THE BEST DIET OF ALL TIME

What’s the best diet?

As a fitness professional, one question I hear all the time is, “which diet or nutrition plan do you recommend for best results?”

“Is it Paleo? Vegan? Intermittent fasting? Should I detox first?” etc etc etc

Everyone wants to know the “secret diet” for best results.

Let me share the secret: there is NO secret or ‘best’ diet. I know that may sound upsetting and maybe you don’t quite believe me when you read this but let me explain why.

Everyone of us is so different. You and I have many differences, as do you and everyone else in this world. Just to prove this is true, here are just a few differences many of us have:

• Body type: Some are tall and thin; others short and stocky. Or everything in between.

• Fitness level and body composition: Some are active, strong, lean, and dense. Some have been sedentary for the last 50 years and may be frail, without a lot of muscle.

• Dietary preferences and exclusions: Whether kosher or halal; plant-based or carnivore; scavenger or “picky eater”; iron stomach or “allergic to everything”, we all have a vast range of food preferences and many reasons for them.

• Budget: Some of us might be struggling students, some are middle-class families trying to make ends meet, or highly paid executives — maybe even a pro athlete.

• Organic / conventional: Some of us live on boxed and packaged foods. Some try to read labels, sometimes. Some of us may choose only kale that has been lovingly grown by a sect of Californian monks who hand-pluck the bugs off.

• Nutrition knowledge and diet history: Some of us will be faithful followers of a certain dietary practice, or a history of trying different diets. Others have very little nutrition knowledge at all.

• Time: Some of us have an open schedule, ready for any kind of health and fitness project. Others have a crowded daily schedule and countless conflicting priorities.

• Ethnic background and heritage: I work with clients all over the world. A meal or cuisine that suits your lifestyle may not suit someone who lives in another country or distant state, city or town.

• Age: As we age, our metabolisms change, our food tolerances and appetites change, and our digestive abilities change. You get the picture.

So when someone asks me what the ‘best’ diet is out there…it depends on each and every one of us and the differences we have.

You can be healthy and fit whether you eat mostly meat or mostly veggies, mostly fat or mostly carbohydrates, many times a day or just a few times, and so on. When working with a client, I ask them to track their foods for a few days and then we review the foods they enjoy most and how to make their meals work for them in reaching their goals; while not making them feel deprived of what they enjoy about their favorite foods.

What do they need to be their best?

GOOD NUTRITION IS MORE SIMILAR THAN DIFFERENT.

You might be wondering:

How can such varied diets all keep people fit and healthy? Well, despite their differences, most effective nutrition programs are more alike than different. Here’s how:

1. Good nutrition asks people to care about their food and eating.
Research shows that your actual choices are probably less important than simply paying better attention to what you eat. When you really care about what you eat, and make mindful, deliberate choices, you almost inevitably eat better.

2. Good nutrition focuses on food quality.
Almost no decent diet plan asks you to eat more processed, nutrient-depleted pseudo-food. Instead, pretty much every plan recommends eating whole, minimally processed, nutrient rich foods — foods that our body has a longstanding relationship with.
Regardless of the macronutrient breakdowns or specific choices, just eating better quality food will improve most of our health significantly.

3. Good nutrition helps eliminate nutrient deficiencies.
When we care about what we eat, choose foods mindfully, and try to get the best-quality foods we can afford, we usually get lots of valuable nutrients as a bonus. Many times, when people start a certain diet program, they just start eating better overall. They get more nutrients.
They may get more variety.
Or fresher foods.
Or less-processed foods.
Or foods they chose mindfully. Because of these factors, they feel better. And that’s one reason they start making wild claims about the rejuvenating power of their new diet. They didn’t do anything special, really. They often just started getting what their bodies needed.

4. Good nutrition helps control appetite and food intake. For most people, “it’s hard to eat just one” of the hyper-addictive deliciousness of processed foods. We often keep eating and eating them, but never feel satisfied.

We may also eat them on the go, when we’re rushed and busy.

So not only are we eating foods that encourage us to eat more of them, we’re not even really paying attention to the experience at all.

