Blog Post by Coach Julie
NCI Certified Nutrition Coach L1 & Certified Mindset Coach
Embarking on a journey to lose body fat isn't just about following a strict diet or hitting the gym relentlessly. It's also about cultivating the right mindset. In fact, your mindset can be the determining factor between success and failure in achieving your fat loss goals. In this post, we'll delve into the crucial mindset shifts that are essential for shedding those extra pounds and achieving a healthier, happier you.
Understanding Your Relationship with Food: One of the fundamental mindset shifts necessary for losing body fat is changing your relationship with food. Instead of viewing food as a source of comfort or reward, start seeing it as fuel for your body. Focus on nourishing your body with wholesome, nutrient-dense foods that support your health and fitness goals. Incorporating keywords such as "healthy eating habits," "nutrient-dense foods," and "balanced nutrition" naturally into the content enhances relevance.
Embracing Consistency Over Perfection: Many individuals fall into the trap of striving for perfection when it comes to their diet and exercise routine. However, perfection is not sustainable. Instead, shift your focus towards consistency. Consistently making healthier choices and sticking to your workout plan, even on days when motivation is low, is key to long-term success. Keywords like "consistency in fitness," "sustainable habits," and "long-term progress" reinforce the importance of this mindset shift.
Cultivating Self-Compassion: It's easy to be overly critical of ourselves, especially when it comes to our bodies. However, practicing self-compassion is essential for maintaining a positive mindset on your fat loss journey. Be kind to yourself, celebrate your progress, and learn from setbacks without being too harsh. This mindset shift encourages a healthier relationship with yourself, which is crucial for overall well-being. Keywords like "self-compassion," "positive self-talk," and "self-acceptance" are seamlessly integrated to enhance relevance.
Focusing on Non-Scale Victories: While the number on the scale can be a useful tool for tracking progress, it shouldn't be the sole focus of your fat loss journey. Instead, shift your focus towards non-scale victories such as increased energy levels, improved mood, better sleep, and enhanced confidence. These victories are equally, if not more, important indicators of your overall health and progress. Incorporating keywords like "non-scale achievements," "health improvements," and "well-being goals" emphasizes the significance of this mindset shift.
Setting Realistic Goals: Setting unrealistic goals can set you up for disappointment and frustration. Instead, focus on setting realistic, achievable goals that align with your lifestyle and capabilities. Break your larger fat loss goal into smaller, manageable milestones, and celebrate each achievement along the way. This approach fosters a sense of accomplishment and keeps you motivated to continue progressing. Keywords like "realistic goal setting," "achievable milestones," and "progress tracking" support the relevance of this mindset shift.
Achieving fat loss goes beyond just following a diet and exercise plan—it requires a mindset shift. By changing your perspective on food, embracing consistency and self-compassion, focusing on non-scale victories, and setting realistic goals, you can set yourself up for success on your fat loss journey. Remember, it's not just about transforming your body; it's about transforming your mindset for a healthier, happier life.
Blog Post By Kayli Montoya-Huston
NASM Certified Personal Trainer & NCI Certified Nutrition Coach L1 and Mindset Coach
Embarking on a weight loss journey can be challenging, especially when you're committed to shedding those stubborn pounds but see minimal results. If you're wondering why your body fat isn't budging, you're not alone. In this blog post, we'll explore the top 10 reasons that might be hindering your fat loss progress and provide practical solutions to overcome these obstacles.
Inadequate Caloric Deficit:
Identifying and addressing these roadblocks can pave the way for successful fat loss. Remember, patience and consistency are key. Consult with a qualified nutrition coach or personal trainer to personalize your approach and maximize your results. Your fitness journey is unique, and understanding these reasons can help you overcome obstacles and achieve your body fat loss goals.
