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  • Jan 12, 2018

Reverse Dieting

By Emily Whiteside

What is it?

Reverse dieting is a method used to slowly increase calories to repair your metabolism, allow you to eat more post dieting to maintain your lean physique, and in some cases it helps you become leaner. It is a MUST for many!

So, who should do it?

If you’ve been yo-yo dieting, or dieting on and off, for a period of time you should definitely do this! Your metabolism has adapted to a low amount of calories, and in order to progress in fat loss calorie intake must increase.

Your weight and body fat loss has stalled. This means it’s probably time to take a closer look at your metabolism.

If you have dieted down to a body fat percentage you are comfortable and happy in, this is the next step in order to allow yourself to eat more. Sometimes, it takes a lower amount of calories to get lean, but you shouldn’t stay at that calorie intake for the rest of your life.

If you’re ready to build more muscle and/or just want to be able to eat more! Remember, to build muscle or “tone up” (as women like to say) you need to be eating and fueling your body with the proper calorie intake and proper amount of macronutrients.

Benefits

Benefits:

- Help your metabolism increase for easier fat loss in the future
- More energy in the gym and in life!
- More flexibility and allows you to “live a little” more without restraints a diet may have
- Allows you to focus on more than just dieting
- Improved performance and strength

My personal experience

I have always chased dieting, ever since I could remember. I always was thinking about a fat loss phase or was in one. I never took the time to properly work on my metabolism. I started slowly increasing my calorie intake, and now I am a lower weight than I have been in a long time (this won’t happen for everybody, remember every person is in a unique situation). I have so much more energy in the gym, and have been able to increase weight again on compound lifts. I no longer feel lethargic, tired, and exhausted. I’m so excited to see where a few more months will get me!

If you need guidance, have more questions, or think this is exactly what you need then send me a message or contact me at ascfitnesscoaching@gmail.com!

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  • Nov 15, 2017

How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

By Emily Whiteside

Set the Excuses Aside

The Holidays are approaching quickly, which means more parties, dinners, baking, and running around. This most likely will include lots of food, treats you wouldn’t normally enjoy, take out, and alcohol. Instead of using the Holiday’s as an excuse this year, why not try to control your behaviors? This will make it that much easier to get down to your goal come 2018.

The best part? You don’t even have to wait until 2018 to drop fat. You CAN start right now. Set the excuses aside, and get to work!

Here are some tips to help you succeed this Holiday season, while still enjoying the company of friends, family, and your favorite Holiday traditions.

#1. Eat a meal before you head out for the party. A nice dinner filled with protein and vegetables will help you stay full. This in turn will ensure that you don’t stand by the cheese platter all night snacking away. Remember, if you do feel like snacking a bit fill up on the vegetable platter first.

#2. If you track macros and follow flexible dieting, save your as many carb and fat macros as you can for the party, dinner, or get together. This way, you can still indulge but you have room in your day to do so, without going over calories.

Plan Ahead

#3. Plan ahead. You have this [dinner, party, outing] planned in advanced. When you wake up in the morning structure your day around it. When do you have time to hit the gym? Decide on what you’ll eat there and stick to the plan. If you’re going to a restaurant, look at the menu ahead of time and decide what you’ll eat.

#4. Don’t overeat. Going to a party filled with appetizers? Make a rule that you will stick to ONE plate of food. Remember, you are there to socialize and spend time with those you love (at least for the most part), not eat until you need to unbutton your pants to feel comfortable.

Alcohol & Excuses

#5. Limit alcohol. I know this isn’t any fun, but alcohol contains empty calories that are just adding to your waistline. Make a rule to stick to 1-3 drinks. Your friends will love that you can be the designated driver too; it’s your Holiday gift to them.

#6. Don’t use the Holiday’s as an excuse to overeat!!! This is so important, and I see this happen every single year with clients. They skip the gym the entire season, because they’re “too busy” or decide to say “screw it” to proper nutrition because there are too many parties to attend. You may be busier, but why not try a 30-minute workout at home? Or lower your days in the gym to something you can achieve. As far as the nutrition portion goes, parties consist of ONE night. They don’t happen for 60 days straight. Making excuses is only making it HARDER to reach your goals come the New Year!

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  • Oct 30, 2017

Why can’t I stick to the plan?
Reasons why habit-based coaching may be the best answer for you

By Emily Whiteside

Why can't I stick to the plan?

So, you know exactly what to do to get your goal body. You have the plan in front of you, you’ve done the research, and you know it’s optimal because it’s worked for countless others. BUT time and time again you find yourself off-track, not sticking to the program. You know it’s the right way, but WHY can’t you stick to it?!?

This leads to yet another self-sabotaging attack of “Why can’t I just stick to it?”, “What is wrong with me?”, “I’m such a failure”, which leads to negative emotions, thereby ruining the day. Then there is always that promise of starting fresh tomorrow “for real this time”.

Trust me on this; I have been there for WAY longer than I am happy to admit. I’ve done my research, and I have the education and experience to prove it. I know exactly what’s optimal on paper, how to achieve that body, but I kept landing in the same place. I could not adhere to the program. I worked with coaches in the past, who would give me the best plans, but I wouldn’t follow it. No matter the money I paid or the accountability I had, I COULD NOT FOLLOW IT. I battled for YEARS of knowing that this is exactly how it’s done, but why in the hell can I not just simply DO IT. Sure, I was good with it for a month, then that would dwindle to a week or so, and then I found adherence at about a day. LITERALLY, I could only stick to the program for ONE DAY and then I would go off track, feel horrible, let my negative emotions ruin my day, and then try it all over again tomorrow. It was an exhausting, repetitive cycle of self-sabotage. Here I was someone who wanted to make a difference in the fitness world, who has tons of experience in it, but couldn’t even stick to something that has been researched and recommended by top level fitness athletes/coaches.

Then I finally woke up one morning and was like “Ok, obviously you’ve tried this way (for years, sadly admitting) and it doesn’t work. It’s not going to work for you, end of story. Let’s find something that does work.”

Sticking to it

Here are two ways to finally find what works for you and stick to it! And I mean for real this time.

1. Make it so easy it feels like a joke
2. Acknowledge that what is “optimal” on paper doesn’t mean that it is “optimal” for you

Shouldn’t dieting be hard though? The more rigid the plan, the better it is, right? WRONG. Think of your adherence level. If you don’t stick to the plan longer than 3 months (or in my case 1 week), is it really doing anything to benefit you, other than bringing down your spirit?

Here is where habit-based nutrition comes into play. Forget calorie counting, macro counting, meal plans, and the “best diet plan out there” for now. I want you to start small, and I mean one habit at a time, making it so easy you think it’s dumb. EVEN if you are super experienced. Why? Because that means it’s working! You want and need nutrition to be easy, or it’s just going to be another daunting task to add to the to-do list, thereby making it hard and unachievable. If you’re reading this right now, then obviously what you’ve tried in the past was too much or not right for you. GO BACK TO BASICS, even if you think you know it all. Trust me, I was in your shoes for years and it wasn’t until implementing these strategies that I found success.

Start by changing ONE habit. I want this habit to be easy, but something that isn’t already a habit for you. I want you to master this habit and then after 2-weeks of doing that simple habit everyday, you introduce a new one. It is that simple. It may not sound “hardcore” or “difficult” enough, but that is exactly what I’m trying to accomplish. Let’s make good nutrition second nature, so you don’t have to follow a plan (that doesn’t work) anymore.

