maintenance, you might be more successful than trying to add the stress of a deficit on.
0:29:11.4 Jordan Lips: Yeah, and I... I think that somebody's counterpoint might be, "Well, it's never gonna be the perfect time," and that's also another sentiment.
0:29:17.4 Kim Schlag: That is absolutely true.
0:29:18.5 Jordan Lips: Totally. It's never going to be the perfect time. But I'll tell you what, there are better times than others... [chuckle] and...
0:29:24.3 Kim Schlag: That is so true.
0:29:25.5 Jordan Lips: It is. I have some clients... I have a client who specifically comes to mind who was studying for the LSAT and really wanted to do a 'deficit phase', and, we just had a conversation about like, "Hey, right now? That's gonna affect your cognition to some degree, it's gonna affect your food focus, it's gonna affect your fatigue, it' gonna affect your training for however those things kind of interact." And, it just... Isn't... Okay, it's not the best time. It's not gonna be the perfect time, but this is a worst time than afterwards. And so, like you said, just being honest about the other stuff that's going on in your life. No, you don't need eight weeks of being on an island with nothing happening in your life for you to go into a deficit but, there are going to be better times than others, and pairing maintenance with better times in your life. I know that... I'm sure you do this where if you have a client who's in a deficit and they have a period, three activities, let's say, or they're going away for a super long weekend, or they're going on a vacation, like pairing maintenance with that time, well, guess what? That's because that's a good time to do maintenance, it's a better time to give this person more calories, just like there's probably a better time for you to be able to withstand giving yourself less calories. Totally.
0:30:30.9 Kim Schlag: It's a really good point that there will never be a perfect time to lose weight, and so many people think there is, they're all waiting for this perfect time. My very first online client, I was still a really pretty inexperienced coach, but she stayed with me for an entire year. In the entire year we were working together, she just was never quite getting it on the ball, we just couldn't quite get all the things happening at once, and she kept saying things like, "Well, it's the spring, things are really busy with all the school activities," which they are. "It'll be better when summer comes and I don't have so many responsibilities." Well, then summer came, and it was like, "Well, now we're traveling a lot, and things will be better when the fall comes and the kids are back in school and I have a routine." Well, then the fall routine was, "Oh, now my kids are in competitive band stuff, so I'm chaperoning.
0:31:11.4 Kim Schlag: It'll be better when band season's over." Guess what hit next? Then it was the holiday season, "Oh, it's gonna be better when the holiday season's over," [chuckle] and then, it was January, and I'm like, "What's she gonna say now?" And she's like, "You know what? I have seasonal affective disorder, so it's gonna be better in the spring." I'm like, "That's when we started." [laughter] And then... And I didn't say that, but I was thinking, and when we got there, she's like, "Oh my gosh, I just realized, there is never gonna be the best time. It's literally not coming, is it?" And I was like, "It's not." But your point is totally valid, just 'cause there's not gonna be a perfect time, does not mean that some times are not the best time, right? Like... If your parent has passed away, let's not go on a deficit that week, like, let's wait... Let's wait a bit. A really really good point there Jordan. Alright, give us a couple more examples of things that might need to change in a deficit.
0:31:57.4 Jordan Lips: I'm gonna... I'm gonna come... I wanna get to that in one sec but something that came to mind about your client there is like, "It's better to be at maintenance on purpose than at maintenance by accident."
0:32:06.3 Kim Schlag: Absolutely.
0:32:06.3 Jordan Lips: And so, if you have a client who's like, "We're... Right, we're gung-ho, we're ready... " Maybe you even assess them before hand mentally, and they feel like they're ready to be in a deficit, they have their relationship with food in check, and you start the deficit, and we're like four, five, six weeks in, they haven't lost any weight, having trouble adhering. It's like this whole time, six, seven, eight weeks, whatever it was, the whole time you were trying to lose weight, and that's fatiguing, it's probably a little bit stressful on the body. We could have intentionally been at maintenance and been getting physiologically and psychologically taking steps forward, practically taking steps forward. And so, to your point, it's like, at some point, let's just stop trying to lose fat for a while, and let's do it on purpose, it feels a whole lot better when you do something on purpose than when you're doing it... When you're failing at something and you're ending up at a certain place. If you're... If you're trying to do something and it's not working, then it's probably better to just intentionally do the thing that you're ending up doing anyway. It'll feel a whole lot better.
0:32:57.7 Kim Schlag: Absolutely. 'Cause maintenance can feel like a real victory if that's what you're trying to do. If your successfully maintaining your weight, and this is a great period, or it can feel like a real big fat failure, if what you're supposed to be doing in your mind, is trying to lose weight and you end up at maintenance. So, same exact results with very different feelings and attached to them.
0:33:15.3 Jordan Lips: And if you're lifting weights, and I don't mean to make this about aesthetics. It's not. But if you just... If people are out there so worried about aesthetics. Oh my God, if I'm at maintenance, I'm not moving towards the body I want. If you're lifting weights, there is no such thing as non-productive time. There's no amount of calories that will make this not productive. Even if you slipped into a surplus. Well, guess what? That's the most productive eight weeks of training you've ever had in your entire life. So I just tell people, if you're lifting weights, a lot of this stuff is you're always moving aesthetically forward, health wise forward as well.
0:33:48.4 Kim Schlag: Absolutely.
0:33:48.9 Jordan Lips: That's why lifting weights is so unique because it provides a long-term benefit outside of the calories you're burning in that moment. And so if you have a client who's like, wants to be toned, and part of that is losing the fat, and part of that is building the muscle and you're hammering away at the fat loss side of things, it's just not panning out, like, "Hey, let's go to maintenance." Most of the people you and I work with can still benefit from appreciable amounts of recomposition at maintenance.
0:34:13.1 Kim Schlag: Oh, for sure.
0:34:13.4 Jordan Lips: And build muscle and lose fat at maintenance, eating high protein, putting together... You know, whether you've... People always ask me about that. It's a Q&A I get every single time, and even if you've been lifting for a while or dieting for a while, people are like, "I got over my new big gains. I can't really recomp anymore." It's like, "Man, if you've never put together high protein and an intelligently designed training program with enough effort, and you've never done that for multiple years consecutively, you still have a ton of opportunity to recomp." If you're listening to this, you're struggling with deficit, you're in and out, you're fighting it, and you want to be toned, and you know that part of that equation is the muscle building side, just take some time. That side of the equation takes way longer anyway, and so you're gonna have to spend more time on that equation, side of the equation anyway. So don't think that the fat loss side of things needs to happen first. They both need to happen, or if...
0:35:05.1 Kim Schlag: That effort piece is a really important part of the equation, 'cause so many people even if they have been strength training, they have not been strength training for years at an appropriate intensity.
0:35:14.0 Jordan Lips: Yeah, tracking their work outs. My god. Totally.
0:35:17.0 Kim Schlag: So I'd say most people listening could benefit from more intensity in their work outs.
0:35:22.1 Jordan Lips: Yeah, and we can circle back to original question of things that need to change. I think amount of cardio is something that is tricky, amount of steps, step count. Some of those things that feel... And Martin McDonald talks a lot about this as sustainable during fat loss. Fat loss doesn't need to be sustainable. You need habits, you need foundations, totally. You need to practice maintenance, absolutely. But if you're getting 12000 steps during your fat loss phase, 'cause you know that's gonna be super helpful, but you're like, man, long term or when it gets to the winter time and it's really cold, I'm gonna be stuck in the 6 to 8000 range, and that's the realistic nature of your life. It's okay for you to temporarily...
0:35:56.9 Jordan Lips: And that's where a lot of people are afraid, they're like, "Well, I'm gonna go to 12000, I'm gonna lose the weight. I'm gonna go back to 8000, I'm gonna gain the weight." It should not be how it goes, it should not be... It does come down on some level to some math. And if you go to 12000 steps per day and you lose weight and then you drop back down to six and you increase your calories too much, sure, you might create an environment where you gain some of the weight back, but that is not the fault of you going up to 12000. That is the fault of this lack of the balance of when you've transitioned out of your deficit, understanding that maybe you don't change all the variables at once. So that's part of the nuance of the exit strategy, but I think number of... Even just counting your steps in the same way counting your calories, you might not want to count your steps or even have a goal at all. But yeah, and that's me, by the way. This is my first time counting my steps in about two years.
0:36:44.7 Kim Schlag: Okay.
0:36:45.7 Jordan Lips: I thought for sure I'd be like 7, 8. I was like, here, get at least 7000 a day. It's a little cold, but you walk the dog a ton, you'll probably get there. I was at 3800 the first day, I was like, "Oh crap, I'm done."
