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'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
Blog Post by Coach Julie
NCI Certified Nutrition Coach L1 & Certified Mindset Coach
A little bit of a change this week from my usual blog posts. This week I’d like to talk about stress and mindset. As I’m sure most of you know, Kayli’s dad passed away unexpectedly in July. This event just added to what would be the perfect storm for me, which ended up leaving me very sick and struggling with my mindset.
We lost Kayli’s dad on a Tuesday. The first week, I managed well. By managed I mean, Kayli had all the support she needed and wanted and a partner that was helping her navigate all the things that needed to be addressed. I knew that she would not be able to make a lot of decisions or absorb a lot of the information she was being given, so I stepped in and up and was all of those things for her. The problem was, I put myself on the back burner. I completely neglected my own needs. I was stressed. I was grieving, but I didn’t want her to see that part of me because I felt like it would make it worse for her. I was wrong. It ended up being worse for me.
The second week, Kayli started to move through the stages of grief, but while she was starting to move forward, I was just starting to feel the sadness. Since I stifled my own grief, thinking I was helping her, I delayed my own emotions and left me sad and grieving when she was close to being done with that stage. The exact thing I hoped to avoid, happened. I didn’t want her to have to abandon herself to take care of me. Had we gone through this together and I would’ve been transparent with her about my emotions we could’ve leaned on each other rather than taking turns being each other’s leaning posts.
Since Kayli spent the second week taking care of me, I felt really guilty that she was having to take care of me. My mindset tanked. I felt like a bad spouse. I felt weak. Things just kept spiraling.
The process of having to manage all of the final affairs for Kayli’s dad lasted two and half weeks. That period of time was persistent high stress. Add in an insanely toxic and high stress environment at work and you have “the perfect storm.”
I noticed on July 21st that I started having diarrhea that was difficult to control. I felt like I couldn’t control my bowels. I could, but I was not confident in that. The diarrhea, nausea, headaches and fatigue persisted. It is August 15th as I write this and I’m just now 2 days diarrhea free but not nausea free. It’s been going on that long. I’ve been to 3 doctors because I’m worried about my gut relapsing. Through the process of doctors visits, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition that causes your thyroid hormones to wax and wane. Hashimoto’s can be caused by chronic stress and leaky gut syndrome. All three doctors gave me the same unconventional response to help alleviate some of my symptoms, QUIT YOUR JOB.
I was stuck. I couldn’t quit my job yet. Kayli and I just paid for a funeral and we have bills to pay for our home and our business. It just wasn’t feasible. I was stuck in a perpetual loop everywhere I looked. I was stressed so my gut was inflamed, but the gut inflammation and symptoms caused stress. Work stressed me out, but taking mental health days stressed me out because I knew what would be waiting on me when I got back. The cycles kept me in a doomsday mindset. I felt like nothing would get better. I felt terrible about myself. I started having OCD episodes of suicidal intrusive thoughts again. I was panicky all the time. I. COULDN’T. STOP.
Finally, I got a break. On Monday morning at 6:30am I received a job offer asking when I could start. It was the miracle I needed. I accepted the offer and told my boss first thing that morning that I would be leaving effective this week. Suddenly the gut started to feel better. It isn’t perfect yet, it’s still a work in progress, but the gut isn’t where it was. The stress associated with my job had me stuck back in a chronically ill cycle that I hadn’t been in for years. Quitting my job and spending a week being intentional about my time with Kayli and enjoying our time were the meds that I needed.
The take home here is, you have to manage stress. Sometimes you won’t be able to. That’s where I thought I was, but because I didn’t give up and I kept persisting even when things were hard, something shook loose. Stress can absolutely create a mess of your health if you don’t check it. Stay ahead of it. Had I stayed ahead of it, I may not be in this position. Learn from my mistakes.
What exactly is your Metabolism & what does it do for you?
Imagine your body is like a machine that needs fuel to run, just like a car needs gasoline. Metabolism is like the engine of that machine. It's the process in your body that turns the food you eat into energy that your body can use.
You see, every time you eat something, your body breaks down the food into smaller pieces called nutrients. These nutrients include things like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Your body uses these nutrients to do different things, like helping your muscles move, your brain think, and even your heart beat.
Now, think of your metabolism as the way your body converts these nutrients into energy. It's like a factory inside you that takes in the nutrients and turns them into the energy your body needs to function. This energy helps you do everything from running and playing to growing and even sleeping!
The metabolism is always working, even when you're sleeping or sitting still. It's a busy process that happens in every cell of your body. Some people have faster metabolisms, which means their bodies convert food into energy more quickly. Others have slower metabolisms, so their bodies convert food into energy more slowly.
Different things can affect your metabolism too. For example, when you exercise, your metabolism speeds up because your body needs more energy. That's why it's important to eat healthy food and stay active, so your metabolism can work efficiently and keep you feeling good.