Good habits

Here are some simple habits you can start introducing. You may be a little farther down the line in nutrition, and already do these tasks, but I ask you to be honest with yourself. I know, the old me would read this list and go “well duh, I know that and already do that”, but in all honesty I didn’t do them everyday, I just thought I did because I knew better.

The habits you choose to make on your own must be SIMPLE, ATTAINABLE, and EASILY MEASURED.

Here are some I recommend. Pick ONE habit to form. Not two or three – I don’t care how knowledgeable you are or how long you’ve been into fitness, pick ONE and only one. Then MASTER IT. Write it down on your calendar and check it off every day after accomplishing it. It’s easy to do, so you shouldn’t have any problem accomplishing it. Then after 2 weeks of checking off that box, you may select another one.

1. Drink a tall glass of water before every meal
2. Eat 4 handfuls of veggies everyday
3. Eat a palm-sized portion of protein with every meal (or if you’re farther along, get [20 grams] of protein in with every meal)
4. Pick a number of meals to eat each day and stick to that number
5. Take a 10-minute walk every night when sweet or salty-tooth cravings strike
6. Listen to your body after eating each meal, how does it feel? Are you overly full? Do you feel nourished?

Think about this, in 12 months from now you will have formed 24 new habits. Does it take time? Yes, of course. But you won’t have to spend countless days, weeks, and months going around in an endless, self-sabotaging circle anymore. Your body will finally transform, your mind will transform, and you won’t have to struggle with that new plan, because you’ve tailored the plan to yourself.

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  • Oct 6, 2017

Fasting and Detoxes: The Ultimate Way to Waste Money

By Emily Whiteside

Fasts and Detoxes

Not a week goes by when I eavesdrop on people talking about how they are either fasting or in “detoxing” mode. I’ve even had people discuss to me why they are fasting or detoxing, and very “scientifically” tell me the processes happening in the body. Meanwhile, I am doing everything in my power to keep my mouth from exploding. Here are some reasons why people fast or detox (I group them together because they are essentially the same thing, a waste of time and money. For the purpose of this article fast and detox will mean one in the same). This one I hear a lot: “I am doing this week long juice fast to jump-start my weight loss”. Another one I commonly hear is “I need to rid my body of toxins”. Whether you’re doing a fast/detox to rid yourself of “toxins”, get back into a healthy eating pattern, lose weight quickly, or to feel more energized I am going to tell you to save yourself the money and spend it on a gym membership. If your jaw is on the floor right now and you are already shaking your head in disbelief, feel free to stop reading. I will tell you why I personally think fasts/detoxes are moneymaking scams and what scientific research says.

What detox diets claim

Detox diets come in many forms from consuming only juices to nothing but water. There are also teas, supplements, smoothies, broths, feet pads and the list goes on. I actually don’t blame people who fall victim to the accusations that detox company’s make. Some statements that companies make to sell their products is that it eliminates toxins from food, hygiene products, or environmental threats; it increases your energy throughout the day, resets your mind into choosing healthy food, controls cravings, cures food addiction, manages stress, and resets the metabolism. Actually it does sound pretty awesome, but remember you can’t believe everything you read on the internet – this article is the exception.

Why I Don't Agree

Why I don’t agree with fasts/detoxes and the science to back it up

I am sure you’ve heard it or possibly have become accustomed yourself to yo-yo dieting. Yo-yo dieting is when a person goes on a quick fix diet, which eliminates some type of food – or in this case all food – thereby cutting back a significant amount of calories from an individuals diet. This in turn yields weight loss, in a very short amount of time. You can refer to my other article “The Problem with Fad Diets” for the dangers and side effects of this style of dieting. In short, the person goes through cycles of quick weight loss then goes back to eating how they used to or even acquiring binge eating, making them gain weight back (sometimes more than they originally started at). This results in an endless cycle. I categorize detoxes and fasts into yo-yo dieting. So one claim made by detoxes is that it aids in weight loss. This is actually true. It is a quick way to lose weight, but is anything from sustainable and healthy. Johnstone A.M states that, “If a subject does not feel well physically or mentally, then they will learn to avoid the behavior that makes them feel unwell.”7 Any diet that you cannot do in the long-term, is a diet that you shouldn’t waste your time on because it is a quick fix. Johnstone and his team found that compared with a low-calorie diet, the group that fasted had the greatest loss of lean tissue in their weight loss.7 This means that fasting most likely will results in weight loss, but not fat weight. Instead you lose mainly water weight, and then lean tissue. They found that the slowest rate of weight loss promoted the largest loss in fat mass and lowest in lean tissue mass. 7 This is why I always preach slow, sustainable weight loss! Need some more convincing?

Detoxes claim to increase energy throughout the day. Since our bodies need calories to sustain energy, this claim couldn’t be further from the truth. When your body is getting anywhere from zero calories to half the calorie intake you’re used too, it is impossible to say that it increases your energy. Yes, you may be getting some micronutrients (based on the style of fast/detox), but you can get plenty of those by just eating food. Actually, one of the health risks of detox diets is that they “relate to severe energy restriction and nutritional inadequacy… [It can] lead to protein and vitamin deficiencies, electrolyte imbalances, lactic acidosis and even death”.3 Also, Johnston and his team found that there was a significant increase in fatigue when subjects fasted, which remained elevated and did not return to baseline until subjects were able to eat without restriction again. Another fun fact they found was the faster the weight loss, the greater the impact on fatigue.7 I don’t know about you, but feeling like I haven’t slept in weeks doesn’t paint a very pretty picture for me, or anyone that needs to come into contact with me.

Detoxes claim to reset your mind into eating healthy. I believe this is very much individualized, and has a lot to do with the placebo effect. Why not just educate yourself a little bit on nutrition and positive mindset, instead of wasting your money because you think this product is going to finally do the magic trick? Even if you feel like this detox does help you make better choices, why do you have to keep going back on the detox then? If it truly aids in making better decisions, you would only need it one time. If instead you educated yourself on how to make proper choices and how your emotions and mood effect your decisions, you will make a lot more progress for the long-term, and even better - it’s free!

Detoxes claim to control cravings. Restrictive dieting has actually been shown to do the exact opposite. When a person restricts himself or herself, they are more subject to periods of binge eating. Have you ever been told you can’t have something or do something? Then didn’t it make you want that thing even more? Exactly my point. So starving or severely restricting yourself for a week isn’t going to help cure that chocolate cake craving, it’s going to make you eat the entire chocolate cake. Research done by Pankevich et al. actually found that stressful detox diets make a perfect scenario for binge eating and then regaining weight.6

Detoxes claim to cure food addiction. This has already been touched on slightly in the paragraphs above. First off, food addiction is also not a real thing. It is better said that food is an “addictive-like” behavior, but that is for another day and I won’t spend time getting into detail in this article. Now if you got anything from reading this article, you know that a quick fix is not going to solve a true problem. If you feel like you are addicted to food and can’t stop eating, then you should seek help from a professional, as that is an issue that requires expertise and a lot of hard work.

