This article was transcribed from the Ftiness Simplified Podcast. Prefer to listen? Click HERE
Kim: [00:00:04] Welcome back to the Fitness Simplified Podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag.
On today's episode, I speak with a woman named Alia. Now, Alia reached out to me in the
comment section of a post I did on Instagram last week. She has what I would say is a very
common problem, and that is for the past six months, she's had an incredibly high degree of
effort placed towards weight loss, yet she is not seeing results.
If you can relate to this, you know how frustrating that feeling is. You're trying and trying,
but you're just not getting results. And so, Alia and I talk and I coach her through figuring out
what the missing link is.
Wanna find out? Let's go.
Alia: [00:00:55] Hi!
Kim: [00:01:05] So look, Alia, we've only ever chatted very briefly in the DMs, so I don't
know you at all. Why don't you tell me-- well, why don't you first tell me where you're calling
Alia: [00:01:15] Rochester, New York.
Kim: [00:01:16] Rochester. Okay. I've been there. Believe it or not, I know Rochester is not a
vacation destination, but when my kids were little, we took them to Rochester on a vacation.
Alia: [00:01:26] Oh, did you?
Kim: [00:01:27] Yeah. We went to the Strong Museum and some kind of lake, and it was
Alia: [00:01:32] Yeah, there's a lot to do here. I know it's not a destination, but there's
definitely a lot to do here.
Kim: [00:01:38] There is, for sure. So, tell me some more about you, like your family and
what do you love to do and all that stuff.
Alia: [00:01:46] I am, um, I just turned 43 on Sunday. I have a 10-year-old son and a 15-year-
old stepson, and, um, we do some fostering of kitties and we're animal lovers. And I seem-- I
can say I like to cook, although I don't feel like I have as much time to cook. We do a lot of
meal prep, but it's not like, "Oh, I'm going to try this fancy new recipe" like I used to do
Kim: [00:02:12] Got it. Well, first of all, happy birthday!
Alia: [00:02:17] Oh, thank you!
Kim: [00:02:18] Did you do something fun?
Alia: [00:02:20] No, my son had the flu.
Kim: [00:02:22] Oh. Okay that's, that's terrible.
Alia: [00:02:25] But we did-- we did manage to go skiing the day before, so that was good.
Kim: [00:02:29] Okay. That's good. Do you ski a lot?
Alia: [00:02:31] Not a ton, but, um, we do enjoy getting outdoors in the winter. I love snow,
Kim: [00:02:37] Nice. Well, you guys-- do you guys get a lot of it in Rochester?
Alia: [00:02:42] A fair amount, although this winter has not been great.
Kim: [00:02:46] Got it. So, okay, so you have two kids. Do you work?
Alia: [00:02:51] Yes.
Kim: [00:02:52] And what do you do?
Alia: [00:02:53] I work for a healthcare system in their quality department doing event
management, and we run a database for safety tracking.
Kim: [00:03:04] Okay. So, you have two kids, you work, you run your home, um, you foster
cats. That's a lot of work.
Alia: [00:03:12] Yep. Yeah.
Kim: [00:03:14] So you're very busy. I'm sure a lot of people can relate to that. So last week
you commented on one of my posts and shared your frustration with weight loss. So, tell me
What have you been doing? What's working? What's not?
Alia: [00:03:28] Um, well, so, what I've realized is that, um, I'm still trying to work through
this. I'm obsessed with a number on the scale and I don't see the number on the scale going
down. In fact, it's gone up a little bit since I've started weight training, which I realized was
Um, so what I've started to do is track measurements. So, I've been able to glean some
improvement on that front.
Kim: [00:03:57] Okay. So how long have you been working on losing weight?
Alia: [00:04:02] On and off for years, but, um, I started doing the, um, macro tracking, which
to me, I think is when you, when you start to get serious about it in September.
Kim: [00:04:11] Okay. And when did you start lifting weights?
Alia: [00:04:16] The same time.
Kim: [00:04:17] The same time, great. So, well, why don't you tell us a little bit about your
workout routine first.
Alia: [00:04:22] Generally it's four days a week, I'm in there about 45 minutes. Um, I'm
currently trying to progress following a system that my husband is using, so I have a primary
lift, a secondary lift, and then three different lifts that are higher reps, but at a lower weight.
Kim: [00:04:45] Gotcha.
Alia: [00:04:46] So in each week it progresses, you know, a small amount, but definitely it
progresses. So, I don't stay stuck on a certain weight without moving forward.
Kim: [00:04:56] Okay. All important stuff. And do you enjoy it?
Alia: [00:05:00] I do. Um, I get-- I'm not. I'm not the gung-ho 5:00 AM kind of workout
person, but I do need to get in there before my day starts or else it doesn't usually happen.
Kim: [00:05:12] Got it, got it. And did you say four days a week?
Alia: [00:05:15] Yes.
Kim: [00:05:16] So four days a week strength training.
Alia: [00:05:18] Yup.
Kim: [00:05:19] Got it. And you sound like you have a solid program, like you're following a
consistent program, you're working on progressive-- progressively overloading, so that all
sounds really good.
So then talk to me about your nutrition. What have you been doing since September?
Alia: [00:05:34] Um, so an emphasis on protein, which I think is different than what I had
ever done before. Um, and trying to get 155 grams of protein a day. So that, um, that shifted
me towards using-- well we do a lot of grilled chicken and more protein supplementation
through powders or bars. Which was a change for me, but it hasn't been going too bad. Um,
45 grams of fat and 125 carbs.
Kim: [00:06:09] And what's the total calories on that?
Alia: [00:06:12] Uh, 1525
Kim: [00:06:13] 1525. And how much do you weigh and how tall are you?
Alia: [00:06:18] I am 5'8" and I weigh right now, uh, it was 159.4 this morning.
Kim: [00:06:26] Okay. And how much were you in September? The same?
Alia: [00:06:29] 156.
Kim: [00:06:31] Okay, so a little bit less. And what have you found has happened with the
Alia: [00:06:39] I don't know where the decrease has been, but it's about an inch and a half
Kim: [00:06:45] Okay. So, you've lost about an inch and a half. How about your-- the fit of
Alia: [00:06:51] A little, a little better, but not-- you know, my hip and thigh area is where I
feel like I always try to focus and I, I know I can't target practice on that, but um, it's, it's
improved, but not, nothing's like loose or falling off me for sure.
Kim: [00:07:08] Okay. So, since September, so you've gained about four pounds, right? And
your clothes aren't tighter, but they're not necessarily looser.
Alia: [00:07:18] Right.
Kim: [00:07:19] Okay. And how about, um, have you been taking progress pictures?
Alia: [00:07:23] Yes.
Kim: [00:07:24] And what do you see there?
Alia: [00:07:26] I see more definition in my upper body.
Kim: [00:07:29] Okay, that's good.
Alia: [00:07:31] And some of the ab area.
Kim: [00:07:33] Okay. Okay. So those are good things. You're still-- tell me more about you
being stuck on the number on the scale.
Alia: [00:07:46] I wish I could. I don't know. I have it in my head that this is my goal weight of
like 145 to 150. Um, that's what I had weighed years ago. And so that's what I feel like I
should get back to. But I'm struggling with it.
Kim: [00:08:02] Yeah, I think that's a really common thing. We get a number in our head
from a weight that we like the way we looked and we think that to like the way we look
currently, we need to be that weight.
Alia: [00:08:12] Yes.
Kim: [00:08:12] So I think that's a really common thing. So, let's pretend for a minute that
scales don't exist. Okay? You have no idea what the number is. Let's go strictly on the way
your body looks. Are you happy with it now or is there still progress you would like to make?
Alia: [00:08:27] I would still like to lose fat.
Kim: [00:08:29] Great. So, when you look in the mirror, you're like, okay, there's still some
fat here that I would like to lose.
Alia: [00:08:36] Yes.
Kim: [00:08:38] Okay. That's good to know. So, talking about your nutrition, then, 'cause
most of nutrition-- most of that is going to come from your nutrition.
So, talk to me, when you think about from September to now, tell me what you think you've
done-- tell me one thing with nutrition that you think just you really do it well. Like, you
know you should be doing it and you do it really well. And then we're talking about one
thing, like if you're, if there's a place with your nutrition that you feel like you could make
improvement, what would that place be? Talk to me about what you feel you do really well.
Alia: [00:09:10] Well, I feel like once I get a meal plan and meal prep set up I do really well
sticking to it. So, getting those meals prepped on a Sunday and you know, I can eat the same
thing. I do okay with that. I feel like, um, what, one of the questions that I've had is, with
protein supplementation am I getting into some inflammatory results?
Kim: [00:09:45] Say that one more time?
Alia: [00:09:47] Are some of the artificial sweeteners, like, giving me some inflammation.
Like, I'm wondering if it's something along those lines and I'm struggling with--
Kim: [00:09:55] Are you talking about like bloating as in like bowel distress?
Alia: [00:09:58] Yes.
Kim: [00:09:59] And so physically do you feel that way? Do you feel like it's affecting your
stomach? Like you don't feel well?
Alia: [00:10:05] Yes, I'll get a distended stomach.
Kim: [00:10:09] Okay. So, two things I'd say about that. One, that can be a very real thing. I
cannot eat a lot of protein bars. Um, I pretty much have cut them out because when I do, I
am noticeably bloated and believe me, nobody wants to be alone in a room with me
because it does not do good things to my digestive system.
That said, it doesn't prevent fat loss, so you could still be losing fat. You might not be
noticing it in your belly area if you are bloated from the protein. So, um, do you do a lot? Tell
me how much are you-- how much are you doing with, um, protein bars and protein
Alia: [00:10:47] Um, I don't do bars generally very often. I would say at most once a week.
But scoops of protein per day? Two to three.
Kim: [00:11:01] Okay. You know, that could be a lot. Um, how do you feel about switching
that up? So, first of all, your protein is definitely on the high side. Um, you're up at 155. You
could lower that like a gram per pound of body weight is fantastic, but you could go as low
as 0.72 and still be in a good range. So, you could lower it a bit if you struggle to get there
without the protein powder. And still have great results.
How do you feel about trying to nix the protein powder for a bit, or at least reduce it to see
how you feel, you know, with your stomach?
Alia: [00:11:38] That's what I have been, um, considering. And I've also been looking at, like,
historically through MyFitnessPal, looking at the grams of fiber that I've been getting in my
diet and wondering about the correlation with that in the, in the digestion.
Kim: [00:11:55] Got it. So, it's really important for you to know, like, first of all, we want you
to feel good and we want you to like the way you look. And so, if your belly is distended,
cause you're bloated and you have a lot of gas that doesn't feel good and you don't like the
way that looks. So, I do think you should maybe work on cutting back a little bit on the
protein powder and get protein from food sources for a bit and see how you look and feel
As far as fat loss, fiber and where you get your protein from is not going to be hindering your
weight loss. It's not. You will still be losing weight. But I do think it's something important to
address. I had a noticeable difference in the way my stomach looked when I cut out the
extra protein I was getting in through supplements 'cause it just didn't sit well with me.
Look, I didn't try a ton of brands so I'm-- it's possible you could just keep trying different
brands and find one that works.
Alia: [00:12:39] Sure.
Kim: [00:12:39] If you don't want to go that route, like literally, there's no reason you have
to supplement with powders and bars, but you could just try, you know, more chicken, more
eggs in those things and see.
Um, okay. So, it sounds like one thing you do well is when you meal prep, you actually eat
the food you prep and that works really well for you.
Alia: [00:13:00] Yes.
Kim: [00:13:01] Awesome. How often do you get a meal prep in?
Alia: [00:13:05] We usually do those on Sundays 'cause my husband has been macro tracking
Kim: [00:13:10] Oh, that's super helpful when you're doing it together. Does it happen most
weeks or you know, 75%?
Alia: [00:13:15] Most weeks.
Kim: [00:13:16] Okay, good. That's great.
Alia: [00:13:18] And, and if we don't do that whole meal prep, we generally make sure we
have veggies on hand and we always have grilled chicken.
Kim: [00:13:25] Good. That's fantastic. I'm a big fan of even like those mini meal preps
where it might not be like every meal is ready, but if you have a protein source prepped and
you know, some vegetables cut up, I think that's fantastic.
Um, okay. That sounds great. All right, so tell me where, with your nutrition, if there was a
spot that you think, "Hmm, this could be improved as far as fat loss," what do you think it
Alia: [00:13:49] I think cravings for chocolate.
Kim: [00:13:56] Okay. Yeah, that's a super common one. So, tell me about that.
Alia: [00:14:01] It tends to be mid-cycle, every mid-cycle. Um, and it often seems to occur
with extra bloating or extra GI problems. Um, but I have learned to get just some high cocoa
percentage, dark chocolate with a little less sugar than the general chocolate bar and have,
like, a small quantity of that just to ward off that craving. Instead of totally giving into it.
Kim: [00:14:34] Yeah, those cravings can really, um, they can really impact the level of
success you have with fat loss because they tend to leave us, uh, lead us to eat more calories
than we have available to stay in our deficit. Um, and if it happens-- if it happens, um
multiple times a month, whether it's due to, you know, your cycle or whether it's just, "Hey,
this sounds good tonight," it can have more of an impact than you might think.
Even though you're on track so much at the time, that off track, like nibbling, um, chocolates
and those kinds of things can really have an impact. When you think back, like, so do you
track in MyFitnessPal? Is that what you said?
Alia: [00:15:16] Yes.
Kim: [00:15:17] Okay. So, when you look back at your log, like when do you think is the last
totally, like, not fully tracked day?
Alia: [00:15:27] Um, well, Sunday, because we were kind of coming down to the flu in the
house. Um, but my numbers were low across the board, honestly.
Kim: [00:15:40] On Sunday when you didn't track you, you don't feel like you ate that much?
Alia: [00:15:43] Yeah.