So, in simple terms, metabolism is like the engine that converts the food you eat into energy for your body. It's what keeps you going and helps you grow strong and healthy!
8 Simple Ways to Speed Up Your Metabolism:
Your metabolism doesn’t slow down due to age until your reach your 60s
If it does slow down it’s due to a significant change in your lifestyle.
The most common reason being you lost muscle & your actions led to a slower metabolism.
1. Stop crash dieting.
- Increases appetite + cravings
- Decreases energy expenditure
5. Drink ½ your BW in oz of water per day.
Blog Post by Coach Julie
NCI Certified Nutrition Coach L1 & Certified Mindset Coach
Creating a new habit or stopping an old habit can be a daunting task. Studies show it takes 21 days of consistent work to break or create a habit. Throughout those 21 days, it's very important to identify with the habit and have solid mantra to repeat to yourself to help keep you motivated and accountable. Identifying with your new habit takes away any identity you have previous assigned yourself. For example, if you're trying to quit smoking you need to start identifying as a non-smoker. This is an easy example because that is a habit that often is assigned a label or an identity. If you're trying to start working out, your new identity is someone that loves themself and takes pride in their health and appearance. That part is decently easy. It will take effort to believe in your new identity but the mantra aspect takes a little more effort. You want to create a mantra that you can memorize and repeat to yourself with temptation arises. Something you can believe it that is motivating for you to stay on track. I've broken down the steps to creating a mantra for you below as well as an example.
Give it a try and see what you come up with.
How to Create a Mantra for Developing a New Habit
5 Rules to Writing a Mantra
If you’re new habit is improving your relationship with money, your process may look like this:
People like you who read my blogs are of a special breed. You’re likely ambitious, eager to learn, and confident⏤or else you wouldn’t be reading this. Or, anything, for that matter.
If you’re anything like my 1:1 coaching client, Diana, you’ll start off small, stacking wins. Then you’ll nervously, but courageously, push past your comfort zone. You’ll succeed at something you’ve never done before. Then your trust in your abilities will increase, equipping you to overcome hard things in the future with a new sense of mental freedom. This is how you build real self-confidence and escape the comparison trap. If this sounds like something you want professional help with, let’s work together. Whether you decide to sign up or not, with each of these four tools you should increase your chances of success going forward.
You’ve got this.
Give ’em a try and keep me posted how it goes. Would love to hear from you.
Chat soon, Kayli
P.S. This was originally an email sent to my private newsletter. If you liked this post, consider joining the fun.
Done correctly, deliberate cold exposure can positively affect brain and body health. Below, I detail some of those benefits and how best to access them.
Never get into a dangerous body of water. Also, never do deliberate hyperventilation before or during cold water (or any water!) immersion. Start slow (warmer than colder)—as cold shock is possible; just as with lifting weights or other forms of exercise, you’ll need to find the right temperature for you, yet prioritize safety.
How cold? This is the most common question I hear, and it makes sense to ask that. However, it is truly impossible to answer, as some people tolerate cold better than others. The key is to aim for a temperature that evokes the thought, “This is really cold (!), and I want to get out, BUT I can safely stay in.” For some people, that temperature might be 60°F, whereas for others, 45°F.
Here is the key: the colder the stimulus (water immersion, shower, etc.), the shorter amount of time you need to expose yourself to the cold. One study showed significant and prolonged increases in dopamine when people were in cool (60°F) water for about an hour up to their neck, with their head above water. Other studies describe significant increases in epinephrine from just 20 seconds in very cold water (~40°F). The good news is that as you do deliberate cold exposure more often, you will be more comfortable in the cold at all times and can start to use colder temperatures with more confidence, just like exercise.
Ice bath, cold shower, or cryo?Most of the studies use ice baths or cold water immersion to the neck. Those are best, but cold showers can work too (and are more accessible to most). Cryo is very expensive and harder to access and not subject to much variation in protocols, so it is not considered here.
To Increase Energy and Focus
Deliberate cold exposure causes a significant release of epinephrine (aka adrenaline) and norepinephrine (aka noradrenaline) in the brain and body. These neurochemicals make us feel alert and can make us feel agitated and as if we need to move or vocalize during the cold exposure. Cold causes their levels to stay elevated for some time and their ongoing effect after the exposure is to increase your level of energy and focus, which can be applied to other mental and/or physical activities.
Building Resilience & Grit
By forcing yourself to embrace the stress of cold exposure as a meaningful self-directed challenge (i.e., stressor), you exert what is called ‘top-down control’ over deeper brain centers that regulate reflexive states. This top-down control process involves your prefrontal cortex – an area of your brain involved in planning and suppressing impulsivity. That ‘top-down’ control is the basis of what people refer to when they talk about “resilience and grit.” Importantly, it is a skill that carries over to situations outside of the deliberate cold environment, allowing you to cope better and maintain a calm, clear mind when confronted with real-world stressors.
In other words, deliberate cold exposure is great training for the mind.