Blog Post by Coach Julie
NCI Certified Nutrition Coach Level 1 and Certified Mindset Coach
Fitness and nutrition are absolute staples to being your happiest, healthiest self. The problem is, some people take it too far. Coach Kayli and I have seen people lose a significant amount of weight and find themselves obsessing over their food, weight, fitness, clothes, etc. This really isn’t that uncommon. We usually see this when a person has struggled with emotional eating or binge eating. They lose body fat, but they never treated the root cause of the emotional eating. As with health, you have to treat the root cause or the issue doesn’t go away. Usually emotional eating is caused by unhealed trauma. When a person loses weight but doesn’t work on healing old trauma, they simply replace the old unhealthy coping mechanism with a new unhealthy coping mechanism. We see them go from binging food to not eating, obsessively weighing themselves, or overexercising. These habits can be just as dangerous for people as overeating. The key to being successful is obtaining and maintaining a healthy relationship with food. Here are some signs that you may have an unhealthy relationship with food:
If you recognize any of these traits, it may be time for you to reach out to a mental health professional to help you work through any issues you may have with food. Disordered eating is a legitimate issue that you should address. You shouldn’t live your life chained by food or fitness. Food and fitness should be things you enjoy and tools to help you live healthy.
Welcome to 2024!
As we dive into the new year, let's focus on what really matters for fat-loss. I'm not about quick fixes or fads. It's all about practical steps you can actually stick to. This is my 9th January working in fitness, and I'm often inspired and rejuvenated by the new year too. Many people bash "resolutions," making it feel vulnerable to admit having big health goals for the new year. But you aren't alone. There are plenty of others watching this who want to improve how they look, move, and feel.
The number one thing I hear from people at the beginning of each new year is their desire to lose weight, closely followed by wishes to eat "better" and "exercise more."
Let’s tackle two out of these three: losing weight and eating better. These are the two things (besides maybe better sleep) that will help you feel better.
So here is Tip #1 of the 10 no-nonsense strategies to help you lose fat more easily this year.
Stay strong, Coach Kayli!
Blog Post by Coach Julie
NCI Certified Nutrition Coach L1 and Certified Mindset Coach
Most people I talk to are so focused on giving and caring for others. Nobility is admirable. But there is a lot of value in loving yourself. Believe it or not, this can be one of the best ways to give and care for others.
What many, including myself, don’t often understand is this. When we don’t love ourselves, we inadvertently outsource that to those around us. It means it can be difficult for others to be truly transparent and vulnerable with us because they also want to care for us.
The people around us need us to be ok when it’s time to have tough conversations. Hard conversations are a part of life, but they are difficult to have with a person that doesn’t have enough love for themselves that they can truly hear what the other person is saying. Often these conversations are opportunities for us to grow and learn to be better FOR the other person in our lives, no matter the relationship. When we struggle to love ourselves, we view this as criticism and we often grow defensive and shut down. This isn’t helping us become the best versions of ourselves and grow the relationship. It keeps us stuck.
There will be times that it makes sense to put ourselves second and another first, but if you have grace and love for yourself, it is so much easier to step into that role without eventually feeling resentful. Resentment is a relationship killer. When you constantly put other people’s needs before your own, you will grow resentful. You will. Many think that putting their needs aside makes them a good partner and it saves their relationship but it actually suffocates it. Both parties may stay in the relationship but are they happy? Usually no. You have to love yourself enough to know that your needs matter and are important. You have to love yourself enough to have that conversation with the other party. Tell them what you need and how they can help you achieve this. There are ALWAYS ways to meet the other person’s needs. Sometimes compromise is necessary but there’s always a road to fulfillment. Avoiding this is not loving yourself and it’s not loving your partner. Be straightforward with your needs and give your partner the gift of being able to love you the way you need to be loved. (This counts for friendship and other dynamics as well.) This makes you happy and more fulfilled and the other person in the relationship as well.
There is value in loving yourself. Not just for you, but for those around you too.
Like it or not, a number of changes happen to our bodies as we age. They are a natural part of living life and include a combination of age-related structural, biochemical and physiological changes. Some of these changes are inevitable, however how we live our lives, including how much activity and exercise we do, has a huge influence on the speed and extent of these changes.
We all know exercise is good for us and has lots of benefits to our health. Perhaps less well known are the benefits of strength training (resistance training), which are fortunately now becoming more widely researched and promoted.
Perhaps even less well known are the benefits of strength training specifically for older adults. Strength training has multiple health and lifestyle benefits for older adults. So much so that in our opinion, it should be a mandatory prescription from your doctor. Let’s explore why…
What happens to our bodies when we age?
All of the changes above can have huge consequences. Some are inevitable with aging, others have environmental and genetic risk factors which also play a role. The changes in our muscles and bones cause slowing down, aches and pains, making performing our normal daily activities such as walking, climbing stairs and household tasks more difficult.