0:36:55.5 Kim Schlag: Well, it's because of what you do for work. That was stunning for me when I transitioned from being a person who trained people in person to doing online training, I was stunned when I put a step tracker on and I was like, "Oh my gosh, I am a sedentary person." It takes a concerted effort. And now it's like second, it's easy for me, but that took time. I had to really... I had to work at that for like six months after I made that transition to make it feel seamless in my life to just get 7500 steps coming from sitting at my computer all day.
0:37:29.1 Jordan Lips: Yeah, and so I think that that just the active counting your steps might not be something you wanna do long-term, but you might recognize it as a habit that in your deficit helps you achieve a deficit and achieve that goal, and you long-term, I'd rather just focus on getting to walk today, and I don't need to wear the Fitbit and that's fine. That might be what maintenance looks like for you. Totally reasonable. But it might mean, at the end of the day, deficit is more intentional than maintenance. Maintenance, I'm not saying maintenance should be easy. Maintenance should also be intentional, and it should be intentional for a long time before it becomes second nature. But it's probably more intentional to have to be in a deficit. It's less intuitive to give yourself less calories and move more and create a calorie deficit. So counting steps, and then also the number of steps you're doing is certainly something that I think is allowed to change.
0:38:10.0 Kim Schlag: Yeah, for sure. Another one that I would add to the list is the amount of alcohol will likely lead to change.
0:38:17.0 Jordan Lips: I have that one too, yeah.
0:38:17.8 Kim Schlag: Yeah, talk to us about that one.
0:38:19.8 Jordan Lips: Yeah, I think just in general, something that needs to change or something that should probably changed is how you're ranking the qualities of food, and I think that there are so many qualities of food from how satiating it is, to the macro nutrient profile, to how delicious it is to all of these things. And I think if you go into a deficit, not to speak on that whole hierarchy, but you probably bump up satiety to higher up the list. Does it need to be you only eat high satiety foods all the time? No, okay, you don't. But you should certainly bring satiety as a value higher when you're looking at food. Does it need to be the number one thing? Who knows? But you should start to go to the supermarket and just be thinking, "Okay, less food. Hunger's probably my number one enemy. Satiety per calorie needs to be something I'm at least thinking about a little bit more.
0:39:07.8 Jordan Lips: So alcohol is just not satiating per calorie. It's just not helpful for muscle gain. It's... I'm not... Listen, alcohol is fine. You could drink, you could lose fat. Totally fine. It's enjoyable here and there, it's... And I'm not, again, not overly negative about alcohol, but it is empty calories, doesn't fill you up and probably leads to an environment with lower inhibition and potentially more drunk eating, and it's just not helpful in any way. And so you need to be honest. I have a client. I don't know if she'll listen to this. I love her to death. Melissa, I love you. She has... When we first started, she had a non-negotiable of bourbon at night...
0:39:45.8 Jordan Lips: And in the beginning, she was writing her in her tracker when we're looking at the calories, and I was baffled that she wasn't losing weight. And I was looking at her in my fitness file diaries and we were just trying to talking through why it wasn't working, she wasn't even tracking it, she hadn't even thought to herself that this is something, and so that's another non-issue, but that is something that we have had to talk about, it's like as calories get lower, as you're getting further into fat loss, it's like, "Is this a good use of my calories? Am I getting any satiety, any protein, any nutrients, and am I maybe creating an environment where I'm a little tipsy and I just don't care as much?"
0:40:17.4 Kim Schlag: It's a big one. That's a big one. So what it comes down to it, this whole discussion, if you compare the calories to budget, guys you just can't try and live a Gucci lifestyle on a gym teacher salary.
0:40:30.6 Jordan Lips: I love it, that's awesome, so true, yeah, yeah, yeah.
0:40:32.4 Kim Schlag: And that's where we're going with this, so let's take it from the other direction then, what habits and systems do you think are most important for people to be practicing in a deficit to successfully maintain their lifestyle? Even though we should... We just talked... We hit a whole bunch of things that are going to change, what are some things people should be practicing while they're in a deficit to be successful at maintenance?
0:40:51.5 Jordan Lips: That is a good question, I think on the spot, one that immediately came to mind and maybe more will come as we talk about this more, is I think the most important thing that I wish I could convey to maybe everybody on planet Earth in terms of meal composition is starting each meal around a protein and a plant, and if you just do that, I think so many... You'll have so many knock-on benefits, it's like what protein... And when you're thinking about what you're gonna eat for X meal, you're like, "What protein am I having, and what plant?" A plant being a fruit, or a vegetable, and if you just keep that as a staple, and I... And first of all, nutritionally, it's a good idea, high protein, good for muscle gain, good for a lot of other things, and the plants, high in nutrients, high in fiber, good things, physiologically, really good. But also, really, really, you're building a satiating meal right off the bat. And that's not something that comes intuitively to a lot of people and I think it also has to do with how you were brought up, and were you a family that had a protein-centric lifestyle at dinner, like did you eat family dinners together, with this every meat... Every plate had a protein? I feel like that's sometimes, if that's not the case, then sometimes you struggle to not realize that a bowl of pasta is not a meal. And so I think that would...
0:42:00.7 Kim Schlag: That was such a hard one for me to realize.
0:42:01.7 Jordan Lips: Is mac and cheese not a meal.
0:42:01.9 Kim Schlag: As an Italian girl you grew up like eating pasta and I'm like, "Wait, what the heck? This should not be the meal." Like that should be like a small side dish, what?
0:42:10.6 Jordan Lips: Yeah, yeah. So I think basic meal composition habits, and in that vein, starting each meal with a protein and a plant, you just are... That's going to indirectly reduce the amount of calories you're eating just right off the bat. It's also, I found, actually a good way to... I would say to a client, "You could start each meal with a protein and a plant, and I just don't care what else you do with the rest of the plate, totally fine." It just usually will lend people to a more overall nutritious choice for whatever else goes on that plate, it's very unlikely that someone's like, "Okay, protein, plant, bucket of ice cream on the plate." And I'm not trying to push people away from high calorie, high palatable foods, there's a place for all of that stuff but you had said like, "What's a foundational habit?" I'm walking somebody through a maintenance block for four to eight weeks before we start a deficit, we're getting a protein and a plant on every meal.
0:42:57.2 Kim Schlag: Yeah.
0:42:57.4 Jordan Lips: That is for sure something we're doing.
0:43:00.3 Kim Schlag: And I love it, because that really should be permanent in people's lifestyles. Whatever, wherever you are on trying to lose weight, gain weight, maintain weight, protein and a plant at, I would say all, if not most meals like...
0:43:11.3 Jordan Lips: Yeah. Don't... Yeah, you miss one it's not the end of the world, or something.
0:43:13.5 Kim Schlag: Yeah, like, "Let's do it." I think that's a huge one, all right, I'll name one and then we'll have you name one.
0:43:17.3 Jordan Lips: Yeah.
0:43:18.3 Kim Schlag: The huge one for me is not eating when you're not hungry, most of the time. So if you're in Paris and you're not that hungry, but you get to finally have the best crepe in the world, fine, go ahead and eat it, but not eating when you're not hungry most of the time and stopping when you're satisfied, most of the time. I think if you can really nail that, you're gonna be so good at maintaining your weight.
0:43:40.2 Jordan Lips: Yeah. You and I would both agree that that's something that takes time to recognize, it takes time to recognize your satiety signals, and I think also in that same note is starting to pay attention to which foods do make you feel that way and which foods don't, and it's easy for us to say, "Okay, the chips don't make me feel... The chips are low satiety, high calorie foods." But until you really pay attention and you experience that, I'm in a deficit right now, and I know that for me that there are... My protein shake meal with 200 grams of frozen berries and 50 grams of frozen avocado, is a low calorie meal but I am full for hours and starting to recognize which of those foods... It's nice to talk about but most people don't really understand until you are doing it and if you're like, "Well, I just had this burrito at lunch, and I'm starving afterwards, I'm starting to kind of just piece together which foods do make me feel a little bit fuller and which foods don't."
0:44:27.2 Kim Schlag: Yeah, that's a good one. All right, give us another one.