Enhancing Your Mood
While not true of every stress, cold exposure causes the prolonged release of dopamine. Dopamine is a powerful molecule capable of elevating mood, enhancing focus, attention, goal-directed behavior, etc. Even short bouts of cold exposure can cause a lasting increase in dopamine and sustained elevation of mood, energy, and focus.
In the short-term, cold exposure increases metabolism as the body has to burn calories to increase core body temperature. The total calories burned from the cold exposure are not that significant. However, the conversion of white fat (energy storage) to beige or brown fat (which are highly metabolically active) can be beneficial for:
Of course, calories on (consumed) versus calories out (metabolized) or “CICO” governs whether you gain, lose, or maintain weight. There is no escaping the laws of thermodynamics.
A Solid Basic, Science-Supported Protocol
Consider doing deliberate cold exposure for 11 minutes per week TOTAL. NOT per session, but rather, 2-4 sessions lasting 1-5 mins each distributed across the week. Again, the water temperature should be uncomfortably cold yet safe to stay in for a few minutes. You can do more, but this should be the minimum to achieve the benefits of cold exposure. You can do very cold, very brief exposures for adrenaline release too, but the 11 minutes is based on a recent study that explored a range of effects and is a good solid, basic protocol for ongoing use.
The “Counting Walls” Approach
Undoubtedly, during (or before) cold exposure, you will find your mind pushing back against the challenge. Your mind will say, “I really don’t want to do this,” even before getting in, or “Get me out of here.” You can imagine those mental barriers as ‘walls.’ Those walls are, in fact, the effects of adrenaline pulses in your brain and body, which in this case is what triggers the eventual adaptive response. After all, if it were easy, then there is no stimulus for your body to change (adapt). By maintaining top-down control of your reflexive urge to exit the cold environment, you will have successfully traversed that wall. Challenge yourself by counting walls and setting a goal of “walls” to traverse (e.g., 3-5 walls) during the round of cold exposure. You can also go for time. Up to you. The advantage of the walls approach is that it carries over to other scenarios more seamlessly, as most of life’s stressors don’t lend themselves so well to merely timing the duration until it passes. It also enhances your sense of mind-body connection to do it this way.
Shivering and The Søeberg PrincipleThe Søeberg Principle based on deliberate cold researcher Dr. Susanna Søeberg is: To enhance the metabolic effects of cold, force your body to reheat on its own. Or “End With Cold.”
Also, allowing your body to shiver may enhance metabolic increases from cold. Shivering causes the release of succinate from muscles and further activates brown fat thermogenesis.
Try this protocol to increase shivering, either during or immediately after cold exposure:
Don’t huddle or cross your arms while in the cold or after getting out. Also, don’t towel off. Let your body reheat and dry off naturally. Admittedly, this is tough. Unless doing deliberate cold exposure on a hot sunny day, admittedly, I prefer to take a hot shower and towel dry after cold exposure, but I am no doubt limiting the metabolic effect by doing that.
Physical Recovery A meta-analysis of cold-water immersion effects on recovery found that cold exposure can be a highly effective recovery tool after high-intensity exercise or endurance training. Short interval (< 5 mins), cold water immersion demonstrated positive outcomes for muscle power, perceived recovery, and decreased muscle soreness (in part due to a reduction in circulating creatine kinases).
The problem is that cold water immersion (but not cold showers) can limit some of the gains in hypertrophy, strength or endurance if done in the 4 hours or so after training. It’s better to wait 6 to 8 or more hours until after training, or do it before training UNLESS your goal is simply to recover without adaptation (for instance, when in a competition mode and not trying to get better, stronger, etc.)
Day or night?
After cold exposure, your body heats up. Yes, HEATS up. Body temperature increases tend to wake us up, whereas body temperature decreases tend to shift us toward sleepy states. Thus, I suggest using deliberate cold early in the day and not too close to bedtime. Sometimes it’s better to do it late than never, but not if it perturbs your sleep. If deliberate cold affects your sleep, try doing it earlier in the day, or not at all.
Increasing the Resilience-Enhancing Effects of Deliberate Cold Exposure
Staying completely still while in cold water allows a thermal layer to surround your body, ‘insulating’ you from the cold. To be most effective as a resilience training tool, move your limbs while keeping your hands and feet in the water. That will break up the thermal layer and you will experience the water as (much) colder than if you stayed still. This is also a good way to increase the potency of a cold stimulus without having to make the water colder. This is akin to slowing down the movement of a weight lift to reduce momentum and provide more tension on the working muscles.
Thank you for your interest!
I will answer all questions! Please feel free to drop them in the comments or email me directly @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: KM Fitness is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this podcast or materials linked from this podcast is at the user’s own risk. The content of this podcast, blog and website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard or delay in obtaining medical advice for any medical condition they may have and should seek the assistance of their health care professionals for any such conditions.
Kayli is a certified personal trainer and online coach that specializes in fitness, wellness, nutrition, mindset, mobility and everything in between.