Kim: [00:15:44] Got it. So. I would say that's one place you could really look, is those days
where it's like kids are sick or I'm craving things or I'm busy and you don't track, they'll feel
like you didn't eat that much.
It's interesting how we can have this idea in our mind that we didn't eat that much, but if we
had actually been tracking the numbers would have added up enough to put us at
maintenance, right? We're not in a surplus, but we're not losing anyway, and doing that six
months is insanely frustrating, right? Like where are we-- how long ago was September?
September, October, November, December, January, February. Yeah, six months ago. Six
months of maintaining your weight. Now, clearly, you've lost a little bit of fat because you're
seeing more definition, but we would expect-- I would expect that the scale, if you were
losing fat and building muscle, I would not expect the scale to go up.
I would expect to see the scale to at least stay the same. So maybe you're building some
muscle and not losing all that much fat. So, to get that to happen adherence to your deficit. I
think your deficit is on point. I think around 1500 calories is fantastic. Um, you know, you
could even go a little bit higher.
One of the things that could help is having some days where you have a little bit higher
calories so that you can fit more things in, like chocolate. And planning those things in can
help so that you're not craving them as much.
Alia: [00:17:09] Okay.
Kim: [00:17:10] How does that feel? Does that feel like, "ah, too many calories?"
Alia: [00:17:13] No.
Kim: [00:17:17] 'Cause at 1500, like if you had some, a range of 1500 to 1600 calories four
days a week and 1700 to 1800 calories a couple of days a week, you could have some more
room for things that maybe you're craving and get some of those yummy things in there and
be able to stick with it really well because adherence to your plan is totally, it's the key.
If you're not losing weight, it's because somewhere, somehow, you're not in a deficit and
finding that somewhere is the key.
Alia: [00:17:47] Okay.
Kim: [00:17:48] Anywhere else you think it might be besides cravings or does that seem like
that can be the spot?
Alia: [00:17:56] I don't, I don't have anything that glares at me as being an obvious, um,
Kim: [00:18:05] Okay. How about, um, what are your weekends usually like?
Alia: [00:18:12] They're a little more difficult because there's not the general-- you know,
we're not always, like, sitting at the table at lunchtime or sitting, you know, the, the plan,
the, um-- the cadence of the day is not always consistent.
Kim: [00:18:28] Got it. Um, and do you find that on the weekends when you don't have a
consistent schedule, that you are not sure if you're sticking to your targets? Are you kind of
just estimating, or are you on a weekend weighing, measuring food, those kinds of things?
Alia: [00:18:47] Um, what I find actually is if I don't focus on getting the protein through the
day, I end up very short on that at the end of the day.
Kim: [00:18:54] Okay. Makes total sense. How do you feel about total number of calories by
the end of the day?
Alia: [00:19:04] Uh, I actually don't usually look at calories too much. I know that when I, if I
stay within five grams of the carbs, protein, and fat, that the calories generally work
Kim: [00:19:17] Gotcha. Gotcha. So, calories is the number one thing you should be looking
Alia: [00:19:23] Okay.
Kim: [00:19:24] Knowing that you hit your total calories.
Now, if you are hitting your macros and you're totally on target, you should be hitting your
calories, but if you're off some on your macros, then you're not going to be hitting your
calories. So, if you like to count macros, there's no reason you can't. Um, I have my clients
count their protein 'cause it's important for us to maintain our lean mass while we're in a
deficit and I have them count total calories.
So, if you're using MyFitnessPal, you can easily see the calories adding up, right?
Alia: [00:19:53] Yes.
Kim: [00:19:53] So if you want to, if you want to keep paying attention to the protein and
fat, you can. Fat loss is not dictated by the ratio of protein-- of carbs and fat. What research
has shown us is that you can lose fat on a higher fat diet, higher carb diet, or equal amounts
of both as long as you keep your protein the same and you keep your total calories in check.
So, paying attention to your calories is going to be a game changer because if you're not sure
about what the macros have done, you're not sure about what the calories have done.
Alia: [00:20:23] Right. True. That makes sense. Um, and I don't love tracking macros, so.
Kim: [00:20:28] You don't, okay. Well then this might be a better fit for you because it's less
Alia: [00:20:33] Yeah.
Kim: [00:20:33] When you track just calories and just protein, it gives you a lot more leeway.
You're not trying to like get some magic combination like at three o'clock and be like, wait a
minute, I still need X number of protein and I have no carbs left, but I need to get some fat,
but, you know, it can get really tricky with those numbers.
Alia: [00:20:51] It feels difficult.
Kim: [00:20:53] It can be really difficult. It can be difficult to juggle and look weight loss as
hard as it is. Anything we can do to streamline the process can help. Some people enjoy
tracking all three numbers and that's totally cool. I personally do not. I've done it for a time. I
did not like doing it. Um, it sounds like you don't like doing it. So, I would say give up looking
at the, the pro-- at the calorie-- hello, I'm saying everything backwards. Give up looking at
the fat and the carbs and just focus on hitting your total. That should be number one, is
hitting your total calories.
Number two, get in enough protein.
Alia: [00:21:25] Okay.
Kim: [00:21:25] If you do that consistently every day for the next 30 days without a doubt,
you will see a change in either the scale or the inches, the fit of clothes, pictures, or all of it.
Without a doubt 30 days of hitting your calories and your protein. You'll see a change.
Alia: [00:21:41] Okay.
Kim: [00:21:42] So four days, 1500 to 1600, 3 days, 1700 to 1800 I think is a really good
range for you.
Alia: [00:21:51] Okay.
Kim: [00:21:52] Um, protein. You can-- I don't have a calculator on me, but you definitely,
you could, the high end, 150, low end-- hang on, actually I do, I do have a calculator. Low
end, let's see. It's like 108 to 150 grams per day. Um, hit that, hit your total calories and one
thing that I have to say can really help you to be able to hit your calories is actually planning
them into MyFitnessPal ahead of time.
So, the night before or the morning of, put in there what you want to eat, make sure those
numbers add up, that you hit your protein, that you hit your calories, and then just work
It makes it way easier than partway through the day trying to like dance around to figure out
how you're going to do it.
Alia: [00:22:46] Yeah, I do-- I should do better at that. That's definitely an opportunity for
Kim: [00:22:50] Okay, great. That's a great place to dial it in. When it comes to weight loss, it
can feel very mysterious.
It always comes down to figuring out where am I getting more calories than I think I am?
Even if on paper or on our app, it says I'm getting this number of calories, if you're not
seeing the changes that you want physically, if the scale is not moving, somehow there's
more calories involved, and I think we've, I think we've figured out where it is for you.
30 days. Super consistent, hit those calories, hit that protein, pre-log to be able to do that,
and then for sure, I'd love to hear back from you and see what you find out. You accept the
Alia: [00:23:26] Yeah, I do. I do.
Kim: [00:23:27] Amazing. What other-- do you have any other questions? Anything else you
want to talk about before we wrap up?
Alia: [00:23:36] No, but I think, well, now that our days are starting to get a little longer, I do
enjoy walking, so I don't know how, um, if I were to add more like 30 to 45 minute walks, I
know it's still equally important to lift, but how does-- how do you figure out what's better
for an individual?
Kim: [00:23:58] So I love that you're asking that question.
I'm a huge proponent of daily walking. I say do it in addition to your lifting that you're
already doing. If that, if that feels too burdensome for your schedule, you can still get really--
a really good training effect with three days of lifting with a lower body, an upper body, and
a full-body day. Um, that can be a really good thing if you, if it feels like I don't want to train
four times a week if you don't enjoy it, if-- look, I love it, so four days a week works great for
Four days a week is fabulous, three days, as long as you're hitting each muscle group twice,
so a lower body day, an upper body day, a full body day, walking every day. It doesn't have
to be a dedicated 30-40-minute walk. It can be. Do you, do you track your steps now?
Alia: [00:24:44] I do. I, um, I have an Apple watch. I don't know, I can't tell you what my
average is. It's been low because I haven't been walking, I've been focusing and lifting,
thinking that that was priority, but I feel like walking for me mentally is, um, huge.
Kim: [00:25:00] You know, it can really lift your-- it can really lift your mood. It can really
help with the, the calories out portion of calories in, calories out.
I wouldn't say it should be a priority over the lifting, but I do feel like it's on par with it. So,
number one, number one focus for weight loss has to be your nutrition as far as calories in.
The other nutrition piece is your protein. After that: strength training, hitting it at least three
times a week and getting in daily movement.
You can get that daily movement in throughout the day. You can-- and I talk about this on
my stories all the time, all the weird ways I get to-- I get movement in. Like, I will pace
around when I'm on, if I'm-- well I can't do it now cause I'm on a podcast, but if this was just
a phone call between you and I, which I do this all the time with people, I would be up
So, when you're at work, any chance you have to get up and pace while you have a phone
call. Take it. You could set your Apple watch to beep once an hour to remind you to walk and
you go to the furthest bathroom in the building and you know, even if you don't have to go
the bathroom and you touch the door and come back to your desk.
There was a guy I knew who would walk out to his car. He would park the furthest spot away
he could at work and a couple of times a day he would program his watch to make him go
out to his car and come back. And all of these things add up. Wherever you're at-- track for a
week and see like, "Hey, where am I at now?"
Alia: [00:26:21] Right, right.
Kim: [00:26:21] You draw a baseline and start upping it a little bit at a time, a little bit at a
time. Over time, getting yourself up to 10,000 to 12,000 steps for a fat loss phase can really
help with that calories in, calories out piece.
Alia: [00:26:36] I think that that, um, that component has definitely been overlooked-- or
not overlooked but set to the wayside, um, and for sure that's got to have an impact.
Kim: [00:26:48] It can have a huge impact. We really-- especially those of us who strength
train, who make going to the gym a priority in our mind, we're really active people, right?
And we are, but if that's an hour a day, four days a week, what about the rest of the days,
right? And what about the rest of that day? You have 24 hours in a day. Maybe if you're a
really good sleeper, you're sleeping eight of them. The rest of the day trying to find ways to
get more movement in, to sneak some in here and there and really get yourself so that you
are active. It's a hidden place that you can really pump up your calories out part.
Key point here: do not add those calories back to MyFitnessPal. Don't sync your Apple watch
to it and have them tell you, "Oh, you know, eat a couple of hundred more calories," or
you're eating that deficit right back up.
Alia: [00:27:35] Yeah. Don't want to do that.
Kim: [00:27:37] Yeah. You don't want to, and it's such a common mistake. So yeah, I think if
you can work on really upping it. And again, do it a little bit at a time, over time. Don't jump
into like "now I have to get 10,000 steps and I have to, you know, I can't do the lifting 'cause
I don't have time for it." Keep your lifting. If you want to go down to three days, you could
make that switch. Um, but keep your lifting.
Start increasing your total time, total steps walked day after day, a little bit at a time can
make a really big difference.
Alia: [00:28:07] Perfect. That's all pretty straight forward. And I think easy to implement.
Kim: [00:28:12] Amazing. You know what? When it comes down to it, weight loss is really
straightforward. It's just hard to do. But the stuff you have to do to lose weight isn't
It's not fancy. Um, and it, it always comes down to these simple things and we can get really
sidetracked with thinking about things like, "wait, is it my protein powder or is it, you know,
that it's causing me to be bloated?" And that can, like I said, it can feel really uncomfortable,
but in the end, bloating and fat loss aren't the same thing, and you can be bloated and still
Alia: [00:28:41] True. True.
Kim: [00:28:42] Tackling both of those sounds like an important piece for you so you don't--
so you're not bloated, but they're definitely not the same thing.
Alia: [00:28:48] Right.
Kim: [00:28:49] All right, Alia, it has been super good talking to you. Um, so message me
back. Let me know, 30 days of consistency. You know, really keep track of the number of
days you hit your calories.
A good way to do that is to get yourself a calendar and every day you hit your calorie target
and your protein target put an X on it. See how many X's you get for the next month and let
Alia: [00:29:12] Sounds good. I will do that right now. I'll get that calendar started.
Kim: [00:29:15] Amazing. All right, thanks so much for coming on. I really appreciate it. I
think people are going to learn a lot from hearing this conversation.
Alia: [00:29:22] Well, I hope so. I know I have.
Kim: [00:29:24] Oh, good. I'm so glad. All right, I will be seeing you around Instagram and
looking forward to hearing from you.
Alia: [00:29:29] Thank you, Kim.
Kim: [00:29:30] All right. Bye bye. You're welcome.
Alia: [00:29:31] Bye.
Kim: [00:29:37] 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 -
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.
This article is transcribed from The Fitness Simplified Podcast. prefer to listen? Click HERE.
Kim: [00:00:04] Welcome back to the Fitness Simplified Podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag, thrilled to be here with you today on a solo episode. I'm talking about self-love. Have you heard the advice, “you should just love yourself?” It's important to love yourself. If you hear that and you kind of get that catch in your chest like, ah, yeah, but I don't really, and now I just feel bad, what do I do?
[00:00:26] That's what I'm talking about today. Can you learn to love yourself? Does loving yourself have to be a feeling? Let's go.
[00:00:41] So tomorrow in the States, it's Valentine's day. And so, if you're here, you're likely thinking about your loved ones and what you're going to do for them. I have some plans for my family, some little presents for my kids. We do a yearly scavenger hunt for Valentine's day; I've picked out a good present for my husband this year.
[00:01:00] It's hard to buy for him. I don't know if you have the same problem with your husband, but I struggled to buy things for my husband. I think it's easier for him to buy from me. I just always want a lot of stuff. He rarely wants stuff, so Valentine's day, I'm always like, "should I get him something, should I not get him something?" So, I bought him something this year and I think he's gonna really like it, but you'll probably think it's an-- it's an odd present. I bought him, I bought him pants. I bought him these special stretchy pants. So, they're not like women's leggings.