0:44:30.8 Jordan Lips: I'm biased here, but I would say some form of strength training. And it isn't even in a fat loss... This has nothing to do necessarily with fat loss, you're not strength training to burn calories, you're not strength training to lose extra fat, I just think that it is a habit that is... It's a style of training that I believe is just unique and yes, movement is super important, I think that another one would be some form of a movement habit, but I do think that strength training is unique and it's something that I would push on anybody, or at least try and convince everybody to do. Not even from a fat loss perspective, but just from a... It gives you something else to worry about other than your weight, and the fat loss, and calories burned, and it gives you a part of an equation that actually can kind of throw people for a loop sometimes, 'cause they're like, "I'm not losing weight. But I'm looking better, and feeling better." And all of a sudden it can kind of devalue or bring down the importance of, or take off the pedestal, the scale, and your exact number that you weigh and so I think strength training adds a component that is different from calories in, calories out.
0:45:27.1 Jordan Lips: Most people, what you want is not just to be a smaller version of yourself, you... Most, I'm not... Not everybody's after aesthetics, but for those of you that are, the word aesthetic means some component of lifting weights at some point, most of the time. And so I think that that would be a habit that I would love for people to do even if it's outside of fat loss, I think it's helpful to give you something else to worry about other than calories burned, like, "How much are you lifting? How strong do you feel? What's your... " Whatever, aesthetically, it's certainly a big part of the equation, so I think that that would definitely be one.
0:45:56.7 Kim Schlag: For sure. And look, even if we're talking non-aesthetics, if we're just talking about being healthy, this is something I talk about with my people all the time because, look, I'm a 50-year-old woman, this is really weighing on my mind, I don't wanna be 75 and somebody has to come help me get up off the toilet, like I wouldn't be able to do that on my own power, I don't want to break bones, I did not know until not that long ago, that one out of two women over the age of 50 break a bone due to osteoporosis. That's crazy. And that it's somewhat in our control to prevent that by strengthening our bones, and strength training is a massive part of that, that weighs heavy on my mind. So even if aesthetics aren't your thing, if you wanna be a healthy functioning senior, let's go, strength train.
0:46:40.0 Jordan Lips: Yeah, that's something that unfortunately doesn't become real until you see somebody in your life, it happens to them. And I'm not saying it's too late by that point, but I do wish that that was something that people resonate more and I have had some... I love to hike, and so one of the things that my friends and I do quite often is to go on a big hiking trip and the last hiking trip my knee was really bothering me, and it just hit me, I was like, "You aren't in the gym to... " For me, personally, I was like, I need to really internalize that feeling of like, "I wanna be doing this when I'm 80, or 70, or whatever, or as long as I possibly can." And I'm in there when I'm squatting, yeah, I care around about how much I'm lifting, I guess, a little, and I care about, okay, aesthetically, I'm growing my legs, whatever, but I want my technique to be good, I wanna be focused on just general health benefits of this, physical autonomy is something that, like you said, "I want to be living my physical life on my own terms." And I think that those are unfortunately things that don't get internalized until, not that it's too late, but until you see it happening, people are, "Yeah, yeah, yeah." And then your parent falls and breaks their hip and you're like, "Oh yeah, I don't want to do that again."
0:47:39.2 Kim Schlag: I don't want to be that person, yeah.
0:47:40.7 Jordan Lips: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
0:47:41.3 Kim Schlag: Jordan, this has been a fantastic conversation, thank you so much for coming on, where can people find you, if they are looking for you?
0:47:47.4 Jordan Lips: Absolutely. First of all, thanks for having me on, it's been a blast, I really, really appreciate it. And you guys can find me on Instagram at jordanlipsfitness, and I have my own podcast that Kim was on, we had a wonderful episode, I still get people raving about it, and the podcast is called Where Optimal Meets Practical, and yeah, you guys can search for that and look for them at other places.
0:48:03.9 Kim Schlag: I get tagged for being in that podcast episode more than any other episode, I've been on quite a a few podcasts. I feel like if that was six month ago, and I still like, I don't know, maybe once a week or so, I get tagged about that episode. [chuckle]
0:48:14.9 Jordan Lips: Yeah.
0:48:15.0 Kim Schlag: That was a good episode. I was so stinking sick when we talked, Jordan.
0:48:16.9 Jordan Lips: Totally. Amazed.
0:48:17.9 Kim Schlag: I was so sick.
0:48:18.3 Jordan Lips: You were in the Covid.
0:48:21.2 Kim Schlag: I didn't realize how sick I was. At the time, I was just like, "Oh, I'm gonna get better. I'm better in a few days." And I'm like... [chuckle] I had no idea what I was facing then.
0:48:29.1 Jordan Lips: Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
0:48:30.8 Kim Schlag: Well, thanks so much for being here, this was fantastic.
0:48:33.4 Jordan Lips: I appreciate it. Thanks a lot.
0:48:40.1 Kim Schlag: Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified Podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on, it really does help to get this podcast to other people. Thanks so much.
0:00:03.6 Kim Schlag: Welcome to episode 91 of the Fitness Simplified podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. On today's episode, I'm taking your questions about workouts and exercise, so I'm not hitting nutrition at all today, gonna talk all things workout. These are questions that you sent to me via DM on Instagram, or when I throw one of the question boxes up in my stories. I'll do this again periodically, maybe we'll do nutrition next time, so whenever you have a question, be sure to hit me up over there, you might hear the answer here on the podcast. Let's go.
0:00:39.3 Kim Schlag: So before I jump into your questions about workouts, really quick announcement, super excited about this. The menopause weight loss course that I've been talking about for some time now is going live this month, March 29th. Monday, March 29th, mark your calendars. If you are a woman over 40, struggling with belly fat, lack of energy and diet fatigue from years of trying and failing to lose weight, this course is for you. I'm so excited to bring it to you, it's gonna have nine modules, you'll get one module each week dripped to you so you're not overwhelmed with the content, and the important thing about this course is it's not just gonna give you knowledge, it's not just gonna be like, "Oh, I learned some things about how to lose weight in menopause. I learned some things about how to lose weight over 40."
0:01:26.3 Kim Schlag: It's going to be doing the do. So you're gonna have weekly action steps to take with each module so that you actually lose weight over the 60 days. In fact, it's going to be a 60-day challenge, we're gonna have cash prizes at the end, we're gonna have a very active Facebook group, I will be in there doing live Q&As just for the group every single week, cheering you on, giving you support as you make all of the changes that I suggest in the modules. So be looking for that you can... Best way to make sure you do not miss that announcement is to be on my email list, you can get on that list at my website, kimschlagfitness.com, there is one title called email list, click on that, you will definitely not miss it there. Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram for the announcement. Card opens Monday, March 29th.
0:02:20.1 Kim Schlag: Alright, let's jump into these questions. I have a handful here. Question number one, do I really have to take rest days? I like to work out. Common question. Here's the thing: What is your goal, is always an important question. And number two, are you sure that you want to not have rest days because you like to work out? Or is it possible that you are worried if you don't work out, you're not gonna get results? I think that's a really common occurrence. In your mind, look, it's not that you don't like exercise, if you're working out every day and you say you enjoy it, I believe you do. Do you really love it so much that you just don't wanna use that time for anything else, you really wanna work out seven days a week, or is it more, "I feel like I need to do this to get my results, to maintain my results, if I don't do this, I'm gonna not lose weight or I'm gonna even gain weight."
0:03:17.2 Kim Schlag: I think that is a big factor in people feeling this drive to work out every single day. So that's piece one. Piece two, the results you're looking for are likely gonna be found in your rest days. Rest day is when the magic happens. So we go in the gym, we strength train with intensity, that doesn't mean jumping around, that means we tax our bodies, we use a weight appropriate to be hard enough for us, and then while we're resting is when our muscles are repairing. That's when that new tissue is being built, so if you wanna look glean, toned, defined, yes, you gotta take your rest days. So minimum one rest day a week, one full rest day per week. I personally prefer people to have at least two.
0:04:06.1 Kim Schlag: I work out four days per week and take three rest days. My clients all train either two, three or four days, more of them train three and four versus two. Two is really for people who are like, "Look, I just am busy and I can't commit to more." Frankly, I'd rather have somebody solidly hit two workouts every week, than not quite get the three, so I will program for two. Ideally, I'd like to see them training three times a week. Four times a week is amazing, really you don't need to be in the gym more than four times a week, you just don't. You could be there five days a week. If you really love it, you could have a fifth day that's just a little accessory day, maybe you're working on a little extra glute work or a little extra shoulder work, totally fine. You should have those days off though.
