Thursday, December 15, 2011

Transformations in Progress...

It's absolutely incredible to watch our ladies transform (check out Tabitha's blog today!). We have, truly, the most dedicated, determined, and just wonderful women taking our Fitness & Nutrition program for a spin - through the toughest season of the year - the holidays. And they're ROCKING it!! It's hard to make a lifestyle change - it's harder to do it in a "crash course", and then you add in the holidays? People said we were crazy. People said they could never do it.

People were WRONG. Look at our gals go! If you haven't yet, please check out the Transformation page, and their individual pages to see how well they're doing. Each week, they post about their experience, struggles and victories - and let me tell you, these women are experiencing victory - regularly!

Tabitha and I are many things - and many personalities. Lucy & Ethel, Pinky & The Brain, but at the end of the day, we are these women's Coaches - their Personal Trainer and Nutritionist. And while our emails and Skype sessions are often filled with laughter and fun, as Fitness professionals, all joking aside, what we're doing, and spending hours each week doing, is dedicated to these women on our plan... and we are so damn proud of what they're doing.

When you make a lifestyle change, it's typical to do it in baby-steps. Change one thing each week, for example. Our Transformation women have embraced our system - they're not changing little things here and there, they've changed EVERYTHING - overnight! It's not easy, there's a learning curve, and life is constantly throwing challenges at all of us, but they are charging forward and conquering! It's absolutely incredible.

What are some of these challenges? "It's too much food!" "Why can't I eat... (name a normally healthy and acceptable food)?" "I don't have time for food prep." Let's take these one at a time... and I'm going to address them from the Nutrition angle (maybe Tabitha will address them from the Fitness angle in a future blog).

It's Too Much Food. It seems counter-intuitive to eat "a lot" when you're trying to cut weight. It's incredibly difficult to change your mindset when you're used to "dieting" to being ok with full portions 6 times a day. Your mind fights you, tells you that you're not hungry, you couldn't possibly eat all this, you're going to gain weight. The reality, though, is that your body is screaming for sufficient fuel and really wants your  mind to shut the hell up. This isn't a diet of twinkies and cupcakes 6x/day. This is a well-thought-out and carefully strategized meal plan that will ignite the metabolism, build lean muscle, burn body fat, and provide energy and good health. When meals or snacks are skipped, that strategy is jeopardized. Sure you might lose a couple pounds by shaving off snacks, but the reality is that had you stayed on track you may have lost a couple MORE pounds that week - of body fat.

Why Can't I Eat...  There are many things that are welcome in a clean-eating lifestyle. Foods that are nutritious, I'm not talking about treats here, but things like certain fruits, shakes, and veggies. So why aren't they allowed on the plan? I'll hit just a couple of reasons - the first,  GI. Gut? Nope, Glycemic Index. When you're losing weight, sugar is the enemy. The Glycemic Index is a tool that helps you understand the blood-sugar impact of food. Some foods dump more sugar into the bloodstream than others. While it's important to maintain a stable blood-sugar (or blood-glucose) level, when losing weight, it must be tightly controlled. Fruits and Vegetables that are higher in sugar (yes, natural sugar) are limited in quantity and timing, or simply eliminated from the diet - temporarily. They can and will be reintroduced. FYI, this is why on so many "cutting" diets you do not see fruit. While we don't hold with blanket elimination of food groups, we are careful in how we include (or don't include) specific foods because successful weight loss is the goal.

Now let me address shakes for a moment... Not all powders are equal. If you check out the nutritional labels, you'll note drastic divergences - some have 20 g of protein, others 32, others as low as 7g per serving. Why is this? The simple answer is that they're not all PROTEIN powders. Many are meal replacements. When we utilize protein powder, we are using an alternative source of protein. We don't need to boost carbs or sugar, because we're already accounting for those - it's the protein we're after. Therefore, in my recipes that include protein powder, substituting a powder that isn't a true protein source, is counter-productive. That said, protein powder is a convenience. It is NOT necessary.

I Don't Have Time for Food Prep.  As the self-crowned Queen of Sunday Food Prep, you might imagine I have some things to say about this one, haha. And I do. But. What I will say here, is that quite frankly, you don't have time to NOT do food prep. Having clean eats ready to go is crucial to your success (and the speed of your success).  I cannot stress this enough. If you need pointers on how to set up a single-day food prep system, please check out the Food Plan section of the website... it's all there to help you get organized and succeed.

In closing, I just want to reiterate how incredibly proud we are of the women in our Transformation Case Study. They're doing it! They're making it work! And it's SHOWING! Pounds lost, inches shaved, mental barriers broken. It's happening! Woohooo!!!!

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