[00:01:28] So there's this company, he's really psyched about these pants. They're really kind of like hipstery looking pants. They're called, I'm going to get it wrong, I want to say Park and Recs, but that's, that's the TV show, right? Parks and Recreation? Um, Public Rec, I think that's the name of the company. And they make these pants and they look like really nice casual business pants. Really nice-looking ones. But they're stretchy, so they have the secret. You can't tell, but he could like do the splits in them. Well, if he could actually do the splits, he could wear these pants and do the splits in them. So, he bought himself two pairs of these pants and he won't stop talking about the pants.
[00:02:04] So I went back on to the website and I bought him another pair in a different color of the stretchy pants. Nothing says, I love you like a pair of stretchy pants. So that, those are my Valentine's plans. I hope you have good Valentine's plans.
[00:02:18] Today and on our Valentine's day, I want to talk to you about your most important relationship, and that is the one you have with yourself.
[00:02:29] So a lot of people throw around the phrase, "you need to love yourself." "You should just love yourself." "It's all about loving yourself." Do you ever read that and think, "okay, yeah, got it. That's great and all, but, but I don't, what if I don't? I don't love myself. So now I'm failing at that too?" Here's the missing piece that I want to talk about today.
[00:02:55] Instead of thinking of love as a feeling and one that maybe you don't have a whole lot of for yourself right now, what if you thought about love in the verb sense, as an action? "I love myself." What have you started taking baby steps to act loving towards yourself? Do you see the difference there? It's hard to control your feelings, but your actions, that's all you.
[00:03:23] You have 100% control of your actions. And the interesting thing is that the feeling will follow the action. When you act loving towards yourself over and over, the feeling will follow and that's powerful stuff.
[00:03:42] So I want to tell you about the story of me becoming a mom. I was 30 when I had my first child, and of course I had in my mind exactly what this experience was going to be like, and it was nothing like what I thought it was going to be like.
[00:03:55] My first son, his name is Carsten, was incredibly colicky. If you've had a colicky baby or been around somebody who's had a colicky baby, you understand what an experience that is. It's not a pleasant experience. He was so needy. He just was loud and angry and crying all the time. We actually took him to the emergency room after some time of this because the doctor kept telling us nothing was wrong.
[00:04:20] We were like, "there's gotta be something wrong with this kid tonight," and they were really nice. They were like, "it's fine, there's nothing wrong. He'll be okay." And it was like two and a half months later. Like he'll be, by the time he's four months, he'll be fine. It was not-- there was not a lot of comfort in the moment.
[00:04:35] But the more I served Carsten-- because look, I had to help this kid. He was my baby and whether he was screaming for the 10th hour in a row or not, I just served him and served him and served him. And the love I had for him grew and grew and grew. Even though he was being insanely difficult and annoying, right? When you serve someone, you develop love for that person.
[00:05:00] It's a really interesting principle. I don't know if you can think of other times in your life when you've seen that in action, it works the same way with yourself. Serve yourself, act with loving kindness towards yourself over and over and that feeling of love will follow.
[00:05:18] Now you might think I'm going to head down the self-care route here, like massages and face masks and manicures and I love all of that stuff. You see me on my stories and doing all of the fun self-care things and we can talk about those things another time. It's not where I want to go today. I want to talk about two small, but ultimately huge ways to love yourself, as in the verb. Love yourself.
[00:05:45] Number one: talk kindly to yourself. This is a recurring topic with a lot of my one-on-one online coaching clients. Wow they can rake themselves over the coals. I think we're all really pretty good at that, and I bet you can relate to that if you're listening to this podcast. So, my clients and I, we video text -- I'll send them a video, they'll send me videos back. And so sometimes after they send me a video listing all the terrible things they did, right? In their mind. I'm air quoting that. They'd have just ripped themselves a new one for whatever shortcomings and failures they saw in themselves. And so, I'll send them a video text back and I'll say, "hi, my friend. Do me a favor. That last video you sent me, I want you to come back on here, and I want you to pretend that I was the one who did whatever the thing was."
[00:06:38] So let's just pretend that they had gone on and on about how, how they overeat on the weekend. I'll say, "hey, do me a favor. Come back on here. Pretend that I just told you that I did all the things you did, that I worried on the weekend. And then I want you to use the exact language you just used about yourself to me. I want you to respond to me using those same words."
[00:06:59] And they'll come back on and they're always smiling and laughing, they're like, "oh my gosh, Kim. I'm not saying that to you." I'm like, "no, you tell me. Tell me what did I do," and yet they're like, "right, okay. I get it," right? Before I even explain to them the point, they get the point because they would never speak to me that way.
[00:07:17] So if-- do you do this? You do this right? You wouldn't speak to anyone the way that you speak to yourself. So, if you wouldn't speak to your friend that way, and you wouldn't speak to your kid that way, you probably wouldn't speak to a stranger that way, or maybe even somebody who was bugging you -- you wouldn't speak to that way.
[00:07:35] Why do you allow yourself to speak to yourself that way? And it flows so easily, right? This is an ingrained habit and you won't change that just because you're having a lightbulb moment listening to me now. It's important. The awareness is the first step. Becoming aware of how you speak to yourself and about yourself is important.
[00:07:56] I want you to pay attention to how you speak to yourself, both out loud and in your head. If it's in-your-head talk, speak it out loud as soon as it is reasonably possible so that you can hear it. Now, if you're at the grocery store, like wandering around and being like, if I was there and be like, "Kim, why does everything take you so long? Why are you so slow? Could you be any more distracted?" Like, these are the things that go on in my head sometimes. Okay, I'm probably-- I probably won't start saying that out loud to myself in the store, but I could go out to the car and say those things so that I could hear them. So, do that to yourself.
[00:08:31] When you notice in-your-head talk that's very not kind to yourself, say it out loud or write it out so that you can really hear it. And then when you do, I want you to question it. Seriously talk back to those words. Is it even true? Maybe it is. Maybe you did overeat last weekend. Okay, so maybe it's true, or maybe you're blowing it way out of proportion. Maybe you're expecting perfection. So maybe the things you're saying aren't even accurate. So, that's step one.
[00:08:59] And then whether it's true or not, give it the best friend test. Would you speak to your best friend about this situation the way that you're speaking to yourself about that situation? What would you say?
[00:09:16] Would you tell her she should just give up because she never gets anything right? Would you do that? Would you look for something in the story that she told you that like, "hey, but you know, you totally overate Saturday. I gotcha, and you even started overeating Sunday, but part way through Sunday, remember when you told me that you, like, you just sat the donut down and you're like, 'whoa, I'm not going to keep going that?' Hey, do more of that. Like, next weekend try and do that sooner. That was great."
[00:09:42] Would you look for things that you could encourage her about? You would, right? Do that for yourself. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your friend. Give it the best friend test.
[00:09:54] Okay, let's move on from, um, from that piece. Let's talk about a second way to love yourself in the verb sense: and that is acknowledging and celebrating your wins.
[00:10:06] We see so clearly our shortcomings. I bet if I asked you right now-- literally I want you to do this. I bet if I asked you, you could roll off your tongue at least five things you could give yourself a big, like, "duh, face-plant. I can't believe I did that in the past 24 hours."
[00:10:22] I can. I can. Last night I struggled to set my new alarm clock. I bought an alarm clock it took me forever to figure it out. This morning, I didn't know that my 16-year-old son had school today. I didn't know he had school. He goes to a local high school half the day and a tech school, the other half of the day. Well, this is his first year doing that, he's 16, but you know, it is February. He's been in school some time and just because the local school has off doesn't mean tech school has off and we've been through this before. The high school has off today and yeah, he was in bed. I didn't know my kid was supposed to be at school.
[00:11:01] I still have a sink full of dishes. It's like two o'clock in the afternoon, sink full of dishes. I haven't finished organizing my closet that I was supposed to have finished last weekend. I was going to get it done before my husband came home from his second business trip. He's coming home tonight in eight hours, about eight hours, there are laundry baskets full of various items getting ready-- they're all nice and sorted. It's not happening. It's not happening. There you go, five things that I had just today, I was like, "whoa."
[00:11:29] Okay. Did you do it? Write down for yourself-- five things that you're like, "whoa, can't believe I did that today."
[00:11:37] Okay, now what about this question? What if I asked you to tell me five wins from the past 24 hours, past day? What have you done well?
[00:11:48] That's harder, right? It's harder. I can do it right now, but I knew I was going to ask myself this, so I had a little bit of a heads up, but it can be harder. So, I've stuck with my 30-day mobility challenge nine out of nine days. Nine out of nine days I did that. I didn't yell at my son for not knowing he had school. I wanted to, but we just laughed.
[00:12:10] I cleaned off my desk. My desktop is nice and clean. I helped clients that I adore through some big stuff in the past 24 hours. Very skillfully, I might add. I'm fricking good at what I do. I coached them up hard. And I figured that ridiculous clock out. I did. It took me a while, but I figured it out. Is it weird to hear someone praising themselves like that?
[00:12:34] We need more of that. You need more of that about you from you. When this episode is over, I want you to write down five wins you've had in the past 24 hours. Five. Big, small, medium, doesn't matter. Acknowledge them. Make this a habit. Look for and either out-loud speak or in writing put them down. Deal?
[00:13:06] Look, this self-love shizz ain't easy. It's work just like any other relationship, but you deserve it. You do. You deserve it. Next time you read some motivational posts about how you should love yourself and you start getting that little feeling of like, "ugh, but I don't really love myself." I want you to remember that you're working on that.
[00:13:30] Love isn't just a feeling. You are practicing acting loving towards yourself. That feeling will follow. It might take time, but you will feel it growing.
[00:13:42] You got this, my friend. Love you.
[00:13:49] 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.
[00:14:00] 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.
Hot Topics- Super Bowl Half Time Show: Empowering or Objectifying? Whole 30: Science Backed Or Fad Diet?
Hot Topics- Super Bowl Half Time: Empowering or
Objectifying? Whole 30: Science-based or Fad Diet?
Kim: [00:00:04] Welcome back to the Fitness Simplified Podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag.
On today's episode, I have Amanda Howell with me. Amanda is a nutritionist and a public
health educator. Amanda and I had selected a topic to discuss together today and, in the
meantime, a hot topic came up that we were both spending an awful lot of time chatting
about in our Instagram stories: Sunday night's halftime show at the Super Bowl.
Now, Amanda and I did not see eye to eye on what we saw and what it meant, um, how
people were reacting to it, and so I asked her if she would be okay if we kind of hashed it out
here together on the podcast. In the end, we agree on more than I had anticipated, which is
a good thing, right? You get two people who seem to disagree and bring them together and
you can find some common ground.
So, we talk about what we saw with J-Lo and Shakira -- was it empowering? Was it
objectifying? I'd be interested to hear your opinion on that as well. So that's part one of the
episode. After that dive into our originally scheduled topic, which is Whole 30. If you've done
a round of Whole 30, if you're considering doing a round of Whole 30 this will be of interest
We talk about what Whole 30 is, what we see that's good about it, what we see that's
problematic about it is it, is it science-based, and what our recommendations about Whole
30 are for you. So, tune in, give it a listen, and let me know what you think.
Well hello, Amanda. Welcome to the Fitness Simplified Podcast.
Amanda: [00:01:40] Hi. Thank you for having me.
Kim: [00:01:42] I am thrilled we could make this work. Now you're calling from the beautiful
Rocky Mountains in Colorado, correct?
Amanda: [00:01:48] I am -- and not so beautiful right now. It was 74 degrees 24 hours ago
and now we have about eight inches of snow.
Kim: [00:01:55] Wait, it was 74 degrees in Colorado?
Amanda: [00:01:58] It was beautiful. I was outside the tee shirt and then I woke up and it
Kim: [00:02:02] But snowing at this time of year is what you expect, right?
Amanda: [00:02:06] Not really. A lot of people think Colorado is super snowy-- if you're
along the front range, so in like the Denver/Boulder/Fort Collins area -- it's actually super
mild. It's about 50 degrees and sunny most of the year. And then obviously in the summer
we get the higher 90-degree days, but not overly snowy down here. If we want snow, we
have to go up into the mountains.
Kim: [00:02:23] Okay. That is shocking to me. Clearly, I know nothing about Colorado
Amanda: [00:02:28] Everyone thinks that, everyone. They're like, are you in an igloo all the
time? Nope, not really.
Kim: [00:02:34] Wow. So, if you want to go to the mountains and have snow, usually, is it
just a quick drive?
Amanda: [00:02:39] Oh yeah. I mean, you can get up into even the closer ski resorts and
maybe about 45 minutes, and then the farther ones can be up to two hours.
But yeah. So basically, if you, if you want snow, if you want snowboarding, head out, get
your fill, come back down. It's usually sunny and nice down here.
Kim: [00:02:56] I had no idea. That's, that's amazing. We actually-- so I'm just outside
Philadelphia and we had a beautiful day yesterday as well. It was almost 60 degrees here
and that's bizarre for this time of year here.
Amanda: [00:03:08] Yeah, I was seeing everybody's posts across the country and everyone
was like, "it's so nice, the sun is out."
Kim: [00:03:14] h well, well at least we got one good day cause it's raining back here now.
Amanda: [00:03:18] Oh, bummer.
Kim: [00:03:19] Yeah, I know. But you know, I was happy with the one good day. So, for
those of you listening who do not know, Amanda, Amanda and I, well, we know-- I'm putting
that in quotation marks. We know each other. It's so funny how Instagram works. I feel like I
know all these people and I'm like, you really don't know them, Kim. So, Amanda and I are
friendly on Instagram. Amanda has an amazing account. Amanda, shout out your handle
now. And we'll do it again.
Amanda: [00:03:42] It's just @amandahowellhealth, all one word
Kim: [00:03:45] And two L's, right?
Amanda: [00:03:46] Yes.