0:04:52.3 Kim Schlag: And when I say days off, what you should be doing on your rest days is resting, that means don't take days off from your strength training and do a HIIT class, don't take days off and do a power yoga class. You can do some stretching, you can absolutely walk, every day is a good day for walking, you can certainly do recreational activity, so I'm not saying you have to literally sit on your butt all day, so if you like to go paddle boarding, go for it, but don't count your rest day if you're going for an eight-mile run. You see what I'm saying? Don't trick yourself into thinking like, "Oh, that's my rest day." Actually take some days for your body to recover. You're gonna see better results. If the results you are looking for have anything to do with optimizing your body composition, you wanna build some muscle, you wanna look toned, defined, glean, fit, you need your rest days, and also if you want to be healthy, our body needs that time to recover, your joints need that time to recover, you're gonna just feel better if you're taking appropriate rest. Question number two, what are the best workout shoes?
0:06:04.5 Kim Schlag: So it depends, what kind of workout you're doing. If you're doing some kind of running workout, obviously, you should be wearing running shoes, if you are not... If you're in the gym lifting, you should not be wearing running shoes, and here's why, they're cushioned. If you think about that cushion in a running shoe, that nice squishy part to absorb all of that shock, to absorb that force you're putting into the ground, that's actually the exact opposite of what you want if you're trying to lift. So if you're doing dead lifts, if you're doing squats, you are trying to put as much force as possible into the ground, you don't wanna do that standing on a pillow. Imagine... Think about how cushioned your running shoes are, think about a cushion on your couch. Imagine taking your couch cushions off and standing on them and trying to do your squat or your deadlift or your lunge, that would be really hard. It's hard to transfer that force, it's hard to maintain your balance, that's essentially what you're doing if you're lifting in those squishy running shoes. So take those squishy shoes off and you can lift barefoot if your gym allows or if you're training at home, so many people training at home, I do train at home, and I train in my socks, that's what I usually wear. Otherwise, you can wear a hard-soled shoe. So a couple...
0:07:16.7 Kim Schlag: One of the most popular you'll see most people wearing are Converse All-Stars, so the Chuck Taylors, just a hard flat-soled shoe. Perfect. My favorite is the Nike Metcons. Again, a nice hard-soled shoe, If I'm not barefoot, I'm wearing those. You might have seen people wearing Lifters, so if they're doing squats, they have a heel lift on the shoe that also are a hard-soled shoe, a little bit of a lift can help to get deeper in the squat. If you have some mobility issues, this can be one way around that, so those are good. The big key is not wearing big squishy runny shoes to... Runny? I don't know why I said runny, running shoes to do your lifting in. Alright, I do HIIT four times per week. Is that good? So my question back to you would be, is that good for what? What is your goal? We always have to think in terms of what is the goal I'm trying to achieve, to see if our methods are going to get us that goal. So if your goal is... I just... I wanna be a person who moves, great, go for it, you can do whatever you want, that's gonna get you moving. Frankly, we're a very sedentary society, so if what you enjoy, you like moving around a lot, you like jumping around, go for it. You wanna do one of these classes that are really high-energy, go for it. If your goal lies in body composition, so you want to look defined, you want to look like a fit person, that entails building some muscle.
0:08:57.9 Kim Schlag: So that fit look is two things, it is fat loss if you have extra fat to lose, so it's losing body fat, and it is building muscle. HIIT is not actually the way I would go for either of those two goals. So fat loss, the main driver of that is going to be your nutrition. No matter what you do in the gym, no matter what you do with your workouts, gotta nail your nutrition. The other piece of that is we want to make sure that the weight you are losing is indeed fat and not muscle. So we do that in two ways, the nutrition piece of sparing your muscle in a calorie deficit is going to be eating enough protein. Okay. So you eat enough protein, you also don't go stupidly low with your calories. We're not gonna slash your calories down to 1000 or 1200 or 900, something ridiculous, so you eat in the moderate deposit and you keep your protein high. That's the nutrition piece of making sure you're actually burning fat and not muscle, but there's also a workout piece to make sure that you are burning fat, not muscle, and that workout piece is using your muscles so that your body knows it needs to keep it. We do that through what's called progressive overload. It just means doing more work over time. Easiest way to think about that is lifting heavier weights over time, getting stronger over time. It's not the only way to progressively overload, but it's a good way to think about it.
0:10:22.3 Kim Schlag: So when you go into the gym, you pick up a weight, you do your set of squats. Next week you come in, and you can do those same squats with a heavier weight, that is progressive overload, and you need to do that in order to keep your muscle. HIIT is not set up to do that. Okay. Those classes where you're just jumping all around, it is not meant to do that. So keep that in mind, what is my goal and is the exercise modality I have chosen actually designed to get me the goal I want? So if you enjoy doing that high-intensity stuff, do it one, maybe two times per week and stick with the lifting for those body composition goals. Next question, I'm new to lifting, what are some good beginner exercises? So here's the interesting thing, good exercises are good exercises, whether it's day one of lifting for you or day 3097. You're gonna be doing the same types of exercises, so you're gonna wanna do squats, deadlifts, lunges, bridges, upper body pushes, both vertical and horizontal, so overhead pressing and chest pressing. You're gonna wanna do upper body pulls, so again, both vertical pulling and horizontal pulling, so we want you to do variations of rows, we want you to do pull-ups, pull-downs, and we want you to do some core.
0:11:54.2 Kim Schlag: Again, whether it's day one, you're gonna do varieties of those exercises, or whether it's day one million, you're gonna want to do varieties of those exercises. There are certainly a few advanced exercises that I'd be like, "You're not starting... I'm not gonna have you start with speed deadlifts versus bands, I'm not gonna have you start with the barbell snatch," but beginner exercises kind of makes it seem like... Well this exercise is gonna be for beginners and eventually I'm not gonna do that exercise. That's not actually how it works. So I have been doing one-arm rows since I started training seven years ago, still do them today, still got a great training effect from them. I am doing them with way heavier weight now, and that's the big difference. That said, there are certainly some varieties of those exercises that might be really good for you as you're beginning. So when we think about squats, I'm not gonna wanna start you with a barbell back squat, I'm gonna wanna start you with a body weight squat, my favorite variety of body weight squat to start a total beginner off with is a squat to a box with a reach. So get a step stool...
0:13:05.6 Kim Schlag: A bench, and you're gonna squat down, put it right up behind you and think about just sitting in a chair, you can actually use your chair, think about sitting down between your legs to that chair, at the same time get something very light, even like something like a water bottle, and as you sit down, press that weight out straight in front of your chest, that counterbalances you to help you to keep your chest up, so that's a variety I use a lot with a lot of beginners. Alternatively, you could just do a bodyweight squat start. When it comes to deadlifting, the first thing I would have somebody to do is make sure they know actually how to move their hips in a deadlift, you're going to want to hip hinge, a deadlift is not a squat, it's not so much up and down as it is back and forth, and so I have people practice hip hinging drills, so that's why I'd start there and then move into a Romanian deadlift. Push-ups, the best way to learn how to do push-ups is to do a hand elevated push-up, so you could start at your kitchen countertop, you could start even on a wall and do the push-up motion, make sure you're getting a full range of motion, so all the way down, all the way back up, when you come to the bottom, whatever you are hand-elevating on, so if it's a countertop, your nipples should be touching the edge of that countertop, I was training my daughter recently and she [chuckle] was laughing, she was like, "You use the word nipples a lot, giving me directions."
0:14:25.5 Kim Schlag: And it is really true, "You say the word nipples a lot when you're training someone." So make sure your nipples hit the edge of the countertop. So those are a couple of exercises to start with, doing a single arm row, a perfect place to start, when we're talking rows, if you are at a gym doing a lat pull-down is a good exercise to start with, user, really user-friendly to begin with, if you're at home, you can rig up a lat pull-down with a band over a pull-up bar, I always tell all of my trainees who are starting with me, my clients, grab a pull-up bar, put it over the door, and if you're like, "I don't have any possibility of doing a pull-up anytime soon." It's totally fine, you can use that chin-up bar with those long loop bands to do lap pull-down variations in your home, so definitely get one of those and eventually we can work you up to doing a chin-up or a pull-up. There's not a single reason why you can't do those over time, I know they feel really advanced but you can for sure get there.
0:15:27.0 Kim Schlag: So remember, no beginner exercises, just certain variations that might be better for a beginner, but you're always gonna squat, deadlift, hinge, upper body push-up, upper body pull, lunge, literally forever, your training programs, should be stocked with those exercises forever. Alright, next question, I struggle with single leg RDLs, my balance sucks. Oh, this is such a common, [chuckle] this is such a common problem, look, my balance, quite frankly, is terrible, it's not... It is not something I'm super skilled with, so there are things you can do. The number one thing I would say is, unless balance is your main goal, so you want to improve your balance, which is not a bad goal, if that's not the main goal, if your main goal is strength or muscle building, let's not turn this into a tightrope act. So the easiest thing to do in that case is to brace, and what I mean by that is you're gonna do a single leg Romanian deadlift, holding a weight in the hand of the free leg.