It also puts you at an increased risk of falling over, and of serious injury such as fractures if you do. Ultimately, older adults with low muscle mass and bone density are at a higher risk of a poor quality of life, loss of independence and even an earlier death.
The levels of muscle mass and strength loss varies in different people. Generally we are at our peak maximum physical capacity between 20-30 years old. Our muscle mass then starts to gradually decline until we are about 50 years old, after which the decline starts to happen more rapidly.
Studies have shown that strength loss can occur as fast as 15% per decade after our 50s. Though, the level of loss and rate of decline varies in different people because of a variety of factors including lifestyle, genetics and the presence of other conditions or diseases.
Hearing all of this can sound very scary. It can make the changes happening to our bodies in aging seem beyond our control. But that’s far from the truth.
The power of strength training
Not all of the changes listed above are inevitable with aging. There is evidence to show that a large amount of the decline in muscle strength seen in aging is due to inactivity and disuse. A number of other studies now show that these changes can actually be reversed too.
We can slow these changes down, we can reduce the loss of muscle and bone density and even improve it as we age.
We therefore can take ownership and control of our bodies in aging.
Unfortunately, there is no magic medication, but there is something you can do in exercise and, more specifically, strength training. It just involves a little more effort than taking a pill every morning. That being said, strength training can also actually be more enjoyable and has many more benefits than just improving your muscle mass or bone density.
What are the benefits of strength training for older adults?There is very clear evidence for the benefits of strength training in older adults to improve muscle strength, mass and functioning, as well as increase bone density. Strength training induces muscle growth, improves muscle mass and increases muscle strength.
It makes your muscles stronger, more powerful and keeps them doing their very important job in allowing you to do all the functional things you want to do in your life. Whether that be walking around pain free to go to the shops and see friends, looking after your children and grandchildren, going on long bike rides and country walks, playing sports or even running marathons.
There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the significant benefits of strength training for all age groups (improved muscle and bone health, improved body composition and fat loss, prevention of a huge number of chronic and preventable diseases, improved energy levels and mood). These benefits are increasingly important as we age.
Performed regularly, 2 or 3 times a week, strength training specifically in older adults has been shown to:
The list goes on and on… so the real question is, when are you going to get started?
Starting strength training as an older adult can sound like a scary prospect, but it doesn’t have to be.
You don’t need to do it at the gym with heavy weights (though you absolutely can do), it can be something carried out in your home with little or no equipment.
Browse our website to learn more, or get in touch for personalized 1:1 coaching.
- Coach Kayli
Blog Post by Coach Julie
NCI Certified Nutrition Coach L1 and Certified Mindset Coach
Many people embark on a weight loss journey and find themselves quickly shutting down their own progress because they are overwhelmed. Ambitious goals are fantastic, but if you’re overwhelming yourself with monumental goals, chances are you are going to experience paralysis by analysis.
While I agree that having a goal and having a plan to reach that goal is integral, if we are at the starting line and using binoculars to view the finish line, without looking at the path, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Set your goal. Create a plan. Then . . . Solve for Thursday. I know that sounds crazy right?
So here’s the deal . . . I borrowed this principle from one of my mentors, Dr. John Delony. He actually said, “solve for Tuesday.” He was referring to marriage and how to make your home feel the way you want it to. He stated that rather than looking so far down the road, look at how you want the average Tuesday to look. When you come home from work on a typical day, how do you picture that? What’s your ideal evening look like when you walk in the door? How’s it feel? When you have that “average Tuesday” figured out, all you have to do is create that, day after day.
I believe the same principle applies to weight loss. Once you have your goal set, you will start working on the path that leads you to that goal. This path should include small daily goals. Basically, what do you want a typical day to look like on the way to your goal?
Do you want to wake up every day and go on a walk?
Do you want to have a certain breakfast?
Do you want to pack your lunch for work everyday?
Do you want to allow yourself a small treat at the end of every day so you’re making progress but don’t hate your life?
If you “solve for Thursday” and repeat that solution, you remove the guesswork and the distractions that could throw you off plan. Keep it simple. The military uses the acronym, KISS, for a reason. There is no reason to over complicate and over think things. Break it down to daily goals and hit those 80% or more of the time, and you will hit your goals.