Kim: [00:03:47] In Howell, okay, so Amanda has an amazing page.
She talks about nutrition. She's a nutritionist, and you have a master's in public health,
correct? Did I get that right?
Amanda: [00:03:56] Yeah, that's right.
Kim: [00:03:58] And she talks about health and she talks about nutrition and she talks about
fitness and what I really love, Amanda, your posts go in so deep, you don't just kind of touch
on a subject, you really dive deep. And I love that.
their-- they have an online course, I'm taking it with my daughter right now, learning about
body image. And their whole premise is that our bodies are not ornaments, that we are not
here for other people's viewing pleasure yet we are so often in that mindset, we actually
look at ourselves through the lens of how are other people seeing us. And that's what I saw
watching that game. I really saw it through what was happening with that camera. And I
went back and compared last year show, and then I compared, even, I don't know what year
it was that Beyoncé was there with Coldplay, and, um, Bruno Mars, and it's very interesting
that the women -- it is about their bodies. The way the camera follows them, the angles, it's
coming up. No one is doing that with the men. And even, if we come back to the clothing
aspect, the men are always completely clothed and honestly can show up-- it's the honesty
looks like, like Chris Martin just like rolled out of bed, like just showed up with his tee shirt
on, right? The women are never wearing pants. Is it because they're choosing it or is it
because they know that that's the rules of the game? They show up and they're looked at.
Amanda: [00:11:15] Well, and that's where you and I, we are totally in agreement there. It's
the differences between the camera men and how they're shooting.
I mean, we can't put that on J-Lo or Shakira. That's not their responsibility, you know? And
that's like an entire separate discussion too, it's how the media portrays women. If we had
the exact same camerawork on, you know, any gentleman up there that we had on women,
I think it would have been a lot less sexualized.
Kim: [00:11:45] I think you're absolutely right. And it happens over and over and over in so
many different ways, and I, I don't think people-- I don't think it's actually at all recognized in
people's mind that that's what they're viewing and that it's different at all.
People kept showing the pictures of Adam Levine yesterday, next to J-Lo, and that's why I
went back and watched it. There's just not the same tone. It's just not at all.
Amanda: [00:12:07] No, I mean, we all saw the camera zooming in on boobs and butts, and
that's unfortunately, again, we can't put that responsibility on the women performing.
That's not, it's not their responsibility. That's on the people who are portraying the
performance on the media. And again, whole separate conversation. I don't even know
where to start with that one. It's a mess.
Kim: [00:12:30] It is a mess. And for me, that's when I-- when I got on my stories and was
talking about like what I saw at the Super Bowl and why I didn't think it was appropriate.
A lot of what I have to say, the first thing I noticed, like I think J-Lo and Shakira are amazingly
talented. I think that, you know, they have so much-- they have worked so hard and I do not
feel that their message-- look, they clearly had a big political statement or two to make up
there, and I feel that it was not, it's not looked upon in the same way as a man making that
kind of political statement because the message was so overwhelmingly about their bodies.
How much of that was them versus how much of it was the producers and the, you know,
whoever's in charge of shooting that thing, I don't know. But I feel like their message, that
was so important, both, it was only there because they were allowed to be there being
sexual beings and it's just so overwhelmingly about their bodies.
Amanda: [00:13:22] Yeah, well, and kind of looking at it from a cultural perspective too, one
of the-- two of the things I was noticing that I was, I was having a really hard time with was
first, the slut-shaming. Just because you, and I'm saying this, you know, generally speaking,
you, a person, tends to be more modest absolutely does not give you permission to shame
another woman for the length of her skirt. It's unacceptable, always, across the board, all
the time. So that was one of the issues I was having, first and foremost. And then second,
not many people that I saw posting are familiar with the Latino style of dance.
It's very much about your hips and your movement and your body and just because we, as
Americans, don't understand or don't agree, doesn't mean we get to take it out of context
and then shame or sexualize it. What Shakira was doing, if you actually dig in and learn
about it, it's really interesting. I mean, she pulled in her Colombian background, she pulled in
her Arabic background, her Lebanese background.
It was insane how much she put into that performance and all anybody saw was, you know,
her, her underwear showing. You know what I mean? Like it was just people focused on the
absolute wrong part of that.
Kim: [00:14:53] Yeah. And how much of that-- look, I totally get what you're saying and I
agree. I think that the styles of dance that we're used to in America are definitely, um...
Amanda: [00:15:03] Conservative or reserved.
Kim: [00:15:04] Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. And so, you know, that's not at all what was up
there. And I will say, is it possible, had she done all of those things you just described, which
were amazing and exotic, and you know, a nod to her cultural heritage and how amazing for
all of those people. And I saw lots of people who were like, wow, I feel seen and heard and
that's amazing. What if she had done all of those things without the edge of sexuality that
had nothing to do with those things. Right? So, what if she was doing those things and we
weren't having camera shots of her underwear and her and J-Lo weren't grabbing their
crotches and their boobs so much, which has nothing to do with anybody's cultural heritage,
What if they weren't doing those things? Could we have appreciated the message and the
beauty of, you know, the dances of her various cultures better? Would we have-- would we
have been able to receive it differently?
Amanda: [00:15:56] Could the camera work and been better? Absolutely. Yeah. I don't
know, and I don't know, again, how to, how to even breach that subject, um, it's like a whole
different, whole different post, but yeah, I guess at the same time, it's just are-- do people
have the capacity, though, to understand? Because honestly-- and I'm always reluctant to
say this kind of stuff, but based on some of the comments I see, I don't know if people are
willing to look beyond their box. I think they just want to yell and shame sometimes, and
Kim: [00:16:28] Yeah, I think you're right. I think there's definitely been a lot of just yelling
and shaming and just knee-jerk reaction, um, to, to what they saw for sure.
Amanda: [00:16:37] I was very impressed. I had a few people reach out to me and say, I
totally had this knee-jerk reaction, and then I actually, you know, read your posts and I dug
into it a little deeper and I learned so much about Shakira's background and I changed my,
you know, my viewpoint towards this. And I was like, that, that's incredible. I love it-- with
me as well, I feel like the sign of intelligence is being able to take that initial, like a gut
reaction, sit with it for a second, explore a little further, open your mind a little bit and say,
"oh shoot. I was totally looking at that through a very limited lens."
Kim: [00:17:18] Yeah, absolutely. I agree with you and it, and it can be hard and I think it
challenged a lot of people. Um, we're going to have to move on to Whole 30 here in just a
Amanda: [00:17:26] We need a whole different podcast on this.
Kim: [00:17:28] I know, I know. It was just so interesting. I have to tell you, I spent far too
much of my time and emotional energy on the Super Bowl yesterday.
I had a whole list of things I did not get done because I think this is, I think it's important. You
know, there is such different ideas like was it empowering? Was it not empowering? And
the, the quote this morning, the whole post from beauty redefined, I really appreciated
'cause they, their viewpoint was that it was both. It was both empowering and it was
Um, and I'm going to read this a little bit of this-- I don't know what you think about this, I'd
be curious to hear. Objectification is complicated. It diminishes our empowerment by
distracting us, draining us, and destroying our self-worth due to a fixation on how others
perceive us. It always has and it always will. Still there's no denying that playing by the rules
of objectification can have its rewards and open up doors that are closed to those who won't
or can't play.
And that's kind of what I saw on the stage there is like, two powerful women, but they're up
there on the biggest stage still being objectified.
Amanda: [00:18:28] Well, and it's, it's-- I love that post, by the way. That's why I put it in my
stories for another perspective. Um, but it's also so hard because it's like how, how much of
it, and I don't want to use the word fault, but I feel like for lack of better, for lack of better
words, how much of it was their fault or how much of it was how the media hypersexualizes
and portrays women. It's just so challenging.
Kim: [00:18:51] It is. It is. So, I guess what we're going to leave everyone with this discussion
is we have more questions than answers.
Amanda: [00:18:57] It's just a messy middle on everything.
Kim: [00:19:01] It is. It is. Absolutely. All right. Well, let's move on to a totally different
subject. We're going to switch gears here. So, as I said, Amanda has very in-depth posts
Does Weight Loss Food Have To Be Boring?
Kim: [00:00:00] Welcome back to the Fitness Simplified podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag.
[00:00:08] Today's episode is a solo episode. On these episodes, I answer the questions you've asked on Instagram in a way that allows me to go into much more depth than I can there on stories.
[00:00:20] These might be questions about fat loss or exercise. They might be practical tips or more psychological mindset strategies, all things that are going to help you on your fitness journey.
[00:00:32] Let's get on to the episode.
[00:00:38] Hello, my friend. Thanks so much for joining me here today. It is a beautiful day here in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The sun is shining. I'm heading out for a little walk right after I record this episode. How about you? Have you moved very much today? Check your step tracker. How are you doing? If you haven't moved very much today and you're sitting right now while you listen to my podcast, get up.
[00:01:03] It's time to get moving. Unless you're driving a car. Stay seated, then, but if you're sitting on your sofa, if you're laying on your bed, get up. Let's get some movement in.
[00:01:14] Here is a question for you: true or false? Weight loss food is so boring. I say it depends and is boring necessarily bad? So, let's start there.
[00:01:33] There are a lot of things we do every day that aren't necessarily exciting, but they have a payoff. So, take brushing your teeth for an example. Are you like woo hoo! Teeth time!? Probably not. Right? How about taking out the trash or doing the dishes, do you get amped up for that? I don't, but I sure do like the feeling of a clean kitchen.
[00:01:58] How many emails a day do you send that aren't literary masterpieces? Most of them, right? We're not going to knock anyone's socks off, but they get the job done. Eating can be and should be enjoyable, but it doesn't have to be a showstopper every single meal. So, challenge yourself on your expectations for what level of excitement is necessary for a daily meal.
[00:02:27] And going along with that, and this is a really big topic that I have and we'll continue to discuss; if your food is the main thing that you look forward to in life, it's probably time to take a look at your life and your choices because you should be finding joy and fulfillment and excitement in many other places other than food. It's a big topic for another episode.
[00:02:57] Now, it's also important to remind yourself that weight loss isn't punishment and your meals don't have to be blah to be effective. So, couple of things you can do: first one is kind of a biggie. Spend some time up front, compiling a list of go-to meals that, help you stay in your deficit, help you hit your protein target, fill you up, they have plenty of nutrient dense foods, and you like them. That's important. Okay, I'm going to share my list with you. A lot of the recipes I'm going to mention here, you can find at the hashtag on Instagram, #KimSchlagFitnessRecipes. Most of them are there.
[00:03:44] So when I say compile a list, it doesn't have to be pages long. I've thought about maybe seven or eight things for, for each of these categories. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I rotate through them. So, here are my breakfast, my breakfast go-tos: protein pancakes-these don't have any protein powder in them, by the way- baked proatmeal with raspberries, stove top proatmeal with raspberries.
[00:04:10] Okay, you're going to notice a trend here. I really like raspberries. Greek yogurt with hot raspberries. Scrambled eggs and egg whites with spinach, egg white muffin cups with vegetables, homemade egg McMuffins, cottage cheese and cucumbers. Those are my go-to breakfasts. Lunch, I really have about three different things.
[00:04:35] The most common thing that I have for lunch is a chopped salad with protein. I vary the flavors. Chop salad with protein is one of my go-tos. Leftovers from dinner. That's a biggie for me as well. Or, the third thing I have in my lunch rotation, which I make fresh each time I make it, is high protein pizza.
[00:04:54] Those are my three lunch go-tos. I like to have a big salad every single day, and lunch is often the spot for me to find it.
[00:05:03] Okay, dinner. I have a template I follow for dinner and I follow this template most of the time and it looks like this: a protein, one or two vegetables, and a fruit. I do have non fruit and veggie carb sources sometimes, but the thing is, my family, they're big on carbs. Their other meals are really carb-heavy, and so I don't feel the need to give them an extra carb at dinner besides fruit and vegetables. Doesn't mean we don't do it sometimes, we definitely do, probably not even twice a week, maybe twice a week. It depends on the week. We'll have a more starchy carb; rice, potatoes, pasta, those kinds of things. Otherwise, the meals really are protein, vegetable or two, and fruit. The fruit is typically melon or apples or berries or grapes. It really could be whatever fruit is around.
[00:06:00] Veggies? My family's pretty boring. They pretty much like peas, beans, corn, uh, and I don't really any of those, unless it's corn on the cob. I make myself a salad to go along with the meal pretty much every night. Or if I'm grilling, I'll do something like zucchini on the grill. That's definitely a favorite of mine. Or in the oven I will do baked zucchini.
[00:06:25] So those are some of my go-to side dishes. Obviously, that's really easy stuff. For the main meals themselves, it's almost always either chicken, beef, pork loin. Those are my three go-tos. Pork loin, almost always either mustard covered pork loin or barbecue pork loin, Crock Pot or oven. Beef: grilled flank steak, grilled sirloin, London Broil, or pot roast.
[00:06:57] Chicken: I have a handful of chicken recipes I do. If I'm using the oven, I have a breaded chicken and I have a sheet pan chicken with Italian spices. If I'm using the grill: Hawaiian chicken, Sriracha chicken, those are my favorites. If I'm using the Crock Pot: salsa chicken, barbecue chicken.
[00:07:17] Okay, what I've just said to you in the past few minutes is like, that's like 90% of what I eat.
[00:07:24] Oh, I forgot two things. I also often make a stir fry or burritos. Those are the other kind of dinners I make that aren't just strictly protein veggie, although for me, they pretty much turn out to be . Sometimes I'll add the rice for the stir fry, sometimes they will use an actual burrito shell, sometimes I'll just turn it into more of a taco salad.
[00:07:43] Once you have your list compiled, and I would definitely want you to compile one, the next thing you're going to do when you have these recipes, not even the next thing, as you're doing these, you need to make sure that the flavors you're choosing are flavors you like, and they don't have to be boring.