Detoxes claim to manage stress. Actually, the exact opposite (yet again) happens. Dieting is stressful and as humans, food is something we rely on. We already have plenty of stressors in our daily lives such as working for horrible boss, finances, screaming children, trying to find time, etc. Now let’s stop eating for the week. Does that make you feel less stressed? I don’t think so. I don’t believe that a detox pill or tea will help too much either. How about just mediating, practicing yoga, taking a hot bath, reading a book, or just taking some “you” time out? Mazurak et al. and Tomiyami et al. have both demonstrated that fasting for a period of time (48 h and 3 weeks, respectively) increases cortisol levels, shown in both men and women. Elevated cortisol levels stimulate appetite and weight gain. 3,4,5 This is exactly what we don’t want to happen. See the trend so far?

More Harm Than Good

Another claim is that they reset your metabolism. If you know anything about science then you know that this can’t be true. When you lower your energy intake, your metabolism will follow. This process is known as metabolic adaptation. As you restrict calories, your metabolism slows, and in turn can predispose a person to weight regain.1

As you probably noticed I had left the most common reason for beginning a detox for last, and that is ridding the body of toxin exposure. Very few detox programs describe exactly what a ‘toxin’ is, and what exactly ‘detox’ means. In conventional medicine, toxins are attributed to drugs and alcohol, and detox is the process of weaning a patient off of these substances.2 Commercial detox diets do not classify exact toxins they aim to remove or eliminate. Most of the ‘harmful’ toxins they refer to are instead put in general categories, such as pollutants, synthetic chemicals, heavy metals, or processed foods. Instead of giving any scientific evidence that this substance is harming you and what exactly the product does, they simply categorize it into general ‘good’ or ‘bad’ categories.3 Let me remind you, too much of anything is bad. Just like drinking too much water can kill you, too much exposure to a chemical can kill you. It is the dose that makes a substance lethal. Do you really trust this man-made pill to rid your body of a substance ‘so harmful’ anyways? If you’ve ever read the side effects on the detox label, you will notice that it states something along the lines of light-headedness, tiredness, etc. Companies claim that these are signs of toxins leaving the body. In reality, it is a physiological response to elevated ketone bodies and decreased blood glucose. 8 In fact, if you can remember back to grade school, the human body has a very efficient system in place to eliminate toxins all on its own through our liver, kidneys, intestines, skin, and so on. Your highly evolved system far outweighs any claim that a detox scam will make. Now I am not saying that our environment is perfect, and that there aren’t harmful substances being out there. I am, however, stating that most claims made by detox and fasting companies are completely false.

If you read this article, I hope you can agree that you will never again fall for the scams these companies make. Save that money, and invest in something that will actually help you, like a gym membership, healthy produce, a fitness coach, or a personal trainer. At the end of the day, you need to find what works for you, however, detoxes and fasts are something you should stay away from, as they do more harm than good.

1. Johannsen, D. L., Knuth, N. D., Huizenga, R., Rood, J. C., Ravussin, E., & Hall, K.D. (2012). Metabolic Slowing with Massive Weight Loss despite Preservation of Fat-Free Mass. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 97(7), 2489–2496. http://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2012-1444

2. Diaper AM, Law FD & Melichar JK (2014) Pharmacological strategies for detoxification. Br J Clin Pharmacol 77, 302– 314.

3. Klein A.V. & Kiat H. (2014) Detox diets for toxin elimination and weight management: a critical review of the evidence. J Hum Nutr Diet. 28, 675–686. doi: 10.1111/jhn.12286

4. Mazurak N, Guenther A, Grau FS et al., (2013) Effects of a 48-h fast on heart rate variability and cortisol levels in healthy female subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr 67, 401–406.

5. Tomiyama AJ, Mann T, Vinas D et al., (2010) Low calorie dieting increases cortisol. Psychosom Med 72, 357–364.

6. Pankevich DE, Teegarden SL, Hedin AD et al., (2010) Caloric restriction experience reprograms stress and orexigenic pathways and promotes binge eating. J Neurosci 30, 16399–16407.

7. Johnston, AM. (2007) Fasting – The ultimate diet?. Obesity Reviews 8, 211-222.

8. Bender, David. The Detox Delusion. The Biologist 4, 58.

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  • Sept 18, 2017

Forever Dieting

By Emily Whiteside

The Forever Dieter

You have either personally gone through it or we all know somebody who is suffering through this disease called “the forever dieter”. You may ask, “How can someone be on a diet forever? Shouldn’t they have reached their goals at some point in the last 5 years? “. The answer is, they have fallen victim to nonsense and false advertisements. I’ve been there done that.

I’ve heard just about every type of diet that a client has or is trying. Some eliminate all carbohydrates, fats, simple sugars, etc. Others have you go on a “juice/tea cleanse”, where you stop eating and consume only this drink, and BOOM you lose weight. Well DUH. How about we stop all of this nonsense and just learn the truth? Stop putting your body through endless cycles of extremely low calorie deprivation; it doesn’t work in the long term. That is what a diet should do right? Give you a body that you are happy with and then be able to keep it? I have heard time and time again, “This diet works for me, I just stopped doing it. I need to get back on it next week.” No, actually that diet didn’t work for you, because you couldn’t stick to it.

The Cure

Lets also acknowledge the damage that these very low calorie diets do to our metabolisms and mindsets. Not only are you doing more harm than good for weight loss, but you are also making yourself miserable and tired both mentally and physically.

We, as a community of body-fat losers, need to realize all you need to do is eat real food (that’s right, that expensive magical protein blend isn’t needed), and lift weights. It’s really that simple. Don’t overthink it.

How to cure “Forever Dieting” disease

The Long Term

First, stop falling victim to things like “detoxes, cleanses, etc”. Luckily, healthy human beings have these things called organs that do those things for us, and if they are functioning correctly they do not need any help doing it.

Second, lets look at what every single diet you can possibly think of does. They are creating a caloric deficit in one-way or another. Some will blame carbohydrates or fats for causing weight gain. Others will single out certain foods like bread. Whatever they blame, just realize that the only way it “works” in the short term is because they are taking away a bunch of calories from what you are normally used to ingesting. It’s as simple as that! So let me put it in simpler terms: fruits, potatoes, bread, avocados, cheese, and every other food for that matter do NOT make you fat. The amount of calories you are overeating is making you fat.

Third, and most important are things called macronutrients. These magical things, also called protein, fats, and carbohydrates, are what make up your total calories. By tracking these 3 things, and essentially eating anything you want too, you will drop down that body fat. THAT’S IT! So please do me a favor and stop spending your time and money on weight loss miracles, pills, cleanses, and weird diets and programs that suggest you only need a certain amount of days to change your eating habits forever. Just eat normal food, track it into your allotment, and lift weights. Remember, it is easy to find a diet that will help you out in the short-term, but always think of the long-term. It’s no fun getting in great shape and then having it all ruined 10-fold the following year.

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  • Aug 15, 2017

The Problem With Fad Diets

By Emily Whiteside

The Latest Diet

So your coworker just got done telling you about the new diet she’s going on. All you have to do is stop eating anything with sugar – especially fruit, restrict carbohydrates (who needs those anyways?), limit high fat foods, and buy the 1-lb tub of their special protein powder magical weight loss formula, and their line of vitamins, cleanses, and detoxes! It’s that easy!! Hopefully in your mind you’re thinking, “is this girl cray-cray?”