0:16:28.5 Kim Schlag: So the leg that's gonna go back, you'll hold your weight in that hand with the stance leg, you're gonna take the hand on that side and you're going to lightly touch the wall or a piece of equipment, whatever you're standing next to, lightly touch it, so don't get a death grip on it, but just put your fingers on it, and then as you come up and down, that little tiny bit of touching is gonna stabilize you enough so that you can actually concentrate on overloading this move with weight so you can actually concentrate on performing the move rather than balancing in space.
0:16:58.9 Kim Schlag: So that's my number one tip with that, along with that, some things you can do, you can look at a spot on the ground out a distance away, so maybe like 10 feet away and just stare at that same spot, you want it to be down low, so that you keep your body in alignment, you don't wanna stare up at the ceiling. So that's one thing you can do. Another thing you can do if you're not going to touch the wall, the second best thing I could tell you to do is to take that free arm, hold it straight out to the side, make a fist and squeeze it as tight as you possibly can, I'm doing it right now, and that is going to transfer into helping your whole body feel rigid, which is gonna help with your balance, I really do prefer the bracing, if at all possible, but I think that's a better way to do it, but if you can't for whatever reason, if you're in the middle of the gym floor, there's nothing to hold on to try that, arm straight out to the side, free arm, hold the weight in the hand, if the leg is going back and then pretend you got a steel rod going through your arm, so ram the rod straight and you make a fist and you just squeeze really, really hard.
0:18:04.0 Kim Schlag: Another one, and this one sounds so bizarre, and I have zero idea why it works, my coach told me about it one time, and I've done it for years, and it really does help, you take your tongue and you press it, press it. [chuckle] You press it up against the roof of your mouth, just behind your front teeth, so I'm gonna do it right now, so something like this, and you press it hard and for whatever reason that helps with your balance, I literally don't know why it works, but I can tell you from experience it does, it works so you can use that in combination with the bracing. Alternatively, you can, if it's just still, if you're just like, "I do all of that and I feel like I'm still just wobbling around," you don't have to do a one-leg RDL to still get the benefits of unilateral training, so working one-leg, you can do some other things. One variety that's really good for that is a one-leg wall press RDL, so you stand in front of a wall, you take your foot that would be the free leg, and you push it into the wall, so you bend your knee, put it up against the wall, and then you perform your deadlift, it feels more stable with your foot in that way, but you're still...
0:19:13.0 Kim Schlag: Favoring that one leg, that working leg that's on the ground, so similar training effect there, and then the other variety is B stance RDL, this has some... So to do a B stance, you stand in the position that you'd do a Romanian deadlift, you take one leg and you use it as a kickstand, so you'd come up on your toes of that foot, and you'd put it in line with the heel of your stance leg, your heel is up off the ground on the kickstand leg, and then you do your reps that way, and then you'd switch legs and do it the other way, so you're favoring the stance leg, not the kickstand leg. That's a really, really good variety that's similar to a single leg RDL without so much of that balance component that people can really, really struggle with. Alright, next question, is this my last one? No, I got two more. Three more. So how long should my workouts be? I get asked this a lot, it's an interesting question, and I will tell you that the length of your workout is not the determining factor in how effective your workout is. It's not like a 50-minute workout is superior to a 40-minute workout.
0:20:27.0 Kim Schlag: That's not how it works, what is really important is the quality of work you put in while you are doing your workout, okay? So... And when I say quality, I'm talking about the intensity of the work you're doing, if you've heard me talk about intensity when it comes to lifting before, you will know I am not talking about intense as in, "I got my heart rate up, I'm sweating, I'm out of breath, I feel like I've wiped the floor with myself," that's not what I mean by intense. I mean that you are lifting heavy enough so that at the end of each individual set you feel like you could do one, maybe two more reps of that exercise, okay? So if you're doing a dumbbell row and you're supposed to do eight reps, when I say, "You should be working intensely," when you get to reps seven and eight, it should be freaking hard, and on rep eight, you should know like, "I could do one really clean more rep," like, "It's not gonna be a trashy rep, I could do this one more time. I don't know if I could do it more than that." If you're getting to the end of your sets and you're stopping just 'cause you've counted to eight but it... That has no bearing on how you actually feel like you're just like, "I'm fine, like I can keep going."
0:21:33.8 Kim Schlag: You're not working intensely enough. Pick up a heavier weight, okay, so doing that for each and every set of each and every exercise you have, is the important part, not how long the workouts last. That said, most of my clients train between 35 and 55 minutes, and this involves also taking dedicated rest periods, so it's not a giant circuit, it's not like, "I do exercise A, right to B, right to C, right to D, keeping my heart rate up, moving, moving, moving," it is, "I do the first exercise, I take a 60-second rest, I do this... Then I do that exercise again, I take a 60-second rest," okay, and then you're moving on from there. I do employ what's called supersets for some of the exercises, it can really help if you're really busy and you just don't wanna spend a ton of time in the gym, using supersets can help for you to get more work in, in less time. And what a superset looks like is this, you take two exercises that are not competing with each other, there's lots of ways you could do, if... For the purposes here that I'm explaining to you, take two workout... Two exercises that aren't competing, so they're not using the same muscle, so if you're doing an upper body day, you could do a pressing variety, matched with a pulling variety.
0:22:57.2 Kim Schlag: So let's say you do a dumbbell chest press. And you do one set of those, you do all your reps for the one set, and then you immediately go into doing a set of your rows, so let's say you do eight chest presses, then you do eight rows, then you take your minute break, okay. Then you do that again, chest press, rows, then you take your minute break and you do it again, chest press, rows, take your break, move on to your next set or superset. The reason this helps is you didn't have to take a minute break between every set of chest press, then every set of rows, okay, you took a minute break after doing them together so that saves you some time. It's something that I... It's a strategy you can use to have your workouts be shorter. The goal when you're doing your workout is not to blast through and try and get in and out of the gym, I'd rather have you do fewer exercises, concentrating on them, and like I said, really working intensely, than shove a whole lot into your 30 or 40 minutes. You can get a really good workout with six exercises done with proper intensity and proper rest times, and I'd rather have you do that.
0:24:10.8 Kim Schlag: Alright, next question, what is better for fat loss, cardio or weights? Popular question this one. So remember, the best thing for fat loss is nutrition, it is to be in a calorie deficit, nail that... Nailing that is the most important thing. Over and above that, when we talk about workouts, and I kinda touched on this earlier, the number one thing we wanna think about with our workouts is supporting keeping our muscle while we're in that deficit. Remember, when you're eating in a calorie deficit, you are literally forcing your body to use the tissue that it already has for energy. And we want it to choose the fat not the muscle. And the workout component of doing that is using your muscles. You have to use your muscles to keep them, and that's why we do progressive strength training, so that's why I say weights are more important for fat loss. Cardio is way overused for fat loss, actually people prioritize it even over nutrition. We see these people are like, "Oh, and it's the New Year, I need to lose weight, I'm getting on the treadmill," and really they would do far better to be like, "Oh, it's time to lose weight, let me write a good grocery list and figure out what I'm gonna eat," that'd be more important.
0:25:29.5 Kim Schlag: So I do feel like cardio is way overrated for fat loss, it is not pointless, it is not bad, I'm not saying you shouldn't do cardio, I'm saying it is not your number one tool for weight loss, it is way low on the list, following a calorie deficit, enough protein, proper strength training with progression, getting enough rest, as in sleep, managing your stress and getting your need up. So that's just general walking throughout the day, moving more, all of those come in the list before I say, "Add in a cardio session." Cardio is great for your heart, I'm not telling you not to do it, I'm just saying it is not your best tool when it comes to fat loss. Alright, last question here today. I am super sore after my workouts, what can help with that? So first of all, it's normal to be sore sometimes after your workouts. Totally normal, you don't have to try to avoid that, there's no way to avoid some soreness, you also don't need to be chasing that. I know a lot of women are like... They're concerned if they're not sore enough. They see that soreness as the sign that they got a good enough workout, which is actually not a good gauge. The level of how sore you are is not proportional to the gains you just received from your last workout.