[00:08:01] One of the problems that people run to, they're like, "oh, chicken again..." they're not cooking their chicken very well. It's just dry chicken. You know, I don't just bake my chicken on its own very often. I have one baked chicken, the sheet pan chicken recipe, that's really good. Otherwise, I'm really putting my chicken on a grill or in a crockpot -- something to make it really moist and flavorful. And going along with that, I marinate it. I'm not just shaking some dry seasoning on my chicken and throwing it in the pan or on the grill. So, I use flavors I like, and I look for some that are lower in calories. Salsa is a big one for that. Mustard is another really big one. It has practically zero calories, it's so flavorful. Nothing boring about mustard. If you've never seen stone ground mustard, look in your mustard aisle and they look like little tiny seeds. They are. They're mustard seeds, they're little pellets. You don't have to do anything to it. You literally take that out and slather it on your meat and cook it and it is delicious. It makes like a little crust. It's so yummy. Very low in calorie.
[00:09:09] I also, for any of my beef that I make, I make a mustard sauce that I put on after. So I cook the meat on the grill, I take it off -- or in the oven if it's a London broil -- I take it out and then while the meat is kind of setting, I mixed up a sauce of Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and fresh parsley that's just like rough chopped. Put that on it and let it sit for a minute. It's delicious. And again, it adds practically zero calories, but so much flavor. And so, if you're bored with your food, there's a chance you're not doing much with flavor and flavor doesn't have to equal high-calorie.
[00:09:47] So I hit on the next thing that I really do to flavor things well, and that is fresh herbs. They pack so much more flavor than just the dried herbs. My two go-tos, are parsley and cilantro. I prefer flat Italian parsley versus the curly parsley. They're both good though.
[00:10:08] You can rough chop any of those things, parsley, cilantro, even dill and throw them in your salad, put them on your meat and it just makes everything kind of thing pop. Really delicious. It doesn't take that much effort either.
[00:10:22] Now, not everything, and this is a big problem I see, not everything has to be super low calorie. This is something that I have changed my opinion on over the years. If you look way back on my Instagram feed, like two years ago, two plus years ago, you will see post ideas, things like a hundred calorie snacks and salads under 250 calories. Now, the reason I changed my mind about this is if you make your meals satisfying enough, all those extra calories that you were kind of saving for snacks or treats for later on, you're not going to need. You don't need to save your calories for-- I guess I always had the idea of like, "oh, let's see how low calorie we can get the meal," and in reality, that's not a very helpful way to look at it. A better way to look at it is, "how satisfying can I make this meal?"
[00:11:16] If you are physically satisfied as in your hunger is satiated and you've enjoyed your eating experience, it has tasted good, you're not going to be white-knuckling it until you can get to the "good stuff," right? You're not going to necessarily need something highly hyper-palatable later. You've already had this amazingly delicious meal and you feel mentally satisfied with that meal.
[00:11:41] So, what that means is you don't always have to be the person who is eating zoodles instead of pasta. You don't always have to choose the cauliflower rice instead of regular rice. You don't have to choose zero calorie salad dressing all the time. Maybe using a 60 or 80 calorie salad dressing means you really enjoy your salad versus the zero-calorie salad dressing where you really just kind of tolerate it.
[00:12:08] You don't have to wrap every taco you do, every burrito you do in a lettuce wrap, you could use an actual tortilla. So, you plan your calories in this way. And again, working to not make every meal as few calories as possible might be a big mental shift for you. And what that means is maybe you're not going to have as many snacks, but you're going to enjoy your meals much more if you allot enough calories to make them tasty.
[00:12:37] Another problem that I see a lot on Instagram and Pinterest is people really try and "healthify" old favorite foods and make these "healthy" versions, and I'm putting healthy and air quotes, you cannot see me, I'm just air quoting like crazy over here. Now the problem is that those foods don't often taste that great.
[00:12:59] They may leave you more unsatisfied and wanting maybe the real thing anyway. And newsflash, just because something has healthy ingredients doesn't mean that it has saved you any calories. The healthy version is often just as many calories as the regular old standard version, and you might find yourself still wanting something that tastes better.
[00:13:23] How I have come to handle this is I just have the thing I want. So if I want a cookie, I'm not going to go looking to make myself a healthy version of a cookie, I'm going to eat a regular old cookie with regular old sugar and regular old white flour, and I'm going to do it in such a way that it is portioned appropriately to the rest of my food.
[00:13:46] What I mean by that is 80 to 90% of my food on a daily basis is healthy, nutrient dense food -- vegetables and fruit and lean protein and complex carbohydrates. I don't need to get nutrition from a cookie. I'm just going to get a cookie from a cookie. Does that make sense? Give that some thought. Why is it that we're trying to make cookies be more than cookies or brownies be more than brownies? Can't they just be cookies? Can't they just be brownies and give us a little bit of deliciousness without having to give us whole bunch of nutrients of nutrition? Right? So, we can get our nutrition from the rest of our diets and we need to prioritize that and have the cookie be the minority of our meals, snacks, and the other stuff, be the majority.
[00:14:43] Okay, so I want to leave you with an action item. Couple of things I want you to do. Two action items: I want you to challenge yourself on the idea that every meal has to be an event, and I want you to do some thinking and even some journaling about if you are always looking forward to your food, if that's like on a Friday, the thing you're looking forward to most is getting the food over the weekend.
[00:15:12] I want you to kind of write about what is it you're really looking for. Are you looking for relaxation? Are you looking for company? What is it you really are missing in your life? And start thinking about ways to get that outside of food. Then I want you to brainstorm your go-to meals. Okay? Make a list of breakfast, lunches and dinners, and you heard mine. It's not that long. It was like six, seven, eight things for each of those. And remember lunch was mostly leftovers and salad. So, this will take a little chunk of time, but it's not going to take that much time. And in the end, it will save you time because you'll have this master list to go from, and then you just kind of rotate through it.
[00:15:54] It doesn't have to be a different food every day. You could eat the same thing for breakfast until you get ready to try something else and then you pick another one from your list. So, brainstorm your go-to meals. Remember that you're looking for things that are going to get you plenty of protein, plenty of nutrition, that you enjoy.
[00:16:14] Ask yourself as you're writing this list down, do I enjoy this? Is it satisfying to me? If you can't say yes to that, it's out. It's off the list. Only keep things on the list that you like. That gets you plenty of protein, that get you plenty of nutrition, that keep you full and satisfied. If you need some ideas head to that hashtag I gave you an Instagram #KimSchlagFitnessRecipes. There's lots of ideas. I think almost every single thing I mentioned from my list today is on there. If not, you can always ask me questions, you can shoot me a DM on Instagram, you can even drop it here in the reviews and leave me a comment about recipe ideas that you want from me or that you have that you would like to share with everybody.
[00:16:56] So your food does not have to be boring, weight loss is not a punishment, but have reasonable expectations for what you need from a meal and then do some legwork now so that you're prepared to make meals that are satisfying and interesting to you on a daily basis.
[00:17:16] I sure hope this has helped, that it has been useful, and I will see you back here next week.
[00:17:30] 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.
[00:17:42] 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.
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Fitness Simplified Eposode 43
Welcome back to the Fitness Simplified podcast. I'm your host Kim Schlag.
On today's episode, I speak with a woman named Deborah about fatigue eating. Now Deborah reached out to me via DM on Instagram and asked if I had an episode like this. I did not. And so I invited her on to kind of hash it out. This is a format I used to do a lot when I first started the podcast, and I would love to do some more episodes like this. It's a great way for you to get some one on one coaching like I do with my clients. So if you are interested in coming on the podcast, and having me help you through an issue you are having with your nutrition or your fitness or your weight loss, shoot me a DM and let me know what your question is. and we'll see about getting some of you on here. Alright, let's listen in now as Deborah and I talk through what to do if you find yourself in the snack cupboard, just because you're tired.
Deborah, welcome to the Fitness Simplified Podcast. I'm super excited to have you here today.
Thanks. I'm definitely excited to be here.
So, look, why don't we start here? Why don't you introduce yourself? Tell everybody a little bit about you, where you're calling from, your family life, just a little bit about you.
Sure. Um, so my name is Deborah and I live in Dallas, Texas - born and raised, Texas. I have been an athlete most of my life, but I've also been overweight most of my life. I have a wonderful husband and I have two kids. My oldest is four years old and my youngest is two years old.
Wow. Four and two.
Yes, it's a busy time of life.
Oh, my goodness. It sure is boy, girl, both?
Both. Yeah, so the oldest is a boy and the youngest is a girl.
Got it. So, four and two -- that is a very physically demanding time of life.
Yes, for sure. I think I feel like it's demanding like physically, emotionally, spiritually.
All of it.
Yeah. All the ways, all the ways. And do you have family close by or you guys kinda on your own?
My husband's family lives in the Metroplex as well. And then my family's actually from Waco, so there, you know, two-ish hours away.
Okay. And do you stay home with the kiddos? Do you work? What do you do?
A little of both. So, um, I mostly stay at home with my kids, they are old enough now that they do go to like a mother's-day-out program, two or three days a week, just depending on the week, and then I also work from home. So, I am an online teacher. I teach ESL to kiddos in China. And yeah, so for this past year I was getting up at four or 5am. Monday through Friday to teach but after a year of that, that really took a toll on my health and so the past month or two, I've been cutting back on that. And just doing that one or two days a week.
Got it. And that actually leads nicely into our topic here.
So, Deborah, and I know each other through Jordan Syatt's, Inner Circle, and Deborah reached out to me, she listens to my podcast and was asked me if I had a podcast or knew if Jordan had a podcast about a certain subject. And that is why we're on this podcast today. Because the answer was no, I didn't have one. And I didn't think Jordan did either. So, Deborah, tell us what was the subject you reached out to me about?
Sure. So, I struggle a lot with snacking, I'm sure like most moms struggle with that because there's just not a lot of time. Once you take care of your kiddos and get them to where they need to be and getting naps and all that stuff. There just doesn't seem to be a lot of time. And also, I've been listening to your podcast, Kim, and I also follow Marcy on Instagram. And I've really been learning about mindful eating and trying to eat when I'm hungry, or at least being aware, like when I open the pantry, what is going on? Why am I opening the pantry door if I'm not hungry, and what I've realized over the past month or two is that a lot of times I'm not actually eating out of boredom or out of stress, a lot of times I'm eating because I am tired. And so, I'm looking for some sort of boost of energy and I just automatically start looking for chocolate or looking for some sort of like highly sugared processed carb of some sort. So that's why I reached that to you, because I've heard a lot about, you know, emotional eating, and I'm sure I have a little bit of that too. But I feel like the majority of my struggle with is that fatigue eating, fatigue snacking.
Gotcha. Fatigue snacking. I bet a lot of people are shaking their heads right now and being like, yes, I do that. There are a lot of tired people out there.
Let's start here. When you are snacking in that way, does it help in the moment? So, let's say you’re really tired and you're digging around in the pantry and you find some snacks. Does it work?
I feel like for a very, very short time period it works like for maybe like, you know, 5-10 minutes, I feel a little bit better. And then it quickly drops off. And so I want another hit.
Got it. So it's working in the immediate short-term. But super, super immediate.
Very short term.
Yeah, that's important to pick apart. So let's talk about this then. One of the most important things in a situation like this is to get to the root of the issue. So, there's a couple of things we could talk about today. We definitely should address like the fact that you're perpetually tired, right? See what can be done about that. And then we can talk about addressing your nutrition as a whole and then addressing eating for reasons other than hunger. So let's start with the sleep itself. What is your sleep? It sounds like you've made some changes in the past month that sound like they're heading in the right direction. Because what time did you say you were getting up? Four?
I used to get up at four or five in the morning and then teach for like two or three hours straight, and then try to be a stay at home mom to my kids. And I was realizing that like my temper was getting shorter and shorter. I was tired just all the time, never had energy, and had really poor workouts. So my husband finally was just like you need to cut back this year.
And how have you -- how has it improved in the time since you've not been getting up at four every day? How many days of the week were you doing that?
I was doing that five days a week.
And now? What are you doing now?
And now maybe one day a week? I was able to switch it to where I'm mostly just teaching like on Friday evenings. Which is a lot more doable.
Got it. So how much sleep are you getting currently? Do you know how many hours of sleep a night?
Yeah, so I track it on a fitness device actually, because I've been curious about it. And so now for about the past month or so I've been getting between seven and eight hours, which is awesome. So I feel way better in the mornings.
Good. That's fantastic. And are you still feeling as tired? Do you feel like you're still at such a lack of sleep? Going for so long sleep deprived?
Yeah, I mean, I can tell that my body is still recovering or at least I think that's what's happening is that it's still recovering because I do still feel like I need even more sleep than what I'm getting. Like, if I could nap in the middle of the day, I totally would because I'm still fatigued. But it is a lot better. But I also just feel like I got into the habit, like, in this past year, of doing that for a whole year getting up Monday through Friday so early in the morning, I just feel like now I have kind of a more ingrained habit of just turning to the pantry whenever I'm tired in the middle of the day.
Got it. Gotcha. That makes perfect sense.
So, what are your sleep habits like? When you go to bed at night you have a sleep routine? What's your nighttime routine like?
Um, I've only just in the past couple weeks actually started making that one of my goals. I know Jordan was posting about making goals for the day, like action goals. And so I've only recently started doing that. And so one of them is to be in bed by 10 o'clock. I'm a big bookworm, and so I have to be in bed by 10 o'clock, even if I'm still reading, and then I tried it to turn off the lamp and put my book down by 11, if not sooner.
Great. And how successful are you putting the book down?
Depends on the book. But most of the time. I'm pretty good about that. So yeah, I usually fall asleep between 10 and 11 and then I have an alarm that goes off at seven o'clock so I can get up and have a cup of coffee before my kids get up.