Here are 3 mistakes every woman over 40 needs to avoid.
Technically, these are 3 mistakes everyone who wants to improve their body composition and get leaner needs to avoid.
But women are more sensitive to stress so they can't get away with as much.
It's not fair but it does make sense from an evolutionary standpoint. Women are more important to the survival of our species than men. Ya know, the whole baby carrying thing.
Anyway, in no particular order...
Mistake #1. Fasting or "skipping breakfast" - let's first put to bed the myth that fasting is superior for fat loss. It's not. Fasting isn't even a nutrition protocol. You can fast and do keto, you can fast and track macros, you can fast and eat 10,000 calories per day.
The fasting cult followers say that if you condense the feeding window, you're more likely to eat less because there's less time to eat. Certain things sound good in theory but don't hold up to real life application.
Fasting is one of them. Studies show that people who fast tend to eat a lot more later in the day and it's easier for them to over indulge. They also report higher hunger and cravings. And there are certain metabolic disadvantages that can occur due to fasting.
This is especially true in women over 40 who are more sensitive to stress. Cortisol is highest in the morning and fasting is a stress on the body (lack of energy coming in). During the season of life when hormonal changes are happening, it's not the time to disrupt things even further.
My recommendation: wake up and eat within an hour of getting out of bed. Make it a high protein breakfast and a well balanced meal (with some carbs and fats) to reduce cortisol and keep blood sugar stable.
Mistake #2. HIIT / Group Classes / Cardio - this is a dose dependent thing but based on experience in working with hundreds of women over the past decade, a lot of individuals overdo it when it comes to this style of exercise.
I'm talking about OrangeTheory, F45, bootcamps, HIIT, cardio, etc. Anything where the main goal of the workout is basically a manual "calorie burn" and you often feel rewarded with a pool of sweat on the floor.
Now, before you stop doing all forms of cardio, there's absolutely a time and place. Improving your cardio capacity is great for overall health. Sweating is a wonderful thing.
However, it's easy to get hooked on the feeling. Or high on believing. Wait, where was I? Oh right.. too much cardio.
This style of exercise is not exactly great for your metabolism or hormone health. It's a stressor like any form of exercise (increases cortisol) but it doesn't come with a metabolic advantage like lifting weights does. Because you're getting more efficient with calories each time you do that same workout or form of cardio.
That means the calorie burn gets less and less. Not only that, but studies show that HIIT and cardio can drive hunger and cravings up and our bodies also subconsciously move less throughout the day to compensate for the calorie burn that occurred during the workout.
My recommendation: this style of training is not great for body composition improvements. If you want to get leaner, do some form of resistance training as the foundation of your workouts. Use cardio in smaller doses and be sure to pay attention to recovery, hunger, and cravings. Notice how you're impacted when you work out like that.
If you're training to get better at cardio (like running a marathon or ironman etc) then you'll obviously need a much higher level of frequency. In that case, you better be prepared to fuel appropriately to counter balance the amount of stress you're putting on your body.
Mistake #3. Dieting too frequently / too extremely / unsustainably - once again, this is a problem across the board but when you're more sensitive to stress, it becomes an even bigger issue.
Dieting is a major stressor on the body. Consider that your results, your metabolic health, and your hormone health are all dependent on having the appropriate resources to meet the demands you place on your body.
Food / energy is an important resource. Recovery is a resource. Sleep is a resource. Self-care is a resource.
Dieting impacts all of the above. You're removing energy, impairing recovery, making it more difficult to get adequate sleep, and potentially sacrificing self-care.
A lot of women get frustrated when they're told to basically starve themselves and then don't see progress. Why don't they see progress? Because the diet is too extreme and your body fights to preserve energy.
Think about it like this.. do you really want a fast and effective metabolism when very little energy is coming in? Of course you don't. You'd starve to death quicker.
So your body adapts by down regulating metabolic function, suppressing certain systems in the body like immune function, sexual function, etc.
The more frequently you diet, the more stress you place on your body. The more extreme your diet is, the more of a stressor it is. The more you try to be perfect, the more unsustainable the results are.