0:26:54.2 Kim Schlag: It doesn't work that way. So don't chase soreness, don't fear soreness. I will say you can... If you're sore all the time, that's a clue that something's not right, you should not be super sore all the time. You're either doing too much volume, which is probably it. You need to look at your training plan or have someone else look at your training plan. If you are always, always sore, we gotta look at what's going on with that training plan because you frankly should not always be sore, but it's totally normal to be sore sometimes. When you'll notice that you are the most sore is when you just start lifting, so push past that guys, you're not always gonna remain that sore. I know it feels like, "Oh my gosh, I'm broken," when you just start and I as a coach, I really work hard to make my clients be as little sore as possible when they first start, 'cause I frankly want them to show up again. But just know this, when you first start and you're really sore, you're not always gonna be that sore. The other times you're gonna feel really sore are when you introduce a new exercise, so let's say you've never done a Bulgarian split squat before, and then you do them, you're gonna feel sore, you're gonna really feel sore.
0:28:00.0 Kim Schlag: Also, when you stretch a muscle at long length. So when you're doing something like a Bulgarian split squat, a lunge, those can tend to really make you sore. When you are emphasizing the eccentric, that's the muscle lengthening portion that we were just talking about of an exercise. So if you do a slow eccentric squat, you're gonna be more sore, any time you're emphasizing that eccentric piece, you're gonna be more sore, so expect some soreness. As far as what you can do for the soreness, really it's about waiting it out, it really is. It goes away on its own. So it's called delayed onset muscle soreness. You'll hear the term DOMS, that's what that stands for. And so as you are lifting your muscles get little tiny tears in them... And that's not tears in like, "Wow, I just cut my finger, or I just ripped my finger apart, that's bad," this is normal, this is how your muscles rebuild themselves, and that makes you very sore, there's inflammation there as they are repairing themselves. So what you do about it is, one, you just wait it out. You don't have to... There's nothing you can do that's going to make it get better faster than just time.
0:29:08.2 Kim Schlag: Okay, so day two, after you work out, you probably gonna be really, really sore, by day three, it's gonna start feeling better, by day four... It's gonna feel better and better over time, so that's the number one thing I'd say. Don't stress too much about it. One thing you can do is to keep moving, don't just sit still, when you're that sore, [chuckle] you're gonna feel better if you're up and moving, getting the blood flowing, so nice slight walking is what I would suggest there. Otherwise, just wait it out and really keep in mind, if you're always sore, that's a red flag. Well, I hope that this Q&A has been helpful. Hit me up on Instagram, in the DMs, if you have more questions, you can always pop a question box in my stories. I can't always answer all the ones I get, I answer what I can and then I take screenshots and use them for things like this. I'm always here to answer your questions, happy to help, any questions you have about nutrition, about fat loss, about strength training, I'm here for it. Alright, talk soon.
0:30:09.5 Kim Schlag: Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on, it really does help to get this podcast to other people. Thanks so much.
0:00:03.7 Kim Schlag: Welcome to Episode 90 of the Fitness Simplified podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. On today's episode, we're gonna chat about slow weight loss. Why is it moving so slowly for you? What even is slow? Proper expectations here are super important, and of course we're gonna talk about what to do to speed it up if that's the appropriate course of action. Ready? Let's go.
0:00:31.1 Kim Schlag: Hello, Hello. You may or may not know but I have spent over three months incredibly ill, battling pneumonia and some serious complications from that pneumonia. I was, for all intents and purposes, bedridden. The simplest of tasks would leave me out of breath and utterly exhausted, and I gained over 20 pounds during my illness. Three and a half weeks ago, I started a cut, so a calorie deficit and I've lost six pounds, 10 inches and a jean size in that time. As I have shared about this on Instagram and on TikTok, I've gotten a lot of, "Why isn't it that fast for me? Why is my weight loss so slow? How can I speed it up to that speed?" So, that's what we're gonna talk about today. I want you to know that I am on the top end of the range of reasonable expectations for sustainable weight loss. I'm averaging about two pounds per week, which is the top end of the range. Down at the other end of sustainable weight loss, reasonable expectations is a half a pound per week. Anywhere from half a pound to two pounds per week is incredible progress. Which means, if I was only down one and a half pounds right now, that would still be fantastic progress. And more of my clients than not are averaging around that one pound or half pound mark.
0:02:03.7 Kim Schlag: It is not uncommon, it is incredibly common, and if you stick with it you can make incredible progress. I have clients who do that for three, four, five, six plus months, and they look like completely different people. So remember, half a pound to two pounds per week is incredible progress, do not discount that half-pound point. So, the first question I want you to answer, if you think that your weight loss is slow, is, "Are my expectations reasonable?" If you're on that scale of an average of a half a pound to two pounds per week, you are making good progress. The next question to ask is, "Are you using more than one measure of progress?" Note that I told you how many inches I lost as well as the clothing fit change, I lost a jean size. Relying on the scale alone can be demoralizing. Let's look at the total picture. Are you losing inches? Do you see visible changes in the mirror? Do you see changes in pictures as you put them side by side? Are your clothes looser? Okay. Look at those other factors, don't just use the scale. Especially if you're a person who is lean looking to get leaner, if you're looking to lose your last five, six pounds, the scale might not actually move very much and you might see changes more in the realm of inches, fit of clothes and how you actually look as you are losing fat and building muscle. The scale is not everything.
0:03:35.2 Kim Schlag: Alright, I also want you to remember that slow is relative. I want you to get really clear on this. Your weight loss feels slow compared to what? The headlines of the magazine at the grocery store? You know like, "Karen lost 50 pounds in a month just eating potatoes." No. What about ads, right? Or do you feel slow compared to these ads that say, "Lose 20 pounds in the next month," you know these crash diets. Is it slow compared to all of those Biggest Loser episodes stored in your brain? Those weekly wins where they would be down 12, 13, 15 pounds? I know all of that sounds very appealing. Some of it frankly is smoke and mirrors. Those magazine headlines, they're not even real. They're not real. And the Biggest Loser, so much of that was manipulating water weight. Yes, they were losing some fat, but for real a lot of it was water weight. I have watched my own son do this, I actually did it as a powerlifter a time or two, which was dumb. The level I was competing at, I did not need to be cutting water, but I did it. And I watched my son do it for years, he was a high school wrestler, and in weight class sports, it is part of the game.
0:04:48.5 Kim Schlag: As a senior, he was wrestling in the 106 weight class, but he actually sat at around 115 to 119 pounds. And twice a week, twice a week, he would manipulate his weight to make weight at 106 pounds. Okay, take that in. You are not a wrestler, at least I don't think you are. You are way more interested in how you look and how you feel, than in just what number you can make the scale say, right? You're not interested in manipulating the scale. As much as you want to see that scale go down, if the choice was you can make that say a number that's way lower but you look the same and you fit the same in your clothes, is that what you want? It's not what any of us want. Now, speaking of how you look. Extreme weight loss at a very fast pace can leave you looking quite different than you might picture in your mind. When weight is lost at too steep of a deficit, especially without optimal protein and strength training, you'll be losing a significant amount of muscle. This will result in a look that is not toned, it is not defined, it is not fit, and you're smaller, but you're also a softer version of yourself. That's what weight loss when it's rapid can really look like.
0:06:07.2 Kim Schlag: Muscle loss is also a contributing factor to weight... It would be great if I can say this. Weight regain. You'll have to maintain on lower calories than you might expect to stay the same weight. All of this to say is, extremely faster isn't always better. Faster isn't always better. At some point it actually is worse. So, given all of this, where do you stand now with the idea that your weight loss is too slow? You might be realizing that you're actually in a good spot. With some adjusted expectations, you're good to go. Amazing, great. If that's not you and you're either not losing at least that half a pound per week, or you're just on the slower side of that and you would like to see either inches or pounds or clothing fitting better, sooner, let's tackle that now. Here's the real deal, faster results require a higher level of consistency with your nutrition, that's the secret. It is a higher degree of consistency with your nutrition plan. You do not need to slash your calories lower, in fact that might backfire by making you less consistent. You just need to be more consistent with the calories you have set.
0:07:23.5 Kim Schlag: Now, this all assumes that you have set your deficit reasonably in the first place. If you're not sure about that, if you're really not sure that the calories you're working towards are reasonable for you, is it too steep of a deficit? Is it not steep enough? If you're not sure, sign up for my free five day fat loss crash course, and I'll take you through setting up your nutrition step by step. You can find the sign up for that in both my IG bio, so look at my Instagram bio, the link is there and on my website. If you go to kimschlagfitness.com, there is a tab that says, "Free five day fat loss crash course," you can sign up there. Okay. So, once you're sure of your calories, you need to be more consistent and more accurate with them if you are not losing at a rate that is acceptable to you. Remember, we're not looking for more than two pounds a week, if you're looking for more than that's... You're overshooting. But if you're looking for that half a pound to two pounds per week, you're gonna need to be more consistent and more accurate. How can you do that? Just saying that doesn't make it, right? If you're like, "Oh, I just need to be more consistent." Let's actually give you some practical steps to take to make that happen. Number one, pre-plan and pre-log your meals the day before. Now, I beat this drum a lot. If you hear me say this a lot and you're like, "You're always saying that." I'm saying it 'cause it freaking works. It works.