On the other hand, when we’re more aware of what we’re eating; choose a variety of more satisfying, higher-quality foods; and eliminate nutrient deficiencies, we almost always end up eating less food overall.

We feel more satisfied — both physiologically and psychologically.

We lose fat, gain muscle, and perform better. Notice that you don’t need calorie counting here.

Focusing on food awareness and food quality is usually enough for people to tune into their own hunger and appetite. That means calorie control without the annoying calorie math. (cuz I don’t love math) 🙂

5. Good nutrition promotes regular exercise.
When you start paying attention to what you are eating, you usually start thinking about physical activity too.
Or vice versa: If you take up an activity you love, eventually you start wondering if your nutrition could help you do that activity better.

Good nutrition fits with regular activity like a key into a lock. And most nutrition programs suggest that people exercise along with eating well.

Hopefully this information helped you understand the basis of a good meal plan and that most of them are more similar than we think.

If you need help with your meal planning, shoot me an email today: kathyprofitness@gmail.com

Why you might not be hungry in the morning

I bet you have heard the saying, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” more times than you can count, right? But so many of my clients tell me that they are just not hungry in the morning. It’s a common complaint and there are actually some ways you can change that if you’re one of the non-hungry types, first thing in the morning.

Let’s start some common issues as we are rushing out the door in the morning. First of all, it’s not uncommon for many people to actually feel nauseous first thing in the morning. How does this make any sense when you haven’t eaten for at least 6-8 hours but during the day you can barely make it past 3 hours between meals?

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Makes you go HMMMMMM??

Well first of all, our metabolism actually slows down when we sleep at night. It goes into it’s own slumber since we aren’t expending much energy while we sleep. When we wake up, it may take some time for our metabolism to get the memo that it’s time to GO! The reason to get breakfast in sooner than later is that it will help to kick-start the metabolism and curbs our appetite throughout the day. It’s not uncommon to struggle more later in the day when we skip breakfast because our bodies are playing catch up. So you’re not low on willpower when you are ravished later in the day..you may just need set up some earlier meal plans.

I recommend planning a nutritious breakfast within 1-2 hours of waking up for best results. Once you start this habit, your body will become accustomed and start to feel hungry when you wake up! (some days, my body WAKES me up from hunger!)

Another common issue that may cause our appetites to fail us in the morning is eating too much before sleep. While there are many arguments on how late to eat before bed, I would suggest eating your final meal of the night at least 2-3 hours before you retire. Eating a heavy meal too close to bedtime can also disrupt our sleep because the body is hard at work digesting that food. (remember point one on our metabolism slowing down to sleep? If it doesn’t, then we don’t sleep either!)

Another reason to refrain from eating that midnight snack is that it can sit in your tummy all night. You may not feel like eating breakfast first thing in the morning because you still have the food sitting in your belly from the night before. It sits and starts to rot. I know…ewwwwww! It may even cause you to feel a bit “hung-over” in the morning. Bottom line? Eat more in your awake hours and slow down a few hours before bedtime for best results overall.

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One more reason you don’t want food in the morning may also be blamed on your hormones. Hormones are responsible for so many strange behaviors in our bodies and can also be tied to the lack of appetite and morning nausea. When we wake up in the morning, the body secretes several different hormones in order to help us wake up and get moving after a night’s rest. Besides giving us the boost we need to get going with a burst of energy, the hormones also raise our blood sugar (kind of important after the ‘fast’ during the night).  This surge of hormones is another reason for that mild nausea when you wake up. An empty stomach can also trigger the morning sickness as it will secrete acids in anticipation of eating food again. Kind of a “catch 22” when the nausea happens as it’s a sign from the body to get some food in there for the acids to work.

So now that you know…what should you do?

I usually tell my clients to not eat when they’re not hungry (duh) but the morning is an exception to that rule. If you’re not hungry when you wake up, it’s tempting to skip eating until you do become hungry…but by then, you’ve already done some minor damage to your metabolism.

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I start the day with a glass of water that I squeeze some lemon juice into. This helps to alkalanize our bodies and rehydrate from the hours of sleep. Within about 10-15 minutes, I am hungry and ready for my breakfast. If you don’t feel hungry within that time, a quick 15 minute walk or fasted steady state cardio session usually does the trick.