Okay, great. I will say it sounds like the actual sleep habits itself, it sounds like you're getting a real handle on that, that you have a schedule now that's going to allow you seven to eight hours of sleep, and you're not staying up, you know, playing on your screens late at night.
Most of the time I don't.
Most of the time you don't, yeah. Look, I'm a person who also loves to read and I know that 10 can bleed into 11, can bleed into 12 if it the book is good enough, right? That little piece of discipline can help but it sounds like you've got some good habits in place there that you're going to be working on. So that's fantastic. Let's talk about your actual nutrition. What is a typical day’s worth of food like for you, like talk me through? What does that look like for you?
To be honest, right now it is a mess. We've had just a really a really stressful January, so a lot of different events and then just some, we're having some kind of just some struggles with my oldest kiddo. He's got some learning disabilities and so we're kind of back to the drawing board with him and that's really stressful. So honestly, that is super impacted my nutrition so like, like this morning, I had, you know, a cup of coffee, and then a protein bar for breakfast, and then I was out the door getting my kids to their mother's day out program. So lunch is sometimes better usually I'll try to do like a big salad or chicken or something like that, but honestly like the past week or so it's been like some protein chips or like whatever I can grab and I know that is not a good choice for me like I really need something filling in nutritious and then dinner I'm usually pretty conscientious about making sure that my family and I both have something pretty healthy, some sort of protein and vegetable and a decently healthy carb. So...
So when is the typical time that you find yourself in the pantry doing the fatigue snacking? What time of day is that?
Whenever when my kids go down for their afternoon nap. So that's like 1-1:30 to like 3:30, that two hour window. That's when I feel the most tired and that's when I definitely turn to the pantry the most.
Got it. And if most days are similar to today, it sounds like you actually haven't had much to eat at this point already. Maybe a protein shake and some coffee and maybe a handful of protein chips or something.
That's it. Yes, correct.
How do you feel about the idea of actually fueling yourself a little bit better, breakfast and lunch, so that come three o'clock you actually have some energy in your body?
I think it is a great idea and I've actually been considering trying to focus more on the three meals, two snacks kind of idea. But I'm also fearful about that because I'm fearful about okay, well what if, you know, I'm doing the three meals, two snacks but what if I'm tired and I get too many snacks from the pantry again and I'm going to blow my calorie budget out the out the wazoo. So...
What are you doing right now? Are you tracking calories?
I am, yeah. I'm tracking calories and I'm trying to lose a little bit more weight. So yeah, so my background in that is that two years ago I had my daughter and about a year postpartum I was still at like 180-185 pounds. I've lost 20 pounds in this past year by just being consistent with calorie deficit, following Jordan, following you and Marci, and just kind of getting just really, really feeling more inspired and empowered by you guys. And so right now I'm trying to kind of lose the last 10 pounds. And so I've been doing a very modest calorie deficit, but I'm not sticking to it 100%. Like I said, this past January has been stressful, and I really feel like I'm just now starting to get all my crap together.
Got it. Totally. You know, I think either choice could be totally fine as far as are you going to track calories? Or are you going to are you going to switch to the three meals, two snacks, I think either could be a good fit for you. It might not be the best idea right now to switch to something totally different. Since you're familiar with calorie counting, maybe while making this change to actually trying to feel yourself a little bit more. You might feel more comfortable just sticking with calorie counting and saying like, alright, I'm going to actually have a breakfast and I'm going to actually have a lunch and make that fit into my calories. You might feel more comfortable and confident in the fact that you're still hitting your calorie deficit. What do you think about that?
Yeah, I think that would be great. I think, kind of, doing a marriage of the two: counting calories, but still really making an effort to have three real meals would be would be really helpful.
Yeah. And when it comes down to fat loss, the number of meals we have in a day, it doesn't matter. Like scientifically, this has been shown, a person can eat two meals, a person can eat six meals, it doesn't matter for fat loss, as long as you're in a deficit. Where it matters is what helps an individual person to stick to their nutrition plan, right? So if you're trying to stick to your deficit, and you're not eating much during the day, and then you're snacking a whole bunch later, you're not in a deficit anyway. So for you getting a good solid, I'm going to actually have a meal at lunch and a meal at breakfast, or you might sit around with it and figure out like hey, you know what, I actually like just having a big lunch, the number of meals doesn't matter. What's gonna matter is you getting some food in your body so that you're not in the cupboard later. Does that make sense?
Yes, it does. And I think I've been trying to kind of skip over breakfast a little bit so that I have more calories to spend, like on lunch, and dinner. But I think what that has meant is like you said, like, by the time lunch time and nap time rolls around for my kids, I am so fatigued, that I just want to snack for the next couple hours and going over my calorie budget.
And maybe it feels a little bit easier just to grab handfuls of things rather than prep a meal and sit down.
Yeah, of course, because you're a busy mom with little kids. There's just like, if I could get a handful of this right now I can keep going.
That's right. That's exactly right.
Yeah. And it might just be making a dedicated habit of I will eat meals, whether you decide that's going to be a breakfast and a lunch or whether it's just going to be one meal, like if you want to, if you're a person who's like okay, I don't I really want to eat breakfast, I'm not hungry, I'm gonna sit down at noon and have my big meal. I think either could work. But I would say picking a strategy and going with it for like three weeks and seeing what works. And then you could switch it up at that time. How does that sound to you?
That sounds great. I think I might also need to make like a concentrated effort to like, not have that many yummy snacks around for that period of time, though, for those three or four weeks it takes for me to adjust. Because it is so tempting to just be like, all right, let me grab some chips or let me grab a protein bar and that'll be enough until dinnertime.
I think that's brilliant. I think it absolutely is setting up your environment for success. Look, and it doesn't mean you can't eat any of those yummy things you like it just means for right now you're not going to keep them close at hand. Right? If you want one of those yummy snacks one day you can plan in your calories and go out to the store and buy a single serve pack of it right and fit it in.
Exactly. That's why I'm not gonna buy them in bulk anymore.
Yeah, and it's a really, it's a really smart idea, Deborah. I love it. Because how easy is it when you're just feeling a little bit tired to open that pantry door? But are you really going to get in the car and drive to the Wawa? Well -- you don't have a Wawa -- that's my local gas station. It's a weird sounding name, I know. You're not just going to drive out to the local convenience store when you're tired to get yourself a snack, right? The chances of you doing that are pretty low, right? You're gonna need to put kids in car seats to do that.
Exactly. It'll be whole 'nother ballgame, yeah.
That's probably not happening. So I love that idea. So get your environment cleaned up a little bit. Don't stock the things that you typically find yourself snacking on. Give yourself actual meals earlier in the day, and what might that mean for you in terms of meal planning or prepping? How do you do with that?
Well, I haven't been doing that much and I know that is a big part of it -- is that really, I need some stuff already made that I can grab easily. So that's one thing I did yesterday I was just like, okay, tomorrow I'm gonna get back on track and so I went ahead and cooked a bunch of chicken breasts and shredded it all up and portioned out so that today for lunch I know I can just throw that on top of some salad and that's my lunch today.
That's fantastic. That's fantastic. Way to go.
Yeah, I've done that all month. So...
Yeah and what about breakfast? What do you have in mind that, what can be a really good fit for something you're not spending a ton of time if you need to get your kids out the door to their what did you call it? A mom's day out and program. What do you need to -- what could you have on hand so that you're like alright, I can actually eat a meal here?
I do have some, some bagels that are like whole wheat and they're a little bit higher in protein as well. So I know that I could toast one of those I could cook an egg -- it takes a minute or two to cook an egg so I could totally have a you know an egg bagel as a quick breakfast or again like I think a protein bar is okay I know it's not a lot of bulk, but it is a good hit of protein and a little bit of calories until I can sit down to lunch.
Yeah, and maybe even the protein bar and a piece of fruit, you know something so you have a little bit more volume with your meal. And I like the idea that you're thinking about getting some protein in there. I think that's fantastic. Protein really helps. And getting some carbs in there -- I know a lot of women try almost unconsciously to go super low carb, right? And when we do that, you know, carbs is like our body's preferred energy source. So being careful not to go like no carb, right? And especially for somebody like you who you're crashing late in the day in the afternoon, having no carbs in your body might send you for that quick rush of like sugar in the pantry. So getting some complex carbs in with your breakfast and in with your lunch can really help.
Well, I've been wanting to try your overnight oat recipe and also like your baked oatmeal recipes, so maybe I'll give those a whirl.
Yeah, and if you like those, you know, the good thing about both of those is they can be prepped ahead of time and it's literally a filling meal, has some complex carbs, has protein, and it's fast -- like in the moment it's fast. Takes about 20 minutes to prep those things ahead, but then it's done for you know, a good handful of days. I do like stuff like that.
Yeah, so maybe I should commit time like on Sunday nights as to prepping some of that shredded chicken, prepping overnight oats or baked oatmeal and just having that.
I think that's a great idea. So having a little -- and it doesn't have to be a massive like, you don't have to be one of these like women on Instagram who's got 49 different jars of matching cute meals, right?
I'm always so impressed by those women.
Me too but that's not me and it's never happening. And the good thing is it doesn't have to happen like you could literally do like some a couple jars of overnight oats, a baked oatmeal, some shredded chicken and boom like you are now set up for success and it's not that much time. I think that's a really great idea. So having some food prepped, going into the day planning: I will eat at least one meal, maybe two good meals, and having your house setup without that stuff in it. All of that right there. That's massive. That's, that's massively good.
The last piece I really think we should talk about is what about those moments when you really are feeling tired? And your go-to reaction is chocolate, snack, right? Let's talk that through. Because, you know, you brought up the idea of emotional eating, it's really the same type of thing. If hunger is not the problem, food is not the solution. And we think it is, we, we all we always think it is right? Whether we're sad, or whether we're bored, or whether we're tired, it's an easy thing to go for. And in the end, it doesn't usually solve the problem. Now for you, it's solving it in super short term, like five minutes, but then you're back there. And in the end, it's screwing up your weight loss goal, so it's not really helping. So a really good thing to do then is figure out alright, what will I do in that moment? So in that moment, like what if it still happens? Because look, it's not gonna -- you're not gonna totally prevent it. You will probably still have those moments where your gut reaction is now I went to snack because I'm really tired. So something we can do here is brainstorm a bit with what can you do in those moments that actually helps with the problem? So off the top of your head, like, what do you have? Usually I make my clients give me three options for -- and they have to be reasonable -- and I always tell them, you cannot tell me take a bubble bath if you don't have time to be wet, right? Like you're a mom with two little kids. You're not running off to like get a glass of wine and lay in the tub. Right?
Correct. Yeah, and I can't go for a run or anything.
It has to be something reasonable that you could do that would actually feel like it might help you with the fact that you're really tired at two or three in the afternoon. What do you have?
So, I want to count these as two but you might count this as one. So, one is make a cup of tea and two is make a cup of coffee. So, I have done that. And that has been helpful. It feels like it's a treat. I'm having something. It is giving me kind of a longer burst of energy, but it's not blowing up my calorie budget.
So, I think that's a great idea. So the coffee, caffeine that's going to help. The tea, is it caffeinated, or is it more like relaxing like...
It's caffeinated. Yeah, I'm a black tea kind of girl. So it's definitely caffeinated.
Okay, that that can work. That can work. So let's count that, let's count that as one, okay? Caffeinated beverage: that's one possibility. What else do you have? Is there the possibility while your kids are napping for you to actually take a rest of some sort?
Oh, yeah, for sure. I could do that. Yeah, I could. I could go lay down on the sofa or lay down on my bed for a little bit.
And does that feel like a reasonable thing to do or like, oof, that really messes up my day?
I think it's a reasonable thing to do. I think I should do it more often, yeah.
Well, then I think putting that in your little book of possibilities, I think it should be there for sure. You know, because if you're tired leg down and closing your eyes, even for 20 minutes can help, you know? And it's certainly going to help as far as weight loss is concerned versus, you know, eating a chocolate here and a chocolate there. All right, so that's two things: actually, taking a bit of rest, having a beverage, let's come up with one more thing you can do if you're feeling tired, snacky in the afternoon.
I could chew some gum.
Will that actually help?
I don't know.
I will say it wouldn't necessarily help with the tired piece. It would help with the snacky piece, right?
Yeah, it would be something sweet.
Yes, I do think for a lot of us who are snackers -- I've historically been a snacker -- that putting a piece of gum in our mouth when we're about to take a snack can really help because once we're chewing the gum, like we're not putting a chip in there too. So in that way, it can help. It doesn't really help with the root of the problem which is, hey you're feeling tired.
I mean the only other thing -- so we have we have like, I'm looking at it right now, we have a folded-up treadmill that is underneath my guest bed right now. But I could go ahead and pull that thing out and have it set up so that if I feel tired I could -- if I'm really feeling motivated, I could hop on that and just get some steps in because once I go for a walk, even if I'm tired, I usually feel more energized by the end of the walk.
I love it. I love that. Okay, you know what I really love? Those are three very different strategies, right? We're going from like, you might literally just lay down and get some rest, to have a caffeinated beverage, to actually like get some energy going by moving. I think those are three really great strategies.
Okay, amazing. Well I think we've addressed a lot of stuff here. So we're talking about the root cause like actually cleaning up your sleep habits, which you're already on. Addressing your nutrition, which I think is going to be really the big kicker here.
You're just not feeling yourself properly earlier in the day and I think getting a handle on that by having some food prepped, making the plan, and what if we give you a goal for the next three weeks, you're going to eat breakfast and lunch. You know, every day for the next three weeks. Does that sound doable?
Yes, it sounds like a challenge for sure, but it sounds doable. And I agree with you that I think that is the key for me -- is prepping beforehand and then actually sitting down and having those meals.
Yeah, absolutely. Alright, so get yourself out a calendar and let's have you writing off X's for the days you're giving yourself breakfast and lunch. How's that feel?