0:08:48.0 Kim Schlag: The night before, log your entire day of food for the next day, down to the gram in MyFitnessPal or Lose It! It will not take long. It will take you five minutes max. Now, to get in the habit of doing that I want you to try something called Habit Stacking. What you do is you're going to choose a habit that you do some time in the evening, that you do every evening, and you're going to attach pre-logging your food to that habit. In that way you will be able to sustain this. You will be able to remember it, it will become a new habit for you. So, here are some examples. Every night after dinner you put your dishes into the dishwasher, you start the dishwasher, you pull out your app and you pre-log your food then. So, it's load dishwasher, shut it, turn it on, track. That's one possibility. Another possibility is, maybe every evening you take an after dinner walk. You go out, you take your walk, you come back in, immediately upon coming back in, phone comes out, you track. You pre-log your food for the next day.
0:09:58.3 Kim Schlag: Brushing your teeth is another really great option. You brush your teeth, you rinse your mouth, you put your toothbrush away, and literally right there in the bathroom, don't like wander out into the hall or something, you might get distracted. Toothbrush goes into the toothbrush holder, phone comes out, you pre-log your food for the next day. Look for a habit that you do every night. To make Habit Stacking work, you need to choose a habit you already have in place at the frequency with which you would like to do the new habit. So, choose something you literally do everyday and attach pre-logging your food to that. That will be the cue, that will be the trigger for this new habit of pre-logging your food. Okay, the reason it works so well is you had it all figured out right then. You wanna fit in some steak, you'll fit it in then, you wanna fit in a piece of cake, you'll fit it in then. You make those choices at a time where the food is not in front of you and you're not in a rush. You have the moments right then to make your nutrition work, to hit your calories and hit your protein. That is my number one piece of advice on how to be more consistent.
0:11:00.3 Kim Schlag: Secondly, use a food scale. It will only add a few minutes to your day and pay massive dividends. If weight loss is too slow, a food scale is your best tool for speeding it up. It is your best tool. Stop eyeballing your food. Weigh everything you eat that isn't a leafy green or isn't an... If it's an individual pre-portioned thing, like if it's a protein bar with a scannable label, go ahead and just scan that, it's gonna be the same. But if it's not that and it's not a leafy green, weigh it. So yes, I'm saying, like you should weigh your apple, you should weigh your peas. This is not a lifelong decision, this is for this brief period of your deficit, which we're gonna make sure has an end point, okay? This is going to ensure that you are incredibly accurate with the calories you are eating.
0:11:53.3 Kim Schlag: Next, stop the LBTs, those licks, bites and tastes are eating up your deficit. Your deficit should only be 250-500 calories less than your maintenance, and you know how easy it is to eat just up, a couple of hundred calories up, right? Can you think about that? So, this is like, okay, in the morning, half an egg or waffle here, then a few sips of ice tea there, a couple of bites at dinner as you're cooking it, right? Who does that? A couple of bites at dinner, a handful of nuts as you're in the pantry or a handful of chocolate chips. Boom, you're there. You're at 250, you're even at 500. Give yourself a bright line to stop those licks, bites and tastes. Here's the bright line I want you to consider giving yourself. I eat all of my food seated and plated. Seated and plated. There goes licks, bites and taste. 'Cause if you're gonna make a decision that you really do want Johnny's half of leftover waffle, what that means is you're gonna pick it up off the counter where he left it, you're gonna put it on a plate and you're gonna sit down and eat it.
0:12:57.2 Kim Schlag: Now, how many of us are gonna actually choose to eat that half a cold waffle, if that's what we're doing? It becomes very conscious, right? Same thing with those chocolate chips in the pantry. You're in the pantry and you went in there to get a dinner ingredient and all of sudden you're opening up the bag of chocolate chips. If you have to make the decision to come and get your plate and you know we're gonna be using a food scale, weigh them out. Boom, sit down. How many of us are gonna do that? You're way less likely to do it. And that's what really helps, it's that awareness factor. So, I'm not saying you can't have chocolate chips and you can't have the half a waffle, be very conscious of the choices that you're making.
0:13:32.3 Kim Schlag: Next tip I'm gonna give you is to rein in your night-time snacking. Staying in a deficit all day but over indulging at night is killing your progress. Several strategies can work here depending on you as an individual, one will would might work better than the other, you can try them all out and see what works best for you. One option is planning in a night-time snack. That works really well for a lot of people. I have one client who for a really long stretch of time planned in Halo Top every night, and it kept her on track. She knew she was getting her Halo Top and she enjoyed it, and she didn't overindulge with other foods at night. Portion control is important here, right? We don't want to bring out the whole bag of chips. If you have a single size portion or you weigh out your portion, put it in a bowl, put the bag away and then go sit down. So, planning in an evening snack is one alternative. Other people, that just doesn't work, at all. They overeat at night if they do that. So, another alternative is giving yourself a bright line, no eating after dinner. I am choosing to not eat after dinner.
0:14:36.8 Kim Schlag: If you're gonna do that, set your environment up for success. Don't hang out in the kitchen. And then swap out routines that have historically tied to snacking for you, for a time. It doesn't have to be forever but till you break that habit loop of, I sit on the sofa, I turn on the TV, I eat the popcorn. 'Cause sitting on the sofa and turning on the TV without the popcorn, is gonna be more difficult for you, you're still gonna want that popcorn. If you could try a new routine for a while after dinner, I talk to my family and then I go up to my bedroom and I read my book for... That's one possibility of a new routine. You can have lots of different new routines. The kids and I hang out in the play room now, we don't hang out with the TV. Lots of new routines. And again, I'm not saying you have to give up your sofa and TV forever, switch it up a little bit and then once that habit loop is broken, you can go back to the sofa and TV if that's what you want to do. So, set your night-time up for success. Don't just be like, "Okay, no more night-time snacking for me." Come up with new routines that are gonna work to keep that in place.
0:15:40.1 Kim Schlag: Alright, the next place to look to be more consistent is managing your weekends. Lots that can be said here, I'm gonna give you a couple of things. The first thing I want you to do is to really kind of take in and understand the impact weekend overeating has on slowing your weight loss. You need 80% consistency to get a really good rate of progress. To get the rate of progress I'm working on right now that I told you about, I've been at 90% or above consistency. 80% is a really good goal to shoot for and you can get good steady progress. 80% consistency on a weekend means this. Listen to this picture. Out of every four weeks, 28 days, you need to hit your target at least 23 of those days, okay? So, that's only five days out of every four weeks that you can be over at all. How many weekend days are there in a month? In a weekend, if we're only talking Saturdays and Sundays, that's eight. That's eight days. So, there's more weekend days than days you could possibly be over to hit 80%. Add in Friday nights, there's 12. There's 12 weekend days. So, if you went over every Friday and either Saturday or Sunday, you are over or under I should say. You are under the 80% consistency you need to see a good rate of progress.
0:17:04.4 Kim Schlag: So, do you see the importance of staying on plan over the weekend? And as I said, for the rate that I've been getting at this two pounds, I have been over 90% consistency. 90% consistency means out of every month, every four weeks, every 28 days, you are not over your top end calories more than three days in a month. More than three days. So, that's not even once every weekend. I want you to really let that percolate, okay? Once a person really understands the impact their weekend overeating is having on slowing their weight loss, it can do a lot to fuel that. "Okay, well, now what do I do? How do I get my weekends in order?" Here's a couple of things you can do. The main thing you can do is planning ahead. I was just chatting with a client this week, I was coaching her through her weekend struggles. When I asked her, "Okay, what is different about the weekends?" Because she was frankly killing it on the weekdays. She thought about it and said, "It's planning. I plan my weekdays, I plan what I'm gonna eat, how I'm gonna eat it, and then I try to wing it on the weekends."