The Problem

The problem with most fad diets is first they try to sell you a bunch of products that are scientifically proven NOT to work. Things like cleanses, detoxes, body wraps, magical pills are all gimmicks – do me a favor and save your money, maybe use that money to buy yourself food you like. Secondly, all they are doing is limiting something to create a caloric deficit. For example, some diets will tell you to stop eating all carbohydrates. BOOM – caloric deficit created because you stop eating 4kcal per gram of carbs that you were eating before. So you say ‘what the hey’, and try this crazy diet out. You step on the scale 6 weeks later and its down! It’s a win! Not so fast…

All You Need to Do

It’s pretty easy to drop the weight, which has been shown time and time again from countless programs. The fact is, those programs most likely will work if you follow it, and get you to that short-term goal of yours. However, lets keep in mind our long-term goals. Who wants to go through all of that work to lose all that weight and then gain it all back in a few months? In fact, 95% of people who go on a diet will gain it back. That is a crazy statistic, however, it is very believable to me. This is because those diets fail YOU. YOU did not fail the diet. That program that you invested money and time into did not teach you about macronutrients, instead they just blame a certain food group and restrict you from having it. It failed you because it didn’t take into account your metabolism, and how depriving you of significant calories is hurting you in the long run and making it even harder to adhere and lose weight again in the future. The diet failed you because it doesn’t educate you on what to do after you’ve lost weight. The diet failed you because they make it unsustainable, thus adhering to it in the long-term just isn’t happening. They want you to fall victim and be right back where you started so you buy their program again and again and again.

This is why fad diets don’t work. All you need to do is follow your macronutrients, portion control that food, eat your protein/fats/carbs, stop restricting yourself from things you love, and just do it the right way. Stop damaging your metabolisms. Stop yo-yo dieting. Learn how to eat properly and correctly and give yourself that damn chocolate bar when you want it ok?

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  • Jul 04, 2017

Tips in the Excuse Department

By Emily Whiteside

Excuses

I bet we can all name about 10 different excuses (or many more) we’ve used in the past week that kept us from going to the gym or allowed us to eat an entire bag of chips while binge watching Netflix. From “its raining outside” to “well one more isn’t going to kill me, and I deserve this because I’ve been kicking butt (and soon the entire box of oreos are gone)”; we have probably all gotten pretty creative in the excuse department. Sometimes we are even sneakier with excuses. We tend to really hide them to make ourselves feel better. Raise your right hand if you’ve ever used the excuse “I didn’t eat all day, so I was starving when we got to the restaurant and I ate so much food I could barley move after”. Even better, “I had no time, so fast food burger, fries, and extra-large milkshake it is”.

I Don't Have the Time

We have all used them. Time and failing to prepare has been an excuse I have personally seen used the most. These go hand-in-hand. If you use the excuse “I don’t have time”, you are failing to prepare meals ahead of time, which makes it difficult to stay on track with your goals. There is two ways you can easily stay the course. First, and most budget -friendly would be to take 2 hours a week out of your life and bulk cook meals. Yes, it’s monotonous and takes time, but while you watch 2-hours of TV that week, you can be meal prepping. Make it easy for yourself. You can easily throw meals in the crockpot, throw a massive amount of chicken, potatoes, and vegetables in the oven, boil some rice, and have easy-grab snacks (greek yogurt, nuts, veggies, protein bars, cottage cheese, etc) and BAM you have food ready and waiting for you to eat. Second option, there are companies out there that will make you meals AND put the macronutrient content on them. Just chose, order, and enjoy.

Getting Results

Yes, meal prep can be boring and time consuming, but it is extremely important for getting the results you want. Make it habit to prepare every night before bed. While you lay in bed, pre-plug in the meals into your tracker that you will have tomorrow. That way when you wake up groggy and un-caffeinated, you will know exactly what to eat, what to throw in Tupperware, and what snacks to grab before rushing out the door. Anytime you see yourself making an excuse, acknowledge it and learn what to do to fix it. Here is another one I hear a lot – “I have no time in the morning to eat breakfast”. Option 1 – get out of bed 15 minutes earlier. Option 2 – have breakfast pre-made for you (e.g protein pancakes, hard boiled eggs and toast, overnight oats – look up recipe it’s super easy, or even throwing some quick oats into the microwave for 1 minute and add some protein powder on top). Another good excuse is foods that you cannot just eat one of. Easy fix – don’t buy it if it triggers you to binge eat it or if you must buy it (or all hell will break loose), then simply portion into individual servings. You are less likely to binge on 10-indivudally bagged foods as opposed to one large big bag. Just be smart and listen to yourself before you do something you know you shouldn’t be.

What are some excuses you come up with all the time? Write them down, take note of them when they happen, and suggest a way you can easily fix it!

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  • Jun 07, 2017

Can “balance” detract from your fitness goals?

By Emily Whiteside

Balance

We always here fitness influencers and coaches preach “balance”, but what does that even mean? Everyone’s perspective and definition of balance is different. However, can someone’s definition of balance detract them from reaching their goals?

Balance, of course, is important. If your goal is to lean out to reveal some musculature, we can’t just live for that. We have other obligations like work, friends, and family. Defining exactly what balance is to you is important before starting any journey. Your definition of balance should also vary as you reach different points in your life. Let’s take for example a non-fitness related venture.

Example

If you were going for a doctorate degree, of course your life isn’t going to be 100% balanced in all areas, because you have this amazing goal of graduating and following your dreams. That time frame of your life will most likely be directly focused on this venture. Little time will be left for social outings, traveling, etc. However, your definition of balance may be allowing yourself to take 3 days a week to spend at the gym or twice a month to go out with friends. Your main priority is your schooling, but you make small strides to focus on other areas. If instead your definition of balance during a doctorate program was to keep all relationships very strong, compete in several bodybuilding competitions, graduate at the top of your class, and work on your second passion of writing, you most likely wouldn’t thrive in all areas at once, because it’s just too much. Picking one or two areas to really thrive in, and putting the rest on the back burner would be necessary to graduate the program in that time frame.

Balanced Fitness

Now let’s look at your fitness venture. If your goal is to drop 20 pounds of fat to reveal your hard earned muscle, then somethings gotta give. Your definition of balance NEEDS to be focused around your goal, or else your goal most likely won’t be reached. Of course, work and family time is still just as much a priority, but the choices you make are still centered around your fitness goal. For example, as a family it’s tradition that you go out to a new restaurant every week. Since you have a goal to lose that fat, your choices at the restaurant and your planning ahead of time will be a lot different. Another good example is friend relationships. It’s common that you may all go out to drink heavily on weekends, but if you truly have a goal of getting lean, doing this won’t work. Just because it may seem like “balance”, doesn’t yield a good enough excuse to let your goals fall because you feel pressure to go out. Maybe, “balance” would work better if you choose to keep it down to 2 drinks per week OR offer a different suggestion.

Balance IS important and necessary, but our definition needs to be altered so your priority is still your target. When we use balance as an excuse, our goals will never be reached. Use your perspective of balance to aid in your goals, and then change your definition when necessary.

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  • May 23, 2017

Eating Carbs at Night: Yay or Nay? Plus Fitness Myths BUSTED

By Emily Whiteside

Carbs After 4

I was recently scrolling through Instagram and came across a celebrity trainer. I quickly hit the “follow” button and started looking through her feed. I then noticed on one section, the trainer had put something along the lines of making sure her clients don’t eat carbs after 4 pm.