Sounds great. We'll do it
Amazing. And then break those three strategies down that we talked about so that you have them in your back pocket. So that when you're feeling snacky, because it still will happen, that you have something else that like okay, wait, I already know what I'm going to do, here are my three choices, I'm going to pick one of those
I actually might write it down and actually tape it on to my pantry door. So I see it every time I go open the pantry.
That's fantastic. I love that, Deborah. You know what else I really love about you. You are a problem solver. You're a person looking for solutions. I can tell that as we're talking today that you're like, oh, and I tried this, I'm doing that. It's really good. It goes a long way towards actually reaching your goals to be a person who looks for solutions, rather than just like, here's my problem, right? You're like, Oh, wait, here's something that could help. So I am super confident in your ability to push past this. I think you're gonna, I think you're gonna do amazingly well.
Thank you. And I think that's one of the biggest things I've learned from you, and Marci, and Jordan, and Susan, all of y'all. I love that you guys really push just getting back on track and just keep going, even if you have obstacles, just to get back on track. And that's been a huge encouragement. And I think it's one of the reasons why I keep trying to find different ways to overcome these things.
Yeah, absolutely. And you know, as far as the getting back on track, remember this calendar you're going to have and you're gonna be putting the X's on the days where you actually have breakfast and lunch, the main goal is going to be to have no two zero days in a row, right? So we're gonna see if you can get all X's, but if you can't, if you get zero one day, what it means is, hey, tomorrow, I'm getting my X, right? Doesn't mean like, well I screwed up now, right? Getting back on track is always the thing.
I don't have to start all over again, I can just keep going.
We're not starting back from day one again.
All right, and then check back in with me for sure. And let me know how it goes.
Amazing. Thanks so much for being here today.
Thank you, Kim.
All right, talk soon.
All right, bye.
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.
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By Amanda Thebe and Kim Schlag
This was the provocative headline a social media page, with a significant influential presence posted last week. STOP! DOING THE PLANK IF YOU’RE OVER 50!
She later updated the post to add some context, stating “the plank exercise puts pressure on the bladder, which may already be weakened without the influence of oestrogen. To prevent further damage modify the plank position by resting knees on the floor, or speak with your instructor about alternative positions. If you suffer with bladder or pelvic floor problems, prevent further damage by modifying The Plank position, such as resting knees on the floor, or speak with your instructor about alternative positions.”
Yet her stance remained firm, in all her comments and interaction on the post, she stood by her claim that women should stop doing plank after 50.
Well you can imagine the response this evoked. Women over 50 were up in arms at being told they SHOULD NOT do an exercise that had otherwise been a staple part of their exercise program.
So is this statement accurate? Should Women over 50 stop doing the plank?
The best way to address this is by telling you what we know happens during menopause. Declining estrogen has been shown to reduce the strength of our skeletal muscle. Skeletal muscle is the stuff that is connected to your skeleton and is part of the mechanisms which help us move. This shows up in a number of ways as women see their strength take a bit of a nosedive and a decrease in their pelvic floor strength.
When a muscle loses strength, either from declining estrogen, from inactivity or from sarcopenia as we age, then one of the solutions to address this is to strengthen the muscle. There is enough evidence to show that we CAN still build muscle as we age, and we should actively seek to do so.
How do the pelvic floor muscles work?
The Continence Society of Australia states, “when the pelvic floor muscles are contracted, the internal organs are lifted and the sphincters tighten the openings of the vagina, anus and urethra. Relaxing the pelvic floor allows passage of urine and feces.”
This should happen naturally, without any conscious thought. But if we experience weakness in the pelvic floor area, it’s important for a woman to retrain the muscles to react and relax intuitively. The best way to do this is working with a pelvic floor specialist, who will help you identify what is causing the dysfunction and what the best exercises are to strengthen the area.
The pelvic floor works as part of the core, to control the internal pressure of your abdomen. These muscles include the diaphragm for breathing, the multifidus which supports your spine and the transversus abdominis (TrA) which are deep core muscles. Usually training the pelvic floor requires you to train all these areas together as a system. If you work with a pelvic health physiotherapist, they might help you learn how to activate a muscle in isolation for those not working optimally. For example, if your pelvic floor muscle is hypertonic (too tight) it maybe due to the underuse of your TrA. In this case, the physiotherapist will help you learn how to activate the TrA and then progress to include all the inner core.
What does that mean for you? Should you STOP DOING THE PLANK IF YOU'RE OVER 50?
Michelle Smith, who is a senior instructor at a national personal training college and teaches ACSM, NASM, ACE and NSCA curriculum to personal training students, argues that this type of statement is harmful. Smith states, “It doesn't matter your age or whether estrogen causes muscle weakness. Just because it can, it doesn't mean that every woman will have a compromised pelvic floor sling or have bladder issues. If a woman trains her pelvic floor and performs a well executed plank, she should not be afraid to do so because she reached 50.”
Fear-mongering and blanket statements are harmful on many fronts, but especially during menopause when many women are afraid to jump back into exercise and can lack the belief in their abilities.
Dr. Sarah Ellis Duvall, pelvic health physiotherapist, who studied her doctorate on the pelvis emphasizes that, “if you're performing a plank correctly, then it can be the best exercise you can do! I've seen a full plank from the floor help hundreds of women strengthen their pelvic floor - i.e. the bladder support system. Looking at the research, planks recruit a pelvic floor contraction the same as a kegel, showing they can be a beneficial part of rehab if done correctly. Now, I can think of 15 other exercises that are incredibly risky for the pelvic floor and must be done with great form or it can cause bladder issues, but a plank just doesn't rank high on that list.”
She continues, “if we have everyone at 50 suddenly back off from their exercise routine, it would create an epidemic of pelvic floor issues. When you stop challenging the body you are guaranteed to get weaker over time, estrogen or not. Weakness is a huge issue for pelvic floor health! So, I'm going to argue that if you're doing a plank well when you hit 50 and beyond, if you back off, it just might create a pelvic floor weakness issue that will lead to having bladder problems. Modifying planks could CAUSE a PF issue!! “
You are unique!
Not all women can and should do planks. Chana Ross, pelvic health physiotherapist advises that they first get assessed for their pelvic health.
Planks may not be for you:
Age and menopause should not be the dictator of whether you can do a plank or not. In fact, Michelle Fraser, pelvic health physiotherapist, thinks we should reframe the whole argument. “Perhaps it is not “what” exercise we are doing that is the most helpful guideline, or what age we are, but “how” we are performing the exercise. Like many effortful exercises, the plank has the potential to increase intra-abdominal pressure, which can lead to increased pressure on the bladder. This is particularly true if the person performing the exercise is unable to maintain an optimal breathing pattern because the physical demand of the exercise is beyond their current ability. A 55-year old woman may easily be able to perform plank, using their inner core optimally and with a helpful breathing pattern, while a 40-year old woman may not be able to perform a modified version (such as on the knees rather than on the feet) without holding their breath or without gripping their muscles. In these examples, plank may be appropriate in the first case, and a modified version may not be appropriate in the second case. Rather than vilifying a particular exercise or setting age parameters, it may be more helpful to assess what each individual is capable of doing while maintaining optimal mechanics and breathing.”
How to do a good plank:
There are different starting points for performing a plank and you need to determine where yours is. Our best advice is to work on different angles of incline or perform on your knees. The main focus should be to have impeccable form so that you can breathe properly, you can recruit all your inner core muscles and you are not in pain.
Here are some cues to help you:⠀
If you struggle with anything from the above list, you may benefit from seeing a pelvic floor physiotherapist to ensure a balance of the individual components of the inner core. Doing plank with these excellent cues will work great as long as you can actually recruit all components of plank in the amount required (not “gripping”) and are able to relax the pelvic floor afterwards, and are able to breathe while in plank.
Other things that can help you...
You are not fragile!
Women in menopause are often represented as being weak and broken, when this is far from the truth. Lynda McClatchie, pelvic health physiotherapist wants this narrative to change. “ I don’t want any woman to believe she has become that fragile. This kind of thinking is brutal and will literally change her brain. I do think that while she is doing a plank she should engage her pelvic floor (and know that she is doing it correctly) and breathe properly. Obviously she should start at a level that is appropriate and build from there.” And we will all be at a different level, and that’s OK!
When fear-based statements like these are made, with no evidence to support them, a disservice is being done to women. Katie Taylor, runs The Latte Lounge, another large online platform for midlife women , challenged this social media influencer, “For those of us who run sizeable online platforms, or are looked upon as ‘influencers’ (a word i don’t like to associate myself with) we have a huge responsibility to look after the women who come to us for support and ensure that we are providing them with scientifically sound and evidence based advice, not scaremongering like this. Using sweeping statements like this, is totally unhelpful and confuses women further, usually the most vulnerable and desperate women who come to us often when they’ve run out of places to go. We have a duty of care to look after them and signpost them safely and correctly.”
The final word
GP and menopause expert, Dr Louise Newson couldn’t agree more, “women need to do the right exercise for them and many of my patients who are over 50 regularly do planks!!" Our advice to you is to make an informed decision on your exercise choices based on your individual goals and needs. Take these clickbait statements with a pinch of salt, and find reputable experts (like the many featured in this article) to make an informed decision about your health and wellbeing.
Finally, take some inspiration from the following photos. An army of Over 50 Women who won’t be driven to fear by sweeping statements like these. We would love to see your photos too. Post on social media using the hashtag #PlankingOver50 and we will feature you in our stories.
You're busy and losing weight is one more thing to add to your to-do list.
Believe me, I get it.
I want you to know that you're not alone.
I'm a working mom of 3 teenagers myself.
You may have found this article searching for "weight loss tips for women" and I promise I have loads of tips for you, but I want to start with a bit of a perspective shift. Without this shift all the tips in the world won't help you:
"Too busy" says more about your priorities than about your calendar.
If I told you I'd give you a million dollars to track everything you eat, get in 100 grams of protein daily, work out 2-4x per week and hit 10K steps per day for the next 3 months, I bet there's close to a 100% chance you'd do it.
Would you do it to reach your fitness goals without the incentive of a million bucks though? That's the question to ask yourself. Maybe the answer is no. Which is perfectly fine. It's just important to be clear in your head that "too busy" is really about your priorities.
Of course there's more to it, such as:
Nutrition: The Most Important Part of Any Weight Loss Program
If you literally do only this one thing you'll lose weight.
Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye, it's true.
You must be in a calorie deficit consistently for an extended period of time.
Here's a quick way to find a starting number of calories:
Here's an example :
Let's say that your goal weight is 140lbs.
140 x 12=1680 calories. That's your daily target. Personally, I prefer people to use a target range. It's mentally less stressful than trying to aim for an exact number. So 50 calories below and 50 calories above will give you a range of 1630-1730 calories.
Make this your top priority.
CALORIE COUNTING EFFICIENCY TIPS:
Getting in enough protein is weight loss nutrition priority number 2. If you eat enough protein you'll stay fuller, increase your metabolism, and burn fat instead of muscle (you might even build muscle if you're new to strength training or are a person with obesity.) How much protein?
Returning to our previous example: If your goal is 140 pounds:
140 x 0.7 and 140 x 1.0 = 98-140 grams of protein per day.
Mostly Nutrient Dense Food
Most of your diet should be nutrient dense, minimally processed food: fruit, vegetables, whole grains, protein. The stuff that grows from the ground, had a face, or came from something that had a face. 80-90% of your diet should live here. The remaining 10-20% can come from less nutrient dense sources. Sweets, fast food, more processed food.
Eating in this way will keep you full, help you hit your targets, and allow you enough wiggle room to enjoy your favorite foods, eating out and socializing.
MEAL PLANNING/PREP EFFICIENCY TIPS
Exercise: What, When & How To Get It In
Just like with nutrition you should focus on the things that will get you the most bang for your buck.
Then let the rest go. What to focus on as far as exercise for fat loss?
Lifting weights, along with eating enough protein, is what helps you to keep your muscle while you lose fat in a calorie deficit. More muscle boosts your metabolism and is a big part of looking toned and defined. That's the why. Here's the how:
3 days =1 full body + 1 upper body + 1 lower body
4 days = 2 upper body + 2 lower body
Pick what fits into your life the best. More isn't better. Being consistent is better. Choosing 2 and being consistent with it is better than choosing four and regularly skipping one or two sessions. If you're on the fence about how many days is realistic for you, choose the lower number. Do it for a month and then reevaluate.
Calendar your workouts. You don't have to have set days if your schedule isn't set up that way (mine isn't) but every Sunday physically type into your calendar your workout appointments.
Use Supersets. Supersets pair 2 exercises together. There are multiple ways to use supersets, for our purposes here you'll pair together 2 exercises that work different muscles. In this way you'll get more work done in a shorter period of time. Here's an example for a full body day:
1A 3 x 8 Goblet Squat
1B 3 x 8 Single Arm Row
2A 3 x 10 KB Deadlift
2B 3 x 10 DB Incline Bench Press
3A 3 x 12 Single Leg Hip Thrust
3B 3 x 12 DB Overhead Press
3C 3 x 12-15 seconds Hollow Body Hold
For each number group you do A followed immediately by B (and C in the case of number 3) then rest and repeat the same moves for the given number of sets before moving on to the next superset. So for 1 you'd do 8 goblet squats followed immediately by 8 rows with the left arm and 8 rows with the right arm, rest and repeat for a total of 3 sets before moving on to number 2.
Put away your phone It is so easy to add on a significant amount of time to your workout if you're checking Instagram and texting between sets. Don't do it! Keep your phone in airplane mode or in your pocket or face down next to you until you're done.