0:18:05.1 Kim Schlag: It's a form of relaxing for her. It was really relaxing, that pressure that ladies, we all know it. [chuckle] What's for dinner? What's for dinner? Everybody always wants to know what's for dinner. And that would ease that strictness to kinda just go with the flow, but it was keeping her stuck. Planning ahead here is actually freedom. You can make ordering a pizza in, work within your calories. You can make stuffing for a burger work within your calories. You need to plan ahead for that for the weekend, to make it fit, you will need to do that. And we'll talk about ways to make things fit here in just a second. You, going along with that, you should always include food that you enjoy, whether it's the weekend or whether it's a weekday, you should be enjoying your food. Don't eat stuff that you just tolerate.
0:18:51.5 Kim Schlag: Look, we all have to eat vegetables whether you like them or not, I will say, just tolerating your vegetables is A-okay in my book. You don't have to love them. You should make them in as pleasant a form as possible, but if you're just not a person who's, "Yay, I love vegetables," that's okay. But otherwise, you should make your meals really tasty. They should be more than tolerable. They should include foods you love and they should include fun foods. To do that you will use nutritional compromises. In the last three weeks, I have worked in... As I've lost all this weight, I have worked in sweet tarts, I have worked in sugar cookies, and I've worked in French toast. Regular French toast, not anything like high-protein French toast, I'm talking like a white bread French toast.
0:19:32.3 Kim Schlag: I'm actually right now, I'm really in the mood, I told my kids last night, "I'm really in the mood for a big bowl of Lucky Charms." So, I'm gonna make that happen in the next day or two. When I say nutritional compromises, here's what I mean. You can have any food you want in a calorie deficit, you just can't have them all at the same time. You make compromises. Take the sugar cookie I had the other day. It was one of those Target sugar cookies. Have you had those? They're kind of puffy, they have frosting on them. I have to say I'm not a person... I don't even like sugar cookies usually. I do not like sugar cookies, I've never been interested in sugar cookies. My kids, they were just crazy about those... They love those cookies and so a couple of years ago I tried one and I was like, "Oh wait. Oh wait, these are really good. So, I really like these. Wow, they're good." To make that fit the other day, what I did was cut the avocado out from my salad, and I made this plan the night before. We had bought the cookies for Valentine's Day, and there were still a bunch left and so I decided I want one of those. So, what I had done is I decided to take out the avocados, so no avocado on my salad. Salad is still gonna be good, just no avocado. I reduced the amount of bananas and berries in my lunch shake and I cut out the rice cake that I was gonna have with my snack. It wasn't so hard. It was not so hard.
0:20:46.7 Kim Schlag: I will say I originally wanted to have two cookies, but what I would have had to cut out would have made the rest of the day less satisfying than I was willing to do. I didn't want to swap out my oatmeal bake that I love for breakfast. I could have swapped that out and had an Almond, but I didn't wanna do that. And I didn't... And I wasn't about to... I can't cut out the protein from all of my meals. I need the protein in there, right? 'Cause I wanna sustain my muscle. So, I wasn't going to make some more drastic changes that I would have needed to, to have two cookies. So, I decided to be satisfied with one. And that's what I mean by nutritional compromises. And the good thing is you call all the shots, no one dictates for you what to eat and what not to eat.
0:21:31.5 Kim Schlag: You might have different things that are important to you on different days. You know on another day, I might make a completely different choice. I might think, "You know what, I want three cookies. I want three." So you know what, I'm not gonna have my shake that I love. I'm not gonna have that and no milk. What I'm gonna do is have a veggie omelette and I have a salad for dinner, but now I'm also gonna have a salad for lunch instead of the shake, I'm gonna have the salad with a tuna, I'm gonna have the veggie omelette. Boom! I now have enough calories freed up for three cookies. That might be a choice I make another day. You always get to make these choices and that is very empowering. You get to make what compromises you want. Always keep in mind that 80/20 rule. We want 80% of your food to be healthy nourishing food, and 20% of the food can be the more fun, less nutrient-dense type foods, and also always keep in mind your total calories. I'm not talking about going over my calories with cookies, I'm talking about... These were still days I was in my calories, and I'm also not talking about slashing protein. Whatever your protein goal is, you wanna still hit that. You can make things work in those parameters.
0:22:35.3 Kim Schlag: Even though we were chatting right now about weekends, this concept that I just explained to you applies for every single day across the week, every day. Tuesday, Saturday, whenever you can make these nutritional compromises work. And the more you can make eating on a Saturday look like eating on a Tuesday, the more successful you're gonna be. And that means on Tuesday, you can have ice cream, just like you could on a Saturday. Okay, last tip for managing weekend eating. Purposely plan non-food, fun and relaxation. If the weekend fun and relaxation is all about food, your choices quickly become abstain from fun or overindulge on food, right? Or there's temptation to overindulge, it's just gonna be ever present. I choose choice C, which is planning non-food fun. Have things to look forward to that aren't food-based. Lots of ideas here, a hike, a bike ride, shopping at the mall, a cool project you've been trying to complete around the house, a book you've been wanting to curl up with, sledding with the family, a game night, volleyball in the backyard, a museum or historical site you've never visited, kayaking, the possibilities are endless. Really plan in non-food fun.
0:23:55.4 Kim Schlag: We want you to look forward to the weekend, we want it to feel different, right? You want that. You want that, "Ah, it's Friday, I have something fun to look forward to," you feel like... You don't want it to be like this dull two days you're getting through, and if everything or on the other hand, a very stressful event of like, "Oh my gosh, I had to wait not go through all the food events of the weekend." So, let's have you plan one, two, several non-food fun events into your weekend. Okay, the last piece of advice I want to give you about speeding up weight loss, of course, within the reasonable range that I gave you, is having an end date to your current deficit phase. Not one tied to an amount of weight loss, okay? As in, "I'll take a maintenance break when I've lost 10 pounds," so not like that. Or whatever number you wanna insert there.
0:24:44.1 Kim Schlag: I don't want you to say, "I will take a break when I have lost X pounds or fit in X jeans or X number of inches, No. I want you to tie it to a date. As in, "I will take a maintenance break in X number of months or weeks." Do you see the difference there? I personally have committed to a cut for four months. If at the end of four months I'm where I want to be, amazing, and I might be. If I'm not, I will take a few weeks or months, I will decide at the time how long I want to take, for a dedicated maintenance period so that I am mentally ready to laser-focus again. I am laser-focused on this weight loss right now, and I know that in... Now it's three months time, almost three months, I'm three and a half weeks in, I'm gonna be having this maintenance break. That helps me to keep that focus. If it makes you nervous to think about maintenance, 'cause you're worried about weight regain, I want you to remember, maintenance is not a surplus.
0:25:46.9 Kim Schlag: I think a lot of women have two gears. Either I'm losing weight or I'm gaining weight. I'm losing weight or I'm gaining weight. We need to find that middle space. That middle space is maintenance. The scale will always bounce around. Whether you're in a deficit or in maintenance or in a surplus, the scale will always bounce around. It is just like that. Our bodies are made up so much of water and so many things can influence the amount of water in our bodies at any one time and that's why the scale bounces around so much. So, even in maintenance, the scale will bounce around. It will be in the same two to five pounds range. So don't expect the scale, once that you're in the maintenance, it says 135, 135, 135, 135, and something's wrong if it goes up to 137. That's not how it looks. What you're looking for is you want it to trend around those same pounds. So, if this person is 135, we want the trend to stay around 135. Maybe some days it's 134. Maybe some days it's 136, 137, 138, 132, but we want it to trend, the overall trend should be straight across. It won't be trending upwards.
0:26:52.3 Kim Schlag: If it is trending upwards, you're not in maintenance. You're in a surplus. There's no need to fear maintenance. The key to making sure you're in maintenance and not a surplus is to still keep up your good habits. It's not a free for all. You're not just eating all the things. That's not maintenance. That's back to that toggle switch of, "I'm losing weight or I'm not." So, keep up your good habits. Food seated and plated, protein in every meal, veggies at every meal, 80/20 rule, keep tracking your calories, so that you know how much you're eating. This planned break helps you to focus. You know that in X weeks or in X months, fitting in meals out more frequently will be possible, getting in more drinks will be possible, or some cake will be easier. You'll be able to do all these things more frequently, because you'll have more calories to work with, and that helps you maintain that laser focus. Alright, ladies, I hope that this has helped. If you have any questions about this or anything else, you can always email me. You can shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hit me up with any questions about this. If you're wondering, "Isn't my weight loss really slow, is this normal?" Always hit me up and we'll talk you through it. Thanks so much for being here today.
0:28:17.6 Kim Schlag: Thank you so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people. Thanks so much.
I'm a NASM certified personal trainer who is passionate about helping women transform their bodies through strength training and sustainable nutritional habit changes.