I was surprised and shocked that a fitness influencer to thousands of people would recommend something so wrong and misguided. So now here comes the truth…

Carbohydrates DO NOT make you magically gain weight after a certain time in the day. That has been scientifically proven in many studies, which I will happily set you up with if you are interested. Our bodies cannot tell the difference in digesting brown rice if it happens to be 8 am or 8 pm. The Law of Thermodynamics expresses the constraints of the conservation of energy and the equivalence between work and heat. In simplified terms, to stay at your body composition now, calories in must equal calories out. So, as long as you are consuming the proper amount of calories and macros, it does not matter at what time you ingest them.

Busted

Here are some other fitness myths BUSTED:

“Top 5 Fat Burning Foods” – I’ve bet you’ve seen this in a magazine, on social media, or on TV before. GUESS WHAT? There is no such thing! Eating a certain food WILL NOT magically burn up your fat – I wish! Instead you must be eating the proper macronutrients to burn fat. Protein is the only macronutrient that possibly has thermogenic effects.

Diet pill, waist trimmers, body wraps – Please don’t rely on this. These do not work. If there was magic like this out there, then America wouldn’t be in an obesity epidemic.

Eat many small meals a day to keep your metabolism high – meal frequency does not aid in increasing metabolism. It truly doesn’t make a difference if you eat 3 meals or 10 meals a day, as long as overall macronutrients are in check.

Ketogenic diets are superior – No as long as overall calories and macros are accounted for it doesn’t matter whether you are on higher fats or higher carbs. Do what works best for you, and what you can stick to in the long run.

More Myths Busted

Avoid all sugar – No you can eat sugar and still live to see tomorrow. Utilize the 80/20 rule, be smart about your choices, but sugar will not make you fat AS LONG AS overall calories and macros are accounted for. Our bodies main energy system is glucose. All carbohydrates will be broken down to glucose, no matter if it is a simple sugar or a complex carb.

Avoid dairy – You do not need to avoid dairy unless you are lactose intolerant. Dairy will not magically make you gain fat.

Protein makes you fat – NO IT DOESN’T, again anything will cause fat gain if you are consuming too much of it.

Women should focus on cardio, not weights – HECK NO it is the opposite. Weight lifting increases lean muscle mass, which increases your metabolism. This means that you burn calories throughout the day. CARDIO DOES NOT DO THIS.

Lifting weights makes women bulky – I hope you already know how wrong this is.

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  • Apr 19, 2017

IIFYM, the Wrong Way?

By Emily Whiteside

Keep Your Nutrition In Check

If it fits your macros is an awesome tool to keep your nutrition in check. It also allows for flexibility and better adherence because you can fit in the foods you love. It lets you get as creative or non-creative as you want! If you have no idea what IIFYM it is just counting macronutrients – protein, carbohydrates, and fats. So instead of tracking total calories, you go a little bit more in depth and track the 3 macros. I’ve done this off and on for years. I find it most valuable when you have a set goal in mind, but I don’t think it has to be followed religiously until the end of time.

As I’ve said, it is a great tool when dieting, building up your metabolism, or trying to make some muscle gains. However, it can be done very wrong. Micronutrients are still important. Let me go into a little story to explain.

After going through the whole meal plan/strict eating/ extremely low calorie phase of my life, IIFYM had just become a “thing”. I loved the fact that I wouldn’t have to eat oatmeal, egg whites, chicken, broccoli, and brown rice day after miserable day. However, it got to a point where I began to become “food obsessed”. I didn’t want any of this healthy stuff anymore, and IIFYM now became my excuse to indulge in all things processed & sweet. So my extremely strict diet slowly became a strict processed food diet. I felt horrible, bloated, and my adherence to my macros was low. I would even say no to healthy options like quinoa because those carbs wouldn’t allow me room at the end of the night for ice cream. It was like I had to hoard my carbohydrates and fats so I could indulge. That is fine once and a while, but I was doing this almost every night. I got to a point where I wasn’t even sticking to my macro goals at all because I would get so angry at myself for going over and say “screw it”, constantly. Of course I got my protein in from some reliable sources like yogurt, chicken, eggs, etc. My diet wasn’t totally a mess like I’ve probably described, but it was a lot bigger of a mess than I was ever used too. I remember going days without eating vegetables, when in the past I would have them 2-3x daily. This entire point of my life was all over the place. Like I’ve written about in other posts my mindset was horrible, my workouts went from amazing and strong to boring, weak, and sad. I think all of this was in part to blame for the lack of attention I was giving my body.

Processed Foods

Now there is NOTHING wrong with eating processed foods at all. For me though, I was eating a lot more than I was used to and like I said I was actually “food-obsessed”. I couldn’t turn anything down, my willpower was weak, and my choices were poor. My mind connection just wasn’t there.

How did I stop it?

This was a process, but one that was important. Getting my mind right, learning how to utilize mindfulness, and taking time away from tracking/weighing/counting was beneficial. I’m not saying this is the right path for you, as you would need to find what works best on your own. To me, this was a life savor. I used to think I had a problem because I couldn’t just be done with a bag of chocolate and return it to the pantry – I had to eat all of it. I thought I was the only one who couldn’t say no to sweets when I wasn’t even hungry. I thought I would never ever be at the point where I could stop eating sweets after a small portion and just be satisfied. I actually remember reading a post some nutritionist wrote when I googled “How to stop cravings” (because mine were so bad), and she said allow yourself to have 1-2 small wrapped pieces of chocolate. I was like YEAH RIGHT I’ll never be able to do that. But guess what? I DID DO IT!

Starts With the Mind

If you are in this frame of mind, you CAN do something about it. It all starts with the mind. It is such a powerful tool. My cravings are minimal now. I can eat my past- ultimate “trigger food” and be done after a small serving or just say no. I can take home leftovers at a restaurant, instead of eating the entire thing and feeling like I’ve overdone it. This is such a win for me! My “food-obsessed” mind is in the past.

Micronutrients ARE important. You need to feed your body vegetables, fruits, and grains. Of course you can indulge! But you don’t need to indulge every night. Practice mindfulness, stay patient, and keep working toward it. If I can do it, then you can do it too!

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  • Mar 18, 2017

How Much Cardio Is Too Much?

By Emily Whiteside

Let's Talk Cardio

Let’s talk cardio. Personally, it is not my favorite and shouldn’t be over-done if you’re lean out or build muscle. The only exception is if you are training for endurance, then you can disregard this. On top of this, cardio does NOT burn as many calories as you think.

Cardio should be done just like we put sprinkles on a cupcake. It’s just a “topping”. If our goal is to lean out then nutrition and lifting weights is our primary focus. Cardio is added in as an extra calorie-burner.

Why is doing too much bad?

Doing too much cardio interferes with muscle hypertrophy, strength, and adaptation. Basically, it does the opposite of what we’re trying to accomplish. Now this is only if you’re doing TOO MUCH.

How Much Cardio?

So… Then how much cardio should I do?

Well, I can’t really tell you that unless I know exactly what you are doing, but here are some guidelines to help you.

Check your progress weekly. If you start your fat loss phase with no cardio or minimal cardio, see how your body responds to the nutrition aspect first and foremost.

