Top 3 Nagging Weight Loss Questions: Answered!


I am the first to admit that the diet/exercise/weight-loss/fitness industry is rife with confusing and often conflicting information.  For most people, it’s difficult to navigate these murky waters since we’re forced to solely go by what we see, hear, and read.  One need only to look as far as what is considered the most extensive diet study of all-time to see just how deep the contradictions run.  The China Study suggests that animal products show direct links to many of our modern ‘diseases of affluence’, while the Paleo followers push the blame on grains, among other things, suggesting that animals be an important part of our daily plates.

We can, however, put to rest at least 3 questions that are all-too-often asked by those looking to shed a few pounds for beach season.

  • How come I can’t keep off the weight? This is an extremely common occurrence, and the constant weight-loss/weight-gain treadmill is known as yo-yo dieting.  The main reason why this happens is because too many of us turn to canned fad diets for weight loss.  Most of these diets are too restrictive, both in calories and food groups, to the extent that within a short period of time (or, at most, when we reach our goal), we resort back to our old habits.  What’s the answer, then?  First, we need to adjust our mindsets.  It’s important to realize that weight-management is a marathon, not a sprint. Secondly, let’s forget fad dieting altogether.  Long term weight-loss comes from life changes, not from short term super restrictions.  Education is a big part of this puzzle, and finding strategies that work for you as an individual.  This is why having a personalized plan infinitely increases your chances for long term weight management.  Be sure to check out our personalized weight-loss plans
  • Should I diet or exercise? I really hope you found the answer obvious, it’s both. The most effective way to manage your weight and your health is to eat a healthful diet and exercise. And don’t think this has to mean long hours in a gym and eating carrot sticks all day.  Based on your tolerance to change, there are ways to clean up your diet and implement efficient, effective exercise without being maniacal.  Unfortunately, based on conversations with people, its all-to-common for people to favor only ½ of the equation, and results are either stifled or completely non-existent.
  • Carbs, Meat, Fat, Vegan?!?! WHAT DO I EAT!? This is primarily where we see the conflicting information I mentioned earlier.  Rather than get bogged down in trying to determine what the ultimate human diet is, let’s keep it simple.  Eat more whole, unprocessed foods.  Between, salt, sugar, and saturated/trans fats, our supermarkets and restaurants have become a minefield.  If you want to improve your health, eat foods as close to their original forms as possible.  It isn’t only better for you, it will taste better.  Also, if you’re one to use dinging out as entertainment, try replacing that by cooking at home as a couple or family, or host more dinner parties. It’s much easier to control what’s going into your dish when you’re the one cooking it, especially when you start from fresh, whole ingredients.  And remember, fruit was nature’s original fast food.  If  you need convenience, become a master at stocking wholesome treats to grab-n-go.

If you want to read more about the China Study conflict, visit

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Excuses, and Being More Mindful

When I wrote the Mindful Living Program earlier this year (which is now on sale on Amazon, see below), I didn’t realize that simply being more mindful would help in so many different areas.  To wit, this morning I came across an article on how to achieve a great chest workout in 10 minutes. Before reading the prescribed routine, I quickly thought of how I would approach it.  Not only for chest, but thinking through an effective 10 minute workout for every day of the week.  I always play this little game that if my life suddenly became extraordinarily busy, how would I still sneak in effective workouts while juggling the demands of every day life.

That train of thought got me thinking about excuses.  Quite possibly the most oft-heard excuse by clients is that they just don’t have the time.  And while I will certainly concede that life with kids and careers and familial obligations is painstakingly time consuming, I think those that live a life of fitness make the time regardless.  When we’re in a time in our lives where there just aren’t enough hours in the day, we default to doing things by process of priority.  Very simply, some of us have fitness higher on that priority list than others.  As it stands now, I get up an hour earlier than I have to each day so that I can fit in my gym routine.  And if that time was somehow usurped by unforeseen responsibilities, I would find other ways to get in a workout, even if I had to resort to 10 minute tabatas.

And so what does this have to do with being mindful?  It got me thinking how often we toss out excuses for not accomplishing the things we know we probably should.  I started to think of the psychology of excuses, and that we likely use excuses for our own piece of mind.  Saying “I just don’t have the time” makes not exercising so much more palatable than saying “I’d really rather sit and watch TV with the free hour I do have”.  So, being mindful in this case means looking past the excuse and being honest with yourself.  Possibly, with seeing it for the way it really is, we can recognize that the excuse is paper thin and actually make a positive change.  There’s also no reason to think that you have to jump right into hour long workouts, or even leave the house.  Starting with short, higher intensity home workouts just 4 to 5 days a week will barely register an hour of your time in a 7 day cycle, but have a positive impact on your health.  Your excuse then, is gone, and I’m willing to be that when you start to see its positive effects, it will become a higher priority, and you’ll likely want to work harder.  Results drive motivation.

So, the next time you try to con yourself with an excuse, regardless of its nature, really think about (be mindful) what you’re actually saying and whether or not it’s just a line you’re feeding yourself to justify not doing whatever it is you’re avoiding.

Don’t want to make major changes? Check out our Mindful Living Program. The easiest weight-loss program you’ll ever need.

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The Misinterpretation Of “Diet”

For a lot of people, simply hearing the word “diet” is enough to put them in a brain-locking tail-spin with visions of deprivation and carrot sticks.  The word seems to be synonymous with hunger pains, bland food, and tiny portions, conjuring feelings of not only boredom, but pure dread.  This goes hand in hand with black and white thinking, starting with complete over-indulgence (a period of time where we don’t consider food quality and portion control at all) to a 180 degree swing to absurd rigidness in an attempt to compensate for bad behavior.