My recommendation: diet smarter, not harder. Have a dedicated fat loss phase that lasts about 12-16 weeks (the timeline will be highly dependent on the individual). Keep it very moderate and if you're going to be more aggressive, you better damn well have recovery and stress management on lock.
Eat mostly high quality foods and incorporate things you love in moderation each day (or at least each week). Avoid the half in, half out approach where you kinda sorta diet but then indulge and want to keep dieting forever.
Unfortunately, these 3 mistakes are insanely common.
In fact, they're often all done at once.
Almost daily I speak to women who are trying to fast, eat 1200 calories, and are doing a whole bunch of cardio or HIIT.
When you reach that season of life when hormones are changing and sensitivity to stress is higher, it's important to focus on some foundational habits that go a long way in your overall health and body composition.
Food quality should really be a primary focus. It's incredibly important for hormone health.
Walking is like the gift that keeps on giving. Do it frequently.
Protein is your best friend. Eat lots of it.
Muscle is your metabolic gold. Preserve it. Build it.
Sleep and stress management are non negotiables. If anyone gets in the way of your sleep and self-care, you have permission to Will Smith them (is that still a reference? Probably not. But I'm using it anyway).
Above all else, prioritize yourself. I just spoke to someone this morning who said that she's spent 45 years of her life putting everyone else first. She said that she's always made financial decisions based on everyone else. Rarely ever herself.
Finally, it clicked. She said, enough is enough. I'm worth it and I deserve to be happy and healthy. The most impactful thing she said in our conversation was...
"It doesn't do anyone much good if I lack confidence in myself and feel miserable in my own body. I deserve to feel good and look good."
Without a doubt. You don't have to put your own goals on hold for the sake of everyone else. Not only do you deserve to look and feel how you want but the people you care about the most deserve the best version of you.
And that requires prioritizing yourself. Investing in yourself. And spending your time accordingly.
If you don't know where to start, simply ask. I can always point you in the right direction.
Much love, Kayli
Blog Post by Coach Julie
NCI Certified Nutrition Coach L1 & Mindset Coach
In an interview with Vegan.com, Virginia Messina, MPH, RD, commented on her disdain about the documentary “What the Health.” She said, “As a vegan health professional, I am sometimes mortified to be associated with the junk science that permeates our community. . . . I’m disheartened by advocacy efforts that can make us look scientifically illiterate, dishonest, and occasionally like a cult of conspiracy theorists. I wish What the Health had stuck to these kinds of observations and supported them with an informed discussion of the evidence. Instead, it cherry-picked the research, misinterpreted and over-stated the data, highlighted dubious stories of miraculous healing, and focused on faulty observations about nutrition science. Most of the misinformation in the film is due simply to a poor understanding of nutrition science and research. But some moments struck me as overtly dishonest.”
Vegan diets have clout, especially if you're pursuing them for moral reasons. Many people that take on vegan diets have been doing so to try and honor animals and protect them from inhuman treatment. That is a very good reason to transition to the vegan lifestyle. The way you eat, however, does not determine your moral character. Should you choose to use your nutrition as a way to express your beliefs and values, I think that's great. That does not give you permission to judge people that don't hold the same views as you. I, also, believe in the moral treatment of animals and am a huge animal lover. However, I feel better eating animal products and I do my due diligence to only source my animal products from sources that treat the animals in humane ways.
The problems that have arisen from this new vegan movement are blatant fear mongering and dogma. We have seen a radical portion of the vegan population touting claims that meat causes cancer, fat leads to diabetes and sugar is not unhealthy. These claims are inherently false. These radicalists have cherry picked information in order to incite fear in people in order to "recruit" more people to their way of life. Time Magazine wrote an article breaking down all of the false claims that were touted in What The Health. The film did get some elements correct, it wasn't complete bullshit. However, they definitely overly inflated a lot of their claims to try and claim their dietary lifestyle was far superior and healthy to other dietary modalities. If you're interested in another great article debunking the film, I would check out this great article on Vox. The article refers to the film as "sensational" and I couldn't say it any better.