Keep isolation moves to a minimum. You'll get more bang for your buck with those big compound moves I listed above then with isolation moves. Push ups work your triceps as they're working your chest, while tricep kickbacks just work your triceps. Deadlifts work the whole back of your body in an efficient way. Donkey kicks, while not useless, don't deliver the same value for the time they take. Of course you *can* do isolation stuff, but think of dedicated tricep/ bicep/ inner thigh/ glute/ calf exercises as the seasoning, not the main course. Sprinkle them in lightly.
Getting in as much movement as possible helps to create your calorie deficit. You don't need to do dedicated cardio, though you can. I have my online clients get a baseline of their daily steps and then we work to increase them to 10k+ over time. Some of them like to have an actual cardio session or two to get those steps in, but most don't.
MOVEMENT EFFICIENCY TIPS
Use phone time to get in steps: walk around the office if you're on a call at work or around the neighborhood if you're at home.
Listen to books on Audible while taking a walk instead of sitting down to read
Get in your steps in small pockets of time: Walk around the field while you're waiting for your kiddo to finish soccer practice. Walk around the perimeter of the store an extra time or 2 when you go to Target. Use a bathroom on a different floor at work. These small efforts add up without taking up a big chunk of your time.
Mindset: Success Starts Here
To be successful at weight loss your mindset is critical. Here are changes to consider:
I get a lot of questions from women about deadlifting:
Most importantly, I want you to know that this lift is for you. It's not just for muscley dudes or perky 20- something Insta models. You, a middle-aged bad mama jama are gonna own this lift. Let's gooo!
This is solidly middle-aged me at 48 deadlifting 270lbs at a bodyweight of 127lbs. That's well over 2x my bodyweight.
What body parts does a deadlift work anyway?
Allll the parts:)
Deadlifts train your grip, your arms, your upper, mid and lower back, your glutes, your core, and your legs.
If you're thinking purely in terms of aesthetic benefits, deadlifts are fantastic at lifting your booty, toning your thighs and chiseling your back. Of course they're useful in everyday life- moving furniture, boxes, bags, kids. You'll be stronger and safer pretty much any time you're lifting heavy stuff up off the ground as you train your deadlift.
How To Deadlift Step 1: The Hip Hinge
First things first. Before you even pick up a weight let's get you grooving the right movement here. It's important to note that the deadlift is not a squat. It is a hip hinge. I remember being supremely confused about the difference between these two movements when I first started lifting. Here's a breakdown:
When hip hingeing your butt goes back, not down. Imagine that someone wrapped a rope around your waist, stood behind you and pulled. Which direction would your hips move? Would they go down towards the floor? Of course not. They'd go back, in the direction of the pull. That's the motion of a hip hinge.
Notice that in a squat you bend both your knees and your hips maximally, whereas in a hinge you bend your hips maximally while bending your knees minimally. Also take a look at my shins in this graphic; they're almost vertical in the hinge and angled forward in the squat.
Watch the video below to learn 3 drills you can do to learn to hip hinge:
1. The dowel drill
2. The wall tap drill
3. The door shutting drill
Video yourself performing these 3 drills and compare them to my video.
Does your form look the same?
No? Keep practicing. You'll get it!
Yes? Great! Well done. Moving on...
Cable or Band Pull Through
A great exercise to practice the hip hinge movement is the cable or band pull through. I'm gonna bet you think it's a little awkward One of my clients calls it "flossing her vagina."
I promise it's worth the weird:)
Here: watch how to do it with a cable and rope attachment. You can also do it at home with a resistance band.
How To Cable Pull Through:
How to Deadlift Step 2: Kettlebell Deadlift
Once you feel confident with your hip hinge you're ready to give the first deadlift variation a try.
Let's see it!
What if I can't get into position to deadlift the KB with that form?
Try this: elevate the KB up to a height that you can lift it with proper form. You can elevate it on plates or a box.
Here's a video so you can see all the parts of a kettlebell deadlift in action:
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How To Deadlift Step 3: Deadlifting With A Bar
If you have a trap bar available, give that a go next. If not, skip ahead to the section on sumo deadlifts (but watch the videos on breathing & bracing and how to take the slack out of the bar as those will apply to sumo and conventional as well as trap bar deadlifting.)
You'll stand inside of the bar so the weight will be closer to your center of gravity as opposed to either a sumo or conventional barbell deadlift where the the weight is out in front of you. The trap bar enables you to pull with a more upright position, which is just an easier position for many people to take. It is also less stressful on the hips, which makes it a great option for those with crankier hips.
Then you're going to take all the tension out of the bar. You'll hear people call it "taking the slack out of the bar." One way to think of it is like you're trying to bend the bar. I think this video will help you understand (it shows a barbell, but it's the same idea):
Ok, I don't want to alarm you, but things are about to get exceptionally exciting. Hold onto your hats ladies I'm about to share with you the ins and outs of my personal favorite lift, the Queen of the Deadlifts in my opinion. Her Royal Highness the Sumo Deadlift. Let's gooo...
In all seriousness, I like it so much because I'm stongest at it. You might find the same to be true for you, or maybe not. But in any case you should give both Sumo and Conventional pulling a go to see which you like best. And honestly there's room in your training for both.
A lot of what we've already discussed so far will apply to Sumo as well:
Seriously, you now know more about deadlifting than most people ever will.
Watch this sumo tutorial and then we'll chat about a couple things that are different with this lift:
Sumo Set Up:
We've arrived at our final deadlift variation, the conventional deadlift. Everything you've learned up till now is going to help you master this lift. The main difference between sumo and conventional is the position of your feet and hands. Instead of having your feet wider than shoulder width with your hands gripping the bar inside of your legs, you'll stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and your hands gripping the bar just outside of your legs. This change makes some of what we've discussed different. Here's a list of what will stay the same:
How To Deadlift: My Best Advice Yet!
Film yourself deadlifting. From the side and from the front. It's super easy to do. Just prop your phone up against a dumbbell a water bottle, or whatever's handy. Look for these common mistakes:
How To Deadlift: The Most Common Deadlifting Mistakes
by Kim Schlag
What Even Are Carbs?
If you go based on headlines you might think carbs are the superillain in the latest Marvel movie.
The real answer is far less exciting.
Carbohydrates are one of three macronutrients that make up our food (protein and fat are the other two.)
Carbs are categorized by how simple or complex their chemical structure is. I'd list those categories and the various carbs in each, but I actually want you to read this article while awake.
Just know this: In the end, most carbs are digested into the sugar glucose before they're absorbed into the body. So whether you eat oatmeal or poured a few teaspoons of sugar into your coffee, they'll both end up as glucose.
Carbs are your bodies main source of energy. Interestingly, if you don't eat carbs your body will use fats and protein for energy. So while you can't survive without protein and fat you can survive without carbs.
Just because you can survive without them though doesn't mean you should, or that it's better. Carbs provide much in the way of micronutrients and fiber. Yay for health & pooping!
Also, if you like lifting heavy things or running really far, or generally sportsing hard you should know that carbs can help optimize your performance in all of your hard sportsing.
Besides, I think that we can all agree with Oprah...
Which foods contain carbs?
Why are people afraid of carbs?
Can't say for sure but some good possibilities include:
So, do carbs make you fat?
There is a growing body of scientific evidence, including a large randomized clinical trial published just last year, that shows that when protein and calories are matched there are not significant differences in weight loss between low-carb and low-fat diets. The same study also found no association between insulin production and weight loss.
I'm not sure how interested you are in reading actual studies but I'm going to link them below in case you are:) In any case, here's the take home point: Both low carb and low fat diets work for weight loss, so choose what you can stick with, remembering the critical point is total calories.
But what about eating carbs at night?
It still comes down to total calories. If eating carbs at night (or protein or fat for that matter) means you eat more calories than you burn in a day than, yes, you'll gain weight. But the same would hold true whether those calories were eaten at night or not. If you eat more calories than you burn, even if you eat them earlier in the day it will have the same effect.
But I have to eat carbs low on the Glycemic Index, right?
So the GI is a ranking of carbohydrates according to how fast they cause your blood sugar to rise. The higher the ranking on the scale from 1-100, the faster the food causes your blood sugar to rise. The idea many people have is that for fat loss low GI carbs are best.
Let's talk common sense first. If you look at the index you'll find that watermelon is ranked a 77 while Peanut M&M's are ranked a 33. Now in my fantasy world Peanut M&M's are a supreme fat loss food, but realistically speaking does it seem logical that you should consider Peanut M&M's part of a fat loss diet but shun watermelon?
One of the major problems with the GI is that it looks at food in isolation, yet that's rarely how we eat food. When's the last time you sat down and just ate rice for lunch?
As to the science, in studies that control for macronutrients and fiber there is no fat loss advantage to the low GI diet vs the high-GI diet.
What should you focus on when it comes to carbs and fat loss?
First do this:
Don't overthink this.
Carbs aren't the villain.
They're also not the sexy super hero played by one of the Hemsworth brothers either.
Yes, I mostly wrote that to have a reason to share this fine picture. But seriously, its food not a summer blockbuster. We can cut way back on the drama. If you start to feel worked up about it remind yourself that food doesn't have moral value. It's just food.
Email me any time if you have questions about how to put any of this into practice:)
Gardener et al: Effect of Low-fat vs Low- CarbohydrateDiet on 12 -Month Weight Lossin Overweight Adults and the Association with Genptype Pattern or Insulin Secretio. JAMA 2018
Karl, JP et al. effects of Carbohydrate quantity and Glycemic Index on Resting Metabolic Rate and and Body Composition During Weight Loss. Obesity. 2015
Recently I came across an article by a women's fitness magazine about meal combinations that would "kick start" your metabolism and burn fat. Articles about weight loss are hardly a rarity, but this one got me in the gut because it's exactly the kind of article that for dozens of years I'd seek out and think "Yes!! This is the missing piece! This is why I'm not losing weight. I'm not combining the right foods!" or "I'm eating at the wrong time!" or "I shouldn't be eating this entire food group! That's what I'm doing wrong!"
To be fair, the foods suggested in this article are all super nutritious and the benefits listed were spot on. Buuuut. And this is a BIG but, the idea that these specific food combinations are some kind of special magical fat loss formula is a problem. What if I combine these foods in the suggested manner and eat huge portion sizes? Will I still lose fat? What if I want to eat other foods besides these 16 listed foods sometimes (crazy, I know)? Can I still lose fat?
These kinds of fat loss "secrets" often end up just distracting us from the unsexy, not-at-all secretive actual principles of fat loss. Looking for some bit of weight loss magic personally kept me stuck for years. Lean in close and I'll tell you a secret..... there IS NO SECRET. And that is The. Best. News. Ever.
Why? Because if there's no secret, no hidden formula, trick or tip out there that we need to wait to discover it puts us firmly back in a position to TAKE ACTION. And action is what makes progress happen!
What action? When it comes to weight loss there is one overriding principle. That principle is this: if you consistently eat fewer calories than you need to maintain your current weight you will lose weight. I'm betting you've heard that before, right? I told you, there really IS no secret. Calories matter when it comes to weight loss. And if someone tells you they don't, then you should never ask that person for fitness advice again. Ever:)
Here are 4 actions you can take if you're ready to lose fat and keep it off:
1. Eat in a calorie deficit: A good starting point is to multiply your body weight (in lbs) by 12, That will give you a daiily calorie target. For example, if you weigh 150lbs you would multiply 150x12 to get 1800 calories. Consistently hit that calorie target each day. (If you have 50lbs or more to lose you will need to set that multiplier lower, like at 10X bodyweight.) Use a calorie tracking app such as My Fitness Pal or Lose It to track your calories. Don't get bogged down in all of the information those apps give you (ie how much sugar, carbs, fat, etc. you are consuming.) Just pay attention to the total calories and the grams of protein ( see #2 below)
2. Eat .7-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight daily. So our 150lb person would eat between .7x150 - 1 x150= 105-150g of protein each day. Getting in enough protein helps to maintain and build muscle. This is important because the more lean muscle you have the more calories you burn even when you're sleeping or just watching TV! Eating sufficient protein also helps to keep you full, which is obviously super key to being able to stick with your plan. Need a few protein ideas? Here ya go:
lean cuts of beef
lean ground beef/chicken/turkey
3. Eat mostly whole, nutrient dense food. Vegetables, meat, fruit. You know what I'm talking about:) If 80ish% of your calories comes from these kinds of foods then you can happily enjoy whatever junk food suits you for the other 20ish% of your calories. The key is to incorporate these foods into your daily calorie target. I'm partial to cake and ice cream, but if you're a chips and dip kinda gal, go for that. Really. Eating "fun" foods in moderation helps us to be able to maintain this way of eating over the long haul. Which brings us to #4...
4. Stick with it! Consistency is the missing piece for a lot of people. Be patient and stick with these couple of action items. I don't mean just for a week or a month. And I definitely don't mean only when it's going well. The people who succeed at fat loss are the ones who keep working even if the scale doesn't seem to be moving. They get right back on track when they get off. And they don't start looking around for the "next thing" to try. Consistency+patience=results. Remember that formula!!
So there you have it. Those are the nutritional "big rocks" you need to get in place to start smashing your fat loss goals. Exercise is also an important piece of the puzzle (one which I'll be addressing soon!) But a person can make serious progress with the nutrition piece alone, while the same can not be said about exercise alone. Most of us would rather spend a few hours a week killing it in the gym rather than paying attention to what we eat day in and day out, but that just doesn't get results.
Let me add in a bonus action item: Do not wait for just the right time to get started. It's never coming!! You think it is, I know. I did too. When the kids are older, when they're back in school, after vacation, blah,blah,blah. The list of a better time to start is never-ending, and always changing. It's not going away. Ever. So what's the answer? Start now, however imperfectly. I know that feels uncomfortable. We want to start out "just right." But doing something will always get better results than doing nothing. Every Single Time.
Let me know if you have any questions about getting started losing fat. I would love to get you answers and help you in any way that I can!
I'm a NASM certified personal trainer who is passionate about helping women transform their bodies through strength training and sustainable nutritional habit changes.