So, are you ready to start with these tips today?

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The truth about your ABS!

Let’s talk about ab moves that SUCK!

I am always amazed at the amount of people I still see at the gym doing crunches and sit-ups, while they are pulling on their heads, straining their necks (can you say neck ups?), and just doing nothing more than engaging the most superficial layer of their ab region. So not going to help you with those rock hard abs, peeps!

I know you’re probably sick of hearing abs are made in the kitchen, right? But in all honesty, not until I made this my priority in my goals – focusing on everything I ate and drank – did I really start to see my abs show up. Don’t even think about giving me the excuses like “but I had babies” or “I have gained and lost so much weight over the years that I can’t ever get my abs back” …I have ZERO tolerance for excuses. Excuses are simply your way of telling me, “Kathy, that’s cute but I don’t WANT TO!”…

So even though our foods and drinks are a huge component of attaining the abs we are seeking – what we do and what we don’t do in our workouts is also super duper important and will create those defined abs like you’ve always wanted.

So let’s break it down into FACTS first. What helps with getting a flat and tight ab section:

 #1: We start by burning off the layer of FAT first!

Plain and simple, we can’t spot reduce fat. If you simply train your abs daily you will never see (or enjoy showing off) your abs in the first place. Why? Because you most def have a six pack but it’s covered up by that sexy layer of FAT! :-/ You can’t just take part of a “30 Day AB Challenge” and expect to be guaranteed your abs to pop. No matter how many minutes a day and how many new and exciting ab and core moves you complete, you will never lose your body fat in the same order you put it on. Sad, but true. 😦

Our genetics actually play a big role in this truth. We can eat right, we can workout until the cows come home (I still want to know, where did the cows go in the first place?) but those pesky genes are going to be responsible for some of our results. One way to help speed up these results and help to change the shape of our body and abs, is in HIIT workouts. We will cover that in this post too.

LOL!! I'll take my abs with some extra FLUFF on top! ;)

I love the fact that nothing burns fat faster than some high intensity kick ass training…or “HIIT”. This not only works your body, kicks your butt in cardio, makes your muscles scream; but it also works your entire core along the way.

One way to take your current workouts up a notch, is to add 15-20 minutes of explosive movements to the start or end of your workout; or do a conditioning circuit that includes it. Check out this workout as a great example.

The next best way I like to shred body fat is to add in strength training. It’s a common misconception that women will bulk up by lifting weights heavier than their handbags…but not freaking true!!! Remember, the more lean muscle we have on our bodies, the more calories we burn even when sitting on our asses. True story. 😉 Check out this strength workout to see some great results.

I usually cycle through periods of heavier weight training (8-12 weeks) and then bodyweight training (4-6 weeks) depending on my goals, on my schedule and on my time. They are both awesome and effective ways to get a great body, burn some fat and show off your amazing abs!!

#2: Train your entire core section to emphasize those abs

If you really want shredded abs, you need to stop doing the moves you learned in P.E. classes. The truth of it is, you seriously need to focus on strengthening ALL OF YOUR CORE in order to see the abs pop like you want. That means doing moves that use your lower back muscles, your deeper core stabilizers and the layers of ab muscle that protect your organs and keep you standing taller. An example for this is when you take on a new workout or push harder through a tough run, you will feel sore in your core (I like to rhyme every time..lol) even when you didn’t get on the ground and complete any traditional ab moves.

 

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Our bodies are kind of awesome and and protects us against building too much muscle on one side of our body versus the other side. It protects us because of the fact that too much muscle on one side of the body will put added stress on our bones and start to pull us out of alignment.

Still think you can outsmart your body? Dude, it’s freaking INTELLIGENT!!

So be sure you’re adding moves that target your lower back (aka: back core) as well as the different layers of abdominal muscle too!

7 Weeks Out!!!

To get started:

Sign up and complete my 30 Day Ab challenge HERE and then get started with the next program that will help you advance by signing up below for my ONLINE BOOTCAMP CHALLENGE to help you start shredding those abs!