You can read the full article yourself at Vegan.com. The point is, you cannot take one piece of material as gospel. Especially when the people funding and creating the piece have a bias. Usually if there’s a bias, there is also fearmongering, cherry picking, and a ton of dogma. There are perks to plant based diets for SOME people. That doesn’t make it right for ALL people. Not ALL meat causes cancer. Sugar DOES cause health issues. Fat does NOT cause diabetes. Always do research and check all of your sources. Look at both sides. To be honestly open to learning and growing as a person, you have to listen to both sides and take them both seriously. Otherwise you are deciding on something with a bias rather than a decision rooted in education and evidence.
Here's what everyone gets wrong about losing fat quickly...
You might have two pre-conceived notions when you hear words like "rapid fat loss."
For the first notion, I get it. The media sucks in almost all ways.
For the second notion, I think that's generally sound advice ⏤ it's advice I give all the time.
But that doesn't mean there's not a right way to lose fat, fast.
If you do it correctly, it can be an excellent way to kickstart your fat loss and ramp up motivation from quick results.
I've seen it work time and time again with my 1:1 fat loss clients, along with the other 50+ people who've gone through the Fat Loss Accelerator Phase of my program in the past.
The key, however, is to avoid these critical mistakes.
7 Rapid Fat Loss Mistakes (& How To Avoid Them)
Mistake #1: You don't do an honest self-audit.
Mistake #2: You mindlessly cut too many calories too quickly.
How many calories you take away and where those calories come from are what separates successful rapid fat loss from straight-up "crash-dieting." When your approach is to simply eat way less and move a lot more, it's a recipe to ramp up cravings, lose muscle and strength, and slow your metabolism too quickly. You need a "smart" calorie deficit and just enough of the right cardio to lose pure body fat, fast, without "crashing" your metabolic rate.
Mistake #3: Focusing on losing weight, instead of fat.
Traditional diets focus on total weight loss with no regard to the composition of those pounds lost. Losing 5 lbs sounds great! But what if it was 2 lbs of fat and 3 lbs of muscle? And what if you could improve that ratio to 4.5 lbs of pure fat and only 0.5 lb of muscle? That should be the goal, assuming you want to actually LOOK noticeably leaner, more muscular, and defined. (Not just see an arbitrary number on the scale go down.) How you do that is by avoiding these next two mistakes.
Mistake #4: Not eating enough protein.
This piggy-backs off the last two points. Eating a higher-protein diet, especially when in a large calorie deficit, is crucial for retaining muscle mass AND keeping those cravings away. You probably know protein builds muscle, but lesser known is that protein is the most satiating macronutrient (more than carbs and fats). So it's great for staying fuller, longer. Aka, you don't feel like you're starving every day, and you can stick to your diet much easier.
Mistake #5: Not having a smart strength training plan to work synergistically with rapid fat loss.
To avoid having the "skinny-fat" and "deflated" look from losing weight quickly, you have to take your workouts seriously. A smart program for rapid fat loss is designed to 1) retain/build as much muscle and strength as possible and 2) maximize recovery and minimize fatigue. You want to use your diet to lose fat and your strength workouts to retain muscle, which is exactly how I designed the Accelerator Diet Phase and Accelerator Workouts.
Mistake #6: Not having education, support, and professional guidance to guide you to the finish line.
Rapid fat loss is not for the weak-hearted, nor something to take lightly. It's even harder to go at it alone. The best approach is to use rapid fat loss to "jumpstart" your long-term weight loss journey and NOT as a sustainable, long-term approach. Use it to build healthier habits and learn new skills to use once the rapid fat loss period is over. Ideally, with a coach or expert guiding you every step of the way. Which brings me to the last, and possibly most important point.
Mistake #7: Not having a plan to transition out of the rapid fat loss period without rebounding.
Rapid fat loss is pointless if you just end up gaining all the weight back. Which, if done incorrectly, you're prone to gain back even more than traditional diets. This isn't to scare you, because it's not irreversible and you won't "damage" your metabolism, but it's the truth. A slower, calculated transition is key. (Again, hopefully with someone who knows their stuff.)
As you could've guessed, this is the part where I pitch my Phoenix Rising Method as the solution ⏤ and, you're right. I created the Rise Method which includes the (Fat Loss Accelerator) Phase with every one of these mistakes in mind so you can safely lose lots of fat, fast.
If you've decided you want to learn more, you can apply here for a free discovery call.
- Coach Kayli
Kayli is a certified personal trainer and online coach that specializes in fitness, wellness, nutrition, mindset, mobility and everything in between.