Once 2-4 weeks goes by, and you see slower results then you want, then start adding in some cardio OR take more calories from your diet. This is up to you!

Now let’s look at it this way. Let’s say your maintenance calories are 1800 – you put yourself on a diet of 1600 calories (Thats a 200 calorie deficit). You start to plateau a little bit, so NOW you choose to A) Lower your food intake or B) Add in some cardio. Just like the “Sprinkles”.

Choose your type of cardio – LISS, MISS, HITT – of course you will have to vary time with how intense it is. For example, LISS (low intensity steady state) is slow, easy cardio but you will have to do much more to burn as many calories as you would for HIIT (high intensity interval training).

**Side note** You only burn 0.2-0.7 kcal per 10 minutes per body weight! (0.2 is for LISS and 0.7 is HIIT). This means for a 120 lb person you are only burning 24 calories per 10 minutes of LISS, and 84 calories in 10 minutes with HIIT. THIS is why I recommend changing your intake around, as cardio is HARD to get a solid deficit alone from!

But what is too much cardio?

Guidelines

Here is a very simple guideline. If you’re doing more cardio than you are resistance training, you’re overdoing it. If you feel like you live your life on a treadmill, you’re overdoing it. If you are starting to dread every miserable second, you are over doing it.

Making cardio fun

Cardio DOES NOT have to mean running. It doesn’t have to mean slaving away on the elliptical either! It can be done however and wherever you like! For example, if you REALLY enjoy long walks with your dogs, then do that! If you love running, do that. It is up to you! Cardio does not have to be done traditionally either. You can supplement cardio in for little weighted circuits after a workout. Get creative!

What should my actual training program look like?

I got you covered! Download your FREE ebook here: How to write your own workout program. I cover cardio in more detail here too, if you are still confused about the LISS MISS HITT lingo.

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  • Feb 14, 2017

“Toning up” is building muscle, and cardio will not get you there

By Emily Whiteside

Weight Lifting

We all know that any type of exercise will benefit us; whether it is weight lifting, running, walking, or playing sports. It is important that you incorporate exercises that you truly enjoy doing. However, you definitely need to be hitting the weights at the gym. It can definitely be intimidating, and it is easier to just jump on the elliptical because it’s simple to operate, but I promise weight lifting will change your body immensely.

Contrary to popular belief, lifting weights as a woman will not make you bulky or instantly look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Have you ever heard someone say that want to “tone up and lean out”? I think I’ve heard that from just about every single client that has come to me. Toning up is building muscle, and the only way to truly build muscle is to utilize resistance training. I’m not talking about doing 1000 reps of shoulder presses and squats with little 1-lb pink dumbbells either. You need to get in the weight room, and train your muscles. Cardio will not get you there, and in fact it will do the opposite if it is utilized too much.

Not Just for Men

About 8 years ago I would go to the gym, before weight lifting got so popular amongst women like it is today. Every single female would be on the cardio machines. I was almost always the only girl on the lifting floor. I was approached by men just about every day telling me that weights would make me “bulky” or “manly”. I ignored that and did what I loved. I also loved that it was something I could do with my dad, who would push me to train heavy, taught me proper form, and educated me on the basics. He seemed like one of the only one’s telling me that weights wouldn’t make me manly, and instead would give me a more feminine look – and he was right!

Now imagine being 16-17 years old and training in a gym that was 95% males, with maybe 1 other female lifting too (usually I was the only one). It was so intimidating! I remember somedays I just wanted to hop on the treadmill to “fit” in. But I loved training, so I pushed the negativity aside and just kept trucking along. So the point I am trying to make is yes, you will need to go outside your comfort zone, probably feel like a bit of a fool, but I promise you the benefits are SO worth it!

Not Just Cardio

Why you shouldn’t focus only on cardio:

Have you ever noticed someone who is constantly running or jumping on the elliptical to “lose weight”, but months go by and they still look exactly the same? You see them doing more and more cardio, but still nothing is happening. Of course diet comes into play here as well, but cardio does not build muscle. It does burn calories, but the calories you burn during cardio is so little. Your body actually becomes very efficient and adapts to all of this cardio, forcing you to do more and more to see any type of fat loss. This combined with eating salads all the time, only slows the metabolism down even more. Doing too much, sends your body into a catabolic state, burning muscle – the is exactly the opposite of what we want to happen!

Cardio definitely offers some great benefits for the heart, and of course some people actually enjoy doing it (I’m definitely not one of them). By all means, incorporate the cardio, just don’t run yourself into the ground.

Have you ever heard of the term “skinny fat”? This often comes from doing cardio, but not incorporating weights.

More weights, more dates:

Lifting weights is the money maker when trying to transform your body, “tone”, build that booty, or have non-flabby bingo arms (who’s with me now!). By building muscle and focusing on getting stronger, your metabolism will raise allowing you to burn more calories throughout the day, not just in the moment like cardio does. And for the zillionth time, lifting weights will not make you bulky. If you’re ready to transform your body, and your sick of slaving away at the treadmill for hours on end, GET STRONGER. Pick up those dumbbells and barbells, and eat some food! Supplement cardio in as needed, but don’t rely on it.

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  • Jan 1, 2017

Slow and Steady Wins The Race: Why you shouldn’t jump full throttle into a new fitness program

By Emily Whiteside

Drastic Change

We have all been there, wanting to change something about ourselves, doing the research (hopefully), and then get anxious to execute said protocol. We go from 0 to 100 the first day excited to make that goal a reality. In terms of weight loss, we generally start by cutting out sugar completely, making sure every meal is a salad, or we pick the hardest boot camp in the area and decide that you are going to do that 5 days a week. Burpees and squats until our legs fall off! Maybe you’ve done a blend of all?

Unfortunately, these standards are setting you up for failure. If not in the first week, for sure in the first few months depending on how “hard” you go. I used to think in these terms as well. I wanted a change, so I would alter my program adding in tons of cardio, some crazy circuits for “off days”, and make sure I cut those calories. Needless to say, if I even stuck to this for a few days it definitely wouldn’t last to the end of the next few weeks. I would get frustrated with myself for not sticking to the plan yet again, take it out on the food in my pantry, and then find myself right back at the beginning.

So why is a drastic change such a bad idea? First lets look at the nutrition portion. When you are used to eating an average of lets say 1900 calories a day, and then all of a sudden you decide to cut that down to 1200 calories (a reduction of 700 calories) you already are setting yourself up for failure. Why? Drastic changes like that make it very difficult to stay consistent and hard to adhere too. When weekends come around, most likely after the high of “transforming yourself” sets sail, you’re just going to want to eat. This probably won’t be an extra 200 calorie treat either – instead it will end in a weekend splurge. “I’ll get back on track Monday, for real this time!” – said every single Sunday night. I know you’ve used that a time or two!! Also, making habit changes take TIME. It is easy to follow a meal plan, but it is hard to actually change the behaviors that lead us to overeat or not stick to our calories (or macros). Like any learning process, this takes a lot of time and work. If you started a brand new job, outside of your field, wouldn’t you need some training before you started? The same goes for dieting. You must identify the issues you personally have, instead of trying a cookie-cutter diet plan that will only work for a few weeks. Do you really want to eat the food on the meal plan for the rest of your life? What will you do around Holidays, social events, going out to eat, etc? This is why we need to learn behavior changes and how to properly diet. Step-by-step and day-by-day.