An example of this rigidness is our own 30 day fat shred program.  It’s designed to help you quickly reset your body by feeding it high quality food and removing the processed junk that is breaking down your body. However, it’s a program with a fixed length.  It’s not a practical life-long eating plan.  It’s meant to reset and then reintroduce foods smartly and with true moderation.  It helps not only with weight loss but with food addictions, namely sugar.

What’s missing from this life-sucking loop is implementing a feasible and adoptable eating plan.  Sure, you love your pancakes and can’t imagine a life without them, but do you really need them 4 times a week?  When food is a significant part of fabric of your life, it’s likely being used to deal with emotions and, newsflash, it’s not helping you cope, but actually making matters worse.

Where To Start?

Let’s assume, though, that you’re ready to create an adoptable plan, one that’s meant to be a way of life rather than a fixed-length diet.  Where do you start? Well, there are different approaches.  If food isn’t an addiction for you and you want to jump right in, you can start by following the 80/20 rule. Take 80% of your calories from whole, unprocessed, real foods, and save 20% of calories for indulgences.  Doing so will allow you to avoid feelings of deprivation without overdoing it by forcing good portion control.  Remember, the last bite of our favorite food is never as good as the first, so no sense in binge eating and derailing your entire week when you’re getting so little reward.

If you’re someone who needs to step down slowly, you can start small and make incremental changes each week until you reach the end goal of 80/20.  You can start by using a different ratio, or, by adding more unprocessed foods and vegetables at the start (which will make you too full for more junk) and eliminate more processed and unnatural foods each week.

Healthy foods aren’t boring

If you’re in the mindset that eating healthy means boring, you’re not following the right recipes. Cooking with unprocessed, fresh, natural foods makes delicious meals that won’t invite post meal crashing, bloating, and poor digestion.  As a bonus, the more meals you replace, you’ll notice your cravings for heavily salted foods with a lot of sugar and fat will diminish.  Remember, however, that you still can have the foods you crave, just a little less frequently and in smaller doses.

So, let’s change how we react to the word diet.  Let’s stop associating it with negative feelings and displeasure and start associating it simply to the construct of how you eat.  After all, your personal diet (how you eat) means something completely different than a cabbage soup diet, right?

Don’t want to make major changes? Check out our Mindful Living Program. The easiest weight-loss program you’ll ever need.

Visit Fitcoach99, LLC’s profile on Pinterest.

The Case Against Low-Fat Milk Is Stronger Than Ever

Gallon of Whole Milk

Low Fat vs. Full Fat Diary

The war on low fat vs. full fat dairy rages on!  For that matter, so does the long-standing debate around eating dairy at all! I think it’s just part of our culture and our human nature to endlessly bicker about the nuances of dieting while completely ignoring the problem from a macro level; but let’s save that for another post.  Let’s assume dairy IS part of your diet and that you truly want to know which is best for you.

Despite the fact that a recent article from Time magazine seems to posit that eating full fat dairy may actually be better for you, the body of the article, if read correctly, really says it’s up to you. Well, rather, it’s up to you based on your needs.

Read: The Case Against Low-Fat Milk Is Stronger Than Ever

Despite seemingly taking a side, though, the article isn’t about which is inherently healthier.  It’s rather about how studies demonstrate how people work dairy into their daily lives.

the body of data is beginning to reveal both that full-fat dairy has a place in a healthy diet, and also how focusing on one nutrient in the diet may backfire. When dietary guidelines began urging people to lower the amount of fat they ate, the idea was to reduce the amount of cholesterol and unhealthy fats in the body. But by focusing just on cutting out fat, experts didn’t count on the fact that people would compensate for the missing fat and start loading up on carbohydrates, which the body converts into sugar—and then body fat.


 people who had higher levels of three different byproducts of full-fat dairy had, on average, a 46% lower risk of getting diabetes during the study period than those with lower levels

Despite this good initial data, which started down the path that the full-fat versions were, in fact, inherently better, the remainder of the article supports the idea that those who eat low fat dairy generally eat less fat on a whole, replacing fats with higher carb, higher sugar foods.  Doing so will obviously translate to not only weight gain but higher risk for disease.

I fully support their admonishment to avoid doing just this.  Removing necessary macronutrients like healthy fats (we’re looking at you Avacado) is not the right path to heathy weight-loss.

I personally use low fat and fat free dairy, but only due to the calorie content.  I do not shy away from healthy fats like nuts and olive oils, though.  However, for how little I eat dairy I can easily cut a few calories by using the fat free version of milk for my coffee or the occasional bowl of whole grain cereal.

So, to answer the original question, which is better is up to you. If you like the taste of full fat dairy and have your daily calorie target under control, then definitely have it. If you need to find easy ways to cut down on calories to stay within your goal, using the fat-free version is a simple way to help.  Do not, however, cast ‘fat’ on a whole as an evil and substitute healthy fats for processed junk.  This message is to those who specifically seek to continue to eat low fat and fat free versions of junk food to avoid changing habits.  Fats are a necessary macronutrient, you just need to avoid the unhealthy saturated fats and trans-fats found in processed garbage you find on the supermarket shelves.

Having trouble losing weight? We can help! Check out our online coaching page. For what you’d pay for a single session with a trainer we’ll create a tailored program and help you course correct as needed.

Don’t want to make major changes? Check out our Mindful Living Program. The easiest weight-loss program you’ll ever need.