What You Should Do

Now lets move on to the 5-day a week boot camp class that promises to knock off 10 pounds the first month. Sounds great! You are drenched in sweat after every class, you feel like death, and you are so extremely sore you can barley sit down on the toilet – just what a transformation challenge should feel like right? Wrong! Ok so lets learn some basic science. Everyone has a metabolism. Let’s say that your basal metabolic rate – the amount of calories your body burns at rest – is 1200 calories. You have already decided to diet on 1200 calories for your new plan. These classes you are now going to attend 5x a week burns roughly 500 calories. If you are still following me, that metabolism will slow, and its going to slow quickly. You will at first lose weight, thats a fact! But what is your body going to do when this becomes its new norm? You will hit a plateau. Now, you’re going to have to hit that boot camp class even more, maybe throw in MORE cardio, or even start eating less? Do you think you can keep this up any more? I didn’t think so. I’m not going to even begin to give you the list of injuries that could easily occur with over doing these exercises either. If you are de-conditioned please learn proper form before executing and do not throw yourself into the “advanced” group. This is why transforming yourself should not be drastic or challenging. Now of course, it will have challenges as its a new learning process, but if it’s anything I described above do yourself a favor and stop!

What you really should be doing to transform your body:

Consistency

Find out the amount of calories you are eating now. Are you gaining or maintaining weight on them? From that number subtract about 100-250 calories and THAT is your new target. So let’s say that you eat 1900 calories as stated before and you are neither gaining weight on that nor losing weight; you are maintaining weight. You will now eat about 1700 calories. This small change may not feel like its “hard enough” or “drastic” enough, but I promise for the long-term it is enough. Adhere to this and stay consistent with it and you will see changes. These changes will last; it won’t be another quick fix.

Learn what you do wrong, and find ways to fix it. Take each set back or mistake as a new learning experience about yourself. For example, I know that when I have chocolate covered raisins in the house I will eat the entire box. I am conditioned to do it from the past and they just taste amazing. It’s almost like a reflex when I eat them, and most of the time I’m not even hungry! Needless to say, I don’t ever buy them and I definitely don’t keep them in the house. It may or may not have taken a few attempts to “learn” this about myself. Another example would be changing how you eat. Maybe eating bigger meals instead of snacking in between will keep your satiety levels at ease. Pay attention to places you go or even people you see that force you in the direction of over-eating. For example, if you know that every time you go to a Mexican restaurant your self control goes out the window when the free chips and guac come – ask the server not to bring them. Do you notice any relationships you have that cause you to overeat, as it almost again feels like a reflex? You may have a certain friend, that every single time you go out with them it seems like food is always in the picture – and lots of it. It almost makes it feel like those calories don’t count, right? Well since there is no such thing as a time machine or magic, they do still count. Try offering to do something else that doesn’t revolve around food.

Find a program to do that fits YOUR lifestyle, and is something you enjoy. Call me crazy, but I definitely do not enjoy doing 1,000 burpees in an hour. I also don’t enjoy hopping on an elliptical for 60 minutes straight, slowly gliding my way to misery- BORING. Weight lifting has always been my thing, but with a very busy schedule I can only make it a habit to hit the gym 4 days a week. Since I also hate cardio machines, I do find that walking is fun for me. So that is what I do. I do exactly what I can and what fits into my life right now. Of course, I may have to alter that toward the end of a diet, and possibly add in some cardio here and there. However, it is still manageable and still something I enjoy most of the time. FYI Lifting weights is also the best thing you can do if you are looking for that “toned”, lean, and bootylicious look. Cardio won’t get you there, hate to break it to ya. LIFT HEAVY – for the millionth-and- one times it DOES NOT, and I repeat DOES NOT make women bulky. I could list off about a thousand benefits of weight lifting and bust a thousand myths, but for your eye’s sake I will not do that here.

The biggest secret to a lifelong lean physique is consistency, adherence, hard work, and change. That will not come with over doing it too quickly and burning yourself out before your body had a chance to even realize WTF you’re doing. I know what you’re thinking: it sounds too easy, I need drastic, I have to add tons of cardio in, I need extremely low calories, blah blah blah. NO you do not. It is not easy to stay consistent, but if you do it the right way and dedicate the time properly it is actually possible, and even more possible for the long-term. I challenge you to cut back if you have noticed yourself drastically changing things. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.

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  • Dec 8, 2016

Binge eating, Emotions, and Fitness Goals

By Emily Whiteside

Emotions and Goals

It took me a long time to realize this, but keeping emotions separate from your fitness goals can make or break progress. Mindset is just as, or more, important as hitting the gym and may be the reason why sticking to your nutrition plan is so hard.

For me, it all started in high school. I knew absolutely nothing about nutrition and thought the less you eat, the better and the more you exercise, the better. I would track what I ate, and then make sure I burn it off at the gym. My days consisted of rice cakes, carrots, and celery with double gym sessions.

Then in college, I stayed a very restricted eater during the week. However, weekends were full of partying all night, where after I would find myself in the kitchen binging on whatever I could find. I remember thinking to myself “ok put the bag down and just stop eating, you’re not even hungry”, but I couldn’t. The next day, I would be disgusted with myself, restrict myself even more, and then it would happen all over again. This was the very extreme to my binge-restrict cycle. I would tell myself horrible things, like “I am so fat and ugly, I’ll never be good enough, nobody will ever like me because my body isn’t perfect”. I would like to say these negative self-talks happened occasionally, but they didn’t. They happened every single day, every time I looked in the mirror. I compared myself immensely to my friends. I thought this was normal.

Mindset

I did not have the epiphany you may have heard of. I didn’t wake up one day and think “Wow, I really keep putting myself down for no reason.”, and my binging did not miraculously come to a stop. I dealt with this all through college. As I started learning more about tracking macros, the binge eating slowly (and I mean very slowly) came to a stop. The negative self-talk did not. A couple years after college, I “tracked” macros, which meant I set them pretty low, but always went over them, which in turn brought the negative self talk. This was not the binge eating – restrict cycle I had been at before. Instead, I would get so upset with myself for going “over” my set macro goals that I would constantly say “screw it, I already messed up”. Again, the negative self-talk would be similar to my college days, “I suck at this, I will never be fit or good enough…”.

Now, ever since I can remember I have ALWAYS talked negatively inside. I remember being in 4th grade and the skin on my legs would press up against the chair at school, making them look “huge”. Mind you, I was on the very skinny side growing up, and the very low end of the charts at the doctors office. I remember sitting in that chair and thinking my legs looked enormous. I remember that early of an age being disgusted with my body.

Trying to change a negative mindset about yourself after telling yourself constantly from an early age that your too fat or not good enough, is HARD. After spending months reading self-help books on positive mindset, I am only starting to realize my potential. I do not binge eat anymore. I am definitely not perfect. I took time off from tracking macros, and just listened to my body, ate foods that made me feel good, and just kept going. I still have my bad days, where I let my emotions get the best of me. However, I am so much better than I was before. When I got back into tracking, I did my best. When I go over a little bit, I don’t let it affect me. I don’t throw the entire day away, and let myself over eat by 500 calories anymore. I used to do that all the time. No wonder I would get so frustrated that I wasn’t making progress! Here are some things that have really helped me on this journey to positive mindset, while reaching my fitness goals.

The Right Way

I track when I over eat things. This is huge for me. In the past, I would track until I noticed I went over (and even slightly by 100 calories). I would get so frustrated with myself and then just pick at things the rest of the night (not tracking it), which would probably have put me over 500 calories. When I do go over by 200-300 calories I am ok with it. I don’t let it get to me anymore, and I move on. I keep my emotions separate from this. Tracking the foods I eat when I know I went over keeps me accountable. Next, I learned to meditate. I am still not perfect at it, but it keeps me mindful and refreshed. I also have started journaling. Every night before bed I rate my day. I explain how I rated my day and why. Then I find a quote that inspired me that day and write it down. Sounds cheesy, I know. But it really does help! The next one is really helpful. I eat more mindfully. I ask myself if I am actually hungry, if I really want that icecream, or if I’m just letting my emotions get the best of me. I find for me when I am stressed out or don’t get enough sleep, I allow myself to snack more and grab things I shouldn’t. My “willpower” is a lot less after a bad night’s rest. I stay aware of my bad habits, and try my best not to allow them to ruin my day. Staying tuned into what your habits are is so important. I actually found that writing down when you overeat or mindlessly eat helps to avoid that behavior or at least realize it. For example, I know when I am stressed out, tired, or anxious my body drags me to the fridge. I am aware of this now, and do other things instead to distract myself.

I may not be exactly where I wan to be, but I know when I reach my fitness goals I will have reached them the right way. My mindset will be positive, I will have eaten mindfully, not restricted myself, or punished myself. Mindset is just as important as going to the gym. I have never had a problem with getting myself in the gym, but the mindset is what kept me from sticking to that nutrition plan. My negative self-talk allowed my emotions to get the best of me. I have never been over-weight, but I have been so uncomfortable in my body. I have felt fat, and out-of-shape. I have been at the point where I didn’t even want friends to see me, because I thought they would judge me. It’s not a good feeling to have, and all of that was made-up. In reality, I was in good shape compared to most of the population, my friends could give 2 sh*ts if I gained weight, and I was still me, after- all. With those feelings comes self-hate and negative talk. No matter what stage your at, whether you are a beginner or even at your leanest – appreciate your body, love the work you’re putting in, and tell yourself you are beautiful and worth it.

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  • Nov 23, 2016

What Your Fad Diet Won’t Tell You

By Emily Whiteside

The Best Diet Ever

If you do a quick internet search, utilize social media, watch television, or even check out a magazine in line at the store, you are guaranteed to run into the “best” diet ever or the “top” workout program for “a bigger butt and leaner abs“. Most of these diet and exercise programs promise pounds lost in 6-weeks time, or sometimes as low as 2-weeks time. If you actually can stick to the program, you probably WILL lose that weight. So they aren’t lying to you, but they aren’t telling the whole truth.

If you follow their program, you may possibly lose X amount of weight in X amount of time. But, what about after? These programs offer quick results, with a guarantee that you’ll gain the weight back (maybe even more), and try their program again. They offer nothing on constructing a positive mindset, what to do when you’re faced with stress, how to choose options at a restaurant, or how to combat those terrible cravings. AND they must think humans are all the same because nothing is customized. All of these tools are necessary when reaching weight loss, building rock hard glutes, or just trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Wouldn’t it be nice to actually learn about your body, how you can change your mindset, and eat in a way that allows you flexibility, yet still brings results that LAST? AKA have your cake and eat it too…

Don’t get me started on what all of these yo-yo diets do to your system. Did you know that everyone has fat cells? Yes, even the bikini model you see on that magazine. When you diet, those fat cells shrink, but remain. When you gain weight, those fat cells get larger, and when you gain even more weight they multiply in number and those get larger. Here’s the bad news… Once you increase the number of fat cells, there ain’t no goin’ back.

All About Jane

Now, lets say a lady named Jane isn’t so happy about her current bod. She decides to try one of these fad diets. Let’s say the fad diet she’s trying is to cut ALL carbohydrates out. That’s right Jane, no more bread, potatoes, or fruit for you. Poor Jane; that sounds like my living hell. So she jumps in and does the thing. Gets close to her goal weight, maybe she’s 10 pounds away. She’s probably pretty miserable at this point, but she keeps on chugging. What’s that? The scale’s not moving? Here is what’s actually happening and what I can promise will happen.

First, the scale isn’t moving because poor ole’ Jane cut her calories WAY back WAY too quickly. This is problem numbaaaa one. There is a thing called adaptive thermogenesis. Unfortunately, as human beings we all have this just like fat cells that like to multiply on us. Adaptive thermogenesis is the bodies way of adapting to the calorie intake provided. A lot of people, when dieting, will find that they plateaued and can’t seem to lose that last 10 pounds like Jane. You can blame adaptive thermogenesis on that one. Your body has become suited to that calorie intake. So what now? Now poor Janey has to drop her calories even lower!!! Should she cut out fat? Stop eating protein? HELP!

Problem numbaaaa two is that since little Jane probably won’t decide to drop her calories even lower, because she knows she won’t be able to sustain that type of life more than another week, she will begin to eat some carbs again. Because it’s her birthday, and then she’s going on vacation, so the girl wants some damn cake. Once again, Jane’s waistline will expand. Those annoying fat cells are going to expand too, and increase in number. BOOM she’s gained more weight back then she had before. Of course this process doesn’t happen overnight, but probably quicker than you think.

So now you ask, what is she going to do? She has two options, listed below. Here’s a pop quiz, you tell me what option seems best.

Pop Quiz

Jane refuses to go buy another wardrobe full of bigger sizes. She decides to try a new diet out. Unlike the last one, she will cut out 2 meals and drink a special, magical weight loss concoction, and eat 1 regular meal within certain boundaries. She thinks this sounds totally doable! Super easy, no guess work. Those fat cells start shrinking (not decreasing in quantity though). Six-weeks in and she’s doing great. She hasn’t strayed from the diet yet. Then, the Holiday season creeps up. All these parties to attend, extra treats in the break room at work, and the financial stress hits her hard, making her give in to temptation a little more each day. I bet you know what happens next. I’ll leave it up to your imagination to fill it in.

Jane decides she doesn’t want to buy another wardrobe full of bigger sizes, but she is so sick of going on all these diets and not finding anything she can stick too. She decides once and for all, she is going to do this the right way. The way she should’ve started out doing. She wants to LEARN about nutrition, how the body works, and maybe start going to the gym on a regular basis, not just when she feels good. [She sees this awesome Facebook post about ASC fitness, and she’s sold. ] She works with a coach everyday on nutrition and has a proper exercise program tailored specifically to what is optimal for her. She starts focusing on positive mindset. Then she actually learns about macronutrients, what you should be eating, and most importantly, what to do when her day goes to sh*t and all she wants to do is binge on Ben and Jerry’s. These tools and tricks stay with her in every decision she makes. AND someone is actually holding her accountable everyday! Yes Jane, because I WANT you to succeed, and will do everything in my power to make sure you do.

Now, that pop quiz wasn’t so hard was it?

If you feel like Jane was actually you, it’s time to change things once and for all. When finding a new routine or a coach, aim for LASTING results not QUICK results.